I struggle with the world absolute. I find that nothing on this planet is absolute. The sun will always rise, until it doesn’t. Eventually our Sun will burn out as all stars do, and it will no longer rise. We will have air to breathe, until we do something stupid as a species and no longer have our protective barrier that separates us from the damaging sunlight. Time has a way of changing everything; from thoughts to perspective.
If you would have asked me at 9 years old, if I believed in God, I’d of probably told you that I didn’t know. I wasn’t raised in church, and I had a pretty unorthodox childhood. God just wasn’t someone I knew too much about. Occasionally we went to church for free food, but it was never something we went to regularly. My parents decided that we would discover religion on our own.
Boy did I. I discovered that organized religion was the reason every war was fought, and entire groups of people used it to subjugate another group of people. Over and over, in every area of the globe, people were fighting in the name of their God.
It took me becoming a grandparent to understand religion. I watch my daughter parent her two children, and I see how what is taught, is absorbed differently than the intent with which it was given. To put plainly, I see my daughter taking the life lessons I’ve taught her and putting her own unique spin on things. While I don’t often agree with how things happen in the moment, I must acknowledge that they are effective.
I’m currently reading a book that has alluded to a process in which the books of the Bible were arranged, and how they were compiled. This one tidbit of information changed how I looked at the Bible.
Prior to reading this book, I’d always just kind of assumed that men wrote this book to have something to point to when they need a new reason to make someone a slave, or blow something up. It’s a very sexist point of view, but it’s mine, so there it is. Women use the book to attempt to make some sense of the oppressed place they hold throughout the world.
What I truly, truly couldn’t understand about religion is how humans who can trace their ancestry back to slavery could follow a religion forced upon them hundreds of years ago when they didn’t have a choice but to follow it.
That has always stuck with me. What would cause a large group of people to follow a religion shared by those who oppressed them.
It’s easy to seek God when you’re life has fallen apart. When you are hopeless, and at the end of your rope, it’s easy. It’s hard when you’re flying high. Then I went to church.
It wasn’t life altering, or even faith-affirming, but I understood it. When the pastor spoke, I ‘got’ what he was saying. It made sense. It didn’t feel like hypocritical nonsense just listening to it.
So then I wanted to learn why this pastor spoke so differently than the others, but gave the same message. I wanted to find the peace in myself that the people who go to that church seem to experience. Life is hard, but its easier knowing that this isn’t all there is.
My name is Kristy Denice Bock, and I believe in God. I believe Jesus Christ walked this earth, was crucified, and arose after three days. I still struggle with religion.
I’m trying to read both the Bible, and books about the Bible so I understand what I’m reading. Last night I read Matthews Chapters 1-10. At first I couldn’t get past all the platitudes Jesus used when he spoke. Then I looked at it again from the perspective of an editor, and accepted that he probably said tons of other things, but they were inconsequential and were left out for the sake of time. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it settled my mind.
So here I am, on a spiritual journey, to find out if I can join a church, while still really feeling animosity toward religion because of the deaths attributed to its followers, and force myself to give 10% of my paycheck up each week. I don’t know how I feel about tithing. Baby steps today. We’ll work that all out another day.