Mel, LSW, MSW Profile picture
Mar 5, 2018 26 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A deeply personal thread about what spirituality looks like for me, subject to change within the next hour.

This is also written specifically for my wandering, unchurched still-Christian fam. I love you. We're in this together.
The most exciting part of being an unchurched Christian, aside from actively avoiding religious trauma (#lol), is being able to distance myself from cold formulaic methods of approaching spirituality & embrace the beautifully mysterious dance with the divine.
Like, just learning just how *broad* of a definition church really IS.

I mean, I AM THE CHURCH, MOFUKKAS. I hold the Holy Spirit. Holla. I'm not just going grocery shopping, THE CHURCH IS TOO & SHE LOVES DORITOS.
(Oh btw, the Church also likes going to bars & ordering frozen strawberry margaritas. What a SHAME that modern churchfolk conveniently dismiss Jesus' first miracle. Their loss, but more for me I guess)
But forreal, for once in my life I actually feel like I AM the church. It's not just a fake catchphrase anymore. It's sunken into my soul. I have the power to bless & curse people everyday, wherever I am, at all moments. We all do.
My actions have weight. When I relied on church & ministry to "prove my Christianity" in a clear-cut way, I was able to justify bigotry -- but now, I have none of that, and the onus rests on me to not be an asshole. It always has, but I realize it more strongly now.
And perhaps this is lame, but when I talk to folks all over the world, I FEEL like we're a part of a spiritual family. I no longer "other" Christians outside of my narrow worldview. We're all connected. The mysterious & transcendent reality of the Body has become real to me.
& to be honest, part of me has grown out of the need for institutional church. I don't need people to dictate my actions. I don't want to stand up & worship when some straight old white man on a stage tells me to. Why do we listen to him anyway. Who died and made this trick king?
SO I WON'T DO IT. And wow it is so FREEING! I almost physically feel the chains of patriarchy and authoritarianism falling off (and getting caught on my leg hair #feminism).
But you know what? If I am suddenly overcome with the compulsion to worship & scream Lauren Daigle off-key in the shower... or pray in tongues silently in my car on a morning commute... I'll do that too. When I want to. On my terms. No one else's.
Speaking of prayer, it is so much cooler after throwing out all the garbage theology surrounding it. I can not do it for days. Weeks. I can do it several times a day. I can do it to mentally drown out my bigoted theology class lectures. Whatever. No guilt either way. I'm free.
Over Christmas break I heard a guy pray in a bar & he said "What the fuck, God." Best prayer I ever heard. Healed deep parts of me I can't explain. It was a level of genuine I'd NEVER heard in a church in my 26 years of living. The emotion was real. There was no show.
Also, can I just say how LIFE is so much better when you don't feel a constant inner compulsion to proselytize people? I can just let people BE and NOT feel forced to see them in a patronizing, objectifying, commodifying way! We all equally don't know shit and that's ok!
Oh, and the Bible. That book. I can read it whenever I want. No guilt here. The printing press wasn't invented until the 1400's so if I read it once a year, that's STILL more often than most early Christians did in their whole entire lives. They did just fine without it!
...But if I want to pick it up, I will. And I don't have to be forced to proof-text or read passages literally or fasten verses as weapons against minorities. I can take history & culture & science & genre & reason & the law of Love into consideration. It's great.
And can we talk about Jesus? He excites the hell out of my Pentecostal self. He was the original SJW. Can conservative Christendom stop making him sound boring? He was a radical, and when you read about him in light of cultural & historical context there's no denying it.
The best part of Jesus is that IMO he can speak to EVERYTHING. To every injustice. To every human rights violation. To every system of oppression build on pride, privilege, power, and greed. Racism. Homophobia. Nationalism. He hates it all.
He ain't sitting there policing you on your dress length or waving hell over your head like a deadly cat toy or being angry you don't sit as a passive member of an audience in a 501c3 building every Sunday between 10am-11am.

Jesus ain't got time fo dat.
He's in the business of proclaiming freedom to captives & setting the oppressed free.

In fact, saying that is what got him driven out of a synagogue at threat of murder.

He never went back to church after.

That passage resonates with me so much because I, too, never went back
Listen. Let me let all y'all other wandering, unchurched Christians in on a badass secret: I don't let people monopolize *my faith* and tell me how to live it. You shouldn't either. Those people don't OWN Christianity. They don't OWN Holy Spirit. They don't OWN you. We are free.
Pity them for subscribing to a life-sucking version of Christianity. Poor guys. Jesus came to give life and life abundantly, not to steal, kill, and destroy. Their version is not the only version out there. Make your OWN. Be real. Follow the wind of Spirit & let Her blow you.
Curse in your prayers. Scream. Sing to worship songs from the 90's as a big "EFF YOU" to all the people who wrote them & think you're hellbound. Laugh at their small-mindedness. Believe & proclaim there is a God built on love that CANNOT be taken away from you.
Even if EVERYONE AROUND YOU worships a malevolent, punitive, oppressive deity, REFUSE to believe their version is right. They're blind. They wouldn't know healthy spirituality & a theology of LIBERATION if it slapped them in the face. Don't let that stop you from finding it.
They don't know Jesus outside their religious trauma & abuse & guilt-tripping & self-loathing & fear-mongering. They are immersed in a subculture where that's all they've ever known. Give grace, but soar past them.
What keeps me going is this: Many of them want those who don't conform to walk away. They want me to walk away. They want us to walk away.

But I won't. I won't fucking go without a fight.

I will reclaim the label that's been stolen from me.
I will prove them and their despicable version of God wrong or I will die trying. The Spirit of Truth lives in me and I have all the tools I need.

So do you.

And the fantasy opinions of sanctimonious, small-minded people are not necessary.

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More from @holyqueerit

Oct 6, 2018
Christianese loves to dress up oppression, abuse, and human exploitation with fancy spiritual catchphrases and theological labels — so let me offer some more realistic terms and definitions to help y’all deconstruct the bullshit.

“Purity culture” is rape culture
“Complementarianism” is sexism
“Male headship” is patriarchy
“Modesty” is thinly veiled misogyny
“All Lives Matter” is racism
“Colorblind” Christian subculture is white supremacy
“Missions trips” are imperialist colonization
“Prosperity gospel” is classism
“God helps those who help themselves” is boot-strap capitalism
“<Insert people or group> is/are going to hell” is abuse
“Only <certain people group> can be leaders” is paternalism
“Your heart is deceitful/untrustworthy” is spiritual gaslighting
Read 11 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
Leaving pentecostal spaces due to their laundry list of fundamentalist flaws, yet still remaining a Christian, is a big fucking heartbreak in its own unique way. I’ve heard other charismatic progressives (queer people especially) voice this sentiment as well.
I’m going to be real: I miss the (not-theologically-shitty) contemporary Christian worship music. I miss it being normal to worship however the fuck you want — whether it’s laying on the floor, sitting, standing, dancing, raising hands. Quiet or loud.
I miss people laying hands on me to pray (solicited) when I was sick or going through something. I miss the open discussion of the gifts. I miss swapping supernatural stories with others — hearing people’s powerful dreams & visions & miraculous experiences that defy explanation.
Read 22 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
I find it hilariously ironic that C.S. Lewis is lauded by evangelicals as a bastion of spiritual knowledge & wit – a most revered Christian thinker – yet if he was alive today, the same folks who worship his innovative writings would viciously brand him a heretic & false teacher.
There’d be smarmy thinkpieces churned out like butter slandering his name. Prominent evangelical leaders would take up pitchforks and rally their troops, unanimously denouncing his beliefs.
They’d label his works a virulent threat to the Gospel, an evil catalyst that’ll send you backsliding on the slippery slope into apostasy. He’d be relegated to Sunday sermon fodder that’d fuel their raging persecution complex.
Read 35 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Logging online only to say:

I don’t want to hear a single “egalitarian” who does not affirm LGBT+ people attempt to speak against the #SocialJusticeStatement.

Don’t pretend to be indignant when you are still complicit in the systems that made this possible. Save it.
Say you affirm PoC all you want.
Say you affirm women all you want.

But what about trans women theologians?
Married gay Hispanic men?
Black lesbian partnered clergy?
Nonbinary bisexual people in seminary?
If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it is folly. Even more: It’s actively oppressive.

Cry persecution all you want; this isn’t “gatekeeping” or “bullying.” Your beliefs cause domino effects that eventually lead to discrimination, violence, genocide, & suicide of Queer people.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 3, 2018
It’s ironic to me how evangelicals romanticize 1 Corinthians 13, yet do not take it seriously — I’d argue esp the line about love not “insisting on its own way.” The entire superstructure is predicated upon control of individual people’s theological, social, & political beliefs.
It insists you believe in penal substitutionary atonement. It insists you hold certain specific eschatological views. It insists you believe in a literal Dante’s inferno type hell. It insists you hold to gender roles and cisheteronormativity.
It insists you hold certain beliefs about who church leadership should be and how it should function and what power they should have. It insists you should mindlessly abide by certain church policies even if they are unbiblical or inhumane or illogical.
Read 14 tweets
Aug 29, 2018
It’s so strange, because in some ways, I feel like my life is picking up where it left off back in middle school. Those years were the years where it was most prominently drilled into my head that I either choose “this specific version of God they tell me about” or “myself.”
Those were the years I first developed feelings for girls, realized I loved wearing nerdy t-shirts & the color black, poured my soul into videogames & Internet forums & writing. Those were also the years my life was youth group & obsessing over scripture & the Holy Spirit.
And man. It was a hot mess. I’ll never forget how tragically conflicted I became. It felt like the deepest parts of who I was seemingly contradicted layers upon layers of the belief system (and therefore the God) that I held dearest to my zealous, blissfully naïve heart.
Read 10 tweets

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