Maybe I wouldn’t consider this as much a conversion as I would a reconstruction. Being a Christian for all of my life has been the most enlightening and frightening experience. From a little girl, I was raised in a traditional Baptist Church, going to Sunday school and singing in the children’s choir, as many others have done in their youth. While the Church was quite conservative, I experienced some of the most shameful odd events; seeing kids up to no good in the basement and running away from Lay Leaders who gave me the look they weren’t supposed to give me. For the Church to be so quiet, there was a great uproar behind the scenes. I watched families come together and break apart, and I saw many people who spoke of so many rules and guidelines that must be followed, all the while tripping up and falling down over and over again. It was quite confusing for a little girl.
As I grew older, however, I quickly saw that this was the case in other Churches I would go to. From Baptist to Holiness and Holiness to Full Gospel Baptist.; and rom Full Gospel Baptist to Apostolic and then to the Assemblies of God. From that quasi-Non-Denominational Church to a Disciples of Christ Church and to a Church of God in Christ to another Non-Denominational Church that was founded in the Apostolic Faith,[yet trying to be independent from it] I have been to enough ‘nations’ without ever leaving the Country!
You may understand by now, confusion and deep rooted hurt transferred me from place to place-experiences that changed my life forever. The more pain that was inflicted by my lack of understanding of the Holy Scriptures coupled with people who acted out their Faith in the Pulpit but didn’t have the respect or morals to at least leave the building before engaging in all kinds of horrendous and disgraceful acts.
It seemed my Faith wasn’t growing as much as my knowledge of scriptures, protocol and religious behavior were. This very well could have been to my detriment until the moment I had determined that all faiths have some person behind them; a person who, while he or she may have been of good intentions, was a human being subject to human error. If I spent another day following a leader who himself was blind by his own imperfections and idiosyncrasies, I would surely die.
That’s when the religious labels and affiliations stopped being more important than the condition of my heart and the word alive therein. While I still consider myself a Christian, I know there are many divisions among the faith already. From denomination to organization, they are all flawed. I realized that it was simpler than all the bylaws and doctrines could impose. Being a Christian is plainly demonstrated by Jesus the Christ, whose life we should be emulating; so to avoid wasting more time trying to conform to so many written and [mostly] unwritten laws, I have decided to follow Jesus. The division that people have caused by their bickering of what Christian denomination is better or holier than the other and the wounds that people have inflicted on so many who were babes in the faith have stunted so much growth in the overall Body of Christ, whom we all still claim to be a part of despite ourselves.
I realize that my personal conversion wasn’t as extreme as going from Christianity to Jehovah’s Witness, Islam or Buddhism. Yet I still had to kill most of the teaching I have received that was so far from the scriptures themselves, starting all over. After years of quoting clichés and a long series of unfortunate events played out in the sanctuary, like Lifetime Movies, I have seen enough character assassinations, abortions, kidnappings, abuse, neglect and murders that any one person can stand. Where was Jesus in all of that?
So many excuses and justifications of so many things wrong almost made me stay home forever. But because I have a better knowledge of the Holy Bible and a deeper understanding of my purpose in life according to God’s plan for me, I can attend any Christian edifice and freely worship the Lord with no boundaries because He freed me from the imprisonment that was forced upon me throughout life. 1 Peter 2:16 says “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” (NIV) And today, there is no turning back.