I'm a married mother of "3 1/2" ;) and the loves of my life are my faith and my family. I've grown in my faith over the last two years since my daughter's adoption, she is the reason why I started this blog in the first place, and I'm so looking forward to watching God move in my heart, and the hearts of others who follow along on our journey towards bringing home one of "the least of these". Special needs adoption is my mission field, whether I'm adopting a child myself, or helping other families get funded, or shouting for waiting children who need families to find them, and I hope you'll come along for the ride and watch what God can accomplish when we say yes to His command to care for the orphan, and go out into the world to be His hands and feet.

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Hello :)

Hello :)

My Better Half

My Better Half

The Crew

The Crew

The New Guy

The New Guy

Before Adoption

Before Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Friday, April 27, 2012

Losing My Religion

This is a very hard post for me to write, since it is the revelation of how I've abandoned my entire belief system. Quite shocking, I know...how can a person do that? How, after 28 years, can someone just turn away from everything they've ever been taught about their  religion?
Well, you see...that's the thing. I finally figured out that religion, and faith, isn't about what you've been taught, or how you've been preached at...it's about striking out on your own and learning how to apply your beliefs, your core values, your morals, to your everyday life. It isn't about how many hours you log in a church, that has zero to do with "religion".


But, as I said in the title...I lost my religion, and I even know WHERE I lost it...it was on I-40W somewhere between mile marker 140 and 94. We were driving home from Nashville, I was listening to Casting Crowns on my ipod, the boys were asleep, it was late, and I was completely lost in thought. It is very rare that I find myself in a position where I can do nothing. My kids were asleep, they didn't need me...Dave wasn't in the mood to talk because he was tired, I couldn't clean since I was strapped into the car, and I had no cell service so I couldn't check email, do adoption research, etc., and it was too dark to read. I was literally trapped with my own brain and forced to think, and what I started thinking about was the crisis of faith I have been dealing with for months.


This blog post has been in the works for months, not on paper, but in my head. I've been searching for a way to write this without sounding "judgy"...because that is in no way my intention. I am *convinced* that the majority of people in this world have good intentions, and that they don't try to be harsh, or hypocritical, or down right mean, in the name of God...but often times, that is what happens, and I've been seeing it more and more and it really irks me.


I guess it would help for me to lay out my core value system, since this is what my beliefs should center around. I believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, I believe that God sent his son, Jesus, to earth to be born and die on a cross, and that my understanding that Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sins of all mankind, is my "ticket" into heaven. It's a blind faith, and that's what I like about it. It's cut and dry, no frills, no penance, no confession, no whatever...you can never "do" enough to earn it, because it was a gift...it's really beautiful when you think about it.


So, that's the foundation...what happens next is where I lose my religion. I was raised in a Baptist church, and I'm not anti-baptist...I'm not anti any denomination, but I can honestly say that I have always felt quite ostracized by fellow Baptists for not being "christian enough" or some other ridiculous term, because of my ideas about faith. I tend to take the word "christian" very seriously. If you are proclaiming to be a christian, you are also proclaiming to be "like Christ" and that is a pretty big proclamation. I don't think warming church benches a couple times a week and saying grace before you eat is enough to entitle you to throw that word around. Yes, you might have accepted Christ, but acceptance, and being "like" Him...very different in my book.


In the Bible, you can tell that Jesus marched to the beat of his own drum. He wasn't hooked on stereotypes, he didn't turn a blind eye to those in need then make himself feel better by going to a church service, he didn't choose to only associate with those who were like him, he was pretty notorious for hanging out with the lowest of the low...when is the last time you saw a "christian" befriend a prostitute? 


That's what I'm talking about.


I'm tired of sitting in a cushy church, surrounded by well dressed middle class or higher people as they discuss how to spend money fixing up the church when not a mile away a family that they all know is nearly homeless. 


I'm tired of listening to people make announcements about how they want to send money to a missionary, but no one wants to get out in the trenches and actually do the work themselves. 


I'm tired of hearing more gossip than gospel inside of the church. Is it really necessary to judge someone because they watch a certain tv show, or went to a certain movie, or you think they're skirt is too short, or whatever? Go do something productive with your time, seriously.


I'm tired of being judged by "christians" for adopting a special needs orphan, even though the Bible commands us to care for the orphan.


I'm tired of hearing, and seeing "christians" cut down people for being gay. It's not your place to judge. Love each other the way Christ loved the church...if you aren't building someone up, you must be tearing them down. Don't be that guy...that's not very Christ-like. Same goes for girls who have abortions. "Christian's" love to target them, and it's sad...especially now that I've seen the flip side of how they completely abandon you when you choose to adopt. Pick a side people, either you want women to have abortions, or you want people to adopt the unwanted kids, you can't have it both ways.


But most of all, I'm tired of feeling like I'm the bad guy for thinking outside the box, for actually calling people out on their blatant hypocrisy, for not being "ok" with showing up to a service, applying nothing I've heard, and going back to business as usual on Monday. That isn't faith in my book, and if that's what religion is supposed to be, then I've definitely lost mine, and I'm at peace with that. I'm having a blast getting out, meeting people who NEED to see God's love, people who would never feel comfortable stepping foot in a church. Have you ever baked cookies for a bunch of guys in a halfway house? They really dig that, if you're ever so inclined to do so.


I just think it's more important to get out in the world and be God's hands and feet...be the change you want to see in the world. Maybe that's my new religion. :)


But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?

And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them
There is a way? -Casting Crowns

7 comments:

  1. Anastasia BeaverhausenApril 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Amen! Sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a driveway makes you a car. If more Christians would focus their time and energy on what they could be doing for Christ instead of what their neighbor is or isn't doing, we'd see a whole lot more positive change in this world. Don't ever let the hypocrisy of those people deter you from your mission. Their hypocrisy and gossip is merely how they show their true feeling - jealousy. They are jealous that you have the courage to do what they can't and won't. So keep up the good work! You'll be rewarded in the end by the only person who's opinion matters - His.

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  2. I am glad you have your beliefs and your secure enough in them to share them. I came to this by way of a dear friend Lori, who too adopted a special needs child. She doesn't go to church but she is one of the most "Christian" christians I know.

    I lost my faith a few years back. I however lost it all. I was raised Roman catholic and saw so much of what you did. I traveled many faiths after that till finally during a hard pregnancy with my husband in a war zone I found that in my heart I can't accept that a higher being out there watches so many bad things happen to good people. I could however accept that nature does. I don't have to like it and I can't argue with it. Some how that helped me. So now I am just a UU, a humanist believing we do good things because it is in us to do, each doing what is in us to do to help the world because the inter connected web of life, of nature says that by helping one another we help ourselves too. My belief is very different than yours I know. I don't think mine invalidates yours or anyones, it is just mine and in the end does what I say and believe really matter more than my actions. I think people need to remember real actions speak so much more than words do. A good person does good things, why they do them is not my business and not for me to judge. :) We just have to do our part and take care of one another.

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  3. What I've discovered about religion is this: I'm Jewish, but I have a lot of friends who are Christian thanks to Reece's Rainbow. I've read the bible. I know what it says. My (very unreligious but the grandchild of a baptist minister) friend and I decided that Jesus was a pretty cool dude, with a good message. The people who ACTUALLY understand the message and try to follow it, are good people who do great things in the world. Too often religion is used to justify hatred or discrimination. That's not what Jesus preached. and if I, as a liberal Jewish chick know that... there's no reason other people shouldn't know it too!!!!

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  4. I love this post. I've been feeling the same way. You know, the Bible says that WE are the church. Not some brick and mortar building. Not rows of pews. US. Most of those around me would judge me because I do not go and sit in a pew every Sunday, because how could I possibly be Christian without listening to a sermon? But I do listen to a sermon. I listen to the ones that come straight from God. I listen to His voice in my life, I go where He leads me, I talk to my friends about Him. That is church. We are church. Other ordinary people following God have healed a faith that was shaken by judgment I experienced in my former congregation. If that judgment, gossip, is religion, I want no part of it. But I know it's not. That's not the Word of God. That's people... losing their TRUE religion.

    Thank you for writing this post. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has felt this way.

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