Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Don’t criticize me for how I choose to worship

I have experienced excessive conflicts with members of the church about my radical perceptions. For those who may not know, attending service weekly is not one of my strongest attributes.

I do believe that Jesus Christ was crucified for my sins, and I praise him and confide in him daily; however, my issues seem to lie with church members who constantly criticize my absences.

I must admit, church attendance provides great opportunities for distributing the word of God; yet unfortunately, I am faced with numerous obstacles that prevent me from attending regularly.

These obstacles include my participation in volunteer activities, one of which requires my assistance bimonthly. This explains my absences, though admittedly they are inexcusable.

I can easily construct excuses regarding my school work, or my actual occupation, but either way, excuses are irrelevant.

I consider these explanations to be refuge from the hypocrisy evident in most members. I am aware that hypocrisy exists everywhere, but it should never be conducted within the house of God.

So I constantly contemplate why I am criticized; why am I judged for my absences by friends, members, preachers, deacons and parents?

How can people criticize an individual who implements the word of God through his deeds in the community?

I do applaud those who are able to do both, but awkwardly, the individuals who ridicule me usually are the hypocritical ones who do not advocate even their own perceptions of the Lord.

My character has been constantly criticized and berated by the church, which sees my withdrawal as a blatant sin without acknowledgment of my duties.

For instance, I happen to be one of the few that participates with the Battered Women’s Shelter. The children, who often live in these shelters with their mothers, lack father figures and I make attempts to fill that void.

Yet this chapter of my life is secluded from those who judge my personal life, my appearances. Do blatant sinners do such things? It seems many people go to church to share Biblical wisdom, but where is the implementation of this?

I show charity toward unfortunate children and others who are less fortunate than I am.

A close associate of my elder sister said that only three to four scriptures refer to Jesus’ appearance in the church.

Any other time within the 33 years he was present on earth, he was assisting those in need, how I choose to worship.

Attending service does not make any person any more of a Christian than I, nor does it create a more justifiable path towards the heavens, although, it does bring people closer to God.

I know of men and women who attend service for demonic reasons: attendees who use church as a scapegoat, so to speak.

In scheduled church retreats, I know countless people who have had sexual intercourse when their attention should be directed toward God. I am fully aware that no one is “perfect”.

I have also been told not to attend church for the people, but for the word of God.

However, if the word of God is being distributed within a church where the members only partially implement it, I refuse to participate.

My refusal has resulted in elder attendees despising my absences. This only makes me feel more rebellious.

I do not mean to offend anyone however, I do challenge all who oppose. Currently, I am in need of guidance, and the church can provide that.

Hypocrisy exists everywhere. After all, America is perhaps the most hypocritical nation with its anti-religious antics.

But a place where my absences aren’t questioned or ridiculed, but my appearances are welcomed and appreciated, is most attractive to me.

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