Curiosity and Spirituality
By Greg Tucker
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been told that I question things “too much”. On my end, people don’t question things enough. Example: I come from a Christian family that attended a Pentecostal church so I was always told to never question God and what he allowed to happen. I’ve witnessed many pastors preach to a congregation of desperate and hopeless individuals in need about “giving tithe to the house of the lord” for a blessing in return, only for them to pocket some of the money. Which prompted me to ask: How come everyone else arrives on foot, bicycle and cars made before 2007, yet the pastors arrive in brand-new luxury cars such as BMWs, Mercedes, Cadillacs and even Rolls Royces? In the same breath, I watched people hoot, holler and beg the lord for forgiveness, I’ve also watched them judge one another and act not in accordance with the bible; hypocrisy. My last straw was going into the basement of an all-black church, seeing an ethereal painting of a white man, with long brown hair, blue eyes, being told that this man was Jesus Christ, when our readings in children’s church followed characters in the Middle East; a contradiction. The hypocrisy that existed within the church ultimately prompted our family’s exit.
We went to church almost every Sunday, but because we didn't anymore, Sundays felt odd. I almost would feel as though we were doing something wrong for not attending church services anymore. That was until I stayed the week at a Christian church camp in the Adirondack Mountains for 2 consecutive years. And each time felt like I was slowly but surely being initiated into some twisted cult. They had strange music; the music was unlike any Gospel I’ve ever heard; the music was like some sort of advertisement for Christianity. There were strangers telling me how they loved me unconditionally because to them I was a “child of God”, that I was their “brother” and many more things that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. They would also tell me that if I didn’t give my all to Jesus that I would burn in hell eternally. I felt as if I were being contracted to be a part of some sick deal with Jesus, rather than informed/invited to be a part of their community.
On the surface, these events seem to be normal experiences for most Christians. But for me these experiences were semi traumatic, which caused me to seek treatment for these mental ailments: spirituality. As these experiences were a result of the religion (organization around god) rather than god himself, my relationship with him was not hindered. Spirituality deepened my understanding of my connection with God. It never made me feel uncomfortable like religion did which made me conclude: sometimes questioning what God allows is okay; Curiosity can lead to a discovery that no religious leader, no book, not even the Bible, can help you find.
12/23/2021 09:15:00 am
12/23/2021 09:18:14 am
12/23/2021 10:00:55 am
Your authorial voice is recognizable from a mile away, in the best way. :) Thanks for sharing this deeply personal piece. What you're saying resonates with a lot of folks these days, myself included. Come by and visit our old classroom sometime and let's talk.
12/23/2021 10:23:52 am
Your curiousity will serve you well. It is always important to ask questions, and be sensitive to your gut responses. Thank you for sharing your story.
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