We had an impromptu revival at church today. I saw a lot of people cry. Everyone got to come up to the pulpit and say their piece. It was somewhat entertaining until I started to get hungry.
Oh and someone got saved.
I genuinely wonder what it’s like to be a fervent believer in Christianity. I’ve seen them and grown up around them my entire life. I wonder what it’s like to feel so moved by “god” that you cry and shake and shout like some people did today.
For someone who got saved and baptized in elementary school, I can only ever remember being “moved” once in my life by “god”. And it still wasn’t anywhere close to how people were acting today.
I think back on my childhood, and while I don’t remember any of it very well, I also don’t ever remember truly believing in god. I remember proclaiming to be a Christian and being proud I was baptist. I remember thinking it was strange how anyone could grow up not going to church and not knowing who Jesus was.
I remember saying “the prayer” to accept god into my heart, but I don’t remember believing it. Maybe the memory is tainted by my current non-belief, but I don’t remember ever believing in god the way the adults do at my church.
Have I always been a closet non-believer?? Did it just take me until high school to figure it out?? I don’t know. Is it possible for a small child to believe something opposite from what they’ve been taught their whole life without having been exposed to it first??
I mean, I was raised to believe only one thing, to understand the world only one way. If I really was a closet non-believer my entire life, how did I get that way if it’s the opposite of what my environment taught me??
Anyways. I’m still curious what it feels like to be a devout Christian. What’s it like to live your life believing there is this omnipotent man in the sky?? I remember believing in god as a child…but I dont remember really believing.
I don’t know. Like I said, it could be that my memories have been tainted with my current non-belief.
None of this is to say I’m not happy being Buddhist. I love being Buddhist (as I’ve said in previous posts). Buddhism is my home. I just wonder what life would be like, what I would be like, if that weren’t the case. What if I’d never strayed from Christianity?? What if I’d grown more devout as I grew older?? Where would I be now??
And I sometimes wonder, if I hadn’t been raised in such a predominantly Christian environment, an environment that taught there is something more than us in this universe, if maybe I’d be an atheist. I was atheist for like, a month, during my spiritual search for a “home”. But I didn’t stick with it because of the prevailing sense I had that there was something more. What if I’d been raised in one of these households that doesn’t go to church every Sunday?? Maybe I’d have stayed atheist.
It’s something interesting to think about.
I love Buddhism because it teaches one to question, teaches you to find the answers for yourself. Christianity doesn’t really teach that….well, at least my church doesn’t teach that. In the Christianity I was raised in, the bible is the 100% inerrant word of god. It’s not open to interpretation – and of course the pastor’s interpretation is the “right” one.
I sometimes wonder if I hadn’t been raised in such an….idiotic?? unaccepting?? church if I’d maybe still be a Christian as well.
Eh. It’s not important. I’m not Christian now, not do I ever plan to re-convert. I’m happy being Buddhist. To me it’s the most logical choice. Of course if people knew I was a Buddhist at my church, they’d tell me I was going to hell if I didn’t repent and turn to god. And then they’d pray for me whether I liked it or not.
So I’ll admit, I rolled my eyes at the “revival” today. I roll my eyes when the people in my Sunday school class talk about how “god’s hand has been removed from america”. I roll my eyes when my parents talk about the “secret liberal agenda” in this country. I roll my eyes when the church claims “evolution is wrong”.
But I’m the enemy to them. I haven’t even told my own mother I’m Buddhist because I fear the repercussions. I’m afraid to even mention that I’m a libertarian in my church because the people in my church seem to associate anything not republican with Satan.
My church loves to talk about the sad state that America is in now. I think it’s sad that in America, churches like mine are still attracting new members.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to turn this post into a rant about my church. I could go on and on. And I could say some really nasty things. I’m not afraid to admit that I still have lingering hatred towards my church. Buddhism is helping me to get rid of it. But it’s still there.
I wish there was a way I could magically make the whole world understand my point of view. I know it’s not very Buddhist to want to impose your beliefs on other people, but sometimes I really wish I could make the world “see the light”.
I’m tired of the ignorance and intolerance.
I shouldn’t have to fear voicing my opinion in a religious institution. Sikhs should be able to worship without someone coming in and shooting them up. Pagans should be able to practice proudly without fear of being called Satan worshippers. Gay people shouldn’t be exiled from their families because of their parents’ religion.
But yeah, I’m done.
Except that I’m slightly annoyed by the fact that a Sikh temple was shot up today and no one seems to care. The Colorado shootings received world wide attention. I know that the Colorado shooting resulted in more deaths and injuries, but a Sikh temple was attacked today!! People were killed!! They said on the news this is being considered an act of domestic terrorism!! And no one seems to care….
I saw countless Facebook posts the day of the Colorado shooting expressing sympathies and concerns. Today – nothing. It seems like no one cares that there was a most likely religiously motivated act of terrorism on our home soil today.
Is it because the Sikhs had brown skin?? Is it because they’re not a “mainstream” religion?? If a Christian church got shot up like the Sikhs’s did, you can sure as hell bet there would’ve been a giant media frenzy.
And I’m stepping off the soap box now.