Monday, November 14, 2011

Where Is My Jesus?

I am sitting at my desk today filling out my Big Brothers Big Sisters application and I came across a question on the form that I am struggling to answer. The question asked "What is your religious affiliation?".

For 20 years I considered myself a Christian. Throughout my life I have worshiped at places from a Catholic cathedral, 7-Day Adventist church, Baptist, A.M.E., Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Jehovah Witness Hall, and various incarnations of non-denominational-ism. I have been to mega-churches down to places that have a congregation of 15. My journey to find a spiritual home has been deep, whether timespan and geographical, and theological.

How do I explain on a 3 inch long line my feelings about religion? How do I explain that I believe the concept of God to be true; however, I have not found a place that I feel comfortable? That for a while I accepted the concept of the Christian God yet with a few caveats (no Trinitarianism and some other non-logical concepts)? How do I come to grips with the fact that worship has always been a communal exercise yet no one in which I want the worship without the communal aspect?

How do I explain that I hate that church has become a business, not a mission? That the quantity of people has become more important than the quality. That social justice is absent and that the whole "in the world, not of it" concept rings hollow and elitist, provincial, and not inclusive? That the LGBTQ community is good enough to sing, clap, donate, and stomp in the aisle but cannot walk down the aisle?

How come the way that worship is presented in the 21st Century Christian church does not feel "full"? Many times it touches my intellectual side, however it does not speak to my heart. It does not speak to the "inner, dark, unlit" places of the human experience. That the Christian concept of God feels complete and incomplete all in the same swoop? That now we have no mystical (look it up) tradition in religion that captures my imagination? God feels more like a math and logic problem than a phenomenon. I no longer feel that God lives inside of me as well as out there. I struggle to find a feeling with God. I want a worship that makes me feel as well as think. It needs to move me in a way that I cannot find elsewhere.

This line on the form has made me put into words concepts I have struggles with since 5ht grade on the back of that Grace Bible Baptist Church bus.