Last week marked my final week of quitting the Bible for a year.
I think God might give me a crown in heaven for it-or a gold star.
I feel grateful for pausing from the Bible.
When I attempted to confide in certain Christians, they seized the opportunity to puff themselves up for reading the Bible. Last week was no different.
Who does that?
Reading the Bible or religion is not a safeguard from suffering or the ups and downs of life. I think these people need to take it down a few steps on their stairway to heaven.
According to the Bible, Jesus was the “Son of God,” and he was crucified. So… there is one elephant roaming around the room tearing up the place.
Likewise, I recall Job, a “righteous” man from the Bible, having more than his share of rough days, too.
Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery.
Therefore, any Christian who invokes Bible study to put people down when they are feeling down is acting like a clown ( Aha, a rhyme).
Who Am I to Judge?
I believe Christians who are blinded by their self-righteousness sound terribly out of touch when they arrogantly bestow spiritual advice to those who leave the religion.
Arrogance and self-righteousness are not good look for the Jesus brand in my own good book.
Who am I to judge?
Once again, as I listened to the things that different Christian acquaintances said to me out of this spiritual arrogance poorly masked as “concern,” I saw more reflections of me—the religious and self-righteous me.
The dogmatic me.
The fear-mongering “send you to hell” me.
The “Christianity has all of the answers” me.
The “Bible is unfallible” me.
The “I need the label, or I’ll be lost” me.
And I listened.
Because of their assumptions about people who leave religion or no longer share views about God and the Bible, they talked with me as if they were sharing new spiritual insights.
No one said anything to me that I had not thought about or would have said in my past.
These people seemed to think that I woke up one day hurt by the church and gave up Christianity, as if I “just got saved yesterday” or spent years in a superficial walk with God.
I think numerous churches struggle to equip Christians with how to handle complex and even simple aspects of people’s spiritual journeys.
Why is it hard for various Christians to understand that people can believe that Jesus existed, read the Bible, and still not situate themselves within Christianity?
It is neither outlandish nor uncommon to read or study across different beliefs, just like one might learn from different fields.
I consider it extremely limiting to believe that all there is to know about spirituality is found within Christianity.
Offense is a Choice
I noticed feeling annoyed by this aforementioned engagement with inviduals who were supposed to at least know “what I am about” more than strangers. Then again, they were not friends, either.
I sensed the need to examine my feelings because they were more about me, not others’ opinions. Offense is a choice, and I wanted to unpack the root of my feelings to make different choice.
As I leaned into why I felt annoyed, I recognized that at the heart of the offense was my ego arriving fashionably late to the party.
My offense felt like an over-the-top character from a night time soap opera, haughtily exclaiming, “What do you know about the ins and outs of my life? How dare you reduce decades of my spiritual journey to your unindustrious, ill-informed, borderline brainwashed, pseudo-cultish, Christianese babbling?”
My ego begged me keep discussing the gross oversimplifications of my spiritual life for the reason of no longer squeezing and contorting my body to fit into fancy religious brick and mortar boxes.
The reality is that we choose to see and hear what we want to. If we truly want to understand a person, our actions will reflect it.
Needless to say, last week, helped to better understand myself and others.
Therefore, I am thankful for my ego inviting me to look at myself-the stuff that is not easy to examine and face. I desire to use my powers for good and not my good ol’ ego.
As I continue with my spiritual journey, no longer a Christian, and reading the Bible without idolizing it, I am reminded of what Jesus instructed his disciples. The best course of action is for me to shake the dust off my feet and keep going.