I believe in God and consider myself to be a Christian, but I'm still trying to figure out what that means. When I was younger, my family never made me go to church. All I remember about church from when I was little is going with my grandma and going to Ryan's afterward. My family wasn't super religious, so they never pushed me to go to Sunday school or to service regularly. I just went with my grandma when I felt like it. When I moved in with my mom and step-dad, I found that they weren't religious at all. That being said, I never really felt like I had to or needed to go to church or pray or anything like that because if my family didn't, then why should I?
I've gone to several churches throughout my life. I've been to Methodist churches, Baptist churches, Catholic, Church of Christ, Episcopal, African, Pentecostal, Non-Denominational. I'm just a curious person and wanted to see what they were all about. Friends invited me, but I never had a church that I went to regularly.
So why all the skepticism? Why didn't I just jump into the open arms of one of those churches? Honestly, some of the churches just made me feel uncomfortable. Not all of them, but most of the ones I went to. Some of the Christians I know are also the ones I see committing the worst kinds of sins, and I think to myself, "Is that what being a Christian is about? Doing the most horrible things Monday through Saturday, but all of that being erased because you went to church on Sunday?" The world is full of hypocrites, and I've seen some of the worst hypocrisy from people hiding behind their religion. I'm obviously not saying I'm perfect and that I'm not a hypocrite, because I am, but I can say that I haven't committed any sins in the name of God, and I don't use Him as any kind of justification for my actions.
I've also had some really awkward situations with a few churches. I started going to this one church because this guy came up to my friends and me at Sonic after my Halloween party. Sounds sketchy, but I promise it wasn't. This was in high school. I decided to go, and I brought a few friends along. I went there for awhile actually, and it was cool at first, but as soon as the youth leader got me pretty involved, he decided that he could make me do things. He wanted to force me to do this dance in front of a bunch of people. He wanted to force me to give 10% of my paycheck to the church - mind you, I worked at Moe's at the time making minimum wage, and I gave offerings, but he said it wasn't enough. He told me that I was a sinner just because I listened to music that didn't glorify God. He was pushing his religion on me in the wrong way, and I just started to feel uncomfortable. When I stopped going to the church, he blew up my phone, leaving inappropriate voicemails about my sins. That kind of killed it for me.
Not all of my experiences with church have been bad though. I went to this church with one of my close friends in high school, and I really enjoyed it. I even went to Youth Convention with them and had a blast. When I graduated high school, they gave me a Bible with my name embossed in it. They were nice there, and I enjoyed going, but then I left for college. When I was in college, there was an awesome church that I enjoyed going to, but I just never went regularly because I slept in on Sundays.
My step-dad has always told me that if you're a good person and you do good things, you'll be alright, and I've spent my life since high school just trying to do that, regardless of their religious (or not religious) affiliation. I know that everyone sins, but I'd say my sins are pretty minuscule comparatively speaking. I do believe in God, but I'm still trying to figure out what this whole Christianity thing is about.