I think it’s safe to say I’ve hit rock bottom. Being hospitalized, kicked out of school, and having my life flipped upside down qualifies me to join those who have hit rock bottom. Being on rock bottom changes your view on a lot of things. I went from thinking I had it all, and maybe I did, to feeling like I had nothing. When I felt like I had it all, I thought that I was set. I was part of a great dance team, wonderful research team, A+ student (okay A- if I’m honest), fun job and had sweet friends. Out of nowhere, the dance team was taken from me, the research team, school and my friends were gone. I was in the hospital away from everything I had established for myself. I’ve been struggling with my faith for a while, even when I had it all. I never lost respect for Christians, the religion or anything else that came with it, I just didn’t know where I stood in that spectrum. I have heard messages of love and support for the seven years I have been Christian. I am familiar with the Bible, know the famous passages, and understood the message of Jesus Christ. Believers are a family who love each other no matter what. They are rooted together because they all recognize how imperfect they are and how much they need and love God.
I have met countless people who believe in God but don’t identify with Christianity because of the hypocrisy. Sure, people have good intentions but man, they make Christianity look so bad. I never understood what that meant, identifying as a believer but not as a Christian. I’ve met hypocrites before and know that nobody is perfect so I have always let it slide. I’ve always tried to take the high road and follow what the Bible says about being respectful, loving and good to those around me. Jesus’s commandments are pretty clear: love God and love your neighbors as you would love yourself. It doesn’t sound so hard, right? I was under the impression that most Christians got that down or tried their best.
Then it happened. I was the one on rock bottom. I was the one that needed the love and support from my Christian family. I was the one that needed help, guidance and encouragement. But you know what I got instead? Judgment, false promises and nothing but a view up their nose as they looked down at me. All of the people that I had previously thought were good Christians, pure, or whatever were now the ones that were looking down at me like they were better at me, like I wasn’t good enough to be a Christian anymore, like they couldn’t be associated with me because I hadn’t been perfect for too long. This crushed me. The people I thought were friends suddenly felt like they had turned their back. Sure, I heard things like, “I’ll pray for you.” but let’s be real, they meant it in the moment then forgot about it later because having the intention is good enough for most Christians. My school, the ultimate hypocrite, this prestigious Christian college tossed me to the curb and told me not to come back because I wasn’t fit for their community. The doctor there told me I lost my promise and was headed down the wrong path despite the fact that I had completely turned my life around. I lost friends because I saw how fake they were. I saw them hide behind Christianity for the sake of having a clean conscience. Being the one that needs help changes your view dramatically. I could finally see Christianity for what it was: an empty promise wrapped up with a pretty bow that the followers are too caught up with to pay attention to anything else around them. Well, my blinders are off now.
I went from being one of God’s most faithful to someone that has taken herself off of the team, maybe for good. I get scoffed at because I’ve jumped off the high road and have decided to actually stand up for myself. Every Christian I interact with just drives this feeling deeper in my soul. The religion is filled with ugly people who believe they are going to heaven because they say and do the right things. They don’t allow themselves to feel the wrong emotions and instead, sit pretty.
I feel liberated. There are no longer guidelines telling me to be somebody’s doormat or to act a certain way to get into a place that may or may not exist. I’m watching those who I thought were good Christians turn into what they really are: hypocrites who couldn’t care less about anything or anybody that doesn’t help get them in heaven. The anger that has been building inside me has grown and grown and I finally have the courage to say something to those I used to respect so much. I see why people don’t want to associate with Christianity; it’s been overrun with hypocrites shoving each other to get to heaven’s gates first. I’m just sitting back, drink in my hand, watching them destroy each other and everybody else that gets in their way.
The ones that are the worst are those who have been the most sheltered, the most innocent and the one that considers him or herself the most Christian. I can think of so many people I used to know that fall under this category. The roommate’s idiotic boyfriend who was so full of himself there was no room for anybody less than perfect, the doctor at my college that told me I had no promise, the boy I used to date that refused to apologize for cheating and lying because he had “let God handle it”, the people that just vanished into thin air, the sheltered acquaintances I couldn’t be myself around because they were offended at everything that didn’t line up with their beliefs and a lot of other people I’ve watched and slowly learned to be disgusted at.
Sure, I may be violating every Christian law out there by saying these awful things but I am positive I am not the only person who has had these thoughts. Sure, I may be offending a lot of people, maybe even the specific people I am calling out but I don’t feel apologetic at all. It’s a breath of fresh air, a weight off my chest. I can be myself and say my honest thoughts and not care anymore because I don’t have to report to a God anymore. I can ask my questions, voice my doubts and say this is wrong. I don’t have to pay off a debt that I didn’t ask for. Thank you Jesus for dying for me but I didn’t ask you to so don’t come to me telling me I need to act a certain way to get the present you supposedly give away for free. No thank you. The high road has only ever gotten me stepped on, walked over, reported, cheated over, taken advantage of and all for what? To look better at the end of the day? To be a better Christian? No thank you. I’m not laying myself down for anybody’s pleasure anymore. I deserve to be treated better than that and so do you. So do all of us.
This probably sounds so angry, so resentful, so bitter and maybe I am a little. But I am also free to say and think what I feel. I am able to love so much better. I am able to relate to and be compassionate to those who I couldn’t before. I have learned that those who are the most sane, the most kind, the most worth having around are those who have hit rock bottom themselves and are working their way back to the top. Those are the people that don’t look down at you because they’re willing to climb down to be next to you while the Christians yell down an empty promise of prayer but leave you to climb for yourself. The broken people who have persevered are the ones I want around me. To be honest, those people, the ones that have been rejected by the Christians, the Pharisees if you will, are the ones who will probably get to heaven first.
“How dare you say that! I believe in God and go to church every Sunday.”
Congratulations, so did all of the Pharisees. You know who Jesus hung out with? Prostitutes. Tax collectors. The blind, sick, deaf, mute, dumb. Those that aren’t good enough for you, dear Christians, because you are better than Jesus, right? He died on a plain wooden cross for everybody else but for you he died on a golden cross, right?
I do have to say though I have met Christians who have been the best example of Jesus’s love I have ever seen. The girls that reach out to me continuously despite a busy schedule and talk to me as an equal, the man who loves me despite my flaws and doesn’t throw God in my face, the people who don’t see anybody as any less despite the bumps in the road. Those people are the ones I commend and look up to. Sure, I don’t identify with Christianity and the idiotic Christians I’ve met, but those Christians who I believe have actually read the Bible are the ones that I look to with awe. I have the utmost respect for you. Don’t get me wrong, the religion Christianity is something that I respect and think is beautiful, I just can’t be a part of what it’s been turned to by its believers. I can sit and listen to your love of God and be enthralled by your relationship. Those who can sit back and listen to me hate God without preaching to me and share the same respect are those I want to keep around.
So, now that I’ve gotten this off of my chest, there are probably several people praying for my soul, desperately looking up verses to show me, gossiping to their friends, gasping in disapproval, deciding to never talk to me again, writing sermons to shout in my face and those who are thinking I’m going to hell. It’s funny because the people that I called out are the ones probably thinking I’m going to hell because it’s all in God’s hands, right? They throw it up to space hoping a god somewhere will catch their thoughts so that I’m not their problem anymore. I’m not someone they have to love and be kind to because they gave it up to God. That is the dumbest cop out I’ve ever heard. So those who think I’m going to hell, well, it’s funny that you can see me because I see you racing to hell a whole lot faster than I am. I almost can’t see you in front of me! The path to hell is comfortable and man, sometimes the only thing keeping me going is knowing that those hypocrites that I loathe are headed that way.
Am I a horrible person? Probably. But I can’t sit back and pretend that I’m okay with how messed up this religion I used to be a part of has become. I might offend people but man I’m hoping I offend the right ones that see where I’m coming from and begin to realize what’s happening. Those that know me well know that I am blunt, probably too blunt for my own good.
Let the prayers and hate mail begin.