You are a wretched soul who is totally depraved and incapable of doing good within yourself without relying on God to reach down and save you!
What if this was the core message you received growing up? And what if you received this related message that goes like this?
Your entire identity is in God, you were created to serve and glorify God. That is your entire life’s purpose. You need to find God’s will for your particular life and follow it or else you will have great troubles.
Well, what kind of life will you have? It depends on how much you buy into the fundamentalist belief system. Personally, I bought into it all the way, and tried to do my best at following rules, avoiding those ‘worldly parties’ thrown by my friends, for many years I didn’t or very rarely swore, and certainly didn’t drink, smoke, dance, listen to rock music, or dress sloppily. I was a Christian witness and testimony everywhere I went and people were watching me don’t ya’ know?
But on the other hand, if someone just pays lip service to these things, but doesn’t actively live them out, they will, in my opinion, have a much more balanced, fulfilled life and be relatively ‘normal.’
If my entire identity is a child of God, and my entire purpose is to glorify God in everything that I do, then these ideas literally hijack any normal human development, steal my innate core human right to think and choose for myself! My own likes and dislikes took a far backseat to the overarching beliefs that I need to find and follow God’s will for my life. Being an active salesman for God trumped everything!
And now that I am waking up, this makes me extremely angry how much real, normal living that I missed out on, how many stupid major career impacting choices I made to my detriment, and what a limited box of activities that I allowed myself (and my family) to have.
This view stole my own natural ability to analyze, problem solve, and make choices based upon what I might simply like better. If every choice was about how to be in God’s will, and glorify God, then where am I?
I am last, sucking up the crumbs left in the wake promoting this horrible set of beliefs. The acronym JOY is said to stand for Jesus, Others and You. And the You (me) comes to believe that my own value, my own choices are always less important than following rules, and ensuring other people’s happiness.
In fact, this leads to me being a total people pleaser who is dependent on others’ opinions for my own validation. After all, if I follow the rules well enough, then God is happy with me, and if I encourage other people, do things for them, then they are happy. And me? Well I don’t matter.
My wants, my opinions, my needs do not matter in the scheme of things, because after all is said and done, God will reward me in heaven for my sufferings and deeds here on earth. (Yes, this is sarcasm)
So when I bought into fundamentalism, it took everything I had, sucked me dry, turned me into a codependent personality, and never fulfilled on its promises that God would love, care for, protect, listen and respond to me in my times of need. HA!
So, after an entire lifetime of being emotionally starved, lied to about reality, while have been given false expectations, I say fuck it all!
I’m so over religion, and I’m so over trying to please some imaginary synthetic god!
I have value, I matter and I will be true to myself first! I am getting free from religious lies! I am chopping through a lot of fundamentalist religion grown vines that have (and still are) poisoning my life!
I matter a lot! My needs matter, my feelings matter, my wants matter! And none of these matter less than other folk’s needs.