I’ve mentioned before that my spirituality has undergone some major evolution especially in the past few months. I am getting asked more and more questions about what Messianism is, and what my “version” of Messianism looks like. I’m also getting a lot of questions about why I’m done with church involvement for the forseeable future.
The short answer to why I’m not going to church is, I have been wounded by churches just as much as I have been encouraged and supported by them, if not more so. In the nine and a half years that I have been a Christian, I have belonged to four different churches. At three out of the four, I was on the receiving end of what I now realize to be unhealthy behavior and, in some cases, all-out spiritual abuse. (Spiritual abuse is a topic that deserves its own post, if not multiple posts. More on that another time.)
I know that not all churches are unhealthy environments, and that there can be unhealthy people in an otherwise healthy church. If you are happy with the church you’re at, that’s great! I’m not forcing you to leave. But for me right now, I am much healthier not attending church than I was in the last couple years of my church attendance. I am still a Christian in the theological sense of the word, but I am trying to figure out what that is supposed to look like. I say “I” but my husband has been searching along with me.
Last year when I became exploring Judaism and Messianism, I noticed some important differences between those traditions and mainstream Christianity. A big difference was the fact that Judaism provides a much more holistic way of looking at things. During the past couple years, I’ve gotten the message that self-care is synonymous with selfish, so it’s sinful. I held onto destructive relationships much longer than I should have, because I reasoned that it would be selfish to do otherwise. Mainstream Christianity has no regard for the Old Testament, which has a lot of common-sense wisdom for navigating tricky life situations, especially in Proverbs. The Jews and Messianic believers I know have a lot more self-confidence and take much better care of themselves than many Christians I know. I wanted that. No, that’s not putting it strongly enough. I realized I needed that if I was going to stop being exhausted by life.
I was going to write more about what Messianism looks like for me, and how I practice it in my daily life, but that could get pretty lengthy, so I think I will put it into another post.
Have a good weekend, everyone!