Ok so this post will be more of a rant than an actual 'life of a newlywed' post. But it does tie in to my life as a newlywed.
For the past couple years my husband and I have been going to this really great church in our area called Fellowship. Their basic idea is to create a community-based congregation and then spread the love of Christ through the community via giving back and helping. It's an amazing place - if someone is in financial trouble or sick, or having a rough week, the pastor or someone else will check up, offer help, or even stop by with comfort food. Being quiet and rather shy, neither my hubby nor I know many people but we both feel at home at Fellowship.
Before the switch, I had gone, with my family, to a very Evangelical/Pentecostal church for about 13 years. I still struggle with a lot of hurt and anger towards that church because of the kind of person I was in middle school and high school and how much of an outsider I felt like growing up going there twice a week. While I didn't know it at the time, I had (and still have) an anxiety disorder. I was the weirdo girl with glasses who sat in a corner and drew pictures or read a book at youth group because no one wanted to talk to me and I was too shy to make the first move. This is the same youth group that taught us to never date in high school, that sex before marriage was evil, homosexuality was a sin, and hugs between the opposite sex had to be 'safe' - a hug from the side. During college when I was diagnosed with the anxiety and depression, I was told by various church members that I needed to go the non-medication route; that is, those people who didn't think that I needed to just 'get over' my mental illness. At my lowest point, I had no one to turn to, no one but my parents to confide in and I hated making them worry.
So my vent is this: What is wrong with the Christian church? There are so many double standards, and I keep seeing them at the church I used to attend. Marriages ending in messy divorces, teens getting knocked up, even the pastor's daughter was pregnant before she was engaged. Some of the same kids I grew up with are now borderline alcoholics, they've done drugs, and others have done complete turn-arounds and are homosexual or bi. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against gays; I have very good friends and family who are gay and I love them. What I have a problem with is a church that spends all this time saying how we need to bring more people in, and focus on increasing the numbers of the congregation, and are basically shutting out and pushing away the members that are already there and hurting. When we left, they had started following this bullshit belief that Christians by virtue of their goodness ought to be blessed with money, and all their problems solved, and if you were having troubles you were somehow less of a Christian; you didn't have enough faith and that was bad. Oh and if you left the church because you didn't agree with certain things or just needed to find some place closer to where you lived? Shunned.
In conclusion, the problem with the Christian church, or at least a lot of them, is hypocrisy. I know big shock. But seriously, you want to show how great God is and how loving Jesus was? Shut your pie holes, get out in your communities, and give back. Love on people regardless of their religious leanings, sexual preferences, and political parties. Be the family you maybe have but definitely want to have.