I am a christian and I love church but there are so many churches now that it is hard to make a choice especially if you are young and misguided. I recently made a change from a a bigger church to an on-campus fellowship and although I wish I made it a more graceful exit, I do not regret it.
As a family, we made a couple of changes when it came to church, most leaving happy memories, others not so much. My first experience in an ‘Ibadan’ church had me hating church as an 8 year old. There were people who complained to my mum about my sisters and I wearing jeans and not tying scarves(at 8?). Anyways, I was so glad when we made a change to a more ‘social’ church which at the time did not have any issues about children in jeans and was more ‘children friendly’. Although, back then, I hated being treated like a child and was a member of the adult Sunday school class(I was way too serious for goofy, talkative kids).
Participating in drama and choir presentations was fun until the ‘kiss’ that is, the unsolicited kiss from a budding paedophilic instrumentalist. I mean, what 9 year old wanted a kiss from the disgusting mouth of a 30 something year old nobody. I remember looking up at him, and telling him in my ‘grown up’ voice to never try that with me again or I would tell the pastor, and hence halting what would have been a story of abuse.
Throughout secondary school, going to church was a chore for me, one I soon stopped bothering to attend to. The chapel then was a lot different from what I was used to at home, and for 6 years I refused to adapt, not because I hated God, but because I hated the rules associated with going to places of worship. The ones about hair coverings were so extreme that the formidable ushers at the door would turn you right back if you dared to go without a scarf or a beret. After a couple of months, I just stopped bothering and only went for thanksgiving services, carol and valedictory services.
Now the head covering rule is back again, I am not totally averse to it anymore, I just don’t understand why it should be imbibed within the doctrine of a church especially for young people. Paul wrote, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man (that is Christian men and women) is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head” (1 Cor. 1:3-6).”
I do not wish to get into a never-ending argument about doctrine in the Christian faith but it appears to me that Paul was speaking to married women, and since I’m unmarried, why should the doctrine of a particular church tell me to cover my hair, that is not the only reason why I left though(too petty), I wanted a chance to know God for myself, among people in my age group without the familiarity and super-human expectations that come with being a preacher’s kid.
Although, it would appear that I have commitment issues, I probably do. I cannot really say that I have felt like I belonged in any church until now, I can safely say I’ve found my niche here, the trick is getting involved in what I do best, and utilizing my talents for the gospel while staying faithful to the one true God who knows no race, doctrine or language.
I am personally not against rules, because rules ensure order, but I don’t want to be imprisoned by doctrines made by men, all I want is to serve the Lord my God with all my heart regardless of legalistic ‘churchy’ righteousness.
There is no perfect Christian, we all strive toward perfection by the undiluted inexplicable grace that comes from the Father, and not by following all the rules.