"Jane Doe Nobody, Humble Servant of the Lord"? Really?

Does God really want us to erase our identities in order to be a good Christian?

If so... I'm out, yo.

That kind of "faith" puts a bad taste in my mouth.

Also, church down the street has a new sign:

"Church was never meant to be safe or predictable. God isn't either of those things."

A mini sermon on how God isn't safe?

Yeah, I could have told you that when I was being molested and he (apparently) didn't lift a finger to help me.

Can you tell I'm bitter?

My counselor asked me last week, "So what I'm hearing, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that you're angry with God?"

"Heck yes! I'm super pissed at him!"

Yep. Sure am. That's a major obstacle to wanting to figure out this whole religion-God thing...

Okay, okay. I acknowledge that there are a couple of options, here. Perhaps I had false expectations which led to my disappointment. But really, you shouldn't go around telling kids in Sabbath school that Jesus will help them if they only pray unless it's actually true.

Maybe that's part of the reason why "the youth" are leaving the church in droves (if the reports are to be believed). Because they were told that God can do anything, and Jesus loves you, and he cares about you so much that if you lose a sewing needle or need to open a bottle of glue then you kneel down and pray and Jesus will help you. So they test it out. Bad things happen. It's life. It's inevitable. Something goes wrong, and they pray, and... nothing happens. So they pray again. And nothing happens. And your step-father keeps paying you nasty little visits in the night, and beating you, and spending your family's food money on drugs and piddly pursuits, and still nothing happens. Oh, sure, every now and then you find the thing you were looking for (right in front of your eyes the whole time!), but the major issues still go unresolved.

And so you figure that either you're not worth helping, or it was a lie.

I thought the first one for so long... and now I'm swinging 'round to the second one.

I'm not going to lie-- I'm hurt. I feel betrayed. I feel let down. I feel... yeah. I feel like I just wasn't good enough for God to step in and do something. I feel like he should have done something, like they always told me he would, and then he didn't. Like he just doesn't care enough?

Elijah's words ring too true in my head... Maybe God was asleep? Maybe he was on the toilet? Maybe he was otherwise preoccupied? Because why else wouldn't he have heard me? "Before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear."

Um, what?

I call bullshit.

Sorry, God.

So I'm just thinking that maybe the way that I've been going about it is wrong, you know? Like maybe all that crazy evangelical Christian stuff isn't where it's at for me? I don't know how obvious it is here, but I've stopped identifying with SDA's. I don't consider myself one anymore. I mean, it's still a part of my DNA, practically, but... I just can't do that anymore. There's too much grief. Too much anger. Too much fitting myself into a mold that I just don't fit into, too much "shoulding".

It's funny, because I remember C asking me a year or so ago, "Do you think you'd ever leave the church?"

My reply was a cavalier, "No! Of course not! I mean, I don't foresee that happening at this point. I guess it could happen, but I seriously, seriously doubt it..."

Maybe she saw something that I couldn't see, even then?

So I'm trying to find my own path. Yeah, I know, I heard the message at GYC, and in Sabbath school, and over and over and over again, that the whole "more than one way to God" thing is postmodernism and it's infecting the church and the way the youth think and yada yada yada.

But what do you do if THE path makes you feel like a horrible person? What do you do if THE path fosters and inflames the anger and the issues you already have with God? What do you do then?

Suck it up? Accept it as "your cross to bear"? Yeah, probably.

But I'm not gonna do that anymore. At least not right now.

You know what's weird? I feel like a more authentic, more fully-alive, more "better" person since I quit church. I was waiting to burst into flame or something, to become this horrible person... but it didn't happen. You know, because all those testimonies start out with, "I was living a life without God and it was awful and then I found Jesus and now I'm happy!"

Why is my testimony reversed??

This sucks. I'm going to hell.

But I guess I'll be whistling on my way there.

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