Friday, September 3, 2010

God Is Love

I am a member of the church of Christ. Wait! Stop right there. Don't leave until you hear what I have to say.

I am not one of the brow beating, ultra right-wing conservatives that think everyone that isn't a member of the church of Christ is going to Hell. That is my grandmother, and my heart breaks to know that she will be judged harshly for that.

I believe in the Bible. Period. One of my favorite ways of saying this is, "Your relationship, or the lack there of, with God is just that. You rs. You can't get me to Heaven any faster than I can get you there". The sooner more people realize that and move forward, the better off everyone will be.

My family, on both sides, are all members of the church of Christ. Grandaddy, my daddy's father was a preacher, and Papa, my mother's father, was a deacon in the church.

My mother and father met while both were attending David Lipscomb College, and one set of my Aunt and Uncles met at Abilene Christian University. We are surrounded by other members of the church of Christ.

However, in growing up and in my formative years, my parents and I rarely went to church. Actually, I feel pretty confident to say that unless we were visiting with my family, we never went. That was very disappointing for me as I loved Sunday school, and VBS. Yet, we never went at home. I can remember crying and wanting to go, but couldn't.

To feed my desire, I started going to spend the night with friends and visiting their churches. None of which were the church of Christ. There were Presbyterian, Baptist, and even some Southern Baptist thrown in for good measure. I didn't care. I just wanted to sing from the hymnals and study God's word.

I vividly remember two specific instances of what I now know was the 'invitation' at the end of the sermon. One was at a Baptist and the other at the Presbyterian church. I couldn't have been more than 8 or 9. Both times I felt compelled to 'go forward' and proclaim my love for Christ. Both times I was told by the man in the suit that Jesus loved me, I was saved and I would spend eternity in Heaven with Him. I was so proud. By the time I got home, I was bursting with joy at this thought! That was, until I told my parents, and they told me, "No. That's not right." Which was quickly followed by, "Don't tell your grandparents about this."

I was devastated. Heartbroken. The nice man had just told me that Jesus loved me, but my parents are making me feel shame and confusion. Talk about depression.

I believe that this is why I feel so strongly about not judging each other based on religion.

God is love.

He says so.

'nuff said!


  1. What's the rest of the story? Why did your parents say that to you? How did you turn out so different? How did you survive growing up in this Southern Baptist Bible belt? How do you stay so calm when surrounded by the judgement of others?

  2. This is the result of a memoir prompt from FWG. My parents and I started attending church regularly when I was 12, and I enjoyed it until I was around 17. My attendance came to a screeching halt, but my faith has never changed. Even unto this day. I didn't start attending church regularly again until I had children. In my opinion, my job as a parent is to show my children the right's and wrong's of life, and then when they are grown, they will be able to make educated decisions. I have to trust that I am making the correct choices for them and for myself.

    Do I think that you have to attend church regularly to be a Christian? No. As I have mentioned before, it is a personal relationship. When my children reached a maturity level that I thought was appropriate, I quit making them attend church. When I thought they were able to decide and know.

    Regarding my 'calm' when judged by others. I am so not calm. I am outspoken and loud, boisterous, etc. I will say the things that everyone else is either too polite or too scared to. I use my voice to ask questions of the same relevance also. I wish that I was the bigger, better person that would hold their tongue and stay quiet, as more so than not, I have ended up being the one that is seen as 'wrong' in those situations that I have raised my voice to. I have often referred to myself as the person that speaks when they shouldn't. And I do.

    I feel like I have stared on a tangent. I hope that I haven't. My mind moves so rapidly when I am typing I lose my train of thought.

  3. Well, you seem pretty clear headed to me!