Continuing the guest blogger series with Melanie and Crystal Monae'. We are all in different places on this faith journey, we have to meet people right where they are (Jesus did that for all of us), and God's grace is sufficient. Interested in guest blogging? Holla back, let's talk! http://aqua-canwetalk.blogspot.com//
When I came across Mellanie’s blog post last week, this very subject reignited a passion to continue letting my light shine to draw men unto Him. Who is Mellanie? She is a hip, bright young college student who tells it like it is, and her popular blog is sought after by hundreds of readers daily. You can check her out for yourself at http://www.meldenisesays.blogspot.com/
Here is what Mellanie said in the post that got my attention. I asked Mellanie’s permission to share it with you here:
I'm a Christian but...
I was reading one of my friend's blog posts about his journey through Faith (Check it out @ Ivy League Neck Tats: End to Beginning: My Battle to Find Faith), and I decided to write a post explaining how I feel about religion. Here's a little background on my religious experiences...
1. I rarely go to church.
2. I don't believe in prayer as heavily as the average person does.
3. I went to a Catholic elementary and high school.
Religion- a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"
My definition of religion: A means of faith in a higher power which causes others to put themselves on a pedestal and look down on others who do not believe in the same beliefs as they do.
Church. It's ok. Nothing too special. I don't need it to be able to have a good week and it doesn't make me feel any better about life after I leave Church. I mostly go once I come home and want to make my mom happy if I go with her. That's it.
I have a hard time at church because I feel that church is full of hypocrisy and judgmental people. Church is only a reason for some people to feel that they are better than others. I've met too many people who look down on those who aren't really interested in church and for what?? Just because you never miss church makes you no better than the person who doesn't go at all. I don't think so. And i'm not pointing the finger at anyone specifically, but most of my church going friends actually do more "sinning" during Monday through Saturday than the average person. I'm not tooting my own horn but I consider myself to be raised ALOT better than most people my age and I don't participate in alot of things that people would consider "bad", yet I don't go to church. I've had a pretty good life for the past 20 years without much church activity and I'm just fine.
I also believe that Church is about making money. The pastor can preach the word for about 10 minutes, but when it comes to giving tithes and offerings, he will talk for hours. The Bible says that everyone should give 10% of their earnings to the church. I don't agree. Not at all. Times are hard and I don't believe that you will go to hell because you didn't give your money to the church. Most people could really use that 10% towards alot of other things that would be more useful in their lives. Too many people don't hardly make any money but yet still giving 10% to the church. For what?? Use that money to pay your bills and keep your lights on. I think God would understand.
Prayer. I believe people rely too heavily on prayer and less on personal actions. Just "praying about it" isn't gonna make things better and fix everything. I believe that prayer should be a means for encouragement and an emotional uplift, but I don't believe praying solves every problem or dilemma. When things go wrong, people's first thought is prayer and they think that's all it takes. No. How about making things happen on your own? Don't just sit and wait for God to help you get out of difficult situations-just because you "prayed about it" doesn't mean anything is gonna happen. YOU have to do something. You're failing all your classes. Praying about it isn't gonna make you start getting A's. You need to go to the library and study or get a tutor.
Baptization. I don't believe that being baptized will do anything for me. Most people become baptized because they want to start living their life right and sorry if this offends anyone, but I'm already living my life right, baptized or not. I'm not saying i'm perfect because I am far from it, but I don't need it to finally give me that push to start doing right.
I do believe in a higher power and that being God and I want to become closer to Him and have a stronger faith and that's my own personal journey that I am taking, but as for right now, this is how I feel.
How do you feel about the issue?
Here is the comment that I left for Mellanie...by Crystal Monae’
Thank you for being transparent because there are many more people who feel the same way that you do but they are embarrassed or afraid to admit it. Religion has in fact too often become commercialized which takes focus away from God. The “church” is not the building but the people in it. They all have varying degrees of maturity which is why there is discord among members giving them an appearance of being hypocritical. The “church” is a hospital for sick people. It is a fantasy to assume that the people in it should be perfect or 100% whole. None of us are. The reason that people need to consistently assemble is so that we become healthier individuals that can lead people to God instead of away from them. We are all unworthy so no one should think better of themselves. Sin is sin, whether you cursed someone or murdered someone, sin is sin. The Bible is God’s word for us, and he commands us to do certain things like tithing. He did not say that we had a choice in the matter. Tithes are suppose to go towards building the Kingdom (drawing people unto God), but like I said the “church” is full of sick people and unfortunately this sometimes means that the leadership is sick too. However, if you find yourself in a church where there is corruption monetarily, God is only concerned about if you are doing what he asked. He will deal with the misappropriations of funds in His own time. God is not a God who dangles us over Hell waiting for us to fail. We would all be gone by now if that was the case. He loves us. A special part of being in relationship with Him is that He gives us grace for when we mess up. (However, sometimes there are consequences for messing up.) You are right, the Bible says that prayer without works is dead so you must couple your faith with action in order to have effective prayers. Baptizing is not a necessity, it is symbolic of accepting your salvation. All we have to do is confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that He was raised from the dead. If we believe that in our hearts, then we are saved. End of story. At that moment you receive the Spirit of God. It’s just that simple.
Now Mellanie, you woke up this morning…not on your own but because God did it. You pass exams at school because God allowed you to retain information, not on your own. Prayer is a petition for God’s help and an acknowledgement that you need Him. You can do NOTHING independent of God, so we go to church to worship Him for being so wonderful to us…allowing us to live on His Earth and providing for us. Also, to be a light for all of those messed up people that are in the building too! I love you Mellanie. The Bible says to work out your own salvation. Work it out lil’ sista. You can email me if you ever want to talk about anything, but I’m pretty sure that others need it too so be bold as you are and lend it transparently as you have done here. BTW, I have an older sister named Mellanie!
How is your faith?