Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

I am the granddaughter of a Pastor. I grew up in church hanging on my Oupa Jose’s hip while he preaches. Apparently I was cute and everything. I went to Sunday school because it was expected not because I enjoyed it. My father’s entire family sang, played various instruments and as such it was a family affair. I couldn’t find a love for an organ however. Sorry. My father died and there my relationship with church ended. I say church because I don’t think I experienced a real God in those circumstances except fire and brimstone (may be where Liam’s fascination with fire comes from?). You believe or die.

 As a teenager I lived with my Mom. She occasionally attended a Sunday morning services and I went along because it meant a lovely lunch afterwards at Bruma when it was still the place to be. My sister however was very big on Jesus and met her first husband when she was eleven… singing, preaching and spreading the gospel. There were times I was inside a club and my sister and her then boyfriend, also named Jose who would be preaching outside. Serious! (Today, after a hard life with many, many fuckwit-ish behavior on her part she is once again big of Jesus and no doubt prays for me often.)

 My first husband and I did attend church, bible study weekly and I did try to be proper. I never got the feeling my then husband was all that much into church, but it meant I did stuff and left him alone. LOL My boys births were both celebrated with ‘blessing services’ as I didn’t believe in baptism believing they should choose for themselves whom to follow when they were grown. We/I attended many church related activities and I often bumped heads because I see very few things as black and white.

 By the time I met my second husband I was seriously big of church, Jesus – praying, bible studies, singing in the church band… the works… and so was he. I was desperate for forgiveness for my divorce and worked hard at studying the scripture and finally reached a place of peace… where I felt I made a mistake and God said, off you go, now don’t do it again you silly child. Victoria also had a ‘blessing’ and it was truly one of the most beautiful services ever as Oupa Alex anointed her head with oil and lifted her little body above the congregation. All her great-grandparents were there…. all her grandparents. Awesome. Spiritually – life was good and as a family we did many church related everything. We were involved in any way imaginable. We met nice people and I walked closely with God. I prayed allot, I read allot… I believed… allot.

 Then my second divorce happened…. and while scripture assures us once we are in the hand of God he never lets us go again, I let go in a big way. Everything. I couldn’t believe, I couldn’t fathom that this reality was my truth. I moved myself away from organized religion faster than you can say “Amen”. I cut all ties.  

 Organized religion to me today is a cake and tea gathering with teaching by way of sermon for like-minded individuals. I am not always sure God himself is all that happy with the tea parties or the way His words are interpreted. Carrot cake is not everyone’s favourite and some may want coffee, and not tea.

 As for me and my house, we cannot claim to actively serve a living God. I have no doubt that God lives, I have no doubt that God would be more than willing to extend His hand to mine….  but I am in no way ready for Christian tea parties where my tattoos are frowned upon, my son receiving Ritalin is an act of lack of faith and where me being on marriage number three, truly believing gay marriage is not an issue, is just not all that kosher. See again, no God there – only people and their perceptions – although yes, the Bible does has it’s thoughts.

 In my heart, I think God knows me. He knows my limits and my downfalls – I don’t think He likes me all the time but I do believe He loves me (much like I feel about my kids). I think He hopes I return and just maybe sing that opening line, mike in hand again. I don’t think he cares for the worldly assumption of who I am and I believe He knows my heart. He may even have a small smile and shake his head as parents do looking at how I have decorated my body.

 I don’t think HOPING that God understand me, guarantees me a place in heaven, but I sure will know a lot of people in hell…….New born Christians believe redemption is only for those that proclaim Jesus as the one Lord and Savior and unless you repent and never screw up again (well, please, at least not in public) – heaven for you.

 God knows my confusion. He knows why I turned my back on the man-made church and the Jesus I thought I knew. I hope one day we meet again under different circumstances and one where I don’t feel judged constantly and where forgiveness truly means a clean slate…

 I can tell you the closest I have come to God in years is during Jason’s HEBREW prayer for his Mom. See, even a Jew can lead you to Christ. Sorry, that amused me. I stood there and cried… wishing that somebody would “beg” so sincerely for me, that somebody would pray for me in a manner that would have God forgive me my earthly self…. to make it to heaven.

 Not that fond of the harp, organ or pan flute but I still know all the words to the worship music I use to sing right up front in the church band, lead singer baby….. and my sons Kevin and Nic play a mean kick ass guitar…  We could rock that stairway to heaven. 🙂

 As for politics? I just want equality for all… No prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation or food allergy.

 See, I’m an uncomplicated soul… Kevin would say “How to make a NOT joke!” 

6 thoughts on “Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

  1. SirNoid says:

    Belief and Religion are 2 different things for me.

    As you know I believe and “try” to have values and morals like all “Christians” but from my side without the judgement that seems to come with being religious.

    Nothing pisses me off, or amuses me more, than the constant small stones that get thrown in judgement by the “religious” when the fundamental belief of all churches is that forgiveness is available for those that make mistakes and that judgement should be the furthest thing from their minds based on the tenets of their beliefs……

    Anyhoooo. Religion and Politics. We all have our views on both at the end of the day and after studying the Bible for 2 years (religiously…LOL) at college the summation of it all is that for me, it is the interpretation of man that all religions are based on.


  2. I also struggle with church. I grew up in a beautiful church where we were always taught the only person allowed to judge us was God. Imagine my surprise when I entered the real world and realized, everyone judges everyone for everything. I don’t know how it is there, but here in the United States it feels like churches are giant money making scams. The last church I was attending had giant movie theater sized screens in four places throughout the church. The collection plate comes around and we are asked to dig deep in our pockets to help some cause or another, as I sat there feeling like any money I put in would fund the big screen tvs, or the pastors hair highlights and wardrobe. So now, I’d like to go to church again if I could find one I felt at home again. But I figure even when some days I’m mad at God, he loves me and knows me and understands.


  3. Hi Christel – well, I just have to leave you a little comment on this post. I want to say to you that I am so very sorry that the organized church that you have known has judged you and made you feel condemned. I am a pastor’s wife of 21 years, and grew up in a Christian home. I have heard and seen a lot of how ‘Christians’ treat each other, and frankly, a lot of it sucks! It is tragic! People in the secular world more often know how to love, help and accept others than people in a church do and that is very sad. We have raised our daughters to love God and love others. We don’t get hung up on rules and pretenses. Two of our daughters each have 3 tattoos by age 20. I have one tattoo…..rebellious pastor’s wife that I am! haha. People just want to be loved and accepted. We need to serve and show them God’s love. We need to be Jesus to them. Who are we to judge…..that’s between God and them. I hope and pray that you will continue your life’s journey knowing that God truly does love you, knows your heart, understands you and longs to be your friend in a daily relationship, however that looks and works for you personally. Thanks for your post and your honesty. I know your grandpa would be sad for how the ‘church’ has treated you too.


  4. Natalie Archer says:

    Wow what a deep discussion today. I do believe in God. I do also know that some people that call themselves “Christians” are so self centered and two faced it really frustrates me too.


  5. Ginger says:

    So sad that religion means judgment and exclusion and restriction for so many. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s not what Jesus taught in the first place. God/Jesus is all about love, growth, opening one’s self to the universe, and accepting others for who they are. Instead of being about making others conform, it should be about your own personal spiritual journey. And yes, I go to church. We laugh that it’s the church where “you don’t check your brain at the door.” I’m with you on most of it. I could never do the fundamentalist regions at all.


  6. Thank you for writing this. I could so have written it myself. I believe that Religion and Spirituality are two very different things. Religion is based on man’s interpretation.
    I am trying to live my life spiritually. And for the moment this is what feels most comfortable for me.


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