So it’s been a while.
I probably shouldn’t even be writing at this time; tomorrow morning I’m sacrificing my usual Friday morning lie in and poached egg and bacon breakfast for a job interview in Belfast. As much as I’d like to sleep in and eat some of my favourite foods before turning up to class at 1:00 pm, I’m pretty happy to be taking the next step in life.
Things are changing, you see. In recent weeks I’ve experienced life changing events, things I have no way of changing my mind about or going back on. There have been quite a few different issues but the one I want to write to you about is the idea of redefining God.
I’ve been angry with the Church (as in the group of people who call themselves Christians, not the church I used to go to) as of late. I’ve been angry with the people who say one thing and do another, who have made so many feel like outcasts, who have said that their faith isn’t about rules and regulations but still found a necessity for them, who have told me that my interpretation of the Bible is ‘harmful’ yet not considered that it could be theirs that is damaging people.
I’m not the first Christian who has found themselves wanting to walk away from God because of the Church, and I’m certain I won’t be the last. I think the problem is that it’s so hard to separate God from the people He created, I think it’s almost impossible to consider that God is nothing like His creation because we’re told He made us in His image.
If God is anything like me we’re all screwed…
Which is why I want to start redefining my idea of who God is.
I think we’ve become so comfortable with our rules, with guidelines to follow and Bible verses to quote for every situation, because it’s safe. It’s so terrifyingly safe, isn’t it? If we took those rules away surely things would fall apart? Rules keep us hemmed in, they tell us how we should be living. What if we stopped living a certain way, if we removed all the little details about reading our Bibles every day, and girls always dressing modestly, and never forgetting to pray, and never swearing? What if we decided to just love people and stop worrying about all the little things? If this faith is nothing more than a relationship with God then why have we made it all about dressing a certain way and eating cake and drinking tea? The changes should be inward, our hearts should change but it shouldn’t be about minor details.
If God is better than people then God isn’t safe, and if God isn’t safe then we need to stop feeling so comfortable.
You can’t put God in a box and you can’t give Him rules. I don’t think God gives me or anyone else rules, I don’t think He asks me to quit swearing or read my Bible every day or always think about how I’m dressing or pray all the time. I believe that He asks me to love people and to love Him because of what He did for me on the cross.
It’s all become very exclusive, you see. It’s become exclusive to heterosexual people, to virgins, to women who’ve never had an abortion, to people who don’t get drunk, among other things. But Jesus hung out with anyone and everyone so why have we decided who can and can’t join us in church on Sunday mornings? Why have we decided that we can define sin?
I’ll probably have a lot more to say on this topic in coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for updates. I also definitely need to go to bed as it’s now after midnight and I don’t want to fall asleep during my interview tomorrow…