Losing faith on Sundays

Marcha‚ Grair

There has never been a time in my life when I questioned my belief in God. For as long as I can remember, I have closed my eyes to pray and felt that someone is on the other side listening.

Lately, however, I have been questioning the value of organized religion.

I never understood those skeptical of religious organizations because religion has always been so prevalent in my life. Unfortunately, as I get older, I find myself turning into one of those skeptics.

I am in a growing minority of Christians who want to worship God, yet do not necessarily feel as though a particular church or group fits their needs. The older I get, the more organized religion makes me uncomfortable.

Church should be a place where people feel accepted. I believe people should not have to be perfect when going to a place of worship. As a Christian, I try to recall how Jesus surrounded himself with those who were often ostracized by the community. If Christ chose to be a witness to those cast away by society, then churches of today should probably follow in His example.

Unfortunately, this is often not the case. I have had many friends tell me lately that they would attend church, but whenever they attend a service, they never feel as though they fit in. This should be a person’s last concern when they are trying to seek God. I believe that God would want people to come as they are, and these days it’s hard to find a church that has members who believe the same.

I cannot speak for each religion and denomination, but I can look back on my experience as a Protestant-based Christian. Even I, who used to attend church three days a week as a child, can feel like I do not belong. Sometimes, when I go to church, I do not know if I am at a house of worship or at a place for the discussion of social propaganda.

I do not go to church to hear lectures on who Jesus would pick as president. Likewise, I do not think Jesus would tell me that women always need to wear skirts. Yet I have heard both of these discussions at countless churches and among countless Christians. Church is becoming less about God and more about people trying to find a place to spread their social agendas.

Sadly, as people get obsessed with spreading their worldviews and criticisms in the church, millions of others who are seeking religion and God are left without any guidance. Christian organizations are forgetting their number one obligation: to spread love to the community and to each other.

It is impossible to spread love with the presence of judgmental attitudes in religious institutions. I’ve had personal experiences with people ignoring my existence because they say “That’s what God would do to correct my sinful behavior.” I don’t know what Bible they read, but I don’t recall God telling anyone not to love his or her brother or sister.

Religious organizations need to get back to the basics. Life deflates my spirit enough without having a church do the same. Until churches realize their missteps, I guess my private praying time with God will have to do.

Marcha‚ Grair is a freshman broadcast journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].