Thursday, January 12, 2012

Confessions of a Conformist

It's so easy to just agree with things. Thinking for yourself is.... exhausting. It's so much easier to be carried along by group mentality. It's so comforting to have a posse of people who agree with you and tell you what you think is good and right. I love to be a follower. I love to just agree and not think about all of the ramifications. Sometimes I really miss my old life where I was safely ensconced in a group of people that believed everything that I believed and therefore, I knew we were right. This is basic evolution. There is safety in numbers and my brain knows it. Which is why my brain screams panic and red alert all the time when I push away from the safety of my herd.

This time last year I was starting to really move out of the boundaries of our circle of Christian friends. I became vague and distant, holding them at arm's length. As my frustration grew, my rejection of all the beliefs I grew up with become vehement and angry. I didn't even want to call myself a Christian anymore, and not in the trendy, "I'm a follower of Christ" or hip, "I'm a friend of Jesus" kind of way. In the angry "I don't even believe this religion anymore!" kind of way. And then I calmed down and Christmas came and I realized I didn't want to give up all of my beliefs and I started to drift towards just a quiet disgust with religion. And then I read this thought provoking post by Zack Hunt “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” – The False Dichotomy and I thought to myself, "Sara, you are a major conformist. Way to jump on the bandwagon of blame." Because I had seen that video he talks about before and thought, "Yeah! stupid religion, you ruin everything." Which is just not true.

This is why I sometimes feel scared that I will never arrive at a place of calm or peace in my spiritual life. I don't trust myself, I don't trust religious leaders. I am suspicious, cranky and always looking for signs that I am being emotionally manipulated. I am skeptical and angry, yet I still cry when I read about Mother Teresa or imagine the beauty of true grace.

If you've read any of my other posts you won't be surprised to hear there is only one thing I really believe in right now, and that is love. Call me a hippy, a simpleton, naive or foolish but love, charity, and compassion are the only things that are never wrong. Love is never wrong. Love is always good. There is never too much of it. Everyone needs more. It can and does change the world. And if I believe the Bible at all, and I believe that Jesus did say that the greatest of commands was to love the Lord and love your neighbor, that is something I can get behind. That's something I don't need or want to give up. Because all of the things about the church or Christians or Christianity or whatever that I hate are not the result of love. Being bigots, rejecting  homosexuals and making them second class citizens, judgement and fear are not part of love. We all screw up and I'm guilty of all the things I just listed, but, beloved, let us love one another.

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