Growing Up Churched But Not Christian

I know this seems like an odd first post back but bear with me.

It’s something that has sort of been playing on my mind for a few weeks now.

People are so often either for or against religion.

Black or white.

There’s no room for a grey area.

I feel as if I grew up in this grey area.

I grew up in church on a Sunday. Going to Sunday school while the adults listened to the sermon. I grew up with a strongly Christian mother, so there was no swearing, no blaspheming, no sex before marriage. I did all that. And then some. I can still tell you all the books of the Bible, I can recite a fair few verses and I know most of the main bits off the top of my head. I grew up happy to believe in a God. It made sense to me. Or at least it made sense to believe in something and find out I was wrong and that there was nothing than to believe in nothing and never really know. I accepted everything. I defended it proudly.

And then I turned 18.

And there was University – Sex, Drug and Rock and Roll. And a Bible study leader who told me to dump my non Christian boyfriend because it was a sin to date him. He wasn’t a Christian and so as far as she was concerned he was pulling me away from God. I told her my dad wasn’t a Christian and that my mum has managed fine, and she told me my parents were lucky.

And the penny dropped.

I suddenly realised I wasn’t what I’d grown up believing.

All those lessons.

I could no longer join those lessons of forgiveness, tolerance, and leading people to the faith, to my life. The puzzle pieces didn’t match up.

But at the same time I had no problem with the people who did believe. Yes, of course there are the wack-a-doodle weirdos who seem to think that it’s their right to shout about what they believe and condemn everyone who isn’t on their team. But my mum is Presbyterian, old fashioned for sure, but she keeps her opinions very much to herself. And me. I just shrug when she gives me a piece or her Churchy education. Some of it is odd and the rest is down right absurd. I love her. And to be honest I have no problem with what she believes, although her ideas can often bamboozle my less pragmatic mind.

Like her dislike of tattoos.

Obviously, I know, that the Bible does condone tattooing. Being that your body is a temple. And possibly because I desperately want one. But she really is quite judgemental. More so of those than of people who smoke. Tattoo isn’t going to kill a guy mum.

And then there is her rather particular opinion of my being on the pill.

“It makes you look easy to boys”

Not safe, not protected, not even sensible, nop. Easy. This I must add was a recent development. I’m on the pill because I get the craziest migraines. So where this little nugget of gold came from I have no clue.

There is more and as I think of them I’ll add them on, this is sort of a work in progress kind of post. As it occurs to me I’ll write it down. I feel like I’m alone here, but there must be more people like me? More people who left the church without malice, just a sort of agnostic acceptance that you didn’t agree. I’ve never felt this longing to go back, or that often documented emptiness, sure my life could be better but couldn’t every ones? I just don’t think believing in a God right now will make my life any more or less cumbersome than it already is.

But that’s just me.

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One thought on “Growing Up Churched But Not Christian

  1. You write beautifully. I have grown under similar circumstances, and although I consider myself agnostic, defending religion from blatant prejudice and racism is exhausting.

    It’s easier to just ignore it than get into heated discussions with friends who refuse to acknowledge that there are more than two opinions… People should never be defined by their beliefs, but by their actions.

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