I’m not really religious.
Here’s my (somehow long) story about 23 years of being a Christian. Feel free to read it or to skip it. I’m not gonna force you to follow my faith, let alone reading this post. I just need to vent out what I’ve been feeling for the past 5 years.
Since I was a kid, I had always been taught about Christian morals by my family. They encouraged me to join Sunday School and I was pretty active in it. In my middle school days, I was an active member of Teenage Fellowship in my church.
When I was 17, I got confirmed as the member of my church. In Indonesia, we called the confirmation process as sidi. People said that once you’ve confirmed, your parents would no longer burden your sins, you would. It was also said that you had granted the ‘all-access pass’ to every church facilities, such as receiving Holy Communion, being appointed as deacons in the church, even got married.
Weeks after being confirmed, I joined another fellowship in my church, designated for youths 16 and above. I thought it wouldn’t be much different from my previous fellowship, but boy I was wrong. I quit the fellowship several months after joining it.
Long story short, I became a stranger in my own church because I began to develop different understandings about my faith. I felt like I was a weird girl with my own version of Christianity in my head. I began to think that the concept of Christianity was politicized and I began to question why there were different denominations in Christianity. Religion was supposed to be a vessel to connect you to God, right? Why couldn’t I develop my own understanding of Christianity based on my spiritual experiences with God? All I had been experiencing were rejection and people looking at me with weird looks on their faces.
I once thought I was the only one who thought about this, but luckily I found others facing similar problems as me: being entitled to our opinions, however the church we belong to disagrees with it, just because ours don’t match theirs. It’s called ‘non-denominational Christian’. It’s basically a movement that you don’t have to follow certain Christian denominations to be saved. You’re Christian and you know it, as simple as that.
Under the spirit of non-denominational Christianity, I hereby write what Christianity really means according to me:
Your relationship to God is a personal relationship.
I pray most of the time. However, I’m not a praying fanatic who prays from dusk until dawn. I always find a certain kind of tranquility and reassurance every time I finish praying. There are times when I pray by saying the same sentence over and over again (followed by crying), because I’m too emotional.
Thus being said, I like to share my intimacy with God in a secure place: my heart. I don’t like going to church meetings outside Sunday services. I find it uncomfortable to sit in sharing sessions, sharing my problems with people I barely get in touch with… might as well praying with them… ergh. Why can’t I just pray in silence and in peace?
All love are same and equal, because God is love.
Right now the world is divided into 2 opinions: pro-LGBT or anti-LGBT. Even the church is also divided by the same topic. My church, FYI, is against LGBT because they say it’s not in the Bible and that people who practice LGBT lifestyle will be condemned to hell.
A priest once preached in my church, saying that even though the world had changed, there was one thing that could never change: the Bible. Well, I disagree on that, because there are things that were allowed in the Bible, things the world and Christianity have condemned now. Slavery, for example. How many times have we listened to Bible stories with slavery aspects in it? Slavery used to be popular, and during the Bible years, they all agreed upon it. How come you can’t agree on same love? That, for me, is a double standard.
For me, God is love. Where there is love, there is God. You can’t tell yourself who to love. God never tells us about who He pairs us with. Who knows your life friend will be someone who shares the same sex as yours. Life is a mystery, my friend.
(This also applies to mixed-religion and interracial marriage.)
Those are my basic principles. I like to live my life as simple as possible. Right now, I still go to my church, but only on Sunday services. I’ve made peace with myself by saying that it’s OK to have different understanding in my faith, because at the end of the day, it will be God who will judge me for whatever I did.