The church and me

I know I am going to upset a few people with this post, but I will not apologise for my experiences or feelings. I am respectful of other people’s beliefs and views and all I ask in return is that if you reject my views, you don’t reject me as well.

My earliest childhood memories are of lying on a blanket on the church floor. I literally grew up in the church.

There were so many rules and regulations that had nothing to do with the Bible or Christian doctrine. We were not allowed to phone boys, we were not allowed to wear jeans, mini skirts, bikinis and any other piece of clothing that was deemed “Not Nice”. Church, and what the people in the church thought, was an enormous part of our lives.

I never felt good enough for God. There were so many rules and regulations, and of course, I was a sexual abuse victim, I always felt that I had failed before I had even tried.

When I left home and started studying, I rebelled and acted out terribly. I then moved to Namibia, got involved in my first abusive relationship and spent the next year on a downward spiral of self destruction. I ended up marrying an Aussie soldier, which is how I ended up living in Australia.

We got involved in a church a few months after I emigrated and I really gave it a go. I loved the sense of family but there was a lot I did not enjoy about church. I found it unbelievable that my husband could be yelling at me on the Saturday night and on the Sunday morning would be prophesying over people in church.

Any time I went to the church for help with my abusive marriage, I was told I was not submissive enough and if I would just submit myself to his authorioty, everything would be fixed. If it was up to the church, I would have submitted myself into the grave.

I got more and more unhappy with the hypocrisy in the church, even from such a lively, supposedly liberated pentecostal church. I ended up leaving my husband, and the church. I tried going back for a couple of months a few years later but I would leave the service feeling more lonely than I was when I arrived. I stopped going and have never gone back.

I read “The Secret” a few years back and it changed everything for me. I realised that it is not possible for us to know everything there is to know. I realised that anything the church did not understand or could not explain, was labelled demonic or occultic. I have done a lot of reading about this and the only conclusion I can come to is this:

The basic message is the same. The message of loving your neighbour, sowing and reaping and generally living a good life is the same across most religions. I believe that each religion is the universe’s way of getting the message across to a particular group of people and there is truth to be found in each one.

As I said at the start of this post, I know some people are going to be annoyed with me and possibly even a little bit angry. Remember though, it is not a requirement of friendship that we all believe exactly the same things. There is room in this amazing world for all of us, imaginary friends included.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dory
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 01:52:58

    hey i went to church like that. he would stop being abusive if would just be submissive. LOL, God gave me a brain and i used it to leave. yeah i felt guilty for awhile. But then i realized that God is not the author of abuse. i did my own bible study on the issue.
    1. Paul write to Timothy:
    Tim 5:8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    So a man who abuses his wife is worse than an unbeliever no matter what he himself says, because providing a safe living environment is part of providing for her.

    i personally don’t agree that all religions are the same. But on the other hand i do see how so much abuse has been done in the name of Jesus that it makes me sad.

    this reminds me of song by Rez Band called wolfsong:
    You’ll know them by their love and by their fruits
    Not by pearly teeth, Mercedes or fine suits
    Not by where they go or what they can afford
    Not just by Jesus as their Savior
    But as their Lord

    Reply

  2. Amanda
    Oct 09, 2010 @ 07:00:28

    I’m really sorry that your experience of church was like that. What you say is true, there is a lot of hypocrisy in the church. I am a Christian, hubby is a Baptist Pastor and I agree, I see that there are people who live two lives all the time. I do however believe that God is extremely saddened when he sees how many rules many churches have added to their belief in God. Its completely opposite to being free which is what we are in Christ. Legalism is something that is a cancer in the church and I hate that it has had this effect on you. I believe that we can have a relationship with God one on one without that sort of church environment. After all, its really between you and God not you and God and church leaders (Jesus got rid of the priesthood and its rules!). I suppose what I’m hoping is that you didn’t throw out ‘the baby with the bathwater’ and believe that church’s lie that they have dibs on God. You sound like a very intelligent person who is able to choose and see what the Bible says about freedom in Christ for yourself. Hugs to you, I hate that your husband was like this and your church was an enabler.

    Reply

  3. married2mrmean
    Oct 09, 2010 @ 07:10:20

    Thank you Amanda.

    Reply

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