Ever since I was pre-teen, I’ve wondered why there are so many religions, so many denominations, so many rules – when clearly, the Ten Commandments are relatively simple to follow.
While I don’t remember who the minister was – I remember his words that resonated in my mind at a very early age. I recall the Sunday morning sermon placed emphasis on Philippians 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling
To me, that means to listen to that little voice that tells me something is right or wrong.
For some that could be wearing makeup, cutting their hair, wearing pants, wearing shorts, having a beer, cursing or not attending church services, not tithing, or any act they feel may be sinful – whatever the case may be.
During my lifetime, I’ve been a part of various congregations. I’ve attended Southern Baptist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Christian, Friends and Methodist and Pilgrim Holiness services and have taken a sampling from each to find my own religion and clearly define my personal convictions.
To date, I’ve not found a church I feel is ‘home’ to me for so many different reasons.
The closest I ever came to feeling “at home” was during a Casting Crowns concert I took my kids to a couple of years ago.
Lately I’ve felt very empty – like something is missing. I have this deep spiritual longing to find that “home.” Today I step out into that journey to find the one teacher I feel can provide me with the lessons that make me feel more whole rather then leaving me with a lingering bitter taste for organized religion.
Because I believe immensely in the Bible when it says for me to work out my own salvation – I have personal convictions I cannot waiver from while searching for that “home” – some of those are:
- I may not agree with homosexuality – but I don’t judge them. I simply embrace my brothers and sisters in Christ and leave them to work out their own salvation. If a church goes overboard pushing the issue – it is NOT my home.
- I may not agree with abortion – BUT it is not my place to judge anyone who does. I simply embrace those women who make such a decision and leave the rest to God. A church that goes to extreme acting against a woman’s right to choose is NOT my home.
- I don’t believe in paying tithe to a church and building fund when so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are without homes and food. I believe in giving to my community first. The building can wait. Any church that makes me feel guilty for not placing money in a plate is NOT my home.
- I have had prayers answered that I have prayed in the bathtub. My salvation does not leave me feeling less Christian in my shorts, jeans or makeup – a church that makes me feel guilty for wearing jeans is NOT my home.
- I believe a person only accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior and believe he gave his life for me and my sinful ways in order to enter the gates of Heaven. Any church that would tell a parent that their child who was not formally baptized will not be in heaven is NOT the home for me.
I believe in the Ten Commandments and I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated. Everything else is just small stuff. I HAVE that little voice in my head that tells me when something is wrong. I believe that voice is God guiding me on the path to my own salvation. I don’t need anyone telling me what I choose to do is wrong – that’s judging! And that’s wrong!
The church I end up calling home will embrace me and all my sins. They will not judge – they will only love me and feed positive energy in a world that is full of turmoil.
That may be an awfully big order but I have faith that God will provide what I need.
In the meantime, I will feed from the sermons of Joel Osteen – I believe in him, his word and hope that one day I will find a church that makes me feel as “at home” as his services do.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with religion. There are so many –
Who is to say who is right?
How do you know who is wrong?
Are you ever afraid you’re making the wrong choice?