Scared to be yourself?
I was scared to be myself for the many years I attended the institutional church. Each Sunday as my family got ready in the mornings to go to “church”, I had to put more than my “church” clothes on. I had to put on my “be a good Christian” outfit. This outfit is an invisible facade that shows me as a “my life is absolutely perfect”.
This outfit appalled me.
I hated not acting as myself. If I acted as the facade, people would like me and give me the time of day. They would show me the so-called “love” I yearned for in community. Well, this is where my bullshit allergies finally started to kick in after many years. Once I started being myself and started to ask the tough questions and not acting just like the little bubble I lived in … things changed (I changed). I was looked at as a heretic, a trouble maker, or a shit-stirrer… I felt no welcomed.
Just because I did not follow what the “church” thought was perfect doctrine, I turned into someone they felt the need to reel back in the boat and “fix”. I guess I was broken if I thought certain ways.
It was a weird phenomenon. For example. I loved them for wanting to worship in a church setting with an elder board. I do not know what is correct doctrine on that particular subject (any there are a plethora of other subjects), but when I was against an elder board elevated above the people, as a rule maker, they soon let me know that I was incorrect, and I should follow their belief statements on this. To me this does not matter. It is the unconditional love of Christ that matters.
This got me thinking of other group relationships I had growing up outside the man-made “system”. I am sure many of you have had the same experiences before.
So, let’s fill in the blank…
I have never met a more loving community in my life than the _______ community.
I know many of you can fill this in, and if you write in an institutional local church community, that is ok too. I am not saying that being in that community is wrong. I know people can find relationships with others in the system called “church”. However, I do feel the urge to point out a lot of the crap that goes on inside so people can ask themselves why they do what they do. I am just a person that has seen much more harm to the Body of Christ than good inside those walls.
I know there are exceptions, but ask yourself, in the community you wrote in the blank, do you find that people do not care if you are skinny, hairy, fat, pimpled, dead broke, rich, smell, say bullshit now and then, drink a Mojito (these are yummy by the way), play poker, gay, straight, bald, old earth, young earth, elder board, no elder board .. you get my point… do they see you as yourself and do not care of your quirks?
All the group in your filled blank wants to do is give the same love to others as they want to receive for themselves. When we all act like our messed up selves, I feel Christ can be seen by all.
So what is your filled blank?