(Troubling) Memories of Being in School, and Some on Christian School

For my 7th and 8th grade years, I attended Emmanuel Christian School in Dothan, Alabama. These were the years of 1997-98 and 1998-1999 respectively.  My attending ECS had to do with the bullying that had occurred for the duration of my 6th grade year at Slocomb Middle School in Slocomb, Alabama.

Needless to say, the Slocomb experience showed me quickly that there’s no justice in the world. I was harassed on a daily basis for almost a year, and when I finally stood up for myself near the end of the year, I- not the bullies- was the one who in trouble.

So I ended up in private school, and not just private school, but a Christian private school- and I had impressions of this ideal place where everyone lived by Christ-like principles, treated one another with respect and love, and that my life was about to get way easier.

And then BAM! reality crashed into me and sent me spiraling far, far away because that is so not what happened.

What happened is that I ended up in an envrionment with adults that were extra-strict on behavior and students who behaved exactly the same way as they did in public school, down to some even bullying me, all with a bizarre Jesus-flavored coating. And I mean that Jesus-flavored coating was thin, y’all.

So this was my first real wake-up call about Christianity and the hypocrisy therein along with how the world actually works in which “justice” is a virtue we enshrine and is often not carried out for those who are left defenseless (like myself) because we were told that to be totally vulernable and to not resist (save spiritually) was precisely what Jesus wanted us to do.

Does that mean that no one is a true Christian? Well, no, not at all. It’s just that the “true” Christians, if we might use that phrase, if we might refer to the people who are genuinely connected to and united with Christ, the people who have genuinely surrendered themselves to a Higher Power, are few and far in-between, and they’re certainly not the majority of people who are in those Christians schools or in the pews at churches.

And before anyone brings up the No True Scotsman fallacy, back off. Seriously. Do not play games of semantics with me. Read what I wrote.

Instead, those “Christians” consist largely of people who follow an additional set of often non-sensical rules based in a worldview that goes back some 5000 years and contains tons of sketchy history, and instead of living with a sense of humility before an All-Loving Christ to which they should be surrendering their very soul, they have a pride about their identity and their in-group out-group exercise of, “Are you a Christian?” and so on.

I have described myself often as a “reluctant” Christian because this is not the path I would have, but it is the God and the path that has chosen me- I will not deny my experiences of Christ.

Though I should be clear, while I have experienced Christ and Sophia, I’m not sure about God the Father proper. The only God I know I have experienced beyond any shadow of any doubt is the God of Nature, and that God is not separate from the world around in a “Creator versus Creation” dichotomy.

I could go on about the trouble at the Christian school, but I think I’ll stop for now.

Steve

 

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