Ruminations

The chewy thoughts of a queer Christian

Bad Religion

I have been looking for a church to settle in recently. It has got me thinking about the way we think about church and spirituality and how we think about being Christian today.  For one thing, I find that I initially had to tread very carefully into the world of organised religion. There is a such thing as bad religion and I do not intend to get caught up in it. But the question is, how much of Christianity today is bad religion?

Many people think of all of Christianity as bad religion. Becoming a Christian is considered a very odd thing to do. Looking for a church to go to has made me start to wonder what kind of Christian I am and how much of Christianity I agree with. In other words, why am I a Christian? Should I continue to be one?

Should being a Christian translate into doing charity work? Or should church just focus spiritual matters while allowing me to get on with charity work in my own way? Does ritual have meaning? Am I looking for a church in order to find a social circle, or because I want to worship God, or because I want to challenge my faith in a safe environment?

For that matter, do I really believe in Jesus as part of God? Do I believe in the Jesus story as historical fact? Is Jesus really my saviour? Is my life better or different ‘with Jesus as my guide’?

All I have to fall back on is my one experience with Jesus. I find the grace of God much easier to relate to since that experience, and I find this a helpful model. But without a surrounding community of Christians I struggle to find its relevance in real life. So in a sense, I am looking for a church for affirmation of my Christianity – without it, I feel my faith is dying. But should we need a community in order to believe? Would that not suggest that the belief is untrue?

One more thing. If I am truly honest with myself, I am hoping to find a Christian partner at the church I go to. Since coming out I have been playing with the idea of having a relationship and I am beginning to wonder how I might go about finding Mr. Right. I don’t want to have a string of meaningless relationships borne out of loneliness; I want to be in a real relationship with someone I think I could possibly spend my life with. I think church might be a good way of finding a good, single, gay (or bi) Christian man with whom I could be compatible. Is that a bad motivation?

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2 thoughts on “Bad Religion

  1. elpollo838 on said:

    One of the interesting things that I’ve been discovering a lot about Christianity as I’ve had my own crisis of faith is the fact that SOOO much of it is brain washing. And I don’t say that as necessarily a critique, but if Christianity is good, it recognizes the need for humans to keep reminding themselves, and it recognizes how easily we forget and change our minds. If we want to remain in the faith, it calls us to constantly renew our minds, and surround ourselves with like minded people. Hopefully its to a good end. 🙂

  2. That phrasing (turns out it’s from Romans 12) has been kicking around in my head for a while: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That’s precisely why I’m wary of bad religion. I don’t want to be part of a community that’s trying to renew my mind the wrong way! Hopefully I’ll find a place that isn’t trying to renew everyone else’s minds, but focuses on how we should all be renewing our own minds. ‘Like-minded people’ in that case would be respectful of the other’s minds. That would be ideal 🙂

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