‘Are you religious?’ they ask, I sigh cause I can’t explain it all simply, and answer “Yes”. Wikipedia defines religion as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. The definition is all over the place but in general when people think of a religion they think of ritual, rule, tradition, sometimes conformity and oppression. However being “spiritual” seems to be associated with freedom, less defined rules, more individuality. Both the word ‘spiritual’ and ‘religious’ seem to mean similar things when you look up definitions, but people definitely don’t interpret them the same.
If I said “I’m spiritual” more people would assume I did yoga, I was care free, owned a lot of crystals, did ‘alternative’ things, and worshiped nature and my own energy. If I say I am a religious Christian most people assume I attend church every Sunday, read my bible, drink very little or no alcohol, pray out loud a lot, judge people who aren’t like me, and live a very straight life.
If there was one thing that I could tell everyone about being a Christian (even the word Christian brings with it so many assumptions) it would be this.
I don’t have to do, or be anyone or anything to be accepted by God and considered one of his. NOTHING. I DON’T HAVE TO BE ANYONE.
I don’t have to go to church, read the bible, or even pray to be honest (although kind of weird never to talk to God if you believe in him). I could sleep with a woman every night and God would love and accept me the same. I can wear tight dresses, with no underwear underneath and go out dancing all night, and lie in bed hungover the next day and God still thinks I am the greatest thing ever. I could be a bitch everyday of my life.
I don’t have to do any religious rituals, tasks, or traditions to get to heaven. I don’t have to give any money, or only sleep with one man, or wash my whole body before I pray.
Do you get me?
What you may have known about being Christian is being blown away. Sure you may know Christians who behave like they are better than everyone, or perhaps they are super judgmental of your lifestyle choice. A lot of people run from church cause, lets be honest, many of them are not the inclusive places they should be. I know someone who got kicked off the church band because he went out clubbing and got drunk sometimes. Sorry but that actually doesn’t mean he can’t play a guitar and worship God. Maybe the perfect role models for Christians aren’t the perfect ones at all? Maybe it’s the ones that despite what they do, or achieve, or fail at, they still hold on to their faith.
Jesus didn’t hang out with the religious people when he was here on Earth, he hung out with prostitutes, money makers, fraudsters, and outcasts. When a wedding had drunk all the wine available he didn’t say “sorry, your all too drunk”, he actually made more wine for them. God is not what you think he is, being a Christian is not what you think it is.
Is there any other religion or faith where you don’t have to do anything? You don’t even have to be ‘good’? Is there any other faith that says you can be ‘bad’ and still go to heaven?
You think cause you don’t eat meat, or you recycle and be nice to people that that is what gets you in to whatever it is that happens after you die? How would you ever know if you were ‘good’ enough? You wouldn’t, cause you’d fail at it ALL the time.
So just admit, your not ‘good’ enough. I’m not ‘good’ enough.
That’s actually the only requirement to being a Christian, admitting your not ‘good’ enough, and asking for forgiveness. I don’t even have to ask every time I do something wrong (that would be like countless times a day), once I accept Jesus as my savior, and my God, I am covered. I subconsciously admit my faults and get forgiven all the time.
Christian people have destroyed the definition of being a Christian by making it about so many other things that it is not. If you want to pick up a bible and read it, you”ll discover lots of crazy things in there. You’ll find lots of rules in the first part of the book, then the second part is all about how we will never be able to meet all those rules, so now we just get forgiven for all of them (way easier), and no longer have to sacrifice goats or pay a priest. There is a reason people give new Christians the second part of the bible to read, cause if they read the first bit they’d freak out. Personally I like the first bit, its full of massive failures and sins, blood and gore, sex, war, disease, magic, and miracles. Like anything you read, take into account the time of history that your reading about, decisions and laws were made according to the cultural and social norms of the day.
So there you go, now you know what I believe, and I hope you understand what being a Christian SHOULD mean. For me it’s not a religious practice, it’s a spiritual one. What I do is led by the spirit of God in me. That means it’ll look different to everyone else’s journey. Some people won’t feel fulfilled in their Christian life unless they are actively involved in a Church regularly, others it won’t bother at all. Some Christians drink, some don’t, neither is wrong, it’s about what that person feels comfortable doing within their spirit. If being a Christian was more about being spirit led, and less about rules, more people would find the right balance for them, and stop thinking that ‘perfect’ looked only one way. People could then live a life so individual and colourful, with a drive that wouldn’t be stopped by guilt and shame.
“Are you religious?” they ask, “No, I am living a life full of freedom in the spirit”.
Now there is no condemnation, because Jesus, through the Spirit now in you, has set you free from the law!
Be free xox