When it comes to matters of faith, I feel like my brain is a bouncy castle perpetually occupied by a pack of rambunctious toddlers.
A month ago, I was giving the LDS church a chance. After being unable to reconcile my strongest beliefs with some of the tenets of the LDS faith, I decided to reconnect with my Catholic faith (as I just posted about TWO days ago.) And what happened? While listening to an episode of EWTN’s Open Line on the way home from work this morning, I got so mired in Marian dogma and the way the hosts stumbled over the answers, like even they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about, that I had to turn off my iPod so that I didn’t throw it out the window. My heart and my mind are alight with irritation and I cannot seem to find peace. While I struggle to figure out what I do want, what I don’t want has become clear to me. I don’t want a faith that’s weighed down with rules and laws and other sources besides the bible. I don’t want the kind of faith that makes me have to repeatedly google “plenary indulgence” because, for the life of me, I still don’t understand what the basis of it is and how in the world it is perceived as biblical. I don’t want rote prayers or secret handshakes or having to hold all my sins in until I can go talk to someone and confess them. I want a church where Jesus is the focus, not the church itself!
The bottom line is this: I’m rejecting it all. I want true Christianity, and by that I mean my own definition of true Christianity. I don’t care what anyone else thinks because every single person has their own (self-righteous) definition of what that means. At this point in my life, I’m too set in my own convictions to even care how other people define the phrase “true Christianity.” I’m seeking peace and order and contentment and I’m only going to find that if I listen to what’s in my heart and not to what anyone else is telling me is the right path to salvation. I want simple worship, Christ-focused worship, and a sense of community. I want a faith that’s living and breathing and fluid and that becomes a part of me instead of just something I do on Sundays. Instead of settling for what I already know or what everyone else thinks is right, I’m going to use 2014 to explore different Christian faiths – Mennonite (they don’t just use horses and buggies, ya know), Nazarene, Lutheran, and any others that may spark my interest. I’m one of those people that believes that you need a faith community to nurture and grow. Some people, my mom for one, are happy to walk with Jesus alone and not go to any church, but I need the church. I need that community of believers and fellowship and role models to help me find my way. For me, community is an integral part of Christian worship. I just never thought that it would be so hard to settle on one.
8 thoughts on “Rejecting it all”
Finding a fellowship that values faithfulness to God’s Word and God’s Son is difficult. I pray that God leads you to such a fellowship. God bless you:)
I think you’re awesome and I I really hope you haven’t given up completely on the LDS Church 😦 It has brought me so much happiness and fulfillment over the years and has helped me develop a personal relationship with the Savior. I can honestly say that Jesus Christ is the focus and the teachings have helped me grow closer to Him and understand Him and His role in my own life. I also know that it’s one of the most misunderstood religions.
Because of this I’d really love to clear some things up and give you a members perspective on certain things you may questions about. I’m not sure if you’re still in contact with your friend or not but I’d really like to share my perspective with you, if that’s alright with you.
Will please you contact me at this link (it’s just a contact page on my blog) with a list of specific topics you may have concerns about and I’ll email you back?
I hope I’m not being too forward, and I honestly just want to help. I really hope things are going well for you and your family. Best wishes.
The mormon faith adds to the Bible and takes away from Christ Jesus, who He is and what He has done for us. They teach heresy regarding God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit, God’s Word and the way of salvation. God bless you and be very careful.
Hi, Eliza. I’ve been pretty open with Alex regarding my hesitation with the LDS church because our beliefs are so different. I spent a few months reading and researching and, ultimately, I had to reject the church because of those differences that you highlighted. That being said, I still respect Alex and my other Mormon friends who choose to practice their Mormon faith because they are all good, family oriented people who love others.
Hi, Alex. I replied to you via email, and I hope you’re enjoying your vacation! (I need a vacation, too!) Wishes for a blessed New Year to you and your family!
I really connected with this post. Granted, I’ve only really experimented with Catholicism and non-denominational Christianity, but I have similar problems. Rules, customs, etc. take precedence over a nurturing faith-filled community. I’m secure in my beliefs but not in the church I will go to. In every church, I’m afraid to be authentic because the real me isn’t very pretty (in the Christian definition of the word). I’m afraid of raising my hands during worship because it feels awkward to me. I have so many taboo issues I’m dealing with. The only time things feel remotely okay are those moments when I feel God’s presence, and those are never at church. I’m like you in that I would love to find a church and think it’s important, but at this point, I don’t know if it’s possible. But I really admire how open you are to all the different church experiences while still being convicted in your beliefs. To me, that shows a maturity many Christians don’t have. Sorry for the rant, but this post really impacted me.
Thank you for the comment. It sounds like we’re kindred spirits. As I’ve gone through this journey, I’ve thought, at least several times now, that my convictions and beliefs could change if I found the “right” church. And I did give up some of my convictions years ago when I became Catholic, but I’m not the same person that I was then and I just don’t find any semblance of comfort in that church anymore. Of course, devout Catholics (I’m thinking mainly of the ones that hang out on the forums of Catholic.com) would rail against me for walking away from the “one true church”, but it’s between me and God at this point. It’s just a tough, tough thing to endure. AND I was planning on going to church at a Mennonite church here in town this morning, but we’re about to get a lot of snow, which means I need to stay put. 😦
I wish you luck on your journey, and please stay in touch! I’m sure we’d have plenty to talk about!