I love Jesus and he’s my best friend, but I'm NOT a small town Christian like most.
What is a small town Christian?
For someone who grew up in a small church I left for school and had never really experienced any other church besides my own. I had never heard some of the messages I heard in my own church. I began to wonder about why people in the south, especially in small towns, were said to preach and teach opinionated messages. After much analysis, I came up with this term because I felt like I was close minded about my own religion and it was mainly because I grew up in a small town. Not saying, everyone, is this way but I did see a trend. There was so much I had questions about especially when it came to denominations and Christ church.
Reading the Bible and My Opinion
I don't read the bible to force my opinion on anyone. I read it for personal understanding and that's how I feel everyone should be. The bible is filled with love and all we seem to preach and get noticed for is hate. Some people don't understand the origin of bible translations and how scary it is to think about the personal agendas of those that wrote it for the masses. King James had many scribes translate the bible and I take what I read and always research it because let's just be honest. No human is perfect when it comes to writing and keeping opinion out of things (Trust me I know I'm a Journalism Major) and we should always be proactive when reading the bible and research it ourselves with original translations. The original bible was composed of many languages and word choice was difficult to understand because it may switch languages and in any language, one word may not mean the same in another. I just feel like the way people sometimes view the text is outlandish based on their so called convictions. Which raises my next point, Convictions.
Forcing Your OWN Convictions on Someone Else
I see this happening so much in small churches. I'm going to try and keep it short so here we go. Just because you feel convicted of something doesn't mean everyone else should feel the same way. I hear so many people say they left their small church because they were made to feel like they had committed the ultimate sin or something or because they had different views on some issues. Some of these issues include: drinking wine, getting tattoos, clothing choices, music choices, having a live-in girlfriend, etc. All of these I've heard at least once and I'm about to bust them with Scripture.
Honey Drink Your Wine
Lort I’ve heard so many times this is a sin but if people would read their bible regarding wine it gives one rule: AVOID DRUNKENNESS! It actually praises wine in a few instances as it was a blessing from God (Ecclesiastes 9:7,Psalm 104:14-15, Amos 9:14, Isaiah 55:1). The passages where it talks about drunkenness and its effects are mostly focusing on getting drunk not forbidding wine (Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 23:29-35, 1 Corinthians 6:12, 2 Peter 2:19, 1 Corinthians 8:9-13, 1 Corinthians 10:31) I mean lets refer to a miracle of Jesus when he turned the water into wine at the celebration (I would LOVE to have some of THAT holy wine lol). In the biblical days, the water wasn't very sanitary like many third world countries today. Wine was drunk because it was far less likely to be contaminated. It was also used for meniscal purposes like stomach problems. Although it wasn't as potent with alcohol as today it wasn't grape juice, it had alcohol. Stop convicting others and let them sip their wine as long as their not drunk. Enough said about that, bye Felicia!
Ink Yo Self and Slay the Day
Lawd, quit telling people it's a sin to get tattoos and dressing up in clothing that doesn't fit YOUR image of a Christian. The old testament speaks of tattoos but we aren't under the old testament laws. The new testament does have one command in 1 Peter 3:3-4 and grated this passage is directed to women it's giving women empowerment by telling them they don't have to worry about their outer beauty because it's their inner beauty that matters. How awesome. Some men should take notes on this and learn how to make a woman feel a million bucks. Therefore ladies SLAY THE DAY AWAY. Just remember none of that make-up matters to God and shouldn't define you.
Rock Out to Your Own Beat
The bible doesn't explicitly state anything about SECULAR music other than to be careful. Plain and simple!
Living with Your Soulmate Before Marriage
Okay so my patience has worn thin with this issue especially with NON-VIRGIN CHRISTIANS. (I am a proud virgin by the way) The bible doesn't speak of living together before marriage as a sin. Y’all need to STTAAAPPPPH telling this lie. It does although address sharing the marriage bed, which most of the time the ones addressing the issue didn’t do but I'm just going to sip my tea! For those of you that live together and stay pure more power to you, but these dirty pigs giving instructions they didn't even keep them need to stop throwing stones. It's not “SHACKING” if all your doing is sharing bills and not a bed.
Now that my rant is over. These are the reasons I don't consider myself a small town Christian! I love everyone and don't throw stones but rather show love. I’m far from perfect and have never claimed to be perfect so therefore I have no reason to cast a stone when I should be hitting my own self with it. I love my church and it will always be home but if life takes me elsewhere I know I have done the necessary things to share Christ and not condemn others.