I used to be a devout churchgoer. I would be at the building at least once a week, rain or shine. Well, time has passed and I haven’t been to a service in a few years now. I’ve been on a spiritual journey without going into a church building. At this point, I don’t see myself going back to evangelicalism, at least not the way that I was raised to be a Christian.
I am frequently invited to church by my family. When I initially stopped going, I conveniently had to work on Friday nights when my parent’s church meet. I had just moved in with my boyfriend and got all the judgment from my conservative family and friends who made me feel like I was unwelcomed to attend church. Currently, I don’t work evenings for I don’t have the “excuse” that I had before. With my dad, in particular, the conversation usually goes like…
“You should come to church with us this week”
“Yeah I’m alright”
“You really need to go”
“No, no I don’t”
“Yes, you do!”
And those phrases just repeat a few times until we eventually stare at each other because neither one of us is backing down with our sides of the conversation.
If you are a god-fearing person, you probably are thinking that I only walked away because “I was hurt by the church.” Yes, that was why I initially took a break, but I am so grateful for that break. I was able to evaluate my beliefs in a way that I never had before because I had never seen a need to. I saw things from a different perspective and am no longer blindly living for a creator that I really didn’t know much about.
I don’t go to church because I don’t want to. I don’t feel connected to god, in the same way, I did back in the day. I still feel in touch with a spiritual being but the vengeful god of the bible doesn’t feel right anymore. Honestly, I don’t think most churchgoers have truly evaluated their beliefs. They keep attending out of habit, and because of the indoctrination that they had. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone but I think this is the case for a good portion of churchgoers.
I didn’t have the immediate desire to start murdering people because I wasn’t attending services or whatever Christians think nonbelievers do. Ive become a hell of a lot less judgmental (I’m still working on that though), and am open to new ideas. My conversations are more in-depth and I don’t have an overwhelming pressure to be a “Good person” for the purposes of avoiding damnation. I want to be a kind person because I know that’s the right thing to do. I feel like shit when I hurt others, so I don’t want to do that. 🤷🏻♀️
I’ve seen more good in the short time that I’ve been in the real world than I ever did in church. I’ve been able to live a more authentic life and ask the difficult questions that you are not supposed to ask within that building. I don’t need a structured belief system to know that I should be kind, helpful, and generally not a douchy person.
With all the love,
PC: Leona Lane