I was raised in an oppressive household and strict German religion where the Brotherhood watched out over every family in the church. I was afraid of these men.
I asked my mother, not long ago, just why, if these men weren't sanctioned by the church, how did they function within it. She explained to me that they were founders and sons of founders. What? So I asked again. She has been immersed within the religion all of her life, so she felt that was enough explanation. Not.
Anyway, this group of men might come to a parishioner's home at any time of day, on any day, to notify them of changes needing to be addressed by either the family (as a whole) or with a child (say, a 16 year old son was seen drinking beer).
I haven't gone to church there in about 14 years, right after my daughter left the church for the same reasons. Too oppressive, too demanding, to organized, and too greedy. There, I've said it.
Still, I am contemplating joining a church with the same problems. Why is that? Why do I feel the need to be directed, scrutinized, and herded thru my life like an animal. Probably because I'm used to it, it's familiar.
Last weekend, I read the book, The Shack, by William P. Young. It was a great inspiration to me in that I no longer feel that I will go to Hell just because I am not directed by a profit or other organized religion. I truly believed there for a couple of years that being a good person, and doing what I can for others was not enough. I believed that enrollment, that baptism, that association with a certain religion was my way into Heaven. I'm not so sure anymore. I think I still have some soul searching to do.
My upbringing has a fisted grip on my heart and my head. I can't seem to let it [organized religion] go. So strong is its hold, that after talking to friends who have these great experiences, I go home and cry because I feel left out. Being left out is not a new concept to me, but I want desperately to experience what they experience. For some reason, they all believe it's because I don't pray enough. They have no idea how much I pray but that is how they think: If something bad happens, you haven't prayed.
But I have prayed. All it has done is make me feel betrayed (again), neglected (again), and left to perish (again) in the world I've been abandoned in.
So, today is Sunday. I'm not in church. I keep watching the clock and I know exactly where I'd be at whatever time it is, if I'd gone. But I didn't. I seem to isolate myself when I hate being alone and I reject others when anyone gets too close, yet I long for a relationship with someone who cares about me.