I realised this morning in church that since I’ve climbed out from under the Christian Guilt, I can’t worship in the same way anymore. So many of the songs I can’t sing honestly. The words will just not work for me.
This is curious. And a little annoying. When I accepted God’s permission to explore, when I began reading rather further afield than the local Christian bookstore, when I started building a Wiccan altar, I was expecting to keep a lot of what I believed in. I was expecting to keep going to church as before. I was expecting to add, not replace.
But that’s not how things are happening.
I had often wondered quite how people walk away from the church. What happens in their mind and soul to do that? Is it a sharp disagreement with something? Or is it a death of a thousand cuts? Is there a point where you wonder what on earth you’re still doing there? Or is there a distinct point before which this wasn’t a problem and suddenly now it is?
I know several people who have left the church. When asked, the surface reasons seem straightforward. But I don’t have nice simple objections to church teaching. I’m not gay, so the churches’ stance and church-goers’ attitudes about homosexuality does not directly affect me. Similarly, I’m male and gender-based discrimination also does not directly affect me. Instead, my problems are complicated and multiple. I could not keep from wondering why we hiding in a building on a Sunday morning instead of worshipping outside. I had had enough of perceived insularity of my fellow church-goers. I had read enough that I suddenly couldn’t take the Bible as history anymore. There was development over months, but there were also a few sudden steps.
I’m not even sure how to phrase it. Some of the time I say I’ve climbed out from underneath it. Occasionally I say I’ve left it “over there”. Right now I feel like it’s fallen off me.
Churchianity, that is. Christianity seems to be up for re-definition in my mind at the moment.