God and not Religion

Bree - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in God and not Religion. I was raised in a Christian home. Raised to go to church every Sunday and read my Bible everyday. My parents were youth leaders, so we were always involved in some church activity. Mission trips, worship team, youth group camps, they were all my way of serving God. I loved it. I still love going to church, reading my Bible, praying, and serving God. But I am beginning to see things a little bit differently now.

The church I grew up in is very legalistic. Everything was straight from “the Book” and anything else was considered “Worldly”. A majority of the children that attend were home schooled growing up and still to this day live extremely sheltered lives. They were raised to keep themselves separate from the world, living a life that is pure and pleasing to God. A majority of these children lack social skills, and, even as adults, have the mental capacity of a twelve year old.

Religion in that church is more brainwashing. I was taught growing up that the most important thing is your relationship with God. Church is a place of fellowship and worship with other believers. A place to come and be fed the Word of God, and be encouraged by other believers. Being part of a church body is like being joined together in unity. But belonging to a church or religious group doesn’t save you.

Last month, the elders of the church I attended fired my parents from the college group ministry. They sat my parents down and explained that some people in the church had been complaining about my parents being in the leadership position and not setting a Godly example for future upcoming generations. My parents were looked down on for having tattoos, putting their children in public school, and being around or involved in “worldly activities”. Not only did they strip my parents of the one thing they loved the most, but they pushed them away as well.

I used to believe that everyone at church had the same beliefs and shared similar opinions. Religion today is pushing more and more people away from their personal relationship with God. Church shouldn’t be about image. It should be a place to come, fellowship, and worship God. What I believe is right and wrong isn’t between me and the church body, but between God and I.

While away at Christian music festival, Thomas Green, talked about how worship is worship. Just because I might sing and listen to a different genre of music than the older generations do, doesn’t mean it is immoral. The leaders of our church body saw my parents as a bad influence and encouraging a “younger, more rebellious” upcoming generation.

I believe that churches today are pushing more and more people away from God. The more time goes on, the more I realize how I don’t believe in what everyone claims as “Religion,” but yet, I believe in God.