Losing My Religion and Getting right with God

Some would say I've gone astray. You see, I don't attend church anymore. Unless you think of laying in the grass, listening to birds chirp, basking in the sun, or walking barefoot in the garden while being extraordinarily aware of God, church experiences. If you do, then I can honestly say that I love my church and I'll never leave it. :)

Why have I stopped attending scheduled church services in scheduled meeting places? There are too many reasons for me to address in one blog. One of the biggest reasons is that the church works so hard to teach and enforce the rules to the masses that it's often blind to the needs of individuals. When I went to church I was always worried about doing the right thing and following God's will. I thought I needed to do this or that hard thing to be right with Him. There's a perverse sort of pride that comes with giving up what one loves or wants for the sake of "following God's will."

Here's a novel idea: what if God simply loves us without the requirement of religion? What if there is no getting right with God there's just "with God?"

So much of what we're taught ABOUT God simply binds us up. It doesn't free us. I think of King David and what a joyful sinner he was and what an incessant WHINER, too. Yet he was a man after God's own heart. I think about that a lot. The Pharisees were busy rocking the rules and looking good, but God was enamored of this adulterer and murderer who was so incredibly blessed yet whined like a baby about every little thing, then jumped and sang and shouted. :)

David was AUTHENTIC. He was real. He represents each of us in our humanity, I think. Yet, instead of emulating him in his authenticity, we somehow end up wanting to emulate the Pharisees! THAT is what I see happening in churches and in religion as a whole.

I'm not suggesting that one should go out and murder and commit adultery. I'm simply suggesting that God may be far less concerned with rules and religion than he is with, say, seeing his people love one another.

I haven't gone astray and I'm not lost. I simply let go of religion and found my way back to God.

©Just Kate, March 2010

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    About Me

    I love laughter, wickedness, fearlessness, irreverence, and kindness. I love road trips where I can prop my bare feet up on the dashboard. I love the feel of sunshine warm against my bare skin, the smell of the mountains and the roar of the ocean. I love to read. I love to challenge conventional thinking. I'm a huge fan of spirituality but have little tolerance for religion. I love to talk faith and philosophy. I love children. I get bored far too easily. I love debate and people who don't try too hard. I love it when people aren't afraid to disagree with me and know why they believe what they believe.

    Music

    Things that sound like music to me: rain on a tin roof, the trill of birds first thing in the morning, the coo and gurgle of happy babies, the beat of African drums, the roar of the ocean as the tide ebbs and flows, the sound of a rushing river, unrestrained laughter, the wind moving through leaves, the tick-tock of my grandma's old clock, the crash of thunder, a quiet whisper in my ear, the contented purr of a cat, the musical ting ting of wind chimes, children laughing, the sizzle sizzle sound of something yummy cooking, and the rustle of dry leaves under my feet.

    I also enjoy many musicians and bands including: Ray LaMontagne, Jason Mraz, The Black Eyed Peas, John Mayer, James Carrington, CCR, REM. My favorite genre is acoustic folk/rock.

    Favorite Quotes

    "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." —Aristotle

    "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering." - Ben Okri

    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do."—John Ruskin