How do you all feel about church? Do you attend weekly, monthly, annually, or only on special holidays? Does going to church make you feel closer to God? Do you feel absolved of your sins when you go to church?
I’m Seventh-Day Adventist and on Saturdays, we celebrate (?), maybe partake (I’ve never quite known how to say that) in the Sabbath and we go to church. I’ve been SDA my whole life, I’ve been to a lot of churches, I’ve seen a lot of shit. So much so that at this point in my life, many years ago actually, I realized that church isn’t exactly at the top of my list of places I’d like to go. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate church. What I appreciate the most about church is that for many people, it serves as a safe haven. You come there, you feel welcomed, you feel accepted, and you feel whole. That’s not always the experience, but more often than not, that’s how it is and how it feels. You feel free to talk to God about everything, divulge the dirty details of your thoughts (even though He already knows them) and be completely honest about whatever it is you’re trying to hide deep down. I’ve come across some amazing people in church, and it’s cool, but…it’s just not my…thing? Here’s the problem though. I’ve grown up in this religion, I’ve been held to the standards that this religion projects, and it has kind of led me astray. Not even just mine, religion as a whole. For example, I don’t feel like going to church this morning. I go with my family every Saturday, but today, I just don’t want to go. Yet, I feel very guilty. I feel like I’m sinning and I know that in just a few moments, my mother is going to come in my room and lecture me about how I have time for everything else, but can’t give God a few hours of my time. And in a way, she’s right, but that’s not what it is. Some conservative Christians are under the impression that the only way you can find God and be with God is if you go to church. As if God only roams the halls of holy sanctities. Some forget that God lives and exists in all of us. He’s everywhere! I don’t think that sitting in a pew and listening to a “man of God” tell me how the end is near and that I need to solidify my relationship with Christ will actually bring me closer to Christ. I believe in defining moments. I believe that daily instances will show Gods face more than anything else. But yet, I still feel guilty. That, of course, has to do a lot with my upbringing, but I don’t know. I don’t want to feel like I’m doing something wrong, but am I? Is it possible to manage, or lead, a healthy life of spirituality and adhere to the ideals of your faith without going to church?