As you know I have moved to a new town and have found it somewhat lonely. Friendships circles here are closed and long since established when kids were little and families grew. Some of my previous friendships have proved to be less deep and permanent than I had believed them to be. I guess they were born of proximity, circumstance and convenience and being out of sight equates to being out of mind. I have my core girls who I love and appreciate but the daily interaction of mixing with girlfriends is something I miss living here.
So, when a girl I am friendly with invited me to her bible study months ago I was tempted but just too reluctant and it also clashed with other commitments. Then this semester I happened to be free and decided to join. My main motivation is more about friends than Jesus but I know He is good with that. I was incredibly anxious but they were pretty cool and normal. I used to go to bible study years ago but that was when I still attended church and considered myself a Christian. Now I don't. I am not a particular anything. Not only do I not belong to any denomination, I don't belong at all. My faith is called Just Jesus, and Just Love. It has been simplified and purified and personalized.
The bible is a book written by 40 authors long long ago. We have learned only 1 human was perfect and that was Jesus. Now we are saying that 40 people wrote this book and it is absolute fact and truth and the word of God. Which means 40 people had it 100% right with non of their personal opinion and bias? In my analytical mind this is simply not possible even without some of the stories which make absolute no sense to me. I believe the earth has evolved over millions of years and God and science have partnered in creation. I do not believe it is 6000 years old, or a guy built a massive boat and animals were kept in pairs in this boat while everything and everyone else drowned. We have so many different species of each animal and it is simply not possible. The guy in the whale? The raining bread and all those other stories we learned as kids. I believe in parables and the bible is full of history and wisdom but it is not the rule book by which I live my life or use to justify my actions. Like any book, I take out what speaks to me and my truth. And now I am at a bible study? Mmmh, this is a tad confusing.
The other issue is when I moved house I packed my bible somewhere and I can't remember where. And then the little snag of not having a church. I can't see myself ever going back. It would feel disrespectful to the people who do believe the bible 100% and follow all it's laws. I have the utmost respect for those who believe in total faith that the bible is 100% true and God's word and it must make their life a lot simpler. I don't believe homosexuality is a choice or a sin. I don't believe many things that I should as a Christian. So where does that put me then? Someone who really loves Jesus, believes in the Holy Spirit and tries to live a life following every prompt/gut feel/nudge I get and being true to that and true to myself. 100% honest and sincere and the same.
So no bible, no church, total respect and inclusivity of all religions and cultures and differences and a critical thinker who believes we all have our own ever changing truth. At a bible study. I FB stalked the author of the study to see if she was a Trump supporter but I couldn't see anything. The right wing American support and defense of Trump has left me seriously confused too. I have no issue with republicans and I can understand how their belief in the bible and not pro choice would mean they are not democrats. But Trumpsters? No, I don't get it at all and I don't understand why they think he is a man of God, a man worthy of respect or support? I read the FB threads and while the libtards/snowflakes (who I identify with) can be really over PC and lose their sense of hunour, they don't hate. The Trump Christians on the other hand...wow they can spew hate like toxic vomit. Where does it all come from? That extreme hatred and intolerance and disregard for anyone not like them? Where is the kindness and Jesus love? How can the church defend him and his cronies? When do they hold him accountable?
But back to my bible study. I really liked the ladies and appreciated how they made me feel. God can do all sorts of things with all sorts of people so I will stay open and see where it takes me. Worse case scenario I make a few new friends. Best, new friends and my faith grows and I find a place where I belong and can still keep my value system and stay true to my beliefs. Can I get a Hallelujah and Amen?!