I vowed that I would never write this piece. I always felt that writing a blog detailing why you’re taking a break always seemed a little self-serving to me; yet here I am, writing a piece about why I’m taking a break.
3 weeks ago, I sat down to watch Rush with Sarah. I love this movie, best movie of 2013 by a country mile (not sure how that’s different to any other mile, but I like the expression), and one of my all time favourites. Something struck me during the closing monologue. The 2 main characters, Nikki Lauda and James Hunt, both have very different approaches to racing and life, but totally sure in who they were and they never compromised on that. Last night I posted on Twitter My thinking tonight has gone from “do I still have a relationship with Christ” to “do I even want one?” I think I may be lost. One of the responses I got was from Tom Price, and it was a talk given by Michael Ramsden. I love Michael Ramsden, he was very influential in my early Christian life. The general gist of the talk, is that being a Christian is about following Jesus; that our identity is in Jesus. That no matter how confused or wrong we are about our theology, we are still Christians because we follow Jesus.
That’s great, if you know what that actually means. I currently don’t. I used to, or at least I think I used to. I used to have a very clear idea about who I was. I was me, I was a hardcore raving, dart playing, IT working Christian who attended conventions. I didn’t care what people thought about me, you either accepted me for who I was or you didn’t, I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it. Jesus took all that and embraced it. Sure there have been changes, I have made changes for Sarah but she accepted me who I was first before that came. I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago, but I was accepted first. Now though…….I don’t know who I am or what changes I have to make to get back to that, or even if I will be accepted again. I keep trying to remember back to that night at my friends house, when I had no idea which way was up and felt Jesus grab me and tell me everything is going to be OK, that he loved me. I feel I have to change, I have to get back to that.
If you look back at some of my posts of the last 6 months, this has been a recurring theme, being lost and tired. I’ve had major issues with the church over their attitude towards women, the LGBT community, the poor. Most of these have come from very right-wing Christian fundamentalists on the internet but not all, I’ve seen these traits in more “liberal” Christians. The need to draw lines and cast out those not on the right side filled my Twitter feed daily. I tried to work my way through it by blogging and making a FaceBook page to share it to others who might have been interested, but I lost the ability to separate the failings of the church with Jesus which is why I stopped going to Church. 6 months on, I’ve still been faced with seemingly endless onslaught of being told I’m going to hell, that I’m a heretic, the crushing of other people because they’re different, all trumpeted as being in the name of Christ. There’s only so many times you can hear that whilst questioning before the hints of you starting to believe it set in. I blogged against it, but I became tired of being negative. That’s why my last blog before this was about Halo and the XBox One; I just wanted to write about something that made me excited.
I’m tired and drained, my temper has no fuse, I’ve had a lot of personal issues to work through and I miss my friend who moved up north. I so want to be able to point at one thing and go “you’re the culprit”, but if the problem has been a slow burn then the recovery will be slow. Everything has become to mixed in and entangled that I don’t know what being a Christian means, and because I’ve lost that I’ve lost the sense of who I am; knowing this is an improvement on 2 paragraphs ago. This is logical though, if you lose the thing you’ve put your value in, you lose yourself.
My natural tendency is to retreat into myself, and some will argue that’s what I did with not going to church, and that’s what I’m doing now; sometimes retreat is the best option though. I have my martial arts which I enjoy and have a grading coming up at the end of the month, I have my darts which I love, I’ve started tap dancing again, and I lead my first discussion group as part of the Great Men Project so I have lots to do. I do have some XBox games I want to complete and get done, because I’m determined to do it, plus want a fresh start for the XBox One. I don’t do sitting in silence very well, I don’t do sitting around doing nothing very well, which is going to make curling up reading a book very interesting. I may only manage 5 minutes but small steps an that. Before all of that though, I need to get away from the messenger of the news that’s grieving me; the internet. I won’t be tweeting articles, maintaining the FaceBook page, or blogging (ok, the blog may stay). I can’t handle the amount of news, I can’t handle the type of news, I can’t watch people destroy others in the name of Jesus. I may not know what being a Christian is, but I know a little bit about Him.
Thank you to everyone who has followed me on Twitter and FaceBook and read this blog for your support and encouragement. I hope you will stay. This blog occupies a small amount of Gb on a shared WordPress server somewhere in the world, always has been small but it’s been a lifeline for me, and I hope others as well. A blog may well appear after Monday when I’ve finished with the school group. Maybe this just won’t be a blog, or Twiter/Facebook account about Christianity anymore. I don’t know, I’m just rambling at this point.
If anyone wants to get in touch, I’m more than happy to answer questions or chat. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until then, be you.