This One’s For BFTX.

I have a little confession to make. Most people may not already know this about me, but my best friend, my sister, the woman who owns part of my soul… she’s a Christian. She’s a more recent convert to the faith, but she’s always had a thing for the Christian God. I remember, even as teenagers, she would talk about things like fate and destiny not in the same terms as I, but in regards to God’s plans. So, really, this path of hers isn’t new, per se, but it’s new to us and our relationship. When I was an agnostic, it didn’t really matter because I could see that she had a similar leaning. “Is it real? Maybe not…” And with her mother’s unfortunate feelings in regards to God and church, once upon a time, I’m sure she was left wondering more often than not. She left a comment on one of my blog posts and this is a response to that comment.

I guess this is the part where we disagree… My heart aches. There is so much misconception about Christianity here… What you describe as Christianity is so far off from what I’ve experienced that I wonder if we are using the same word to describe two different faiths.

My God is far from a faceless hazy diety that neither answers prayers nor cares about me. God did seek me out, personally, chose me and persued me endlessly until I turned to Him. He answers my prayers all the time, everyday, and the prayers of others. Jesus is fully God AND fully man. He has a face. And a name. He is the Lord.

I am not going to try and convince you or anyone to convert, I just feel like it’s all misrepresented. I honestly don’t read a lot of your religious postings kind of for this reason. Your 2000 some odd miles away, and our roads have led us different directions, but your still my best friend. Actually no, more than that, and I never say anything because I don’t want some disagreement causing a rift. I’ve left enough of those all ready.

I just wanted you to know that my experience is so different from what you’ve described here…

That’s what she said on my Journeying blog post for the PBP. I had already felt the need to make this post before I read this comment in my inbox. But, then, it came out and I was like, “Wow. I really need to talk to her about this. We need to get things off of our chests about this.” Since we’re surrounded by so much distance, this is one of those things that has to be done face-to-face, I feel. Obviously, I could utilize the phone, but I’m awful about my words when I speak out loud. I’m working on that, but in the mean time, I know a way that can make it easier for me to express myself: the blog. And so, here I am. And I’ll tell you-all something, but this mostly goes to BFTX. It’s mostly for her that I’m making this secondary confession because, honestly, it’s not something I care to discuss with anyone else. I’m always worried she’s going to throw me overboard because we don’t share the same beliefs.

I don’t discuss this with anyone because it’s something that I have to bear, my cross so to speak. I live in honest fear that she’ll stumble upon an entry (since she subscribes) and see something that sparks a hatred in her breast. I’m always worried that if I post something on my FB page, then that will be the end of it. I’ve stopped posting things about pro-choice and I’ve taken a backseat to posting more and more pagan-related items that I find of interest. I have another Christian friend, who I’ve known for some years, but I don’t live in terror of her throwing me overboard. Sometimes, I wish she would… because her version is so different and frightening. In fact, I much prefer to hear the version that BFTX’s practices as opposed to this other Christian friend. But, we both have differing views and beliefs now and I am always scared that my best friend, since we were eleven years old, will look in my direction with a sneer of derision and say, “It’s over, bitch. This shit is done.

With all of this confession out there now, let me say some things about the comment she left me.

I guess this is the part where we disagree… My heart aches. There is so much misconception about Christianity here… What you describe as Christianity is so far off from what I’ve experienced that I wonder if we are using the same word to describe two different faiths. I’ve explored a lot of different Christian faiths in the time that I’ve been alive. I’ve looked into Catholicism, Baptism, and Methodist the most. The Baptist faith wanted too much work for a lazy bones like me, so I dropped it. Catholicism has always fascinated me with their idols and Pope. But, I could never be part of a religious affiliation that looks down on women the way that it does. And besides, my mom left the Church for a very real reason. I would feel like I was undoing her point (she left because she didn’t believe that the Pope had any say in whether she used birth control or not) and that’s disrespectful, in my eyes. Methodism is the one that I was raised with and it was there that I felt the faceless, formless, unknown deity. I was doing an Acolyte session (lighting candles and snuffing them at the end) when I realized that I didn’t feel anything. Maybe it was the branch of Christianity that I had chosen, but I felt similar when I would go to church with MEH. His branch was “Christian.” (They went to the Church of Nazarene or something?) And I didn’t feel it then, either. So maybe, I wasn’t made to feel what you do.

I am not going to try and convince you or anyone to convert, I just feel like it’s all misrepresented. I honestly don’t read a lot of your religious postings kind of for this reason. Your 2000 some odd miles away, and our roads have led us different directions, but your still my best friend. Actually no, more than that, and I never say anything because I don’t want some disagreement causing a rift. I’ve left enough of those all ready. And you know what? As I said, I don’t want to say or do anything that would cause a problem between us, either. But, I think you and I are walking the fine line so exaggeratedly that we’re so worried about falling overboard. And that could cause more damage than anything that may be said between us about the differences in our religion.

Let me go ahead and give you a little something I’ve cooked up, with you in mind.

When I first started working on the living in ma’at structure to my lifestyle, I realized that things had to be laid out in a little pattern. I have certain aspects that I work on (heka, or making sure I don’t say things out of line because I can, for example) every day. But, there was one basis that I had to get this started with. And that basis was respect. It wasn’t just respect for myself, but respect for other beliefs. Just because I don’t agree with a Heathen or a Muslim or a Christian doesn’t mean that I have to go out there and say, “YOU’RE WRONG!!!!!oneone1OMGBBQWTF1” I believe in what I believe in and that’s that. You believe in what you believe in and that’s that. The only thing that I care about more than the respect aspect to my lifestyle workings is this: faith.

I don’t care what faith you have, so long as you have it. I couldn’t give a shit less if you worshiped the Flying Spaghetti Monster or returned to atheism or stick by the Christian beliefs you have now. All that matters is that you have something loving and spiritual and beautiful to rely upon and you have faith that your God is there and He listens to your prayers and He answers those prayers. All I ever want for anyone is a loving faith that is perfect for them, that excepts them for who they are and what they think, and makes them a better person. The one fear I always had about you, BFTX, was that you would never find anything that would make you feel whole and complete. And you have. And that? That’s the most important thing in the entire world.

I love you.

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3 thoughts on “This One’s For BFTX.

  1. Nice post, it says many things I have felt and have said many times on my FB page. I had a Husband and Wife (now just the wife) on my page who are Christians. Now my most recent comment on your blog may lead someone to think I despise Christianity and for the most part I do. But when I say Christianity I’m talking about the religion, not the founder. I myself grew up Southern Baptist (hell fire and brimstone, casting out demons, etc). When I was 19 I became a Jehovah’s Witness and stayed with that faith for 10 years before leaving of my own accord. While growing up I was abused mentally, emotionally and physically by my mother and when I became a JW I was led there with the hope of being loved for myself (which never happened) there was always more door to door work to be done or more magazines to hand out. Women are treated like slaves with no free will of their own and men are expected to be the sole providers (they can’t make their wives work) and also take the lead spiritually. Different research papers have shown that JW’s have a 30% higher rate of mental illness than any other religion. So I went from one abusive environment straight into another and they all had one thing in common. They were Christians.

    As for the personage of Jesus Christ. Him I like, I think he was or is (depending upon your point of view) one of the greatest teachers who ever lived. he had such compassion for people and elevated women to a standard unknown at the time. He showed great respect for the down-trodden, mercy for the sick and weak. What Christ taught and what Christianity is as a whole are in my opinion two very different things.

    The group has went from one formed upon the foundation of love to one practicing judgement upon their fellowman. There are some good Christians but they are far and few between, just as the same applies for every other religion. There are times when I think I might have made a mistake, but that is becoming less and less often. When I think I might have made a mistake I realize that what I am longing for is being in a social group but forgetting that the group is question is very abusive. Sure one could be a solitary Christian but finding like-minded ones who don’t judge others but try to do things in love is becoming harder and harder. The other thing that keeps me from going back to it is that I never felt close to Jesus, I felt like my prayers weren’t being listened to or even answered. I felt very much alone. So why would I go back to someone who claims to love me but ignores me at the same time?

    My best friend is a Christian and he knows why I don’t believe in it anymore and he’s okay with it. He even endures my rants against the religion because he understands it’s not directed towards him, but towards the hypocrites who wear the label of Christian but for the most part have no idea what’s written in the Bible and who treat fellow humans as garbage.

    Jesus said we are to “hate what is bad.” He didn’t say hate who is bad. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, but that does not mean we are to put up with their BS and become doormats. There are many accounts where he himself set the example in this regard. He was a lover of peace, but he also called people on their shit and let them know they were being stupid. Showing love means not only forgiving people but also pointing out error where it exists (in the hopes that it will be corrected), but it doesn’t mean judging that person as unworthy to go to heaven (as many Christians do practice).

    All in all I can say I like Christ very much, it’s his so-called followers I have a problem with.

    • I agree with a lot of what you say here. This is why I have been to many churches but have only found one that teaches what Jesus taught. I pray all the time that I’m never seen as a hypocritical judgmental Christian, and that I would just follow Christs example in loving others.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I have to say right away before anything else that I will not ever stop being your friend just because we disagree about something. We have been through too much. There may be times where we don’t talk often, or where life separates us in time and distance but I will not throw you overboard. It’s like with your parents or children, you may not always see eye to eye on things but you don’t stop being a daughter or mother because of it. Your my sister even if it isn’t by blood.

    Knowing in my heart that you feel the same I have still carried that same fear, that if I say or post or disagree with something that you would just find it easier to move on.

    I don’t know why I have felt the need at times to say anything at all. My last comments I felt like I wanted you to understand that my faith has substance.

    I have come to point where I can say that I’m going to love you no matter what you believe. Even if I don’t. But if you find a Flying Spaghetti Monster I definitely want a picture, and maybe a taste…

    I understand why Christianity wasn’t fulfilling for you, why it’s not for a lot of people. There is too much misconception, and too many churches that I honestly think have it wrong, even if their intentions are good.

    I did explore a bit of your faith before you went Kemetic. Even read some of the books you lets borrow, there was just too much that didn’t sound right to me. Maybe one day we can get together face to face and discuss the differences in our beliefs, because I do agree face to face would be better, but I also have a lot of difficulty expressing myself with spoken words. While I am better at writing my thoughts I still have trouble with that too.

    When we do discuss things it doesn’t have to be all about who’s right and who’s wrong. I just have a desire to understand what’s what and a tendency to ask questions the wrong way or even be defensive but you know this.

    I think I’m babbling, I can’t tell typing on my phone, so I’ll leave with this idea. Part of the reason I get defensive about my faith is because it is so beautiful to me and I want everyone especially those I love to feel the same peace love joy and fulfillment that I do. I want to share what makes me happy. I don’t ever intend to be offensive, I’ve always been accepting of other ideas and I don’t want to come across as judgmental ever. I maybe do come across that way sometimes so I’m sorry.

    I love you too. I want you to find peace and fulfillment, joy and love… Because your absolutely right about that. That’s what matters.

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