...... because my earliest memories of church were of a tiny version of myself coming to terms with a reality that told me I was possibly the worst thing to ever exist in history, that my evil alignment had been decided for me, and that no matter how much I possibly tried to emulate a specific set of rules and beliefs designed to bring me closer to paradise after death, there was basically zero chance I could actually achieve that......
...... it NEVER brought me peace, but instead instilled a gargantuan feeling of inadequacy, fear, and paranoia.
You're exactly right about never being good enough to obtain salvation, but that's exactly what gave me peace. I was raised in the church and by age 13 I had had enough, but my problems were related to the hypocrisy of self-proclaimed Christians. It was remembering those feelings while reading parts of the Bible that brought me back to God a couple years ago.
In the 20 yrs I was gone I got about as far from Christianity as one could possibly get. I became hateful, became a meth addict, practiced Wicca, I strove to be as different from the Christians I knew growing up as I possibly could. Then I met my wife and had children. She had never been a churchgoer so she had no direct influence in my salvation. I tried to raise my kids to be the best ppl they could be, but was failing as a provider. I began looking at my situation and my past. It caused me to hit a very low spot. I had made the decision to kill myself and was actively searching for the way to do it.
One day while particularly vulnerable I stumbled across a Bible my mom had gotten me over 15 yrs before in a faint attempt to reach me. For some reason I decided to just sit and read the New Testament, outside of a church setting, to read it as a story and not dissect it and pull individual verses out of context. Idk what compelled me to do this, but it became a stronger compulsion to read it than the urge I had to be dead.
I read about the only man who had done no wrong, about the love and compassion He had for the lowest of ppl, about the special distaste He had for profiteers and so-called religious leaders. I read how at every single turn He protected ppl, even though they didn't deserve it, he spent time with the lowest classes of ppl. I saw the way the public reacted, and saw the way the leaders reacted. This man, who had done no wrong to anyone was arrested, beaten beyond anything a man could withstand, had known all this was coming. He could have skipped town, avoided all the pain. He could have left long before he was nailed to a tree, bleeding so much that there was no more blood to drain, at the end only water seeped from His body. He knew all this and went through with it willingly. He knew that without His sacrifice no one would ever enter into Heaven because we are not and never will be worthy. He loved ppl that much.
I realized those hypocrites I saw growing up were no more worthy of salvation than I (being a drug addict and a pagan) was. It made me even angrier at those so-called Christians
and I began to look at them like the Pharisee that arrested Jesus. Those hypocrites had also placed their religious laws above their praise, worship, and service. So I started feeling like I had to defend the name of the man who defended me 2000 yrs before, defend it both from His attackers and His followers.
This Chik-fil-a thing falls into both catagories, protection from attackers and followers. The whole thing is a farce and just being used by the media to divide the public.
Sorry this was so long, I didn't set out to write a novel, but the words just kept flowing.