the confession

I quit church. Years ago.

The start of the ending came when the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany started to deduct 8% from my first salary. That’s the system there – the moment you officially state your confession, they take that amount from your income (before taxes!) and give it to the church. One of the reasons, btw, why so many ppl in Germany have quit church.
It wasn’t about the money though.

While as a child, I was always dragged along to church, to museums, uninteresting exhibitions and other stuff your parents do and of which they think it might have a positive and long lasting effect on you. I hated it. I hated being forced to do something, and I still hate being forced into a certain group. And I thought singing would be “uncool”. I couldn’t stand it. I was afraid of it.

I never needed that “group membership”. I never wanted to be part of any grouping or exclusive club. And neither did I ever become a member of a political party for the very same reason.

When my parents organized exhibitions, I prefered staying in the background, having a nice view on everything. I never wanted to be seated in the first row. I am shy, and this blog is one way of communicating my thoughts. People come here and read this because they want to – no one ever forced them. I believe in this freedom of choice. And there’s a reason why i rented my internet domain uhuru.de way back in 1999.

So today I went to church. Not to any church, but to one I had never been to before. I wanted to explore it, feel it, and feel the community spirit. And I liked it.
Very much.

It’s a catholic church.

My father is sick and old these days, and we have managed to organize a place for him at a catholic nursing home. This is the best place for him, and besides of my mum visting him every day, they are taking very good care of him. I like that. I like it how they actually put this charity as their first priority, and how they accepted him as part of their community.

The other day I had an argument with some friends on what makes you be a “real Christian”. Am I not a Christian in my heart when I don’t read the Bible frequently? Am I not a Christian when I don’t go to church and sing within a community? It was a strange discussion. On one hand these people who regularly worship their God with different liturgies, and on the other hand me, the lost soul who always opted to be the maverick.

I guess there’s no answer to this. Only, I never wanted to celebrate any rituals or liturgies, I never wanted to kiss the Bible or any other holy book to show my appreciation for any written wisdom or other rules that help to organize a society and keep it within a certain frame. It scares me. Weren’t we born with a brain so that we make use of it? Do I need any external guidance to show me a way on how to live my life?

When I went to church today, I felt the community spirit, and I even sang. It was this feeling that I missed. Singing is uncool? No. It’s just uncool trying to be cool all the time. And it’s nice to be among people who don’t give a damn about being shy – you just feel like to let it go. Being free, inside, where it matters.

Being at peace with yourself.

7 comments » Write a comment

  1. Jke being at peace with yourself is the best thing you can have in this lifetime. I do not go to church eitherand yes I was baptised in a catholic church, never felt the need to be in a building to proclaim my spiritual sense. I have not been in a church in over 5 years ! but am at peace for I do not feel the need to declare my relationship with God to anyone but myself. It is what is within you that matters most. Have a blessed and peaceful time this time of the year and peace to your family as well. Thanks for sharing this my friend.

  2. I see we share some of the same beliefs. Raised a catholic and still make it to church once in a while. Being a christian is a belief, a way of life, not nescesarily to be worn on the arm and brow beating everyone with, but living your life as well as you can and becoming a shining example to all that you meet.

    And hey, does this mean that since we made it to church today, shall we have to go tomorrow? (Christmas day) :-) And oh, do sing, loudly, out of tune, i understand it all sounds beautiful to Him, though your neigbours may not share that point of view! LOL

    There! See am now blogging on your blog. Am off. Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

  3. I am probably your number one lurker! Merry Christmas and may we all find that peace that surpasses all understanding.

  4. merry christmas
    hmmm,youre post made me chuckle and think..i dont know!he world is confused. man complicates himself.i do it all the time.God never asked for rituals,routine,emblems or edficies to prove who he is. we took it upon ourselves that these are the things he needed or wanted.he wanted us to love him…completely and then love others. isnt that what church and community should be about? no silliness?. as for guidance, we always need some here and there, sometimes it may come in human form, but the best kind(kabisa!) is from God. so i guess it does help to read the bible, unless youre one of those who was blessed with the gift of discernment,in abundance;)…but even then!
    i like that youre own person!makes the world a wonderfully different!

  5. Who is a Christian? Surely not liturgy and kissing books and paying taxes.It’s actually rather straight forward:

    “Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments. If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God.

    Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. My dear friends, I’m not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you’ve known it from day one. It’s always been implicit in the Message you’ve heard…

    Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!…

    And now, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives. Once you’re convinced that he is right and righteous, you’ll recognize that all who practice righteousness are God’s true children. ”
    1 John 2

    And what does God want you to do?
    The sum of the Ten Commandments is, to love the Lord your God with all our heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor, enemy, family, friend as yourself.

  6. though i don’t go to church a lot and also don’t like that tax deduction, i can’t imagine making myself “konfessionslos” so at to be able to pay less taxes.