Be Spiritual, NOT Religious

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When I tell people that I’m a Christian, they think I’m religious. I’m so religious that I go to church every Sunday, only listen to cheesy “I love Jesus” songs, and hate those who don’t follow what I believe in. I’m a person that is untouchable to the secular world. Someone they can’t be themselves around and will feel judged being in my presence. Someone who’s life mission is to try to convert everyone they meet in the name of God’s love. Geez, I feel like all of that is just a load of baloney.

The truth is that I’m probably the worst example of what the perfect Christian girl should be like. I don’t really read the bible, I stopped listening to Christian songs, and I’m pretty much open-minded about a lot of different ideas. I’m in tuned with the secular world and love having the independence to think on my own. I don’t want a religion that restricts my growth as person. I don’t want to hear that people I care about will burn in hell for not listening to the Church and its ideals. Lastly, I certainly don’t want to fit into the All American well-behaved Christian girl who’s too sheltered to understand the world around them. I find that to be a fate worst than death.

I need to understand what’s out there in the world. I need to feel both pain and joy, see the ugly and the beautiful, and understand the world isn’t black and white. I need to experience life and see the world for what it is. I need to surround myself with people of different faiths, colors, cultures, and experiences. I have to learn the other side of the “unbeliever” spectrum to truly enhance my senses and love for humanity. Without such opportunities, I’m just a rule-book ready to provoke a list of demands and scorn all those who disagree with me. I refuse to be that person and that is why I’m not religious.

I want to be spiritual. I want to feel so spiritual that I feel God rather than a supernatural dictator. I want a God that understands my soul and my need for adventure. I can’t idly stand by next to an altar listening to a self-proclaimed leader who sins. I don’t want his evil eyes on me. I don’t want him to see the ugly sides of my heart and I don’t want to see his. Most importantly, I don’t want to be judged for who I am and what I’m not.

The only being I want to be with is God. I want him to me as a heretic, sinner, doubter, and hater. I want him to see the nastiest parts of my being because that is part of who I am. The bad parts I try so hard to suppress but its a darkness I have to live with just like everyone else. I want a God who redeems me from that darkness and sheds love to every corner of the earth. I want a God that forgives and forgets.

The God I worship loves the good and the bad in the person. He sees everyone as his children. There’s no discrimination or mistrust. Salvation is given to people who love Jesus and his works. People who try to love instead of hate. I refuse to believe God will damn homosexuals to hell or force someone deeper into the darkness of despair. I believe God will do anything to save those that He loves but there are limitations to man’s choices. Yes, He can do anything, but I don’t believe he will interfere with the sins of man. For this reason, I believe God lets bad things happen as a result of our bad choices.

Furthermore, being spiritual means a lot more than being religious. Religion restrains the believer and forces them to repent in hopes of redeeming love again. However, spirituality is free-moving and unattached. It’s like a gentle breeze blowing the believer into the self-discovery and unity. It allows independence but also dependence in the unknown. It’s understanding that God and the believer are a partnership, not a dictatorship.

So, I choose to be spiritual and happy.

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