I have been thinking about some pretty heavy things lately. And I want to touch on some subjects, that, are pretty important, atleast to me. And it can be difficult, for one thing, to touch on all of them without losing track of where my thoughts are going, and also to tackle profound and deep truths without re-using cliches and slogans that have been heard so many times that they mean nothing to no one. That is the tragic, tragic thing about great truths, they're so significant and important that we say them over and over until people's hearts are desensitized and callassed to them. I am hoping that some of you will have the patience to bear with me, and see what I have to say, humor me ; )
I first began to be exposed to the truths about God in a Baptist family, attending a Baptist church (don't lose me here if that doesn't mean much to you) and we were Independent, Fundamental, King James, high-standard, strict Baptists too :) and No, I don't think there's anything wrong with that (this is kind of introductory so stick with me here also b aware I may be super honest and offend you if you've known me for many years).
In Church and at home, I was taught about this Infinite Creator, this All-Powerful Being, and I was told that He loved me, that He sent His Son to save me and to know me, and that His amazing Wisdom could be found in this Big Black Book. I was taught that Church, and family, and my Dad and Pastors were good things. They were gifts from God, BUT I was NEVER taught that those people were equal to God, I was never taught to look to them in order to have a personal knowledge of this God. I was taught that that was my personal stuff. And I made it personal. I prayed to God, alone, on my own. As well as in church and all of that. I LOVEd my church and I loved all the Baptist trappings, lol
But as time went on, I would see some people get dissillusioned with somebody or something in the church, and next thing I knew it, they were just kind of gone. I saw the problems they saw, I just didn't care like they did, because I never looked to a Church or a Pastor or another Brother as GOD. They were just people. people capable of being as clueless as I sometimes was. I follow Christ. It's personal. I am not part of some movement. I do not need to be part of some "Camp" or movement, denomination, circle, whatever. It's all well and good, but its kind of irrelevant.
Fastforward some years, I went to a "Christian School" sorry if this offends anyone, but I'm an honest person. In the Christian school, some miserable, neurotic, obsessive compulsive women made it their mission in life (good intentions or not) to use the concept of God to try and make me feel like GARBAGE. They guilt-tripped, brow-beat, belittled, name-called, singled out, shamed and intimidated on a daily basis. They played favoritism, and double-standards and twisted Scriptures to accomplish whatever it was they were trying to accomplish.
As a young man, this confused me, frustrated me and hurt me. It gave me a bit of a complex. But ya know what, over the years, I've seen that some of my fellow students that went there, have NOTHING to do with the Good Lord, and they seem to have a bad taste in their mouth from that school. (I'm only using this one example, I also had years of racism and mistreatment as a white Pastors son in an Indian Church where again I was treated like utter trash by the supposed family of God)
But can I tell you something? Though I do indeed struggle at times, maybe with some anger or hurt, some bad memories, etc. I KNOW that MY GOD LOVES ME, and I have a personal relationship and walk with Him. And those grumpy old women, racist, nasty church folk, or any other bully or manipulator who tries to wield the Bible as their weapon of manipulation-does NOT and CANNOT speak for God. GOD is NOT a mean old bully who hates you! He wants to save the lost, and the lost who have been saved are HIS CHILDREN! HE is our FATHer! He LOVES us!God is not a nasty church-lady, God is not a sexually frustrated Nun, or a bully! Man-made religion is a pile of crap! How about them apples!
JESUS went off against the Pharisees, the nasty, religious bullies! What I'm trying to say, is that 1. I learned awesome truths in a sincere Baptist Church that laid the foundation for my christian walk ALTHOUGH God in His Infinite Personality can and will do more than what we think He has to do within the walls of a Church, and 2. along with those who truly know God there are always stupid, satan-filled, or misguided bullies who do NOT represent God and we have to realize that they are NOT really Christian and that we can reject their guilt-ridden accusations and move on with our lives!
I will not be intimidated by anyone, to try and tell me that I don't have God because God has given me liberty that He has not given them, nor will I be so presumptuous as to laugh at or critisize those who take a higher and more careful standard than me!
You can know God, walk with God spread the Good Word-without being an up-tight, stuffed shirt, Church-lady. You do not have to be a yuppy for Jesus, you can just be yourself for Jesus and dont let anyone, the churched, or the unchurched, intimidate you away from coming to christ YOURSELF. He loves you. he died and rose again for you! He wants you to walk with Him! He wants you to please Him and it doesnt matter what the uptight believer, or the sinful nonbeliever, think about it. What matters is only what God thinks about it. And you dont need a priest or a seminary grad to tell you, you can just read the Good Book! peace.