I have talked in the past about how my faith and my experiences at church have been very important in my recovery. After all, that is why I have this series. And for me, the healing comes from the sense of community I get from people coming together. I truly believe that He is present when even a few of his followers gather together. And I believe His healing power is present in those moments as well. Yet sadly, too many view their faith through isolating lenses.
I think one of the many factors that can contribute to mental illness is a sense of isolation that comes from a society that, quite frankly, seems far too cliquish. And one of the major issues that people form their cliques around is their particular faith. If someone believes something different, no matter how small, those persons are not part of the group, they are not among the true believers. And they are cast out.
Can someone explain to me where that comes from?
Jesus, after all, spoke to the Samaritan woman, which broke many social taboos of the time. He told his faithful follower to welcome Saul, a man who had been persecuting them specifically for their beliefs. On the whole, he never showed anything short of acceptance in his life, fostering a sense of community that I believe has helped heal many over the years, which is why people discriminating against others in his name is so hard for me. It creates cracks for the demons to sneak through.
And some might say there were plenty of times that Jesus was far from accepting. For example, when he flipped the tables of the money changers, that was hardly accepting. Yet there is a difference between being accepting and being a pushover. There is a difference between being accepting of people while protesting and advocating against policies that are wrong. Jesus was not putting those people out of the temple because of who they were, but because of what they are doing. I have no doubt had those same money changers come to Him and asked for forgiveness He would have granted it.
And I apologize that this is coming off as a bit of a rant. I didn’t intend for that to be the case, but it is how it is coming out. Because like Jesus flipping the tables of the money changers, I can’t just continue to stand back and watch His name be used to justify discrimination of others. I can’t ignore the division created from teachings that were meant to heal a broken world, not darken it further.
Jesus is still the savior of the world and His teachings are still healing for me. They are still important in my recovery. I only pray that others can find the sense of acceptance and togetherness Jesus tried to preach in his time. Because we could really use that in our time.