About Love

It’s hard not to think about way life has drastically changed since I last sat in this couch, in this coffeeshop, in this city. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve sat down here as a Columbus, OH resident. And I have to say that life has changed quite drastically.

“Exist in reality” my brother told me. Simple sounding words that are a harsh reminder of just how outside-of-reality the realm of charismatic christianity (charismaniacs – yes, I already purchased the domain) can be. This is not to say that all charismatic christians are outside the realm of reality. However, there are a great many that are. And I have struggled to land on my feet after being raised in such a household.

2 Tim. 1:7 proclaims we have not been given a sprit of fear/timidity, but that of power, love, and a sound mind. However, I’ve realized how little of these characteristics have existed in my upbringing and day-to-day life. Last year, I was terrified that my business would suffer or stutter if I did so much as have one drink or romp with a casual somebody. It would terrify me to think that these actions would somehow offset the clockwork “mechanism” of a righteous life; somehow afraid my decision to take 13.8 minutes to visit the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine would somehow make me more prone to a fatal car wreck at some point in my life, or missing a job opportunity.

Afraid to live, breathe, and function normally. Where is the peace that passes understanding?

The concern I have with christianity is that it does not encourage one to move forward and live a regular life. Rather, there are sects of christianity that encourage and beat down individuals to the point where they can neither stop thinking about their past, and how happy they are to have been ‘saved’ from it, or they are unable to live a normal life because they are constantly having to confess actions that go along with a normal life.

There’s a part of me that has grown up smirking at the decisions of those older than I am who raised their children in the charismatic christian church I grew up with. I watched as dozens of parents struggled to put their children in a private christian school (T.O.L) and have firsthand watched as not a single one of the people I knew to have graduated from this school went on to live a successful life. The minority graduated college. The rest have barely peaked above minimum wage or living at home with their parents. The “sacrifice” paid for this christian education seems to have bred failures. More importantly, I can only wonder the questioning of those closest to me, having ‘given up their life’ to Proverbs 22:6 their children, only to have them step away from the same faith, belief system, and detrimental lifestyle they tried so hard to enforce.

I can’t say that I’m bitter about many of these wrongdoings. In fact, I am eternally thankful to have reached a point of salvation and redemption. It’s ironic that freedom from religion has been the greatest point of salvation of my life. However, it’s also left me at a point where I am struggling to pick up the pieces of my life, become successful, and take steps into the world of reality where hard work brings success, trials and tribulations have no cosmic eternal meaning, and religion simply becomes one method (among many) where mankind is able to reach communication and reverence for their Creator.

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