I have lied about my faith (or lack-there-of) several times in my life. Not many, but enough for me to lose track, even though I was never counting.
Those few times, for one reason or another, have been with good intentions, or because the individual I was lying to didn’t need the intimate details of my personal war with religious confusion. Yes, I’ve had customers ask me if I were a “good Christian”. I’m sure they had the best intentions.
But you will not find lies here, when it comes to my fluttering faith. I would never pretend to be anything I am not. I am no atheist, and I am no Christian either, I suppose. I’m a confused floater, destined I suppose, to linger in limbo–never fully forming a pure belief system.
But I’ve decided something today.
I would never put my church, should I ever adopt one, before family.
Whether that’s what has been done here or not, I cannot on good authority say. Perhaps what this person is doing is out of fear, and staying away will put off the inevitable-whether or not it’s sooner or later.
But from my end, a very distant end, despite proximity, it appears to be the truth–that church has come before family–and that makes me sad. Sad for the person who misses the other. Sad for both, when the inevitable occurs.
My conclusion is this: I cannot see a faith being for me, if said faith–written or not–“encourages” church over family. Growing up we weren’t the poorest of the lot, but my family was by no means well-off. A lot of the time all we had was family and each other. And keeping each other safe and healthy was important. My mother instilled that importance in me when she put her children before all else.
And I’m not trying to minimize the importance of the bond one may have with their “church family” and I would never condemn or belittle anyone for their faith–I’d expect the same respect.
When you’re born, you are born into a family, and that is the first thing you have. Good, bad, or ugly. But if that family is good, and you are loved and wanted, I cannot see where said family would be less important than your church.
I generally try to be as vague as possible when I think, on the off chance, someone I know personally might read my posts and take offense, be hurt, or upset in some way by what I say. But I’m about to make a slight exception.
Give an old man your time. He loves you, and he is scared and hurting. He’s not even my blood, and I’m devestrated at the thought that the time may be upon us that he will no longer be in my life.
Finally thought: love your family while they are here. You never know how long you’ve got. Don’t let yourself have regrets.