The bible laid in front of me. At this point in my life, a foreign entity. Neglected and untouched. The very mention of faith or hope led me into PTSD. Beaten down by my shortcomings, a past full of heartbreak and disappointment. How far did faith and hope actually stretch? Was it alive and well or did it die along with the emblem of honor & protection america used to be. The older you get the more aware of the bullshit you become. No longer subscribed to beliefs that you didn’t come to yourself.
Shackles of religion fell off and the beauties of life latched on. An amazing thing religion should be, isn’t what it is thanks to the people who’ve corrupted it. In its purest form, a plea to live a life of love, balance, exploration, and charity. In its most impure form a life of restriction, prejudice, and hierarchy. In the name of religion wars have been and are being fought. Currently the war of the genders. Alphabet gang fighting their hardest to create value for their LGBTQ+ peers. A meaningless fight in my eyes, because people are people and rights are to be awarded to human beings. That’s the dark side of religion, the hierarchy that follows behind it, created by people no better than the next. Corruption by people that believe they are rewarded more value for saying a prayer or falling to bended knee every morning. Religion could be a beautiful thing, but when you give a person power in any endeavor, abuse of power comes next.
Called to lead, to minister, to be a pastor. That is my prophetic calling. Told to me by countless people who are enveloped by the holy spirit. Whether that be intuition or in fact the ‘holy spirit’ telling them, who am I to say? There is no definite yes or no to the question of there being a creator or not. Only faith and hope. Something to fallback on when the going gets tough, your back is against the wall and you have no answer for what the fuck is going on. A bitter pill to swallow, but an honest one.
Am I an atheist now? No. But, more curious and less aimless. More willing to question something rather than follow without question. More aware of the holes that lie in the thing that should be lifting others higher. Rather than creating lines of division. It’s not religions fault, it’s the people who do what people do and let their selfishness lead them. The selfishness that makes them want to point the finger and seclude the unconditional love to people who follow the blueprint of what their individual religion outlines. When in fact, striped apart essentially every religion is promoting three things: Love, Inclusion, and Progress.
Love for not only yourself, but your neighbor. Inclusion with everyone you come across, in the hope that what’s inside you might spark something inside them. Progress from what you were into what or who you want to be. Religion is a good idea, executed poorly.
That’s not to say that there are no people within religion worth meeting. I’ve met countless people who subscribe to a multitude of religions and love people day to day like it’s what they were born to do. People who embody selflessness and care. Molded by parents who modeled such things for them, or molded by trials and tribulations that led them to a new behavior. You have to define what you are willing to do in the name of religion. Some people have addictive personalities and the religion just becomes a new addiction of sorts. Others claim religion and pick up their cross in the hopes that the people in their vicinity see them in a brighter light. A percentage of people use the foundations of religion and hide behind it in a plea to let things come to them, because everything happens in God’s timing. A very small few, cover themselves in the beauties of religion and show you why religion can be a good thing. Loving the people around them, impacting the world, sparking the light that lives in so many people and finding self development for themselves along the way. A pretty thing to see.
Religion is cool, but it fills the void of us not having an answer for why we’re here and that’s okay. It gives purpose to the purposeless, hope to the hopeless, a mission to the un-assigned. Once you understand what religion is, then we can stop looking at it so badly and find clarity in why people find so much value in it. But, more severely we need to find a will to live. That’s what so many people are searching for and that doesn’t have to come in the form of organized meetings once a week, studies of scripture, or whatnot. But, for the next person, it might. That’s fine. You do what you have to do to get through life, and so will I.
Spirituality is deeper than religion, true connection is found in that medium. Having a relationship with God is what most christians find pride in. As they should. I find pride in finding clarity in a world of distractions. I can’t tell you what to do, but if i were to give you advice. It’d be to find clarity, within yourself for why you believe what you believe. God is cool, Buddha is dope, Shaman’s are nice, Nihilism is alright, Existentialism is subjective, but true understanding of yourself trumps all that. Knowing why you believe in any of those belief systems is liberating.
I’m also only 20, though, I could be wrong.
I’m also a christian, so I might be biased.