God is real.

I’ve never fancied myself a follower of Christ.

For the past 24 years, I’ve been to many many many churches. Presbyterians, COGIC, AME, and most certainly Baptist. I was baptized in a Baptist church, I’ve let go of all of my family that have left this earth in a Baptist church, been in and attended countless weddings in Baptist churches.

But I’ve never fancied myself a follower of Christ. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God. But Jesus — I’ve just never been so sure. I mean, I don’t get it. A bunch of men sat in a room and combined the Old and New Testaments and called it our gospel. At the same time, they were taking countless stories of other people and massaging them gently together while telling the “story” of the life of Jesus.

I’ve never said anything about this to anyone besides my mom and grandpa. Mostly for fear of being called a heretic, or worse, an atheist (my apologies to the atheists if that sounded offensive). But as God gives me favor and keeps adding days to my life, I can’t help but to share my thoughts in the hopes that someone else is thinking the same thing.

And I’ve always said “In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen” at the end of my prayers. But I say it mostly out of habit, and even then, I’m a strong believer in whatever you call God, He’s still GOD. Ya know? Like, I’m down with people that call him Allah, or Jah, or Jehovah, or Love, and even those that call Him ‘She’. Whatever. Don’t care what name He has, but it weirds me when people consider God to ONLY be the man that rose on the 3rd day. What about his pops? The man that presumably gave the world His only begotten son? Wasn’t he God too?

This is no shade to you or you or you. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

And why is the Old Testament in there, anyway? Just to scare the YEEZUS out of us? Then sing SEVERAL happy songs with David? And close out with Malachai and them, just for giggles? This was an aside, but a serious one.

Furthermore, I consider myself an infinitely more spiritual person than a religious one. For a lot of people, I’m not sure if they believe there is a difference. And I get it– when a person takes a religion and makes their life about it, because they’ve been told its what gets them to Heaven, it can be VERY difficult if not impossible to begin to question it. I get it. But I believe that God gave us a mind to question and not to believe everything we’ve been told.

Feel free to share this. I’d be interested to hear a unique opinion.

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7 thoughts on “I’ve never fancied myself a follower of Christ.

  1. rodney norman says:

    What made me question it was the images that were not inclusive of every race…then i digged deeper to find out that in 49 AD the council of Naciea (i think i spelled that correctly) took out books under the direction of King James…
    then i saw the same concept of Christ was the story on the Pyramid walls of Osiris,Isis and Horus thousands of years before the new testament sooo……

  2. This is really important and I’m really glad you wrote this. I have a lot of feelings + ideas on this too.

    I was baptized Catholic, spent a lot of early adolescence in a conservative Pentecostal Evangelical Church which led me to consider myself agnostic for a while, worked at an Episcopalian/Lutheran camp for a bit (which I’m still very much connected to!), stumbled into Christianity again, and prompted escorted myself out of religion after having it used as a weapon against me and other LGBTQ folks that I knew…and eventually found myself back into it again.

    For me, it’s still a bit complicated. I see God as genderless, which is why all of the He pronouns makes me uncomfortable, the Gospels are the basis of my desire to live simply, practice radical compassion-but The Bible is something I cannot take literally. On a figurative sense, it’s into something beautiful. On a literal sense, it makes me uncomfortable. Especially from a linguistic standpoint, you cannot tell me that I should take it literally-too many things can be lost in translation. It also makes me uncomfortable that most of Christianity was used to subjugate folks, especially brown and black folks.

    Also, for a while, I was absolutely put off by the Old Testament for a bit because the only thing people used it for was to bash LGBTQ folks and I was like yeah, nah. But it’s such an interesting text. I kind of felt like Sunday School had ripped me off the whole time! LIKE THERE ARE TWO CREATION STORIES. Genesis starts off super cool, like God is naming things left and right, there’s peace and harmony, people and animals are supposed to be vegetarian (God doesn’t give permission for people to eat animals til after the flood! little known theological fact!), there’s an undisclosed number of people created (GOD TELLS THEM TO GO OUT IN THE WORLD AND PROSPER)…then, oddly enough, the narrative style changes (which feels like it’s a whole different author-and probably is) and the whole Adam and Eve story comes in and brings the whole vibe down. I like Exodus a lot, as the story of exiled people, feeling inspired and moving through borders and lands and working towards their own freedom. The rest of the Old Testament is this really interesting historical piece to me and says a lot spiritually, especially because God is super present the whole way through, like directly talking to folks and just chillin with them left and right. It’s also bloody and intense and I think it speaks to human nature as a whole, sometimes the worst parts of it and unfortunately most of the (male) writers made God in their own (spiteful/judgmental/etc) image too.

    But it’s complicated, I suppose. I’m inspired by Christianity-but also by other faiths as well. I don’t think there’s an absolute truth-only your own truth and whatever works best for you.

    Also! Have you checked out a Unitarian Universalist Church? I haven’t, I’ve been meaning to check one out-but I think you’d like it.

    • You just said everything I didn’t really know how to say. But you’re absolutely right!

      Yes! I went to a Universalist church near Mt. Vernon Square for Transgender Health Awareness week. Metropolitan I believe its called. I’ve listened to a few broadcasts online, but never been to a service.

      One thing I really like about the black church is the intense fellowship and worship experience. I couldn’t get right in my spirit unless I’m moved by the drums and voices of Mother Africa

      • totally agree about the black church + the fellowship/worship experience there. i go to a lutheran church sometimes here because i like their liturgy + progressive/inclusive feel-but i’ve also been the only black person there at times, which makes me crave the awesome community i feel at the baptist church i go to with my family sometimes (but it’s also too religiously conservative for my liking)

      • thanks! i’m currently pouring over your entries and i really admire your ability to be vulnerable in your writing-it’s powerful. and i’ve actually never considered ghost writing, but i may look into it now!

  3. YAY! You noticed! I got some really good writing advice lately, and God has just been pushing me here to just be REALLY honest with what I’m feeling inside. Even if it’s dark, and ugly and not happy.

    But it’s only in this way that I’ve been able to release the happy, peaceful person that is Marrissa.

    Also — Sam. I have a great idea that I think you’d be PERFECT to write. I shall send it to you.

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