This morning, I type while my family is at my old church. Why I'm not with them I'll elaborate.
Believe it or not, during high school, I feel I was most bullied and gossiped about within my (gasp) church's youth ministry. It had all the substances of high school: the cliques, the chatter, the dating drama. But it was at a worse degree since it was a big youth group, but yet small enough for the effect of that behavior.
It got to the point where I was dragging myself, kicking & screaming, every Sunday to youth group in high school, no longer focused on the message, but to prove to my high school enemy (who was also my "sister in Christ") that I wasn't weak enough to let her reap me out of my own youth group. It got to the point where I didn't feel any love from these people, as everyone seemed to be ripped to shreds.
A few years later, after moving back home, I met Jordan, my brother's friend. He's your typical "Christian boy": administers communion, attends Christian college, is wanting to be a youth pastor. However, after hooking up a few times, I became enamored with him. However, it got to the point where the air was cleared. He had gone through my brother to tell me that he wanted nothing more than sex. I was heartbroken, but quickly got over it. A month later, he was sleeping over with my brother, and specified that he didn't want me hanging out with them this time. I adhered to this, and went to spend time with my best friend & her family for a bit. Coming home, I laid down, and got a text from him asking to come up to see me. He came in my room drunk in his boxers, and needless to say, it led to sex. He wanted it, so I did it. Right after we were done, he said "I think you need to get some sleep" and left. What angered my brother was that he wanted to hang with him, yet sneaked up to get with me.
Back on topic...I'm not sure if I want to worship with people who allegedly share the same God as me, but fail to emulate it. In the Bible, St. Paul doesn't require Christians to congregate in large numbers, but simply recommends it, as he doesn't require it but recommends staying single. I imagine if he were to see the activity going on in churches like the one I used to go to, he'd be disgusted and without surprise as to why I choose to stay at home on Sundays now.
Going to a steepled building every Sunday doesn't constitute living as a Christian. My own brother isn't even a Christian, but still goes for the social aspects of it. Reciprocally, I don't feel that not going to church constitutes someone not to be a Christian. We all have our own relationships with God. I will admit that reading my Bible would be beneficial, especially the New Testament, which has a lot of spiritual material in itself not limited to just Christianity (as it is cited in other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, where Jesus is held as a prophet or another god).
I even see a lot of self-claimed Christians who tend to use the Bible in an ad hominem manner toward others on here, and a validation for intolerance. Condemnation of homosexuality, sexuality in general, and exclusion of other religions from God's harmony. As quoted by Shakespeare, "even the Devil can quote Scripture to his advantage."
Christians on G@G, I'd love to get your opinion on this. Non-Christians are welcome to comment as well.
Just some food for thought.