My earliest memories of church were quite eventful, some nice and some not. We had a clunky, small, white Toyota which used to get to church all the way in Rongai before it became the developed area it is today. This one time, a small bolt fell off from the engine in a risky part of that road so we had to wait about an hour to get help. All this time I kept imagining ghouls coming out from that ka-forest to eat us. Hehehe. In my defence that imaginative thinking had been brought on by voracious reading of Goosebumps, a series of forbidden horror books written by R.L. Stine.
That said, religion has succeeded in uniting or dividing people of the world. Battle lines have been drawn and wars fought because of differing creed. There are other things like politics, socio-economic differences and tribes but religion remains a big part of alienation. It’s like, stand for something or nothing at all because you have to pick a side. They want you to fit in a box and to make judgements about your choices at first glance. Statements like “I’m a Christian Feminist” draw such ire that celebrating women and their achievement has to be shrouded in the least offensive way so that people don’t get offended by it. I have done it many times and this makes me sad because I’m Christian and feminist too.
As I was writing this I remembered a statement I read. I believe it was by Michelle Olak “and then I learned the spiritual journey had nothing to do with being nice. It was about being real, authentic. Having boundaries. Honouring my space first, others second. And in this space of self-care being nice just happened, it flowed not motivated by fear but by love.”
When you pick this statement apart you realise that her words are addressing the needs of a single person. You! In being authentic the journey of exploring spirituality is dependent on personal choice.
“I want to be more of this….”
“I want to honour God by doing this….”
“This does not please God…”
Religion has rules but also gives you choice. There wouldn’t be doctrinal issues if everyone was left to their own devices. I bet you have seen the burkini debate which started because a Muslim lady in France went to the beach all covered up. This modesty issues will not end and the length of skirts and women clothing in general will be talked about even fifty years from now. Opinions about it stem from passionate beliefs and I’m here for exclusive personal communes with a religion of choice and the belief in the existence of a Higher Being. It’s controversial but that’s how it is.
Even after writing this, I realise it’s more complex and would need a series of blog posts about it. I’m walking a fine line of “free-will” “Christian feminist” and “you only live once” kind of advice. And those labels represent the grey areas I’m yet to figure out.
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