I haven’t been to church in over a year now, and I’ve been pondering how I should address what I’ve discovered along the way. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably could’ve never guessed that I would end up here. I never imagined that I could exist outside the Church I once held so dear. But due to the routine state-sanctioned violence that is being inflicted on my people, and the inadequate response from the church (among other things), I have decided to remove myself entirely from a system that claims to value my soul, but fails to show up for my Black body. I’ll probably end up writing a book about this one day, but in the meantime, here are 20 things I’ve learned since leaving the church:
- God is not a man.
- There is no pre-determined path called “God’s will” that I must discover and adhere to in order to experience God’s grace, love, and favor.
- As a Black woman, I have the power and autonomy to make my own decisions.
- Material success isn’t an indicator of God’s presence
- God’s grace is sufficient, even when my works aren’t.
- I don’t need a church home in order to facilitate a relationship with God.
- Accountability is often (but not always) used as an excuse for control and spiritual manipulation.
- These pastors ain’t loyal.
- My salvation is already solidified and there’s nothing I can do or say to separate myself from God’s love.
- Women are fully capable of leading churches, nations, and their families.
- Sexuality and spirituality aren’t mutually exclusive.
- God’s blessings were never dependent upon my willingness or ability to tithe.
- Jesus never mentioned most of the “sins” I was taught in church.
- Western Christianity is the farthest thing from what the original church sought out to accomplish.
- Spiritualized self-help is not the Gospel.
- Anyone claiming to have all the answers clearly doesn’t.
- White evangelicals (and the Black evangelicals spouting the same white, patriarchal values) are modern manifestations of neocolonialism.
- The people who condemn a particular sin the most are typically the ones struggling with it.
- Heather Lindsey lied. About all of it.
- I don’t have to choose between being a woman, being unapologetically Black, and being a believer.
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