I’m tired of intolerance, hatred and war. I’m tired of groups attacking one another, to feel better about themselves. I’m the unfortunate recipient of a collection of genes or memes or a combination of both that causes me to simply care a little too much. Right now, I’m trying to check out a variety of religious groups, no longer only attending Stellenbosch Gemeente, which is as close to a “spiritual home” as I have.
Among other places, I’m attending Shofar again. And this is where people might look at me and wonder and potentially distrust me, because I’m a bit of an odd one out. So I thought I’d lay it all out. Again. Hopefully concisely.
As I hope most of my regular readers know by now, my past is littered with religion, probably like most South Africans’. I also hope everyone realises the great diversity that is found within religions, even within “Protestant” Christianity. Every time you walk into a church, you are carrying a whole lot of baggage with you, which has a great influence on how you perceive and experience each particular church. Also, every church has both good and bad, and it is up to the attendees to make the best of their experience or membership in any church.
A few years ago, I spent three months at Shofar. As a result of the baggage I brought with me, I got hurt. If I had different baggage, things may have been different. Since then, I have spent a lot of time and effort dropping my baggage, while I looked for and learned more about Jesus. At last I’m at a place where my mind is clear of old nonsense. I’m at a place where I feel ready to attend Shofar again. I’m at a place where I can hopefully recognise the good as well as the bad. (Again, good and bad is found in every church, in every religion, in every institution. In everything really.)
Attending. I don’t think merely attending makes me a Shofarian, eh? So yes, I am just a visitor. I am a seeker. I am an inquisitive person, with very many friends and family members at Shofar, friends and family members I love, and care about, and wish to understand. So I am back at Shofar, when time permits. (I originally announced my return to Shofar in mid December.) I am back at Shofar to learn more about the things Jesus stood for and against.