No, I will not go to your crummy church

Someone asked me the other day what my biggest pet peeve is. I didn’t have an answer at the time, because that’s the sort of question that requires some serious thought. But I have an answer now. I’m most irritated when people invite me to their church.

Let me be incredibly clear about one thing: I spent many years very attached to my church in Washington County. I was active in the congregation, I volunteered, I studied my Bible daily. But my relationship with my church, and the medley of other churches I’ve been to in my life are all the same. I tire quickly of people’s seemingly ridiculous prayers, the constant berating of entire groups of people (i.e., other religions), and the disjointed sensation I feel inside my somewhat atypically realistic and overly logical mind.

When someone invites me to their church, all I hear is “I think my way of life is better than yours, so come do mine because I’m right.”

When someone invites me to their church, I can’t help but think, ”If you really knew me like your God instructs you to do, you’d realize that just inviting me, me of all people, is not what I need at all in my life.” I would argue I could use a lot of things in my life, but sitting in a pew is not one of them.

When someone invites me to their church, I remember all those times sitting in church a few years ago (and sometimes in public now) where I hear the most ridiculous prayers. I can’t help but feel that when most people pray, they’re just ”wishing for things to be so”. For example, I distinctly remember hearing people openly pray, in a church, for weight loss. Moments before walking into a church pitch-in and eating a piece of cake. You can’t pray your way thin. You know what works? Eating a carrot and riding a bicycle. You don’t need to pray to do that.

I’ve heard people pray for a recovery from their lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking cigarettes and cigars. I’ve heard people proclaim their love for God because they survived a tornado, but don’t seem to make the connection that presumably that same God sent the tornado that tried to kill them. At least you could claim that tornados are the work of Satan, but that’d mean God has no control over the wind blowing over his own creation.

I’ve heard people pray for a quick commute, a raise, lower food prices and just last week I heard a group of young adults pray for ”protection from drama”. Also, everyone wants to win the lottery, a new car, and a pony. You’re praying to God, not Santa.

And my relationship with the Bible is that of a book of fairy tales. I can’t get behind the notion of a talking snake, virgin birth, or that the entire global population comes from two people. The Mormons believe the world started in Missouri of all places. Not to mention that if half the world believes in Allah and the other half in Jesus, then someone’s going to be gravely disappointed when they die. I feel like common sense dictates that everyone’s wrong about everything.

Going to your church will not change my mind. I’ve been there, I’ve done that in a deeply personal way. No, I will not go to your crummy church so I can listen to fairy tales, people’s incredibly selfish and materialistic wishes and to be told I’m a terrible person, or that some other group of people is the reason why the world is such a terrible place.

No, the world is a terrible place because of selfish self-centered people incapable of understanding that not everyone is like them and not everyone is capable of just throwing everything into the wind and saying, ”I don’t know why anything is anything — it must be because God!”

Please, stop asking me to go to your church. The answer is no. The answer will always be no.

3 Comments

  1. Oh you made me laugh Justin, it was so refreshing to hear this from someone who actually does believe and yet sees beyond the fact that you believe and to still be responsible for your life.
    My ex husbands family were all practising Christians who looked down on myself and him because we didnt attend church. I never had any religious leanings but Mark did and I was blamed for his no longer attending church.
    I never felt threatened by any of them yet they could not identify with anyone who did not go to church.
    I learned that bthey were having weekly God meetings of which I was a regular talking point. They all felt the need to save me and yet not one of them in 15 years tried to get to know me. Thats a lot of people at a lot of family get togethers who did not have any conversations with me!!!!
    Except maybe once when one of them tried to get me to GO TO CHURCH!!!!!
    The ministers daughter had a baby with a member of the congregation and they werent married or even in a real relationship!!!
    Thats fine with me but they were judging me for living with Mark before were married!!!!
    The minister had an affair with my husbands aunt and they were both married to other people!!!!!!!
    The minister bored of his aunt and set his sights on my husbands mom!!!
    She was on the board of the church with her husband and when she rejected his advances he had both of them her thrown off the board and out of the church!!
    They had to find another church to attend and they ended up going to a mainly black church which they loved.
    I attended many weedings, christenings etc over many years and never managed to get one of those over a hundred people to engage in a conversation that lasted beyond “how are you?”
    I think they were worried I may infect them with my ungodliness.
    Being religious does not make one good. One is not good out of fear. One is good because of an inner consciousness.
    I felt that some of them believed that if they were “bad” people then being religious meant they would be forgiven.
    However if they were “bad” and didnt attend church they would be dammed!!!!
    Ergo attending church was a get out clause for any naughtiness!!!!
    So silly and also the majority of them were not giving or kind to me. As my ex husbands father said to me “they cannot see your qualities as a person because they are blinded by the fact you do not attend church, they cant see why you arent afraid to live a life without church and that makes them afraid of you”.

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