This week, I’m going to focus my posts on bullies. This one is about spiritual bullies. I’ve had many encounters with bullies but this one I find notorious. Many spiritual bullies do it with good intention, but it’s way off. I do not like being told God loves me, but if I don’t obey Him, then I’m going to hell someday. I do not like being judged by other people who claim to speak for God, or use the Bible, and other texts to fear monger. I’m not anti-Bible, nor anti-Christian, but I am not for people who have used the name of God to abuse people, and cause pain.
In my own life, I had to leave the church in order to realize that God, Goddess, or Universe actually does love me. I do believe God or someone created the world. However, I do not believe in all the interpretations people have for the bible and other sacred texts. I do not believe the dogmatic doctrine many churches insist upon.
In my early 20s, I was teaching a bible study about the holy spirit from a book I got from a book store. A person came up to me and told me I was teaching false doctrine. I had bought the book at a Christian book store. I was using the Bible, what’s the problem? Apparently, many pastors didn’t believe in this particular doctrine. How was I supposed to know? It was in a Christian book store! This is one of my points. There are many interpretations for scriptures and the people do not agree upon what is truth. Not only that, but some judged me as a nonChristian because I didn’t have certain spiritual gifts. This made me very sad.
So after years of being in the church, one day, I just decided, I must not be one of them! I don’t think like them. I don’t believe like them. I don’t see God as they do. I must not be one of them! Aha! No wonder I don’t belong there! There are many people in the United States and around the world who absolutely do not agree with the church’s stance on issues, yet, the church continues to act like they have some sort of spiritual authority over other people’s lives.
People are allowed to live their lives and not agree with your interpretations. They are allowed to make their own choices even if you don’t like them! And let’s be clear, I don’t mind believers having their beliefs, but I do mind someone insisting I believe as they do. I love my life. I strive everyday to live in peace with every person, every living creature, and the planet. I love myself. I love other people. I believe in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. I do not attempt to thwart someone else’s beliefs.
The most heartbreaking aspect of this, is that people are afraid to speak up. They don’t want to be ostracized, judged, or shamed and so they suffer in silence. They don’t dare disagree with their pastor or make waves. Meanwhile, they’re very unhappy with their church or simply go somewhere else, never finding what they’re looking for because the doctrine or something is always a little bit off. They know what will happen if they speak up because it’s been done before. This type of behavior, of not allowing people to speak up and question things, causes people to live passive and disempowered lives. People go along with the mainstream because they don’t want to be judged. They follow the masses not realizing it’s leading to their destruction.
In my own life, the answer was just to come away from it all. I was very sad at first, but now I feel free and liberated. I don’t miss going to church hearing messages of hell and eternal damnation. I don’t miss being judged or misunderstood. I don’t miss gossip, hypocrisy, and pretending everyone is “happy in Jesus” when they’re not. I’m happy living in the world where people celebrate one another instead of separating because of differences. I believe the Universe loves all people equally, and does not judge our lives. Love is love. Love is the greatest power in the Universe. The bullies in church would have us believe otherwise. Nope, I don’t think so. I have a right to believe what I choose to believe. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I approve of me! I love me!! Love and peace.