THE OPTIONS FOR A DIVORCEE FROM THIS GOD
At some point I will most definitely write a book about my journey out of patriarchy and about Divorcing this God of Hierarchy...but for now, I just feel that publicly I want to announce what this has been like to decide to leave strongly held doctrine ...for no other reason but for people to have a glimpse on what the doctrine of the Church is actually doing to people.
In short, if one decides that s/he no longer can hold true to the doctrine of the Church...there are only a couple of options that I can presently see:
Option 1: Stay and keep your beliefs to yourself, not be yourself and feel like the biggest hypocrite whom ever walked the planet.
Option 2: Stay and speak up at the risk of being either outrightly judged and maybe excommunicated by the leader and its people; or at the very least be talked to, written to, texted to, messaged to like you are a poor, lost soul who just needs to be prayed for and re-evangelized time and again until you get back in line with the right doctrine. People will use any means to try to "help" you come back to your senses - guilt, putting their own sadness and concern about you "losing your salvation" back on you, arguments, pleads...all means EXCEPT stopping and asking you how you came to these conclusions while actually being interested in hearing the answers. They just suppose that you must not have had enough teaching or training, that you were the seed that fell among the shallow soil.
Option 3: Quietly leave the church and avoid all your former friends and community while you find a new one that will accept you...
Option 4: Be a blogger who burns with passion for some odd reason to have her voice heard - so much so that it feels like red hot fireballs sitting in my mouth when I do not write/speak up. And to have a gift - so she is told - at writing. And to slowly but surely leak out little clues that her faith has changed till she gets to the point she can no longer dance around the subject.
If you guessed that I picked Option 4 you are only partly right. I think I have lived each of these options except for #1...I've learned too much to not be myself - but I would certainly not hold this over anyone in my shoes. I am sure there are many Christians who have had a similar experience to mine that hang out in Options 1-3...and I'm hoping to find more in #4.
I have said it before that my gripe is with the System, but that I will challenge the thoughts of people. This is what I specifically want to do here - to those of you who call yourself the Church.
Is this list of options REALLY what you want to be about to those of us who cannot for whatever reason do the mind boggling gymnastics any more with the doctrines? Grant it you are always welcoming in seekers...those like me at 19. Yet, yet what do you have to offer those of us that did come in seeking, knocking, asking, finding something then moving on? What do you say to us? Where is the love? How are ANY of those options or ANY of those doctrines helping fulfill what Jesus himself said was the greatest commandment?
ON THE FLIP SIDE - I'M ADDRESSING MYSELF
Here is the thing I keep saying to my friends and family: I get it! I do. I get the sadness, the indirect guilt trips, the sarcastic questioning, the "trying to help", the pleading. I would have probably been saying, doing, feeling the same thing if I heard a dear friend or distant one at that talk like I talk now. I would have thought they had gone off the deep end, opened themselves up too much to the forces of evil.
I get it because that is how much I did BELIEVE these doctrines. I held them NEAR & DEAR to my heart for 16 years! I lived, breathed and ate them. I lost hours of sleep and work due to the guilt trips I would put on myself for not evangelizing more, saving more souls for Christ. I served all with the hope of not just meeting someones physical need, but with a ready answer and the hope of getting to win them to Christ and get them a ticket into heaven. I carried tracks, I handed out care packages with aforementioned tracks in them on my own doing, I was always looking for "divine appointments" and witnessing opportunities with my non-believing friends so that I could do my portion for the Kingdom. I would debate in my head whether or not so-and-so was "really a believer" because of the things they said or did or didn't say or didn't do. I felt sad for those that I couldn't tell whether or not they were...and for those that I new for sure were not and had no interest in being "saved".
I could go on an on about and try to convince all of those in the Church that I am not the one whose roots just didn't go down deep enough...that I wasn't one of the seeds that fell on the dirt just off the road. Yet, if the people that have been the closest to me, have seen me walk the walk for the last 16 years cannot even believe me - what hope do I have in any one else either?
You know the saddest thing though, as I look back over that list of what I did do for the "sake of Christ" in reflection of my latest revelations and of the shootings? The saddest thing is none of that helped me learn to love from the heart...what a waste of time, of precious time to have not been loving all those around me like crazy.
So if where I am now is opening myself up to the "forces of evil"...then I have to say bring it on. Because going forward all I want my life to be about is Love. I want it to drip from my hands when I shake your hand or rub your back or pat your shoulder. I want it to pour forth from my mouth and to sweeten my talk as I encourage you to be who you are. I want it to ooze from the ora around me as I send my Shakti energy and healing power your way in hopes that you too will open up and receive it, turning around and sending it back out to the next person.
So, if all that Love is a bad thing to open myself up to...
well I do not want to know what it means to be good.