Tuesday, March 04, 2008




Monday, March 03, 2008


This article was in the Sydney Morning Herald today.

I might have touched on the subject of my religious beliefs or lack thereof in the past. It wasn’t always the case though. I attended Sunday school at a very young age and all through until the final couple of years of high school, I was educated in Christian schools, schools that did not permit the freedom of choice in participation of their religious practices and studies. I had to attend church on Sundays (I was in boarding school) and there were masses and bible studies built into the curriculum.

I experienced a lot of things in boarding school. It probably made me think a lot about being a Christian and what it means. I got into a lot of disagreements with the teachers and some students who were brought up in the church that ran the school on why some of them rely so much on what the head preacher says. There were many instances where this preacher would determine the career paths of the kids of the teachers in that school. There was one student that I remember vividly who said that he did not need to study because God will give him everything he needs. He was dead serious too.

I guess part of me envy those people that can leave everything in the hands of another person (or being) just like that. Christians call it faith but I’m still figuring out my relationship with the Big Fella.

I know a few friends that have such a strong relationship with their church that they donate most of their salary to them. A friend’s sister even severed her relationship with her family because they did not approve of her giving everything to this ‘church’. I’ve been to the ‘church’ that she goes to and I am still undecided on how I feel. On the one hand, it’s doing a fantastic job in bringing people together and giving the people hope and joy but on the other, these very people that founded the ‘church’ owns the massive land where the ‘church’ is situated, goes around in fancy cars, wears expensive suits and have huge homes in prime locations.

Is that fair? Is that right?

Seeing practises like these, I’ve closed myself up even more for the fear of being taken for a ride. I feel like I’m being systematically manipulated and that I can’t trust or confide in people that have a strong allegiance to one of these churches because they do prey on the vulnerable more often than not. Okay, maybe prey is too strong a word but I would love to ask the head of these 'churches' whether their riches are justified.

More often than not, the most sincere and dedicated people are the followers and not the big kahunas in these ‘churches’. All that energy and passion summoned up during the sermon at 8am, 10am and 5pm on Sundays, is that real? Is it me or is it more like theatre? Am I going for a good show?

That’s the part that confuses me and it contributed in me having a stand offish attitude to the popular and rich churches. I am more comfortable in the ones that do not have state-of-the-art sound systems with comfy seats and pastors who are not as charismatic.

Sometimes I really wish that I too can trust blindly and let everything go. It seemed so simple when I was a kid in Sunday school.

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