Life

My relationship with religion.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

Today I’d like to talk about religion and my relationship with God and religion. I’d like to say right off the bat: all of these opinions are mine and in no way am I judging anyone else or being nasty or insensitive about others people’s opinions!  I have a difficult and confusing relationship with religion and I’d like to try and make sense of it myself and get some other people’s opinions to help me understand where I’m at with God.

  • I’ve never really been religious.

My family are not religious so I’ve never really understood it all. I’ve tried in the past to be religious and when I was younger, I went to traditional church services – protestant ones, and I never really felt a connection with the idea of religion and of God. I didn’t understand the feeling that being religious gives you or I never realised that a relationship with God was separate to being religious. I thought that there was a big, scary man in the sky (I was a child at this point) that would punish me if I ever did anything wrong – like be rude to my mum or not want to do something. I found it scary and it was something that I never wanted in my life.

  • My ex boyfriend got ill and my perception changed.

When I was 17 I had a boyfriend who became very, very ill and he was in intensive care. I was upset and felt lost. At this point, a new neighbour moved in and we got talking and she told me she was a Pentecostal Christian and that I should come along to a service. I was so confused I agreed, and upon entering the church (our community centre) I felt a connection. There was something there but I didn’t know what. It was different to what I’d seen before. They preached the love of God, not the anger and vengeance of God, which I’d heard before. Now I’d like to say that not all churches preach the vengeance and anger of God but unfortunately the ones I had been too did. 

  • Pentecostal what now?

This is a church that “places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit.” Here is a link to the church where it all began for me FreshFire Church.  I am not trying to get anyone sold on my idea of a church I am just showing you the one I am talking about! This church is all about love and individual and personal relationships with God, which I like. They believe in talking to God and Jesus and that both have play a strong role in their lives. Oh, and they sing and dance. Going to a service like this made religion seem accessible and fun which I believe it should be.

  • So, what happened next?

Well, I became a member of the church and started going every Sunday and to a smaller group on a Tuesday. I loved it. I loved the friends I made and the religion that I had been introduced to. However, problems began to arise. They didn’t like the idea of drinking (I was 18 by this point and loved it), they believed that people were going to hell without God in their hearts and that homosexual people were wrong and needed ‘curing’. Now, I understand hell is part of religion, but I couldn’t understand why a God who was so loving, could throw people away because they were unsure. I really couldn’t understand them saying that gay people needed curing- this is something I had an argument with a few members of the church as my sister is gay and has two beautiful children with her wife. I just couldn’t get my head around it.

  • Any other problems?

One other thing was that the church was encouraging people to give them money, something I understand but it seemed like if i didn’t give money then I wasn’t a good enough Christian. Now I know this probably wasn’t the case but it’s just how I felt at the time. Also, I can’t understand if there is a God why people are in poverty, why there is so much hate in the world. I know it’s all about free will I guess but I just don’t get it.

  • I still love the idea of religion

If I’m having a particularly bad day I like to listen to the song that made me want to be part of the church One Thing Remains. Again, not trying to sell anyone on the idea of religion! I learnt this song on piano because it hit me so much. Maybe one day I’ll do a playlist of my favourite religious songs. Any way, I love the idea of religion, the idea that there is someone out there that is 100% in your corner and will love you no matter the mistakes you’ve made, I think i struggle with the overall Christian ideology that my church still uses, even though they are more progressive.

  • I am conflicted.

I want to be a Pentecostal Christian. I want a relationship with God and Jesus and I want to accept God’s love into my heart, I am just in a constant battle with myself over if I can tweak the bits I don’t like, such as the ideas surrounding gay people. If anyone else has experienced this, I’d love to hear from you for some help! I feel God calling me to help others and to be part of a church to make a difference in my community, but it’s the ideological part I struggle with.

  • What now?

I will keep trying. I will keep coming back to God and religion until the day that either I decide it’s right and I can accept it and God or the day that I decide I can’t get over the ideology. I want to take my time and really understand myself and God and see if that is a relationship that will help me in my life. Doing some research I feel will help me, like just writing this I have discovered that people who are gay know God loves them and that is something I can get behind! I guess if it’s supposed to happen it will – it’s a waiting game now until something clicks either way!

Well there we go! My experiences with religion and my thoughts on my relationship with it. I was very scared to write this post as I am worried people will have a go at me for the things I’ve said. I want to make it really clear: These are my thoughts and I know not all of them are correct and I’m probably wrong in some of the things I’ve said, but this is how I feel. If other people can’t accept that, then I suppose it’s their fault not mine! I hope you liked this blog post. If you’re in a similar place or have been there before, please let me know! And lets be loving and kind in the comments!

Until next time,

Elysia xx

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21 thoughts on “My relationship with religion.”

  1. This is so interesting to me because I was raised in the church and as I got older I left and haven’t looked back. You don’t have to go to church to be religious or to have a spiritual relationship. But the community found at church is often wonderful, if you feel accepted and welcomed. It’s a personal decision and you have to find what works best for you. As you know from the experiences you wrote about, what works for you can change!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My viiew is that any God would love people regardless of their sexuality. I think Jesus taught us to love each other, learn tolerance and not to judge. I find it so awful that a lot of so called Christian people claim that their faith means that they can not accept people who are gay or trans people. I just find that wrong. Great article. Really made me think!

    Like

  3. This was a great read. I have similar conflicts. I am an extremely rational person and like to believe in things I can see … but at the same time I appreciate so many aspects of the Christian faith. For example community, faith, family, other more conservative values. But not everything is black and white! I also think that Christianity provides a great framework to conduct a prosperous life of meaning. Whichever way you fall I think it is extremely important to spend time considering God etc.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Rach

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! I think the aspects you mentioned are some of the things that I enjoy about Christianity. I think spending time considering God is something I’m going to start doing more, see what conclusion I come to! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post and thank you for sharing your journey with us. Your relationship with God will be ongoing. It’s not something that will ever make complete sense in this lifetime. The church is imperfect because it’s made of imperfect people. You don’t have to be 100% in agreeance with what the church says or does to have a relationship with God. Take care 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m apostolic (it’s like an offshoot of the Pentecostal religion) my grandmother is pastor and I’m a pansexual person that is really picky about my money butttt I just go hear the message take away the positive and leave the negative there. I think with religion you just filter what you need, apply to your life and live the best way you can. This was a refreshing post. I hope you try different churches and religions and just go on a spiritual journey. I don’t think there’s one religion that’s right. I think how you connect with God is more important the the title of he church I don’t know if that makes sense lol but I been buddist, I’ve been neo Christian, born apolstolic but when you’re forced into something you naturally rebel but I came back to my families church this year seriously and it’s been a lot better now that go with the mentally “all of this ain’t for me.. what is for me as far as the message I will receive it apply it to my life” I hope this rambling helped lol thank you for this wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right! I think I’m going to have to go on a journey to find the best kind of religion for me. I think I will start to filter the positive from the negative and find a way that works for me ! Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m a born again believer in Jesus Christ. I don’t care for religion. Religion is a set of rules that everyone must adhere to. That’s not what Jesus died for. He died to set us free.

    I like Pentecostals in that they believe in healing and spiritual gifts. Sadly, a lot of Christians can be very judgmental. I once heard Jimmy Swaggart’s wife say that transgenderism is a sin and they need to repent and return to the gender of their birth.

    God never casts aside those who believe on his Son. None of us are sinless. We all need Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’m the same, I’m not a huge fan of religion. I don’t like the ideologies of some Christians but I want the love of God. I think doing this away from the church is a good way for me,

      Like

  7. I get what you trying to say.
    Christianity is a way of life. If you want to have a connection with God you don’t have to do any research, join prayer groups, make donations to the church. None of these Complex things. All you need is to meditate! Just close your eyes and relax. God is all about love! He loves everyone the way they are. Your Church Group may have ideologies, If you feel that you have a difference in opinion, distance yourself from the group. These People are just a bunch of like minded people trying to get more people believe in them. If they don’t talk about Accepting and loving people the way they are and dont tell you about God’s unconditional love for his people distance yourself for they don’t know God and Christianity. They can’t help you connect with God!
    It’s all in the Bible!
    God speaks through the Bible! Just read it. Close your eyes and reflect. It will help you.😊

    Liked by 2 people

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