It’s time I really unload about my old church experience. Hopefully this will be therapeutic.
I’ve never been one to give into peer pressure. I’ve never even felt pressured by peer pressure. I truly couldn’t care less what people think of me. I spent most of my childhood, teenage years, and early 20’s being crapped on by snooty religious people who enjoyed looking down their noses at me. You’d think they’d reserve that for genuinely bad people. But you’d be wrong.
You see, I wouldn’t allow them to force me into their mold of religiousity. To be a snooty religious person, you have to have the right haircut, the right friends, the right type of words, the right kind of prayers, the right kind of job, and the right kind of image. Sure, there are some snooty religious people who really are Christians, but they serve as more of a blockade to non-believers than as a “beacon on the hill.” I mean, honestly, what sane person would want to go around acting better than everyone else. Where I come from, we call people like that “Jackass.”
Snooty religious people like to reinforce each other’s pride. They meet regularly under the guise of “Bible studies” and “prayer breakfasts.” I’m NOT saying that by default those things are always about pride. I’m saying that they are always like that when it’s snooty religious people. There are also genuine religious people, of whom I am not speaking. Those people are a rare commodity. Snooty religious people never THINK that THEY are snooty.
They sit around and embelish what the Bible actually says and add on their own silly, narrow-minded interpretations, forgetting that some of the most notable people in the Bible were royal screwups. King David is called “a man after God’s own heart” and is the same guy who had sex with a married woman and had her husband killed. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, and had 300 wives and 700 concubines. Jacob was married to two chicks. All three of these guys would have been condemned in the worst way by the snooty religious people.
I’m happy to report I never allowed snooty religious people to peer pressure me into becoming one of them any more than I let my drug-addicted alcoholic friends peer pressure me into drunken orgies with strangers. I’m just not that susceptible to it for some reason.
The odd part is that almost the entirety of the judgmentalism that’s been heaped on me over years has been for stuff that’s just simply NOT wrong.
Over the years I’ve been the victim of all sorts of judgmental goofiness. Everything from listening to “secular” radio, to being “creepy” (I was too shy to talk to people, so therefore I was a creepy perv), to drinking a beer. In the last couple years, numero uno thing that snooty religious people judge me for is having Jenna live in the same house as me. Because Lord knows, cohabitation = sin. (Or as we used to say in my high school – “You can’t have sex, because that might lead to dancing!”) Even though living together has no correlation to immorality whatsoever, except that if you intend to be immoral, it saves you gas money. How can I say this delicately… I had girlfriends where we crossed the line, and we DIDN’T frickin’ live together. If anything, living together makes you want to strangle each other. Obviously, if I’d met someone from KC I wouldn’t be living with her, but I didn’t… I met someone in Philadelphia. Life’s like that sometimes. Living with someone causes sex in the same way that a gun kills someone or a pencil writes a paper.
I’ve finally found a church that starts off every week by saying “Intense religious people scare us.” That describes my feelings 100%. I NEVER felt accepted or cared for in a church before this one. That’s unbelievably sad, because Christians are the people who should be BEST at accepting and caring for people. Jesus himself spent his time with the tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners.
The even more sad thing about it is, the people who ARE judgmental and cruel will think that it’s OTHER people I’m talking about. They are so full of spiritual pride they can’t even SEE that they’re prideful. It’s ridiculous yet ironic. Proverbs lists 7 things that are an abomination to God… guess what tops the list. Pride. You got it. Pride.
I know there’s no way to reach a person who’s let themself become a snooty religious jackass. They can only be reached, unfortunately, by their own personal failure and tragedy. Funny enough… when the snooty religious people DO fail or fall, their snooty religious friends will be the first to treat them like crap.
The worst part of these people is that they aren’t content just being a jerk in their own life. They want to interfere with everyone’s happiness around them as well. I have been a witness to this life-draining, happiness-crushing phenomenon more than once. And they always crush the people who are right on the fringe of not being sure of their faith. Just what they need – a kick over the side of the cliff.
I would rather spend my time with a bunch of athiests and heathens who are genuine and true than spend a single minute with another judgmental “Christian” jerk.
I left a church several years ago after a couple of snooty religious girls got into their heads that I was “creepy.” I never DID anything to them. AN. Y. THING. I was kind to them. But I was quiet and shy and that was the same as being a psychotic, perverted weirdo in their eyes. They told the pastor I was a creepy weirdo, and he literally took me in his office an confronted me about it. I honestly tried to stay at that church after that, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t wanted or accepted there.
I don’t harbor resentment towards the people that have judged me over the years. I just wonder what God will have to say about them crushing a young guy’s faith in people and faith in church community. I’ll tell you what, being around that type of people toughened me up more than any of the bad stuff that’s happened in my life.
This question is for any snooty religious people reading here: What are you going to say to God on judgment day about all of the people you pushed FURTHER away from God by being holier-than-thou and prideful?
I took me years to get really invested back into a church after that. Years. And I was dragged back kicking and screaming by the gal I live with. Stick that in your pipes and smoke it.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.