I haven't talked much about religion in these posts, but felt it was finally time to tell you all what I think.
First a little background. I was raised in a very religious home. My father had his license to preach, my brother had his license to preach, I even had a license to preach. I even pastored a small church for a short time while I was going to college. I was very involved in the music ministries, both playing instruments and singing and directing the choir. But I always felt out of place, like I didn't belong. Don't get me wrong, I love music, and I love playing the bass, and that was always enjoyable, but being 30 and unmarried, I always felt like people were looking at me funny. I dated a few girls, and every one of them went totally wrong. I even almost married one girl, but that was mostly because I felt her son needed a father figure. She was a complete mental case, but that was beside the point. When I quit the church, it was because they found out I like guys more. I was celibate at the time, but that didn't matter much to them. I was told I would never be allowed to be part of the platform ministry, that I would always be a background player. That didn't bother me too much, except for the fact that a girl who was going to the church, was 8 months pregnant with her third child, all out of wedlock, and by different fathers was allowed to do all the things I wasn't. She was allowed to sing specials, and be part of the worship teams. I just couldn't take the hypocrisy anymore. So my views on religion are slightly jaded.
I see religion in America as a way to control the people. We have quit following the teachings of Jesus Christ in order to push our more conservative views on everyone. I know it seems strange to say that Jesus was not conservative, but according to most modern teachers, he wasn't. He ate and slept with tax collectors and prostitutes, he hung around with a bunch of guys that were not preachers, but fishermen and other mundane occupations. And he taught us that there were only two rules for being a Christian. Love Gos, and love your neighbor as yourself. We go on to Paul's teachings and find that he put a lot more restrictions on being a Christian. The main one most people preach is you can't be gay. He also told us that women should be silent in the church. That if they have any questions, they should wait until they get home and ask their husband. Quite a change from what happens today. We have woman preachers, teachers, and ministers, and every one thinks that is great. Now don't get me wrong, I actually have nothing against woman preachers, I just feel if we are going to get so adamant about one teaching, then we need to follow them all.
We even see that in the teachings in the Old Testament. We see that there is a restriction against homosexuality in the laws, and we preach that fervently. However, that same list of laws tells us not to eat pork, or shell fish, that we should not cut our hair or beards, and that we should not wear clothes of blended cloth. The only one we still preach is no homosexuality. If we actually look at the scriptures and the times in which they were written, we can understand why God was telling us that. He had a group of people that he was trying to keep alive and thrive. In those days, if you ate pork or shellfish, you could die. If you cut your hair or beard, you could get heat stroke in the desert, and yes, if you slept with someone of your own sex, then you didn't produce off spring, and you wouldn't thrive. Well, we have thrived enough. We have a huge population explosion. We have more people than the Earth can really sustain, and we need to cut down. So the rule against homosexuality should go the way of the rules against eating and cutting your hair. It was good for the time, but no more.
I believe it is time for the Christians in this society, to really get back to the teachings of Christ. I believe we need to realize that word christian means one who is Christ like, and that we need to start manifesting the Spirit of Christ, and quit bickering about the things that he didn't see as important. Or at least, that is as I see it now.....