I want to be honest. I feel like so much of my faith has been spoon fed to me where I have done nothing but eat. I have taken in what I have been told without truly figuring out all for myself. At church during fast songs you clap your hands and sometimes dance. During slower “worship” songs you raise your hands and close your eyes. A typical service consists of announcements, a 30-minute worship set and an hour sermon. Some time during that set tithes/offerings, special music, and communion are done.
Its a ritual.
It was when I got to college that I began to find God in new ways. It was when I arrived here in Israel that I no longer will view religion, regardless of denomination or name, the same. I can’t. I refuse. I have seen Orthodox Jews worship GOD with such reverence and honor. They have obedience and discipline for the law. They know little else. Muslims here pray five times a day. We hear the mosques resound the “call to prayer” and we know that Muslims everywhere stop and pray toward Mecca.
Friday morning we heard a believer in Yeshua [Jesus] speak about religions and what we can do. Friday night we heard a once Orthodox Jewish man speak about his experience of finding Yeshua as the Messiah. Both speakers brought forth something to my attention that I had never been fully aware of before. Christians throughout the last 2000 years have done wrong. We took the idea of Jesus as the Messiah [mind he was Jewish!] and made it into its own religion. We have created man-made rituals and laws that have dictated our arrogance to the rest of the world. Crusaders destroyed Israel in the name of God because the Muslims were wrong. For some reason, they felt a special right to the land. The Holocaust came and Christianity as a whole did nothing, though individuals did. As a religion we have made this idea of Christ into our own context.
I look at the American church more than anything. I see this church style that I have been raised- in no way am I trying to belittle the church. But I realize something so crucial to my own faith. We lack reverence and awe of God. I see these other religions here and they have complete honor for God. Yet everyone in American churches treat God solely as a best friend, or comforter, though true, but we cannot forget that God is GOD! He is the Creater, the ruler, the One that can bring his wrath in a moment but reveal his love too. He is more than deserving of honor, yet we forget too often to revere him.
I do not want a religion that makes the Bible fit into the perfect mold of Christianity. If anything, Christianity must try to see the Law, the Torah- the scriptures from the focus of Israel and the Jewish people. I want to love and honor God the way he intended me to. I want to be disciplined and fear God. But I refuse to return home to normality and forget what I have learned. Arrogance as a Christian is ridiculous. We have absolutely no reason to be arrogant. Treating God only as a best friend and not a Father or Creator lacks honor and respect. I am figuring out my faith for myself- I want faith in the raw and not some creation of man.