It's Sunday so I figure I'll drop a little of what I've been thinking about this morning. My relationship with church. Yes, church and I have a relationship. Not the tightest of relationships, but it exists.
Most of you who know me probably know that I don't go to church often at all. A good friend of mine in NJ (waddup Denea) asked me the last time we spoke if I'd started going back to church again. I felt kind of bad because a minute ago she and I had a conversation about church and how we both felt about church in general. At that time, I told her that I planned on going more often. As it turned out, that was just a momentary desire.
But over the past few weeks I've been thinking about going back to church at least a couple times a month. Since my family went to church with my stepfather on his birthday a couple weeks ago, I've really felt like I *should* start going again. But I have my reservations/issues with church. Let me explain...
Church and God for me can be paralleled (sort of) to someone's relationship with a drunk, crack-head uncle in your family and his son/daughter (your cousin) that you are REAL TIGHT with. Don't get me wrong here, just let me explain.
For me, church is like that crack-head uncle that you love, but you don't really want to see or talk to him all the time because you know he is always doing and saying some wild shyt that just ain't right. Not to mention, he is always asking his nephew for money. You love him, but you can't really eff with him like that all the time or believe what he's saying all the time. Church (for me) is like that in the sense that sometimes when I go to church, I can see just how much the preachers play with people's minds. I believe preachers are psychologists in a way. They can manipulate words and re-iterate scriptures in a way that can make you be like "D@mn! He's talking to me!" In some cases I find this valid and a very positive thing, but in other cases, I believe that some preachers use it to advance the financial goals of their church. So I can't always believe what a preacher has to say. Basically, I can believe the WORD, but not always the person preaching it. Sometimes I look at the scriptures they use in their sermons just to see what I can draw from it and develop my own interpretation because I can't always take what I hear from preachers as truth. Just me. Aside from that, at the pentecostal/baptist/free-gospel/whatever churches, the number of offerings per service seems to average like 2.5...I barely have enough money for the first joint! That BLOWS ME!
My relationship with God is like that I have with one of my closest cousins. You talk to them all the time, you respect their opinion, and you enjoy being in their presence. Most people would consider me a fake-Christian because I don't go to church, which doesn't really bother me. But even though I don't go to church and I say all types of wild stuff on my blog and I make mistakes and bad decisions like everyone else, I do believe that Jesus died for my sins, that He rose from the dead, and that if I repent and ask for His forgiveness I will be saved from the pits of hell and granted eternal life with Him in Heaven. I firmly believe that!
God and I speak on a regular basis through prayer and through me asking him to help me not lose it when dealing with ni99orant folks and to give me strength, patience, humility, etc. I believe God understands me fully and accepts me for who I am, and the person I strive to be. I'm good knowing that. I also believe he understand that because of how I was raised; how I was introduced to church; the type of churches I've been exposed to, that my walk back to church may be different than most peoples' and that it may take longer. Yet-and-still, he never lets me stay away too long.
So to those of you who always encourage me, don't lose hope. I'd like to send a special shot-out to all those people that have given me real opinions and perspectives on church and God. Especially that boy J-Rock.
I just gave you guys a piece of me...Use it wisely. Peace!