When it comes to matters of faith, I feel like my brain is a bouncy castle perpetually occupied by a pack of rambunctious toddlers.
A month ago, I was giving the LDS church a chance. After being unable to reconcile my strongest beliefs with some of the tenets of the LDS faith, I decided to reconnect with my Catholic faith (as I just posted about TWO days ago.) And what happened? While listening to an episode of EWTN’s Open Line on the way home from work this morning, I got so mired in Marian dogma and the way the hosts stumbled over the answers, like even they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about, that I had to turn off my iPod so that I didn’t throw it out the window. My heart and my mind are alight with irritation and I cannot seem to find peace. While I struggle to figure out what I do want, what I don’t want has become clear to me. I don’t want a faith that’s weighed down with rules and laws and other sources besides the bible. I don’t want the kind of faith that makes me have to repeatedly google “plenary indulgence” because, for the life of me, I still don’t understand what the basis of it is and how in the world it is perceived as biblical. I don’t want rote prayers or secret handshakes or having to hold all my sins in until I can go talk to someone and confess them. I want a church where Jesus is the focus, not the church itself!
The bottom line is this: I’m rejecting it all. I want true Christianity, and by that I mean my own definition of true Christianity. I don’t care what anyone else thinks because every single person has their own (self-righteous) definition of what that means. At this point in my life, I’m too set in my own convictions to even care how other people define the phrase “true Christianity.” I’m seeking peace and order and contentment and I’m only going to find that if I listen to what’s in my heart and not to what anyone else is telling me is the right path to salvation. I want simple worship, Christ-focused worship, and a sense of community. I want a faith that’s living and breathing and fluid and that becomes a part of me instead of just something I do on Sundays. Instead of settling for what I already know or what everyone else thinks is right, I’m going to use 2014 to explore different Christian faiths – Mennonite (they don’t just use horses and buggies, ya know), Nazarene, Lutheran, and any others that may spark my interest. I’m one of those people that believes that you need a faith community to nurture and grow. Some people, my mom for one, are happy to walk with Jesus alone and not go to any church, but I need the church. I need that community of believers and fellowship and role models to help me find my way. For me, community is an integral part of Christian worship. I just never thought that it would be so hard to settle on one.