do i get fries with my McJesus?

So of all thing I’ve written in the past, this is the most likely to start arguments I really don’t want to have.

I’m not sure why I feel the need to write about this.  But I do.

I walked away from Easter Sunday at church, but instead of reinforcing my faith, it filled me with doubts.

Make no mistake.

I believe in a higher power.

I find comfort in my faith.

I have a great one-on-one relationship with God that has nothing to do with anyone but me and God.

I also don’t believe my friends’ relationships with their higher power (whatever the name) is somehow less right if they don’t do it my way.

I don’t believe that if you say a special prayer, you’ll be “saved”, far too many people have never (or will never) hear those words.

I cannot attend a church, or watch my kids grow up with these habits, where they are taught it’s OK to laugh at someone else JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE AUDACITY TO DISAGREE..

I’m going to get a crap-ton of flak for this.

People will take this the wrong way.

I can see it now: #AnissaHatesJesus.

My marriage isn’t like anyone else’s.

I don’t parent like anyone else.

No one else has my best friend.

So why would I expect my personal experience with MY higher power to be cookie cutter?

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42 Responses to do i get fries with my McJesus?

  1. Jess May 12, 2011 at 5:05 PM #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! I’m with you 100% and I’m so glad you’re wiling to stand up and say it. We’ve been silent about these things for far too long.

  2. Lee Sullivan May 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM #

    Anissa, There is nothing wrong with anything you’ve said here and bless you for having the guts to say it. I felt exactly the same way and deemed ‘the church’ evil since my teenage years. I hated the hypocrisy and the way I always felt judged. Two years ago all of that changed for me. Gil and I were so very blessed to find a church (even though we weren’t looking for one) in which we feel loved, welcome, normal and free. If you and Peter are ever back in Tampa, let us know. We would love to bring you guys along for a visit with us at Relevant. I can’t tell you the weight that was lifted from my spirit when I realized it was ok to worship God in my own way.

  3. Jools May 12, 2011 at 12:33 AM #

    When I was a kid, I asked my mother to explain the differences between Christianity and Judaism (I wasn’t old enough yet to be aware of the many other faiths out there). She explained to me the major tenets of both faiths, and when she was finished, I asked her, “Well, who’s right?”

    “No one,” she said. “It’s just a matter of deciding what’s right for you.”

    Thirty years later, I still count that among the wisest things my mother has told me.

  4. Mary Ferron May 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM #

    THANK YOU! I have been struggling with this for a year, since my youngest gother 1st communion and the sunday school teacher told her God was not happy because my daughter did not know her paryers perfectly!!!!! Or when at our old chucrh we were asked to contribute more financially even though they knew we have 5 children and 2 have special needs. Or when a chucrh turns us away froma front seat becasue my autitic sons had “behavors” one rocked and quietly hummed whne eh was younger not anymore. Or when ppl in church sing to God with the same tounge they belittel other with, the same voice they are rasict with, the same tone they use to express intolerence or worse hat eof others simply fo rnot agreeing with them or having the nerve to have colored skin or some other such nonsense! I am teaching my kids religion is beuatiful, but faith is perfect…religion was MADE BY MAN NOT GOD!!! relgion is full of rules and laws I am sure God doesn’t even agree with!!!!

    My troubles with my struggle to find a balance is that I have 3 memebsr in my family (ouside of my hubby & kids of course) who are in relgious life (sisters, preists etc) so it is a “hush Hush” that I cannot step foot ina schurch without feeling angry, not at God he is my savior but at the laws if ignorant men and the attitudes of ignorant ppl!

    • Mary Ferron May 11, 2011 at 9:57 PM #

      SHEESH I hate lap top keyboards…not used to it at all and cannot type on it…TYPOS city…….(red faced)

  5. DefendUSA May 10, 2011 at 9:05 AM #

    There will be no flak from me. I have raised my kids to understand exactly what you said, but am also judged by my best friend. Her idea of what “charity” means is different from mine…as is her idea of volunteering. She believes that “her” charity and volunteerism trumps everyone else’s!!
    Needless to say, I ignore it. As my son’s words ring in my ears from a song he wrote….
    “body, soul and mind taken
    never will my faith be shaken
    all I know is your spirit stays strong in me
    Hall-e-lu-ujah, Hall-e-lu-u-u-jah…
    One day your glory will come
    One day our suffering ends….

  6. Sarah May 9, 2011 at 5:14 PM #

    That makes perfect sense to me.

    Sarah´s last post…I Am Your Mother I Have Proof

  7. Faiqa May 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM #

    Word.

  8. the mama bird diaries May 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM #

    I completely agree with you. When I walk out of church, I sort of wonder why I went in the first place. But I do have a very strong faith in a higher power.

    the mama bird diaries´s last post…it’s not mother’s day until you steal wine

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:17 PM #

      I truly don’t think God intended for us to feel that we were faking it for public appearances.

  9. Tim May 9, 2011 at 8:22 AM #

    You have one of the healthiest outlooks on religion and life in general that I have had the pleasure to come across. Love you and your family bunches!!!!

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:18 PM #

      Thanks, Tim. That means the world to me!

      • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:20 PM #

        Plus I see your name on my favorite coffee every morning and I thank Tims everywhere.

  10. Michelle May 8, 2011 at 3:08 PM #

    I have never posted on your blog before, but I agree with you wholeheartedly!!! I went to church for the first time last Sunday because our friends’ daughter was making her first communion and I was honestly anxiety ridden being in church. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school (which I blame all of my short comings on!), married in the Catholic church but now I cannot be in a church without feeling like an outsider. I will not raise my children to hate people because they are gay, divorced, have an abortion,… I feel my higher power loves me and I lead a good life and that is all I need, I do not need to go to a building to show him that!

    I feel I am a very faithful person but I am no longer a religious person.

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM #

      Big difference between “faithful” and “religious”. An important difference.

  11. Bridget May 7, 2011 at 9:39 PM #

    A-to-the-men! If we, as parents, treat each of our children differently based on each of their needs, then why wouldn’t God(or whatever higher power) treat each of us differently? What works for one of my kids certainly doesn’t work with the others!

    I am a Christian( and have been on staff at churches before), but I get *very* frustrated with church in general and some believers. We shut people out by being hypocrites and elitist and self-centered. What it all boils down to(in my opinion) is God is love. And if God loves us, God wants what is best for us and will do everything possible to be with us in whichever way works best for us.(This is actually in my post set to publish Monday. It seems like a lot of people are thinking about this right now.)

    Bridget´s last post…Favorite Phrase Friday

  12. Sugar Jones May 7, 2011 at 12:39 PM #

    Doubt is the healthiest part of our walk of faith. Otherwise, we are sheep. (Ignore the part where we’re called His sheep in the Bible).

    I spend a lot of time deflecting interesting looks at our church. I argue with the volunteer coordinators because they make things harder than they need to be. I shut down our children’s ministry leader every time she talks to me like I’m one of her kids. And I mock the ridiculous sorority girls that try to rule the women’s ministry with their “goodness”.

    Church can really suck.

    But I do love me some Jesus.

    It’s our job, Anissa, to keep being a thorn in the Perfect Christian’s sides. It’s our job to hold uncomfortable mirrors to their faces. If that means getting flack, fuck em. (That reminds me, I sometimes cuss at church.) Some Christians want to live in a bubble. And for a long time, they can. But just around the corner, they’ll find ornery realists with a big needle waiting to burst it for them. I freaking LOVE being the one that pops the bubble.

    Sugar Jones´s last post…Twitter- They Sing Your Tweets

  13. Chele May 7, 2011 at 9:28 AM #

    Anissa, I was emailed this post by a mutual friend that knows what I’m struggling with at church. I AMEN you a million times! The only person that should be judging and/or telling us how to live is God. Period. The End. I don’t even want to go to church anymore. Not that I don’t love most of the people there, I do. However, when I’m being judged and told I’m wrong for the way I’m living (be it parenting, if I’m giving enough to the church/community, or how I live my life outside of Sunday), I have a problem with it. It’s between me and God only. He knows our heart! Oh I have to meet you sometime! You going to Type-A?

    Chele´s last post…The Roller Coaster Rides Of Life

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

      I’m doing the wave to what you’ve said.

      And YES! I’ll be a Type-a-Parent and looking for you!

  14. Karen May 7, 2011 at 12:10 AM #

    I’m gonna go for complete and utter blasphemy for the sake of a sympathetic tongue in cheek, but if God has a problem with my individualised version of worship that involves just me and my connection to the bigger picture, then he shouldn’t have made me in His image. Spiritual heredity is potent; I get my arrogance from my Father. (There, Anissa, that should take some heat off you. Pitchfork diversion implemented!)

    Seriously though, this is my exact philosophy on religion. Anything that has to be passed through a conduit to be transferred, whether it be sewerage or spiritual guidance, is unavoidably tainted by the journey it takes. I think someone said it already; religion is man-made. As it goes from mouth to mouth, heart to heart and soul to soul throughout the centuries, contamination WILL occur. I like cutting out the middle man and I really don’t think that my moral compass has been at all affected by my choice.

    Well, other than the part that might tempt me not to insight sacrilegious rage. I’ll work on it.

    • Karen May 7, 2011 at 12:12 AM #

      Did I really just write “insight” instead of “incite”…

      Karma sucks.

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM #

      taking one for the team! i have to love that, Karen!!!

  15. Liza May 6, 2011 at 11:06 PM #

    I understand exactly how you feel, and think you’ve said it in one of the best ways I’ve heard it said yet.

  16. Wendy May 6, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

    If you haven’t already, go get “The Shack” and read it promptly. Seriously. It’s awesome. You’ll love it. I was raised a Christian, attended a Christian graduate school, and consider myself a Christian. However, the one part of Christianity that I have never been able to wrap my brain around is that there’s just one way to God and that it’s through Christ. It makes no sense to me, and I’ll be bold enough to say it’s simply wrong. So, am I truly a Christian? I believe that Christ in a way to get to God, but not necessarily the ONLY way. I believe that Christ died for us. But, I feel like God probably has sent other saviors to other people who will never know about Christ. My basic “religion” is to be a good person, live by the golden rule, and maintain my personal relationship with God.

  17. Barnmaven May 6, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

    The longer I have this relationship with God/my higher power, the more I come to know that:
    a) I don’t really know a damn thing, and
    b) That relationship is intensely personal and just like relationships with other people, how others experience may be very different from me.

    I guess there are some people who may find this post controversial, but I hope that most of your loyal readers understand that when you talk about what *you* believe its not a statement about what *they* believe. You’re just letting people know that you have faith, and that its a big enough faith to coexist with whatever anyone else wants to believe and you don’t have the need to convince anyone of anything.

    Its pretty awesome, from this heathen Jesus-freak’s point of view.

    Barnmaven´s last post…Mom- remember when

  18. Kristin May 6, 2011 at 7:01 PM #

    Well said Anissa!

    Kristin´s last post…The Story of Beautiful Girl

  19. Handflapper May 6, 2011 at 6:41 PM #

    I don’t really have anything else to add except YESSSS!

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:35 PM #

      I can’t really say anything but THANKS!

  20. CJ May 6, 2011 at 4:47 PM #

    I totally agree and could not word it any better. I do think there are churches out there that are more accepting, but personally, I’m still too bothered by the behavior of my old church to shop around for a new one to attend regularly. I really think God’s ok with that.

  21. ThePeachy1 May 6, 2011 at 3:59 PM #

    I don’t eat fast food. That probably bares no weight on this post right? yeah I thought so. My Grandfather was a preacher. I grew up with 4 religions, deeply routed in my family, all were completely right and just KNEW the others were going to hell rapidly. As a teen I studied 4 more, and then as a young adult and mother I explored and studied many with elders and higher ups in the religions. I came to 1 conclusion. The bible was written by man, interpreted by man, to benefit the man who ruled the world when it was written and changed more times than any babies diaper. If this pisses anyone off sorry. Go ahead and blame my medical issues or my sons problems on my beliefs, then know that I spent more days on my knees and in churches praying for him then I spent out. You have a right to your beliefs, I will not slight you for it, in turn I have a right to my beliefs in and my own personal relationship. Nissa, if you want fries I will pick you some up, but unless you meet me in Florida at the end of the month they will be super cold and you know they don’t microwave well.

    • Epcfail May 9, 2011 at 7:23 AM #

      U guys better be meeting in FL at my house!!!!

      • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM #

        Well now that you have a pool it’s ON!!

  22. Jackie May 6, 2011 at 2:11 PM #

    AMEN

  23. Stacey May 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM #

    Very damn well said!

  24. Kevin May 6, 2011 at 1:17 PM #

    I agree with you 100%!

    No flak here.

    Kevin´s last post…Broken

  25. TechyDad May 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM #

    I’m Jewish, not Christian, but I can sympathize with your view. As I was growing up and learning about Jewish religious laws, I took it upon myself to follow a bunch of them. Later on, my parents began attending an Orthodox temple. The rabbi would tell us that we needed to follow this set of laws, strictly. When questioned about why some rules were still followed when their reasons seemed to be moot points now, his response would inevitably be either “God told us to do this” or “rabbis long ago were much wiser than anyone now and they said to do this.”

    When I got married and began living with my wife, I began very strict but always felt a tension between my religious side and my secular/scientific side. I’ve loosened my religious restrictions while, I feel, still keeping the spirit of the laws intact. (For example, I’ll turn on the TV on Saturday now, but I don’t do any work or use a computer.)

    Right now, I’m feeling tension because my wife (who drives on Saturday) will be out of town tomorrow during Free Comic Book Day. My religious side (“observe Shabbat”) and my geeky side (“Free Comic Books for my kids and me”) are fighting… still not sure which side will win.

    TechyDad´s last post…Aloha Friday- Superheroes

  26. thatgirlblogs May 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM #

    I’m pretty Christ-y and I’m not offended. I think you’re good. Right, even.

    thatgirlblogs´s last post…spontaneity has its time and its place the sure thing

    • Anissa Mayhew May 9, 2011 at 5:40 PM #

      Go Team Christ-y!

  27. Penbleth May 6, 2011 at 11:27 AM #

    Well said, God made us how we are and loves us how we are. It’s not for anyone else to tell us what we do with that, if anything. One day, we have to hope, people will realise that “different” and “wrong” are two VERY different words.

    Penbleth´s last post…Tuck in

  28. Kris May 6, 2011 at 10:55 AM #

    I’m not Christian, but the type of Christians you are talking about, the cookie cutter, you have to do it my way, they are actually the kind that turned me off of the faith back when I was only 12. I love you for being willing to speak about this, and not being afraid of what it will do. Your relationship with YOUR God is YOUR business, no one elses.

    Kris´s last post…Tres Leches Cake- lots of pictures

  29. Jeff Dean May 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM #

    Anissa, you are very wise…
    love ya,
    J

  30. Suebob May 6, 2011 at 10:37 AM #

    If God wanted us all to be the same, why did It create us all so different? Asking questions is good! I’m so glad I grew up without religion (but with ethics) so I could find my own path. My own path includes a church where last week the pastor admitted she could not sit down and meditate, so she hula hoops, which she demonstrated:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/suebobdavis/5676763388/in/photostream

    Her whole sermon was about not doing it just one way.

    Have fun on the journey! I hope you find the place/people/things that make you feel closest to the divine, and that you have a good time doing it.

    Suebob´s last post…Planting Dandelions

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