Instead let there be a flood of justice

You turned your back on the homeless
And the ones that don’t fit in your plan
Quit playing religion games
There’s blood on your hands

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show
I hate all your show

http://unicornbooty.com/blog/2012/01/16/christian-classmates-threaten-girl-with-eternal-rape-in-hell-for-removing-prayer-from-school/

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First of all, allow me to state my opinion on prayer in schools. This view has gotten me shunned and flamed by other Christians, but I actually do not support prayer in public schools. I am fine with events such as See You At The Pole. I have nothing against the Federation of Christian Athletes. But you know what? A prayer mural has no place in a public school. In the public school system, it should be a safe place for all. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist… it should be a safe haven for all.

And really? The public education’s goal and purpose is to educate the child. MY child. Their job is not to teach my children about faith in God and religion. Christian teachers? Fine! Wonderful! They want to talk about their religion outside of the classroom and interact with my child? Sweet! But in the class room? Not cool. It’s not that person’s job to be shepherding my kid’s faith.

You know who’s job that is? That’s MY job, my FAMILY’S job, my CHRUCH’S job. We should not place that job in the hands of a public school. I am fine with my children learning about different religions even as a part of World History as knowing the religion and how faith impacted that era of history is often critical to the events. But prayer in public schools? Keep it out.

That aside, let’s look at the manner. We live in a culture, in a world, where we are told to stand out for what we believe. I can’t count the number of times in high school I was urged to “stand for what is right.” To speak out for what I believed. This is what Jessica did. And what happened? She was cruelly bullied!

This is what gives Christians a bad name. Thing is? These teenagers are likely hearing this at home. It’s what their parents believe. And frankly, it rings of the Westboro Baptist Church. (Good grief, the church’s URL is godhatesfags.com? Way to promote love there, mate!). These are NOT what true Christians are.

I often believe that these people are naturally hateful, and are looking for something to blame it on. Something they can use to help themselves not seem so hateful. After all, if we candy-coat and sugar-frost it with religion, it doesn’t seem so bad, now does it? But because people do things like this, it paints all Christians with a tainted paintbrush.

If these people want to witness to this girl? There’s other ways to do it! Talk to her about why she wanted the mural taken down. Be respectful to her. Listen to her views, and tastefully state yours. But telling her Satan is going to rape her? That you’re doing a holocaust to atheists? Tell me, how does that promote your cause? It makes you look like a righteous idiot. Christianity boils down to a doctrine of love, and this is NOT what you are promoting. You disagree with her courageous, right choice? Fine, you have the right to that. Jessica, however, has the right to feel safe in her school. She hasn’t come back to the school? THE POOR GIRL IS FEARING FOR HER LIFE!

And really? If you’re telling her that “God is going to fuck your ass” why are you serving that kind of God? That’s not remotely the kind of God that I want to serve nor IS it the God I serve. If you want people to rot in hell, I suggest you examine yourself more closely and read your Bible better. I suggest you see how Jesus responded to the Pharisees. And I suggest you examine yourself deeply because you are NOT promoting the Gospel that is promoted in Scripture.

I applaud the court’s decision. I am thrilled that the police are taking the threats seriously. I am disgusted and sickened by the students doing this in the name of religion, because it’s not what Jesus is about. And above all, I pray that Jessica finds peace in the midst of this. I pray that she has a supportive family who is helping her through this. And I hope that these students see how badly they are tarnishing the name of Christianity and get a life.

Love in any language, not so spoken here.

I find myself struggling with love. It’s such a simple concept, really, but at the same time it’s so complex and layered. It’s seemingly simple, but also complicated and painful. There are so many Bible verses that speak of love:

“Perfect love casts out all fear. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not post, it is not proud. blah blah blah” 1 Cor.

And so many more. The Beatles sang that “All you need is love.” We need love at the core of our being, it’s something we all long and crave for.

But the thing is? Love scares the everliving shit out of me. Imagine being a child, and your father never telling you he loved you. Imagine being a child, and the hands that were supposed to love you wound up hurting you. Imagine it. (This is also why I cannot view God as a father and cannot grasp that theological concept, but that is another blog entry all together).

People who know me know I struggle to tell my friends I love them. Sure, I show it in many ways: I send them small gifts, I send them cards, I write out Bible verses on note cards to encourage them, and so on, and so forth. But to actually say the words “I love you” is SO DIFFICULT.

And I think that is where some of my God struggles come into play: I can’t grasp the fact that He loves me so. I can’t grasp the fact that I am loved by Him. And it’s not that I don’t want to be Loved by Him, it’s that I don’t fully understand fatherly love. At all. Again, the father rant is for another blogpost (likely on 31.10, considering that’s my independence day)

Love is so much – and something I crave so deeply. Something my soul yearns for, something my spirit desires.

But I don’t understand it,
and it scares me to death.

Reach out and touch faith

I hate how I feel my faith is pulling me every which way. Part of me longs to return to my Nazarene roots. Being born and raised Nazarene, I want to go back to how I was raised, what was familiar, what I know.

Part of me wants to explore Lutheranism, as my new college is Lutheran.

Another part of me pulls towards borderline agnosticism. And another part of me pulls to not believing in anything. Logically, I know faith should boil down to the old hymn:

“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

But the other part of me wants to have a strong assurance. I want to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs. I want to belong to a certain denomination, crazy I know, but still.

But this means exploring theology.
This means exploring dogma and doctrine.
This means figuring out what i believe.
And I don’t know how to figure this out.

I have several different study Bibles in various translations, I’ve read the Bible numerous times. I can argue theology, I can spew out Bible verses at the drop of a hat. I did Bible Trivia as a child (and did rather well in the Southwestern Ohio Nazarene District) and know my Bible well.

I struggle with the concept of love. I don’t love simply or often, but when I do love I love deeply and I become fierce with my love. My love protects, calms, comforts, teases, enjoys, hangs out… it’s a special relationship and bond and I love it. But I am afraid of receiving the love I so rarely give out. And I think that is part of why I struggle with a faith and religion currently – all my book knowledge tells me that there is a God who loves me that deeply and more, and the scared, abused part of me cowers in fear of that love. But yet at the same time I long and crave for that love. The love that I never really felt as a child. The love that I want so badly, but I fear.

At times I want nothing to do with Christianity. I see a religion that spews out hate in the alleged name of Jesus. I see a religion of people who walk the talk, but don’t talk the talk or walk the walk. I look at my own life and want to yell at this alleged faith. I look at one of my favorite worship songs from high school:

In the long hour of my sorrow,
through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me, and sustain me
My defender forever more

When hope is lost, I’ll call you Saviour.
When pain surrounds, I’ll call you Healer.
When silence falls, You’ll be the song in my heart

Part of my issues with Christianity were the way I was treated at old school. Please note that I know people who have gone to Old School, and are still there and loved it. I do not intend to bash the place that is, for them, wonderful and healing and a good fit. However, for me, it did a great amount of damage to my faith and even my mental health. Please know that just because Old School wasn’t the right fit for me, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good school. However, because it was damaging to me means that I will often talk of it. It is not an attempt in libel or slander at the school.

All that stated, I came out of that school damaged. I came out the school a wounded spirit. And I don’t know what my faith is. I don’t know what I believe. I don’t know how to explore it without reopening wounds that I’m not ready to heal. I hate this turmoil that’s taken over my soul, and I don’t even know how to begin repairing it.