Now I grew up in the church. A black charismatic non-denominational church. People catching the spirit yelling and passing the hell out with the power of God type of church. As a kid I was always a little skeptical of this activity. They would try to get me to speak in tongues and shit. I wasn't having it. I didn't get it. I still don't understand it as a religious practice. I guess the spirit never inspired me in that type of way. No one could give me a straight answer about any of the more outlandish things I was seeing. This bothered me. In my mid teens I started seeing the church fall apart. I watched as membership declined into my later teen years and my friends who I grew up with stopped going. Eventually my family would stop going to church altogether. It went from one of the most important things and almost defining my family life to not being important at all. We continued to pray and call ourselves Christians and so I figured I was cool afterlife wise. I would go to college and act a fool (as most of us do) but continue to keep my faith. After moving out on my own I didn't see the value of church and began to question God's role in my life. I stopped praying and had a generally apathetic attitude toward faith. I remember trying to make up my own little sect of Christianity so it worked for me. I used to call myself a Christian Transcendentalist, what a fucking idiot I was. I might have even called myself agnostic at a certain point. For those of you unclear about agnosticism its the idea that the truth about the existence of a God is unknowable. A logical option I suppose.
Today, I consider myself a Christian man. As a grown person who has seen all walks of life, and learned more about myself I am infinitely more comfortable and confident in my faith. I try to follow closely the tenets of the religion and it is an integral part of my life. I try my best each day to follow the teachings of Christ and believe that a life walking by faith is the only fulfilling way to live for me.
With that said I am FAR from an angel. But I am not convinced that God wants me to be. I think this is where I and other Christians don't jive. Most practicing Christians I know LITERALLY try to put God FIRST in their lives as in thats all they talk about, they got gospel music blasting out of there car non stop. They retweet Bible verses all day etc. Honestly you can have that. Thats not for me. I love Jesus and my religion but sometimes people get so caught up in "spiritual" things that they are of no use here on Earth with the rest of us. I think that Christianity is more than just a lifestyle change and a moment to moment public proclamation of faith. I think God understands that sometimes no matter how hard we try to do right that we're going to mess up. I'm not sure that Christianity means that we need to be perfect or even strive for perfection or were going to hell. I choose not to think that Gods central role in my life is to keep me in line but more to be a loving and helpful guide on this hard bumpy ass rode in life.
I see the Bible not as this book of judgement but as an awesome chronicle of Gods relationship with man since the beginning of time. Reading the Bible as an adult I see these characters as REAL people with REAL problems trying their best to live the right kind of life and we are to use them as references in the context of our lives. As you read on you see them slip and fall and breakdown and fail and triumph but the overall theme is that God was with them the whole time, through the successes and failures and loss of faith. God never leaves and as long as you're alive you can come back no matter what you've done. All he asks is that you trust him. It's with that mentality that I like to live my life. Not as if there is this jealous deity that is over my shoulder judging my every move but as a fallible man who is doing his best to be the best man I can be with a friend thats there to help when I get to the point where things get hard.
So now. I have a message to the (more zealous) agnostics and the atheists who have a skewed view of the stereotypical Christian
1. Stop making fun of all us Christians. Were not all brainwashed lunatics. And for a group that claims to be so accepting and progressive you sure are demeaning to people of faith. Take a look in the mirror.
2. Religion is not "the source of all evil in the world" It's probably more man's inherent fallibility if we're going to think logically about it.
3. I don't believe homosexuality is a sin.
4. I don't believe that the religious beliefs of men have any place in creating our laws.
5. I'm still going to drink and curse if I want and no I don't think God will strike me down for it.
And now. To the (more zealous) Christians out there...
1. Pull the Bible out of your ass and live a little.
2. Stop bringing Jesus in every damn conversation.
3. Be more accepting of people different than you...Jesus had mad whores and thieves as homies
4. Don't let God make you boring and don't let God be your excuse for being boring.
5. Oh and lets admit that Jesus wasn't white not just in the historical text but in the media portrayals. Its 2013 lets get real.