As far back as I can remember I always thought I was a Christian. In my early years till around 5 or 6 my Grandmother took me to a Baptist church. Then I didn’t go to church again till I was able to go by myself (age 12) and then only sporadically.
When I got married I wanted to take the kids to church but, their Dad was venomously against the idea. So, unfortunately I didn’t get back into church until I was divorced in 1992. Then only once in a while. I don’t like crowds so that was a big factor for me. Another faucet of not going was the churches’ I went to.
Some seemed awesome, great music, great activities, and great fellowship. Well at least until the pastor started saying that their church was better than another or the Methodist were going to hell or the Baptist or whatever church was on the hit list that day. Or the congregation was more interested in gossip than helping or loving people.
See that’s what religion means to me! If a church, congregation or, a so, called godly person is being judgmental or condemning others to hell just because of a few differences in the doctrine well that’s what I call religion. To me religion equals backstabbing, rebellion, judgement and anything else that causes people to stray from God. Religion killed Jesus. He was killed because the religious zealots of the time refused to see what was right in front of them.
So, you can tell I am not fond of religion. It is also what has led me completely away from the church. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying churches are all bad or, even the majority of them. It’s just for me coupled with the fact I don’t like crowds it’s not right at least not at the moment.
Anyways, back to my point I have always thought of myself as a Christian and right with God but, I had things a bit wrong; ok maybe a lot wrong. It all started when I read the book “The DE Vinci Code” That book really confused my beliefs. And I think that book was intended to do just that, confuse the issue.
Of course, in addition to my confusion I had this false belief. I believed that in addition to believing in God and Jesus; you had to do enough good works to get yourselves into Heaven. Which is way off base by the way. It says in the bible and I am paraphrasing here, that you cannot get into Heaven by doing good works, and that God made it that way so, we wouldn’t boast amongst ourselves as to who did the most good deeds.
Well, I finally realized that about two years ago when I happened to read the above mentioned verse in the bible and finally really understand what the passage meant. I also went on to learn that the way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. I have to tell you it was a big lift off my shoulder’s when I learned that.
It’s so much easier in the long run to lay your burdens down and just let God take them. To let go and cry out to Jesus that you want him in your life. That you believe he died for your sins as well as everyone else’s, and that you believe Jesus exists and then you ask Jesus for forgiveness for your sins. That’s really all there is too it but, it sure took me a long time to realize that my being scared to die or uncertainty about things; was Gods way of telling me I needed Jesus in my life.
Now, I don’t fear death because I am going to Heaven to be with God and Jesus when I die. I am a lot less worried about how things will turn out because I know God is looking out for me. I have a lot less anger now that I have let go of my past and given it up to God and forgiven the people who harmed me in some way.
However, I still don’t go to church but, I read the bible and watch programs on TV and U-tube on Gods word and Christianity and I listen to KLOVE (a positive & encouraging radio station that has stations all over the world); and I try to be kind to my fellow person. Even though that can be really hard sometimes. I screw up but, I ask for forgiveness and the slates wiped clean again. I’m nowhere near perfect but, God loves me anyway! He knows I am still a work in progress!