*A version of this post was originally posted on August 3, 2016.
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, but for a few years, when I was very young, my mother took my sister and I to Sunday School at a local church.
I was only five years old when I raised my hand one fine Sunday morning and answered the call to ask Jesus into my heart!
I wanted Jesus to save me so I could live with Him in heaven some day and not be thrown into the fiery pits of hell when I died!
This single event marked the beginning of my spiritual journey and ironically it was also the beginning of my spiritual decline!.
Tragically my descent into spiritual decline started almost before my spiritual journey ever really had the chance to begin!
Accepting Jesus as my savior that first time actually caused me so much anxiety that I raised my hand and answered the call again the very next Sunday.
I wanted to be darn sure that Jesus had really heard me and that I really was saved.
I guess that’s when my descent into spiritual decline actually began.
Because, when I really stop to think about it, that’s when my life long struggles with religious doubt and spiritual anxiety started.
Now, over 50 years later, I’m still struggling with spiritual doubts and fears and my journey into spiritual decline continues!
I still believe in the simplest and most basic of all Christian beliefs: that Jesus is my savior.
But lately, I’ve been questioning just about everything else I’ve ever believed in as a Christian.
To be perfectly honest, I sometimes wonder just how much of what I’ve been believing in all these years is really just a bunch of made up bullsh!t!
How much, if any, of the scriptures I’ve been believing in all these years were misinterpreted or even falsely translated by men who were influenced by their own personal agendas?
Just how much, if any, of the Holy scriptures were actually meant to be interpreted literally?
And just how much of what we read in the Bible was only meant to be applied during the time in which it was written and not meant to be applied in today’s society?
A big part of my descent into spiritual decline has sadly been coming to the conclusion that far too many Christians are judgmental creatures with nary a loving bone in their bodies.
They don’t care at all who they might hurt in their quest to prove to world how super spiritual and Biblically correct they are!
I’ve been told that the reason Bethany was afflicted with a brain tumor was because of some secret sin of mine or my husband’s and that she is not completely healed from all her infirmities because I don’t have enough faith.
I’m convinced that Christians just say stupid things like that out of fear.
They need to feel that their own children are safe and protected from tragedies by blaming other kid’s tragedies on their parents’ sin.
Such parents believe that they are sinless themselves, therefore their own children will never meet with a similar tragedy.
Thankfully, part of my journey into spiritual decline has also been learning from tragic personal experience that real faith is continuing to believe in and trust in the very same God who doesn’t seem to be hearing or answering my prayers.
Without a doubt, the parent of a child who has suffered with a life threatening illness and life long disabilities actually has tons more “real” faith than the average Jane or Joe Christian whose children are all healthy and able!
Just as tragic and damaging as that is the following outright blatant hypocritical declarations and accusations some Christians make.
When something bad happens in their lives, they claim that Satan is attacking them and trying to “take them out” because they are so spiritual and so important to the Kingdom of God.
But when something bad happens to other Christians, it’s because they are horrible sinners and God is punishing them.
Well, I have been living in fear of God’s punishment for far too long.
I have been living with the agonizing and never ending fear that every behavioral set back, every health issue, and every failed plan to improve my daughter, Bethany’s life is somehow God’s punishment for my sin or lack of faith!
I have recently decided that as part of my journey into spiritual decline, I will not allow the ignorant remarks of other Christians spark the fear of God into me!
I absolutely refuse to listen to or believe in such Christian bullsh!t any longer!
I do now hereby publicly declare that I refuse to believe any longer that my loving God would punish me by attacking my precious innocent daughter!
And if that belief is not biblical in anyone else’s opinion, well then that’s just too bad I guess!!