I feel as if I have no place in mainstream fundamentalist faith/church anymore.
My beliefs, my gender, my questions, my doubts, my different ideas are unwelcome are deemed “heretical.” Possible options for me now: I’ve gone off the deep end. I’m “lost.” I’m no longer a Christian. I’m essentially a heretic. I’m a liberal (period). I bought into what secular society is selling. I’ve lost my way. I’m worldly. I’m letting the world change me. I’m becoming “of the world.” I’m screwed.
How do I even begin to break the ice on the concept of who God is to me now? And not just the concept but the feeling.
Damn. I miss that feeling.
That one where you’re held. Where you feel like you just know.
The one where God and Jesus make sense and all you have to do is tune into the divine and you’re emotionally recharged.
The one where the worship songs make you feel something. Make you feel connected.
The one where you’re excited to sing and pray and be taught.
Just being sure. Having a constant. Knowing who God is, knowing your place in church.
I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting the institutions, of asking questions and getting back answers that confirm what I feared was true. Of hearing lies and inequality and fear being taught. Of having all of it be bigger than me and feeling helpless in fighting back, in being a strong voice that offers a different opinion.
I think the thing that scares me the most, or that makes me the most anxious, is actually being asked or talking about all these changes, especially with my family or with someone who seems to be full force on the path I used to be on.
People who know what they know, ya know?
How do I tell them I don’t believe it’s a sin to be in a same-sex relationship (not in spite of the Bible, but because of it)?
How do I tell them I think gender is fluid, dynamic, and on a spectrum?
How do I tell them I affirm all queer people, included people who are transgender and want to have surgeries or simply identify differently than their sex?
How do I tell them I believe women should be leading in church? That there should be female deacons and elders and ushers?
How do I tell them I don’t believe women should have different but “equal” roles in marriage?
How do I tell them I think Islam is the same path to God?
How do I tell them that God is not Male? That God can be imagined as female?
How do I tell them I don’t know what salvation is anymore?
How do I tell them I don’t know if I believe in hell anymore?
How do I tell them I don’t know if substitutionary atonement is what I believe about the cross?
How do I tell them?
It’s a complete 180 from what I’m supposed to believe. How do you explain a complete switch, a complete flip-flopping of your beliefs?
They’ll think I’ve accepted too many worldly ideals for myself. But ya know, maybe that’s exactly what’s happened. Maybe instead of sexism, racism, homophobia, and blind faith, I’ve embraced equality, reason, and acceptance and love for all people.
If that makes me cracked, heretical, a lost soul, then so be it.