By reading my blog posts, I hope you get the idea that I love God. I know there are some things I say that may lead you think that I'm not a Christian. However, even with all of that, I know I give God mad propers throughout my writing. It was a long strange trip to get to where I am with God now. Glad I had the strength to do take it.
Growing up, I never liked church. Church back home never appealed to my intellect. I never felt like the pastor ever taught anything about Scripture. Seemed like a bunch of po' folk wailin' and whoopin'. Yeah I know we are supposed to be his flock, but does that I mean I have to be a sheep? I grew up Apostolic. If you're not really up on your denominations, Apostolic falls under the Pentecostal covering. Just about anything you can think of is a sin to Pentecostal folk. Movies....sin. TV.....sin. Bowling.....sin. Skating...sin. Playing jacks....sin. Playing cards....sin. Secular music....sin. Woman dressing like a man.....sin. And not only was everything a sin but you were going to hell first class.
The funny thing is that I learned all my best sinning from church. I learned to lie at church. I learned how to cuss at church. I learned what a whore/dyke/faggot was at church. I learned how to backstab and doublecross at church. Heck the first gay person I encountered was a choir director (not ours) at church. If all that would send me to hell, well then I bought my ticket during Sunday service. We had some great travel agents at the church.
Back then, God to me was this guy who sat up and just waited for us to mess up so that he could punish us. God didn't seem too loving back then. I would often wonder why would I want to worship such a meanie. I disliked just about everyone at church. I saw the hypocrisy of it all at a young age and it left such a bad taste in my mouth. Pastor driving a new whip but Sister Jenkins' lights are off and all they can tell her is pray about it.
It made me so sick to even go to church. I would try to get out of it every time I could. I got so tired of hearing how "young folks" are so awful when I knew it was the adults who set such a bad example for the children. I hated being in plays. I hated spending almost all my Sundays, Tuesday and Friday nights, at church. I didn't clap. I didn't sing. I would just zone out until church was over.
The best day of my young life occurred when I turned 16. My mother told me that I didn't have to go to church if I didn't want to. I wanted to turn a backflip. I'm sure she was hurt when I stopped going but church was killing my spirit. Had I stayed in church any longer, I don't think I'd be going now. Funny as it sounds, leaving church started my journey to finding God.
After leaving the church, I became Agnostic and perilously close to being an Atheist. My bad experiences with church coupled with my coming to terms with my sexuality was the perfect storm. I would challenge any and everyone about how God didn't care about us. He was all about the punishment. No love. Just putting that rod on our backside every chance He got.
Fast forward to my senior year of college, I was watching tv and I saw an ad for this church. The pastor seemed so warm through the tv. I got up and went to their evening service. Everyone was so receptive and kind. They sang songs and worshiped. The pastor got up and spoke a message about love. That was the first time I felt like God was actually a loving God. While He corrects us, he restores us gently. It was a great message, but my heart was so hardened.
It would be another 2 years before I stepped into another church. I tried out a few churches. I encountered some of the same stuff from my past. However, I was undeterred. I was gonna find a new church home and give God another try. After a few failed attempts, I stumbled across this website for a church. I got up one Sunday morning and went. I was apprehensive and skeptical. I liked the cerebral approach the Bishop took. Next Sunday, I got up and went again. I went again and again. I've been going ever since.
While I'm far from a perfect Christian, I know that God has brought me a long way. Even when I gave up on God, He never gave up on me. He allowed me to take that journey away from Him. I returned and He welcomed me with open arms. He truly indeed awesome. Peace.