Glenn Hager has asked a group of bloggers to join him today in a synchroblog. The theme is Things I learned from Church (That Didn’t Prove True and What I’m Learning Lately). Visit Glenn’s blog to find out who the other bloggers are. Unfortunately this post will not be as long as I would like, as I’m packing to leave for Scotland in a few hours, but here goes ….
I became a Christian when I was 22 – ten years ago now. Prior to becoming a Christian I had a large group of friends who I enjoyed socialising with. My friends were the first casualty of me becoming a Christian. People at church encouraged me to think about who I socialised with, as I should not be around people who may be a bad influence. Gradually as time went by I stopped seeing my friends and my circle became purely Christians. Years on I regret losing touch with friends, and realize that given the opportunity I could have been church amongst them.
Church taught me that it was wrong to question things and that I should just accept things as they are, because that’s how they’ve always been. Now I realize that questioning and challenging is healthy, even God given. It’s part of learning and evolving, and church is certainly evolving at the moment.
Jesus came and died to free us from the law, yet the church has taken a new law upon itself and has filled Christians with do’s and don’t do’s. I have come to realize some of these are there out of fear, in order to control people.
The church taught me that people need to fit the mold in order to be accepted by God – that prostitutes, homosexuals, drug addicts, alcoholics, people with who follow other beliefs and religions were wrong and demonised. I have come to realize that Jesus would hang out with these people if he were here on earth today, he would probably look at the church as he did the Pharisees in his time on earth. No, I don’t believe that prostitution, homosexuality, drugs etc. are God’s plan, but I believe that God wants us to love, to serve, and through that we can reach people within our society from all backgrounds.
The church has taught me that the proper way to worship God is to go to church on a Sunday. I’ve learnt that worshipping God is a 24/7 thing which I can do on my own, with one or two others, or with a larger community. I’ve come to realize that it can happen any day of the week, it doesn’t have to be in a specific building at a set time. God is everywhere, he shows up anywhere where people seek him.
Jesus came to set the captives free, he came to bring freedom. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to fit a certain mold, God loves me as I come to him, warts and all. As time goes on I’m letting go of the bondage placed upon me, but it will be a while before I’m free. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.