God. I can't think of any other word that has been debated, discussed, argued, loved or hated in the language of the world. Every person on the planet has heard the word "God", we all know what it symbolizes and it has become a dividing line where groups often run into their opinion cliques and nobody seems to agree fully on what or who God may be.
I know about as much as anyone who may read this and I'm not going to do the usual "God" debate. However, I would like to share a few of my personal beliefs and bring a new subject to light: What are God's happy pills?
I was raised a poor black woman. Oh wait...that was Celie in "The Color Purple". I get confused sometimes. Sorry. I was raised the grandson of a preacher man. This is true. We were brought up (southern slang for having birthdays) in the Pentecostal Church and the Assemblies of God....which aren't very different in the south at least. You couldn't get bored in these services. At any given time Sister Edna or Sister Bessie would feel "the power of the Holy Ghost" and run all over the place praising their savior. We had it all....speaking in tongues, dancing, fiery preaching, soulful singing, falling out under God's anointing. Honestly, you could feel it. I've been to numerous churches and you can always tell when it is "put on", (southern slang for not real). But, there was a difference and you could recognize the difference.
Home church wasn't like TV church. We never had pink haired ladies walking around in clown costumes and way too much make up. Not that there's anything wrong with that....I was a faithful viewer of the "Bozo The Clown Show" when I was three to six years old. As you get older and your own mind and beliefs are forming, you tend to see things differently than how you thought you would. This happened to me.
I've always said the worst thing that's happened to Christianity were denominations. Obviously, people can't agree on everything. We are divided on everything. Church has been no different....in fact, I think it's worse. Somewhere between Christ's crucifixion and the Great Depression, the Church forgot exactly what they were here for and totally throw grace, mercy and love out the window in exchange for hellfire and damnation. Surprisingly, this type of preaching really took off, resulting in the infamous tent revivals and camp meetings where there were no problems with a man named Oral laying hands on people.
Fast forward to today and it's amazing at how many church's aren't those old home style churches anymore. They have grown into "Mega Churches", basically arenas filled to the max with everything from soda stands to near rock music blasting from the speakers. Some find it incredible and great for the Church and declare if 35,000 people want to attend your church then have 35,000 seats. Others dismiss it as a grand rock concert and hate on it's lack of intimacy with other church members and the pastor. Back in the day, you'd really never see so many huge Mega Churches around. Even local churches in bug cities have multiple mega Churches. So, I wonder what the reason for this is. Has the church truly grown, is it because there's just more people on the planet these days or is it the common refrain, "People are just looking for some sort if hope in these days"?
I believe everyone is looking for hope these days but I'd alert people to be careful where they attempt to look for it. No, I'm not going to hate on Church or preachers because at my core is a belief that the do some really great work in their communities and overseas and that should be commended. However, my views have changed as I've gotten older and I'll be sure to say one hundred Hail Mary's if I offend you. (I'm not even Catholic so that's a darn good deal!!)
Here we go..... Ahem......
I am not 100% certain that everything written and included in the Bible is 100% the opinion or Word of God. Maybe it is but the opinions and distortions of all these denominations have scattered everyone's brains. So many different opinions are being put into the God pot while being stirred by ignorance with a cup full of hate and a dash of forgiveness. Sometimes they forget to add that dash, sadly. When did church become the "good ole folks club"? as long as you believe exactly how we believe, kick your gay daughter out of your house and send her to a healing missions trip, pay your dues (tithes) and be sure to bring a dish to the weekly potluck dinner, we are A-ok? That's not at all what the Bible teaches....or, at least what the red letters teach. The red letters in the Bible are the words of Jesus himself. If you focus on those, I think the Church would be in for a vast surprise. But they don't get it. They are "the chosen ones" in their minds. They minister to us sinners who probably believe more than they could ever know. But, Lord knows...they are always right. Welcome to the walls of Christianity. You can't have the gay man in your church because he hasn't been healed yet. The woman who is struggling but could only find a job as a waitress in a bar is probably a sinner too. Walls. Meanwhile, the preacher and congregation of the same churches can't wait to get Sunday morning service over with so they can slip into further obesity at the local buffet line. Interesting what is a sin and what isn't.
Which brings me to my personal belief: I believe in Jesus because it feels right to me. I believe He died and was resurrected. I have faith in Heaven and I believe Jesus is the Son of God, I've been forgiven of wrongdoing and will share eternal life with Him. If I'm wrong, then I'll go nowhere and won't know it anyway...so why not believe? So, I chose to and here I am. Keeping in mind what I said earlier, I do not call myself a Christian. Don't gasp too hard....yea I just said what you think I said. Why? Because Jesus never told me to be a Christian. He asked of me to believe that He is the Son of God and repent and accept Him into my life. So, I did. I am a believer in Jesus and a receiver of His grace, love and tender mercies. Frankly, I don't like the way a big majority of Christians act anyway so I don't feel like I'm missing anything other than religious doctrine and Jesus hated that too.
God simply wants us to live happy lives and share our personal relationship to others, spread the word and give to those in need. Have I led the best life possible? Um...negative...but we are all works in progress. What makes God happy? I imagine it's seeing those who do believe do great things, keep their faith and do good towards others. It's really not a lot to ask. So, I imagine God's happy pills are His believers. Every time we do something good in His name, He gets a jolt of happiness. I think it's safe to say that we should all do good things to keep God happy. A mad God will only prove those hardcore crazy Churches right (WBC, anyone?).
Even if you don't believe in God, or you believe in God but not Jesus, or you believe in unicorns and not anything else....let's just do good things. Be nice, play fair, show compassion and try not to fight. Because, even if you don't believe, I do...and I want God to remain on His happy pills! Remind me of this next time I'm stuck in the middle of Wal-Mart hating every single individual in there! :-)
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