Who is God?

Bethel_AME_Church_-_Clinton,_Iowa

Photo by: Farragutful

I wish I understood more about living with God and learning his ways. More about how things work. I left my local church for a lot of reasons, the main one being how mean people were. Most people there would find fault with other members, and they would confront people right in the foyer in the church! They would accuse people of breaking the Sabbath, singing songs that weren’t the right “kind” of songs, etc. I got sick of it and thought, “I’ll never bring anyone to this church again.”  Then I thought, “Well, why am I here then?” And after 24 years, I left.

Later on, I had a breakdown when I remembered all the abuse my father had piled on me. I was a wreck; I could barely function. I started therapy but also started drinking so I wouldn’t feel so sad. I drank off and on for 10 years drinking more and more. I started praying about it and finally quit because one day God just took the desire away from me. I was thankful.

During that time, I also started smoking. I’m still smoking. I’ve prayed and tried to quit but I haven’t yet. So, I wonder about all this. I believe God was with me all the time, helping me to heal, but now I think, “It was good I left the church when I did because they wouldn’t have waited 10 years for me to stop drinking. They would have given me a hard time about it.” Then I wondered if I had felt I could be open with Christians, maybe they could have encouraged me and prayed with me all those years; or would they have just said I wasn’t truely converted?

Then there is a sister of mine. She is gay and in a comitted relationship with one woman. She is an amazing woman; she gives out Bibles and studies with people she meets. She was homeless and met a lot of hurting and mentally ill people she helped. God is working with and through her all the time. Yet, religious people tell me she is not saved; it doesn’t matter what she does, she is living in sin.

Well, maybe she is in a way. It depends how you interpret the Bible. Sure it says not to sleep with the same sex, but it also has always said not to commit adultery. The men in the Old Testament had lots of wives; they comitted adultery all their lives and God said nothing. Scholars say, “Well, that was in their culture at the time.” Okay, fine, in our time there are lots of gay people. So, if you can excuse heterosexual men for having multiple wives, why can’t you excuse gay people for loving and having one partner? I can’t see it.

So, I am confused about a lot of things. Jesus was so inclusive. He never turned anyone away. He was patient with people, not expecting perfection. Then you read Paul’s letters and it’s like we should be perfect – these paragons of virtue. When a person is converted everyone acts like they should never sin again. Really? Is that possible?

Oh well, that’s where I am at now. Dazed and confused about living the Christian life, but still loving God and knowing he loves me. Hopefully, that’s all that matters.

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