My daughter has been asking for a while to go to church. Shortly after she was born my ex (BA) and I began attending a church. It is a non-denominational Christian church and it was very different than what I grew up with. I was raised Irish Catholic, but it never really took. The priest to my local church lived across the street from my Grandmother’s house and my Grandmother was very, very Catholic. However as much as I admired her, the faith never really felt right.
I would often get into trouble for things such as saying “God created man and said I can do better than that and created woman”. The Irish and/or Catholic guilt never worked with me because it seemed to go against all logic. The thought of heaven and hell seemed to be in direct contradiction of the Bible’s teaching as we were all to be forgiven for our sins if we were remorseful and asked for it. If someone killed someone and asked for forgiveness it should be granted? Still does not make sense to me.
However my child, at the wise age of 4.5, began asking to attend church. She often does things that are contrary to me. Making her bed, asking for an alarm clock at 4yrs old, only wanting to wear dresses, very odd to me, but I comply where I can. I believe children have the right to be who they are and who they choose to be. Our jobs as parents is to guide them, not control them. So when I found out that the church I actually enjoyed had a location closer to where we live now, it seemed like a sign.
Please do not misunderstand me. I do not begrudge anyone their choice in faith, or even the choice to worship. I just find faith difficult in the face of so much hatred in the name of faith throughout all religions. The Catholic religion has always had a an undertone of men are better than women and a woman needs to know her place. Yeah, doesn’t work for me. Baptist have always been loving, but only to those who think exactly how they do. Jews tend to see themselves as martyrs because of the persecution, Mormons seem to feel seclusion and being separatists in the way, and so on. I just want to believe in the best of people no matter what they happen to believe.
So this non-denominational church that does not seem to want to condemn anyone is my choice for a 6yr old to learn. Ironically when I returned they began speaking about minimalism, which has come up a lot lately in my podcasts and in other ways. I like to be mindful of signs, and this seemed to be neon. The first time I returned to the church was right after I decided to clean out my kitchen of all the useless things in it and give them away. The second time my daughter was with me and we came home to cleanse the toys and over all trash that had accumulated in her play area.
So we cleared out the clutter with much discussion, but it was good. The thoughts that many of our things begin to own us is something I have been noticing lately. How much stuff do we really need? I also saw something on Facebook about not buying so much crap,but using the money for trips and experiences. I’m in.
The church that I went to previously and have now rejoin makes a point to have age based sermons. The young kids are in one room. The Elementary school kids in their own, the middle school,and the high school each in their own. Then the adults in their own private. This is great because it allows the sermons to discuss anything without fear of ages present. It also allows the kids to feel like the church is specifically theirs. I always hated the kneel, sit, stand, old school hell is going to reign down unless you do what I say garbage. If that works for, have at it. However I don’t think people should be made to feel bad about life.
We all try to live the best life possible. Why would the best life possible ever include fear and damnation? I love all people who are good in their hearts. I don’t care what race, religion, sex, or anything else you are. Everyone deserves love and respect, end of story. If you are not hurting anyone and you are the best person you can possibly be, who the hell has the right to judge you or say you are wrong? If you are a lazy sack that wishes to blame everyone else for your misfortune… well then please leave society as you are truly worthless. If you harm children in any way, please know I hope for your slow and agonizing death.
The harm of any child is the biggest reason I have issue with faith. What sort of deity would any harm to come to a child? For adults they have sinned many times in their long lives, but a child deserves their innocence and I have difficulty believing any deity would allow this harm of children if they were still active in our lives. I do, however believe we need to be reminded to be kind to others at times and feel there is a place for all regions in the world. Love, not hate or damnation is the ultimate show of faith.