I am always hesitant to post my faith based struggles here. Since I stream on the HS twitch channel I do this dumb thing in my brain that says “sush… be professional. You represent HeartSupport on their streams… don’t bring you personal problems and religion into it…”. I know that’s whack and the best thing is to just be real and vulnerable with y’all. I mean… we’re in this together right? You’re my people… and you should know what I’m struggling with… and I have been STRUGGLING with some churchy things. It’s to a point where I’m having a hard time sleeping and have been overwhelmed with thoughts and disappointment. Or I cry on my way home from church.
I am a christian and I don’t have any doubts about my beliefs in God or Jesus and how He has shown himself in my life… or how He saved me… but I am struggling with some things in christian culture, or “the church”. Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong or that I am less than christian because I disagree with so much of what is happening. It’s hard to find my place. Sometimes I feel ashamed or embarrassed to call myself a christian or I feel like I need to apologize for the way christians behave… or like I need to explain “I’m christian… but not like that!”. Basic examples to give you some insight … I’m pro choice, I’m an ally to the lgbtqa+ community, I believe black lives matter, I hate guns, and am absolutely not a republican… I’m not a hardcore democrat or liberal or anything… I hate politics honestly and wish it wasn’t such a focal point, ESPECIALLY in the church. So… yeah. I don’t really fit in with current christian culture, where it seems EVERYTHING is politicized. My thought process is to love God, love people, and live in a way that I can love myself.
I’ve been struggling with this for a while… since before covid… but I feel like 2020 really brought out the worst in everyone and it amplified everything I was already struggling with. All the hatred and anger coming from people who claim to represent christ. Christian leaders wrongly using the bible as a weapon against people and ignoring the call to love people. Feeling like the God that I love and trust is being so misrepresented to a point where it is heartbreaking… and not knowing what to say or do about it. For the most part I try to avoid confrontation, especially when it comes to beliefs. Everyone is going to believe different things.
My main issue now is that it’s giving me serious trust issues with people. Over and over I’ve lost so much respect for people I used to look up to… people I used to run to for guidance. I feel like I’m grieving. Like I’m losing people I once considered mentors or role models. I’m losing dear friends. Every time someone says or posts something racist, homophobic, misogynistic***,*** or just plain spiteful and hateful I just… crumble. Like… “oh nooooo… not you too.” It hurts so much more when it comes from someone I really trusted or felt close to. Like how could we be on such different pages? Or how could I have not seen it before? and then I remember exactly how I didn’t see it before…
I didn’t want to. I was naive or ignorant. I trusted anything anyone said when I first got saved because I was a “baby” christian who needed to be led. I was 13/14ish when I became a christian… and I knew nothing! So I followed everything I was taught. Blindly. Because they said they loved jesus… and so they obviously must be good people right? I look back now at some years when I was a youth leader and I was serving in church… and how wrong I was about some things. I look back at that baby christian phase of my life and cringe. Like wow… I can’t believe I preached that… PROUDLY! ughhh… It makes me feel gross. BUT I also know I need to have grace with myself and be grateful for how far I’ve come. I’m so glad I’ve met the right people in my life who have helped me grow. It’s always been about loving God and loving people. I just had to start thinking for myself to start knowing what that looks like in action.
I’m learning that I can still question the things my pastor or leaders say… and it doesn’t make me any less faithful to God. I’ve come to a place where I finally feel bold enough to question the leaders in our churches AND question some things in the bible… or at least the decades of translations. I’m a human… I have my doubts… but it doesn’t make me any less christian. I have been deconstructing SO much of what I was taught. Unfortunately that train of thought isn’t really welcome or well received in church. I think church is important… having a place to come together in fellowship to worship and learn together… sounds great right? Except lately when I go I just feel disappointed. I actually really like my current pastor and his family. He seems genuinely good and hasn’t said or done anything that is a major red flag… BUT I started going to some of the small group studies and the leaders and some other higher ups in the church have just been awful.
I went the last two wednesday nights in a row and the first night I almost walked out during the speakers homophobic rant… I was too nervous to cause a scene or to start having it out right there (ew confrontation) … so I just sat there. With my blood boiling… and left as soon as I could. I cried in frustration when I got home. I’ve been at this church for a while now and I didn’t expect it to be an issue here… I liked that guy. I decided … maybe it’s just him? Surely my pastor doesn’t think these things or preach that? So I went back this week since a different guy was speaking. Then HE went on a simliar homophobic rant. Then he ALSO went on a big anti mask and anti vaccine rant… mocking people who willingly got the vaccine and how people didn’t trust god enough. I… I just shut down. I couldn’t believe it was coming from him… all of it… he was twisting like… two totally irrelevant bible verses to go on these long rants about his opinions… mockingly. Hatefully. I cried in the car on the way home. How can people be sooooo… uggghhhhhhh
While I’ve never heard my pastor really say anything that I disagreed with or that gave me any red flags about his beliefs… These are the two men he has chosen and trusts to lead bible studies… so they must be on the same page… and it’s gut wrenching. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. It seems the majority of christians lean that way and I am in the minority when it comes to these things. I guess I think actually loving people should look different.
I feel so stuck. I know I love God and I pray for wisdom and discernment. I pray for the holy spirit to lead me deeper into truths and how God wants me to live… but I feel like I’m being pushed further and further away from “the church” and christian community. Like I don’t belong and I need to sit and watch from the sidelines while they go on hurting so many people. Like I’m losing a big part of my life. I plan on talking with my pastor about this all one on one hopefully soon. Laying it out there and seeing what his response is to all these thoughts… see where he is and if he has any encouragement or insight. I’m just in such a weird place with it all.
If you made it this far thanks for reading my novel lol. Thanks for joining me on my journey of trying to be a decent freaking human being <3
I didn’t make this post to start any debates. So if you leave a comment trying to justify the hatred and bigotry rising up in the church that I’m talking about I’m not even gonna read it. Don’t waste your energy… I’ve heard every argument. This post is simply about my own struggle and how it’s affecting me. It’s not an invitation for a debate on faith and scripture.