Dear Church

I wrote this letter after a long conversation with one of my dearest life-long friends. It’s from her point of view, and I’ll readily admit that I’m part of the group it’s addressed to.

Dear Church,

I started coming around again. It’s been awhile I suppose, but for some reason, after my mom passed away I found myself searching for Truth. Not just the create-your-own-flavor fluff I’ve meandered in before, but real, clear, concise, powerful Truth. Something that’s bigger than me, outside of me, beyond me. I have a friend who has a fish sticker on her car, so I asked her where she went to church. She gave me your address.

That was two months ago. Since then I’ve been to every service and even the New Membership class. But there’s a lot that I still don’t understand. Your pastor keeps saying that God wants me “Just as I am.” At first I was really happy to hear that! In fact, my first time walking through the doors I was scared that my nose ring or tattoos might get me thrown out -- but it wasn’t long before a lesbian couple passed by me holding hands, and I realized that you accept everyone! I left that day in high spirits. I felt exactly the way I do after a really good romantic comedy. I had forgotten all my sorrows. It was wonderful.

I came back the next week (a little hung over, I must admit), and your pastor reassured me from the pulpit that we all fall short. He said all I had to do was “Get right with God.” So I did. I think. I’m not too sure though, because that week the good feeling didn’t last as long. In fact, by that evening I couldn’t even remember what your pastor had said that made me feel so good. What a bummer that there’s a whole week between services!

The next seven days seemed really long. But when Sunday finally came, I decided to take a pen and paper so I could remember everything your pastor said. I ended up taking six pages of notes! He talked about how God wants me to live a happy, guilt-free lifestyle. He read a Bible story where Jesus said not to judge, and he explained how it means that we shouldn’t judge anyone, and when other people judge us, we shouldn’t let it affect us. (Weird. If Jesus really taught that, why are some Christians so narrow-minded?) He said God wants me to realize my dreams. For me, that means going to cosmetology school. Maybe I should look into that.

Over the weeks, I learned what it means to be a Christian: You’re supposed to coexist peacefully with all creation, and respect everyone's personal beliefs. When problems come into your life, you’re supposed to let go and let God. If you need money, you’re supposed to pray the prayer of Jabez. (If it doesn’t work, you just have to believe more.) And if you get sick, it’s because you have sin in your life.

I think I’ve got it all figured out, but, now what? I don't understand why anyone would keep going to church their whole life, after they already prayed and got their salvation? And if this is all there is, I’m sorry but it seems a little anticlimactic. I thought this whole church thing was supposed to change my life, but it hasn’t changed anything! I’m starting to worry that you’re just as fake as any religion I could create by myself. Am I missing something?

As much as I liked it in the beginning, now I’m starting to loathe Sunday mornings, because I hate having to pretend to be happy for all the plastic smiles in the pews. Aren’t you guys human? Am I the only one who is sick of wearing a mask? I know that it’s wrong to ask this, but what if that prayer didn’t work on me? Or worse, what if what I’m seeing in you is true? What if all your actions really are just charades, and God is out there somewhere, looking down on you and wishing you would open your eyes to see Him?

Don’t you think if there was a God who made the universe, and He showed up to your church every Sunday, things would look a little different?

It might be devastating.
He might offend some people.
He might even judge.

Dear Church, I know that you’re the crowd God likes to hang out with. So I came to you hoping to find Him. But I found nothing. Either God doesn’t exist, or He just doesn’t like you anymore.

Sincerely,

A girl who was truly seeking

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