could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!


I hate church...and I am not bitter about it.

This post is just going to be filled with hate. I don't know of a way to help that. I am going to talk about some truly hateful things so I am going to have to use that term a lot.
Opposite of love.

I love Jesus. I love Him and He loves me and this ain't the barney is just the facts.
He loves me in my messed-up-ness and He didn't start loving me when He redeemed me.
Further, Him redeeming me did not add value to me.
I did not cross some spiritual line from worthless lost to valuable redeemed.
We alllll know that I am not perfect. Won't be anytime soon. I don't bring God huge amounts of shiny glory with my sparkly reputation and life of purpose. Nope.
I just go about being me. And that comes with a bit of grit and a lot of smudge.
Tarnished halo, if you will.
I think that most christians would jump on this bandwagon. Hurah! Jesus loves my imperfect self. I am His favorite.
Some christians would perpetrate the lie that my imperfection is so blatant that I should just get comfortable with the fact that I am worthless.
Without Jesus I am a worthless bag o' poo.

It is all Jesus making me lovable. All Jesus making me worth your effort.
It's all about Jesus doncha know.
Worthless but redeemed.
Yeah, I pretty much just damn that thought. (not people that think it...just the thought itself)
So, if I won't buy it that I am worthless then I must set up camp round the fire of "all that"...

I start here saying the word hate.
I hate that christians (me included) get by with being so exclusionary and bigoted.
Why do we get to look at ourselves as better when really all we are is paid for? Why do we go around looking at people who don't know Jesus as some ignorant indigenous culture in need of our pity and a healthy dose of our enlightenment? Why do we take on the name of Jesus and adopt a spirit of self importance that touts our opinions as the only right and true as we quote half sentences from the book that most "lost souls" deem irrelevant at best.

I hate that giving glory to God becomes some elitist club dues paid after the initiation dunking ritual. Do we want to dare to believe that only the redeemed are capable of showing God's glory?
Why does the believing right wait to see if someone is a "member of the church" before they declare a win? Why is it ok to shake your head at wasted talent because the name of Jesus was not declared?

I hate that people are seen as commodity where more is better and being famous-- more better still.
When did it happen that bigger numbers painted your waiting mansion with a fancier grade of gold?
If it is all for the glory of God then why is it that limelight is required for ultimate glory?
Why does the amount of human glory/idol worship seem to validate more the "praise God's" of the famous?
Does being on TV make their glories more precious to God or do we believers just feel the public validation helps further His cause (and our own)?
Do we really want to believe that the " lowly" carry less glory? Do we want to say that someone has "a little of the glory of God" as if that is not enough?

I hate that the group that professes Jesus is predatory and cannibalistic. We tend to prey upon anyone that opposes our groupthink. This includes those outside the christian society...and absolutely those within it. We will eat our own young if their ideas threaten our own. We tend to set up a hierarchy of ideas and place value on secular and sacred categories that declare something as worthy and valuable based largely on public opinion or current understanding.
I know that is a mouthful.
I also know that this is a rant.
meh to it. disregard it as pms if you must. doesn't really matter.

I just have these thoughts ping-ponging in my head and I wanted to get them out.
Mostly my questions are to myself. I was raised with really really loving parents. They didn't fill me with hate towards my fellow man. All I ever saw was a hand of love and acceptance extended to the hurting.
That is the way it should be.
So is it that upbringing that makes my current observations so stinking hard to swallow?
Did I grow up in an atmosphere of true love that is rare? And makes reality that much more harsh?
It is scary to think how much I was influenced by church/religious think outside of what my home life taught. It is scary to think how much my adult mind is warped and occluded by thoughts of superiority as I try to guide my young ones in the way of love.
Did my parents struggle with these thoughts?
I am sure they must have.

The cool the thing about Jesus is that He is constantly talking to all of us about all this.
Funny thing is...
I had to get out of church to start listening.
There it is.

I will admit to you that since leaving church my thoughts have become so radical that I often doubt them. I doubt myself. I doubt what I hear. Is that you Jesus?
Is that You presenting ideas about loving people before they come under your umbrella?
Is that You suggesting that an accepting and understanding heart shows love better than a narrow minded one?
Is that You whispering to me that going against both world and church culture to show respect and decency to the ones that no-one understands could actually be the thing that you would do?

This means that I am being asked to love (and openly accept) people that cuss, and show their boobs, and ask for money that will surely go to buy liquor or worse.
I am being challenged to stop snarling at and openly ridiculing teenagers that wear their pants below their buttocks.
I am being presented with opportunities to understand parents that feed their infants soda pop in their bottles while smoking in my airspace.
It has been suggested to my heart to support the standing president of our country...whether or not I agree with his agenda; to admire the Lady Blah-Blah pop-singer that some christians call the spawn of the devil...because she embraces the un-embraceable; to shut up about things I do not understand like same sex marriage and drug abuse and adultery.
All this against everything any self-respecting, bible believing, missionary supporting, church going, cross wearing christian would have me do.

I wonder if I am being slowly degraded into a fleshly, worldly, humanistic mindset brought on by my seeming lone-wolf mentality. I am currently out from under the covering of a church elder leadership.
And I love it.
And this is where I lose the rest of my readers...

I feel free for the first time in my adult life. I feel free from the group mentality.
The borg collective if you will. Yeah...I feel unplugged. And the voices have stopped.

No, I still hear the voices. They are etched on tapes on an eternal loop in my mind.
Voices that tell me that the lost are on a lower human level than the saved. Voices that tell me that if it doesn't have a cross on it then it must be suspect. Voices that lead me to believe that worldly people are to be pitied, looked down upon, feared, changed, tolerated, proselytized and
I guess loved didn't make the priority list.

When I was in church I might have heard the word love...but the message was always about change. Do more, be more. Applies to you and those you are on track to save.
read that again.
when. did. the. church. get. in. the. business. of. salvation.
I thought that was God's job.

I thought the job of the church...the job of the body of Christ....was to love.
To me, loving means being able to stand beside someone who has ideas that are radically different from my own...without feeling the need to make their ideas look like mine.


  1. Heard! I have similar thoughts. I ran into a young couple that I have been friends with and whom just returned from a stint at IHOP. Things they said really bothered me- judgment under the "righteous" blanket of "holiness". They were calling Asheville NC the San Francisco of the east coast because of a "march of the sluts" they have. They've never even been to Asheville, I adored Asheville when I visited there this past summer. I challenged them, that southern religiosity is hyper oppressive and that maybe in wanting to be a free christian they have more common ground with these "marching sluts" whom obviously are protesting religious judgmentalism than they think. Also their constant reference to the morals of the old days bothered the shit out of me. I do not want to return to the past where all the same sin was there it was just done more so behind closed doors. I do not want to return to the old days where women were devalued and abused while using scripture to slot them as the lesser sex and temptresses. Sorry I am going off on my own rant but people are valuable, sinful people make God smile too or He wouldn't go through such great lengths to reach us and heal us. He loves us absolutely and the "unwashed masses" was never a Jesus-ism, it is a Jew to Gentile attitude that he worked very hard to abolish, it is a Roman world verses the uncultured savages, it is a western missionary to the heathen indigenous- it is the perpetuation of cultural warfare and assimilation rather the heart of God. The heart of God is that He is evident in all creation, that every good thing comes from His hand, and that He loves perfectly in all our imperfection. I do believe my life would ring of shallow and of vain efforts apart from Him but I think He would still be evident in and through me regardless of my efforts to ignore Him or disprove Him. I am very grateful for His love and redemption of my minutes and hours but I am not more or less valuable than the rest of His creation. As believers I do not believe that we can reach a culture that we as a church devalue and alienate. I think you are right on the money that until we learn to truly value people in and out of the church- we will be the clanging gong and banging cymbal that annoys rather than reaches.

  2. I loved both this post, and Rachel's comment. I am so glad to see things going this way. Most of my friends I grew up with in the church have nothing to do with it anymore, and I totally see why. I chose to become a pastor and work to change it from the inside. Frustrating but very rewarding work.

    I love the way you both think and write. Slowly but surely, I am finding "my people." Keep thinking and writing, folks. You're contributing important stuff to the dialog about what the church should be.