I have a confession.

I’ve been binge-listening to atheist and progressive Christian content on YouTube for the past few weeks. I listen with no intention of defending my five-year-old faith or leaving the church. I listen to reflect. At least, that’s what I tell myself. Matt Dillahunty is by far the most rational person I’ve seen in my life. Jimmy Snow’s clap backs to cringey and dangerous Christian fundamentalist ideas are entertaining and informative at the same time. Brenda Marie Davies has such compassionate heart for an evangelical. But I find myself connecting the most to Jo Luehmann because of the way her heart bleeds for the marginalized in her worship. I can say with conviction that doing so – binge-listening to non-believers and progressives – did not diminish my love for Jesus Christ a bit, in fact I realized that I do love Jesus. Yet, inasmuch as I love Him, mainstream Jesus is not the same Jesus I met and fell in love with in the pages of Fr. Nolan’s book. Inside his Church I feel alone, alienated. It’s as if all that I am, all that give me reason for being – animal rights, feminism, equal distribution of wealth – have no place in worship. I bleed everytime I have to shut up on things that I vehemently oppose, like the idea that divorce destroys families, or that women who seek divorce are selfish, or that contraception is abortion, or that being non-binary is a sin, or that animals do not go to heaven. You have no idea how many times I almost walked out of service. But I didn’t. Couldn’t. Because of shame. Because I’m scared of being ostracized, which I know is a wrong reason to be in Church. It crushes me that I have to discard my identity to adhere to the tradition. I admit that I pretend to be like them, to think like everyone else. But I am not everyone else. I don’t believe in forcing purity culture. I don’t believe that being LGBTQ+ automatically brings a person to hell. I don’t believe that women who opt out of abusive marriages do not think about their children. I don’t believe that God created the whole world for humans. I don’t believe that Jesus is white. In our Christianity, man has become the center of God’s entire existence. I believe God is God, regardless of humans. I, on the other hand, am human, and must be so, accepting and embracing everything I am designed to be.

I don’t ask to be forgiven. I ask to be heard.

12 thoughts on “I have a confession.

    • I’m also starting to think that Christianity makes people irresponsible. For example, whenever there’s so social action needed, Christians so quickly surrender everything to God, without any action on their part. I’m not sick of Jesus. I’m sick of Christians.

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      • IMO, most religions make people utterly irresponsible. They are childish, wanting some parental figure to take care of them.
        Jesus says to do just this, so trying to salvage Jesus out of this mess is just making your own version of that character.

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      • I’m okay with us disagreeing. You don’t believe and I do. That’s personal. You didn’t have the encounter I’ve had with Jesus, so you won’t understand. But I understand where you’re coming from because I was unchurched for most of my life. You do you. But it’s unfair to try to take away other people’s faith. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe there’s no God, maybe I’m just projecting my idea of perfection on Jesus. But why would it hurt you that someone believes in God? What good would it do the world, except prove that you’re better? I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone. But, peace to you.

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      • Besides I’ve been reflecting today. I do the best I can but in the end, the result isn’t up to me. It may sound defeatist, but it’s reality. I’m only complaining here about Christians who don’t change their behavior because they believe God will save them. That’s not submission to God’s will. That’s passing the buck.

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      • No, it is not unfair to point out facts and one of those facts is that Christianity hurts people.
        You ask what it hurts me if you believe in a god. Beliefs inform actions and actions hurt people. We have Christians trying to claim people are evil because they dare to not obey Christianity. Christians used to kill people for being different and happily we have secular laws that stop that horror. Christians regularly allow their children to die because they believe in Christianity and the failed claims of miracles. Christians try to put their religion into law to force people to do what they want.
        Christians spread lies that take away the ability of people to make informed decisions.
        You have made up a nicer version of Christianity by ignoring what the bible says. I appreciate that. But that does not mean that Christianity is good.

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      • It is unfair to blame all Christians for the mistakes of some. Yes, evil things were done in the name of Christianity, but many of those who believe in Jesus have nothing to do with that. I know there are still Christians who really believe in the things you mentioned and more, but there are also Christians who don’t. Believe it or not Christians are a varied bunch, too.

        I’m sorry if Christianity and Christians did you wrong. If you’re happier and safer outside of Christianity, I’m happy for you.

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      • Patti,
        You still claim to believe in a god that committed genocide, commanded genocide to be done, says that one should kill your own family if they worship another god, who says to abandon and hate your family to follow him, says to bring every one who doesn’t want him as king before him and kill them, kills every non-christian in the “end times”.
        This is what Christianity is, and it also includes some good things, a very few. Picking and choosing your way through the bible to invent your own god, while it can result in a nicer god, shows that you are just making nonsense up in your own image.
        Christians are indeed a varied bunch since you can’t agree on what your god wants, despite all of you claiming that the “holy spirit” tells you that your version is the only right one.
        Christianity makes no one good or evil. They were that way already.
        Christianity does many people wrong with what it claims to be “true”. Christians do people wrong by trying to force their personal nonsense on others. I’m not safer outside of Christianity because it advocates for what I listed above and Christians try to legislate their nonsense into law. Happily, I’ve never been personally affected but my friends and many many others have with being prevented to love each other, to adopt kids, etc. Christians want to force their “commandments” in public buildings where those commandments say only one god can be worshipped. We have children killed by their parents thanks to their belief that this god heals people. Christianity demanded the waste of time and resources for ridiculous “houses” for its god, and spread lies about what disease comes from, and still does these things.
        Christianity harms far more than it ever helped.

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      • Pope Francis said that it is not our mission as Christians to convert others to our belief, so I don’t. I accept that you are more rational and intelligent, and that my faith is only based on my feelings. Having faith makes me happier, and I think a better human. If atheism makes you a better human, congratulations.

        Christianity has a violent past. I do not deny it and I am sorry. Everything you said is true. So many people have been killed in the name of God. Some Christians still hurt LGBTQ+, feminists, cultural minorities, the poor. I’m sorry. I’m powerless to change other people and their churches.

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