Belonging

Let’s face it; I want to belong. I want to belong to a church. I want the fellowship of a loving community. A church community is where we learn the basics of value, not money value, but self-value and self-worth. It is where we learn to work in communion with others to help others. It is where we learn to be generous with what we are blessed

But churches are also selfish and  non-accepting, even if they profess that all are welcome. In one church if you do not accept the concept of original sin, you cannot be a member. In other churches there are confessions and statements of faith that you must recite each week. You are taught these at a very young age and recite them rote! I do not believe a person with a degree in theology is perfect enough to tell me I am a sinner or that I am a flawed person and need the church to be acceptable to God.

If I believe that God is Love, I love all beings; man, animal, the planet, etcetera. I deeply care for people, which is why I am a prayer minister; I deeply care for dogs, and cats, and field mice, and wild turkeys. I care for the earth that gives us the food we eat.

I cannot understand how people cannot care for these gifts of God’s creation. However, I will work with them to bring food to those who need it; I will work with them to build a ramp for a person in wheelchair, making their lives better. People who I cannot abide by are those who think that the world is here for their pleasure only. I cannot understand how these hoarders can turn a church into a Godless presence in the lives of others.

Jesus was a Jew; he was not a Christian. He was a homeless, poor, wandering Jew who did nothing but good for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the outcasts. He brought Love and understanding into everyone’s lives. He blessed the earth, animals, and the people. He denied no-one God’s Love and healing.

Somewhere along the line, sometime in history, we lost the moral compass of the message Jesus brought. He did not support the government; He did not support big business; He did not support anything that harmed God’s children. He loved! He loves.

How can the church (am I am not singling out any church) claim that the support of big businesses that underpay its labor force is Jesus’s message? How can a church deny a person a position at God’s vast table of love and caring. How can a church deny a person because of color, or language, or financial wealth? Jesus never did. Jesus never did. So do not ever say He did.

Yes, I want to belong; but I cannot belong IN church. I can only belong in God’s true world – outside of the corruptness of the Western Church. I am a Christian; but I belong to the Christianity that Jesus taught, not to that which is taught by modern man. I pray it were different!

©Russell Kendall Carter

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