As A Christian, I’m A Fucking Mess

It hurts. I hurt.

I haven’t opened my Bible, or prayed, in months. It has been even longer since I walked into a church on Sunday morning. As a Christian, I’m a fucking mess.

But it is hard to do these things when you relive past agonies every time you try. When your mind is flooded by the pain you felt when those you loved dearly used these things as a means to hurt you; a way to control you.

I suffered from depression. I wanted to commit suicide. I wanted to reach out to God, but felt like I was a burden on Christ. I was taught that I would never be worthy enough for God until I looked like them.

I couldn’t look like them. I was roughly hewn. They were polished and clean; I was dirty. I knew that.

But I tried. I read their books, paid into their philosophy, and learned to speak like them. It felt so empty. It felt so fucking empty.

Their joy was forced. Plastered grins to hide failings; because -as I was once told by a young lady who bobby pinned her cheeks to her ears- you’ll never be happy until you let in the joy of the Lord.

That phrase, the joy of the Lord, they used it over and over again, but I don’t think it means what they think it means. Just like, love covers a multitude of sins, doesn’t mean we look the other way to keep from dealing with the hard things.

Christianity sans Christ built on the business of being a business for Jesus, but only if you looked the part. I didn’t, so they asked me to leave.

Love, it took me a long time to learn they were never my family. A cult of personality centered on a charismatic prophet promising to march them boldly into the mouth of darkness.

I see so much of them in the many faces of Protestantism.

And I’m scared,

But I have to walk away.

“What I noticed at Grace-Calvary is the same thing I notice whenever people aim to solve their conflicts with one another by turning to the bible: defending the dried ink marks on the page becomes more vital than defending their neighbor. As a general rule, I would say that human beings never behave more badly toward one another than when they believe they are protecting God. In the words of Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas, ‘People of the Book risk putting the book above people.”
Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

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About Z.

Poetic pipe and cigar enthusiast rifling through the haunted memories of a not so distant past while openly wrestling with faith and God. A rambling writer with the misguided notion that he has something to say. His only redeeming qualities are his wife and children.
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5 Responses to As A Christian, I’m A Fucking Mess

  1. Z. Oh, man. I wish I could convey how much I appreciate you writing this so clearly and honestly. I wish we could sit over a glass of wine and discuss this more thoroughly. I’m currently going through a time of a lot of spiritual “wrestling” (as us Christians like to call it) and this was perfectly timed for me. Keep going. Keep looking to Christ and not to the so-called “Christian” business.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Z. says:

      Liza,

      Thank you.

      It isn’t that I don’t believe in God. Of all the things I don’t know, the one thing I am confident in is who Christ is and what he accomplished. It is the only solid ground I know.

      The Christian world, specifically the Protestant world, is what aches. We’ve all become popes and gods. Our own understanding is enough. We are a law unto ourselves. And the result is us failing on the most basic of commandments, namely, to love God with all we are, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (which indicates -despite the guilting I’ve experienced- we are to love ourselves).

      Struggle. Fight. Know your foundation. If it is broken, tear it up and rebuild. It hurts, but Salvation and Sanctification is a journey; not a magical pagan incantation that makes all things better over night.

      Blessings,

      Z.

      Like

      • Thanks, Z. Yeah, you’re right. Let’s hope that we can change what needs to be changed, one person at a time, and keep what needs to be kept. I look forward to hearing more from you and sharing more myself as we keep figuring things out. :)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Z. says:

      This poem has sparked the ability and the need to speak to this area in my life. The discussion doesn’t belong here on Bedsheets and Canyons, so I’ve created a space where I can talk about it. You’re wlecome to check it out, if you’d like. (The design set up will be rough until I get home from this trip.)

      https://scrapesandbruises.wordpress.com/

      Like

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