First, let me say that I have the feeling that The Universe is not going to hold it against anyone for not going back to church.
The church is a human construct and is, at the very least, flawed because of it. My take on how things work: any system that humans devise is imperfect to one degree or another. If we sense that, and leave it behind because it no longer works for us, it's usually a sign that we've grown beyond its limitations.
As with many, I have a distaste for organized religion. My background is less than formal and much less structured than what many have experienced|endured. I have fond memories of Methodist Sunday School, with a very white Jesus smiling benevolently upon his flock. It was comforting, but I kept searching his face looking for the truth of him, and could not find it.
Sunday school proved to be far less satisfying than running wild in the forest behind our five acres in the country of Oregon searching for fairies and pretending to be Robinson Crusoe. (There was no such thing as a Robin Crusoe when I was coming up, so he was the best role model I could find. Sakagawea and Dale Evans were in there somewhere, too.)
I tried returning to church in high school, mostly because my best friends were members of the First Christian Church in Monmouth. Even did the immersion baptism ritual, was President of the youth group, and had moments of community that temporarily filled the gaping hole that was my family. I was, and am, however, most drawn to the mystical side of Christianity ... that deep inner knowing that, I believe, Jesus/Yeshua tried to impart to his followers.
I know that he was one with Spirit and a gifted prophet (and revolutionary because of it). He tried mightily to wake people up to the simple truth that God|Truth|Spirit is within each of us, but, like most prophets, his words for the most part, fell on deaf ears.
The one whom I believe recieved his teachings the most directly: The Divine Ms M. Yes ... Mary Magdalene. I've studied her story, and the myths surrounding her for a number of years and have come to a number of conclusions about her. There's much to share on this subject, but I'll wait to be invited.
If I were to give myself a title, it would be: Gnostic-Christian-NativeAmerican-Pagan-Buddhist, but I prefer Synthesist, as in one who embraces what is true in each, and leaves the b.s. behind.
In my mind, there is no greater example of how to live a good life than the one Jesus set for us. (Although the Dalai Lama is doing a fine job, too.) We can only fall short, but not give up. I give thanks every day for the beauty and blessings of this life.
There is a strong streak of the rebel Scot and Wild Woman in me. My dad's mother was a Stewart, the founding clan in Scotland. They were the first Celts to set foot on 'Pritanni' as far as anyone can tell, and intermarried with the indigenous Picts who were native to the region we now call the British Isles. I love this part of my heritage. I also have a Cherokee Great-Grandmother back there a ways. Fond of that, too.
The blood coursing through these veins, the brain encased in my cranium, and the moments of wild abandon of my childhood, along with my "immersion" in Christian fundamentals are all gifts that continue to enrich my life. Most of all, I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me each day. That and the fact that my parents decided to move to Oregon when I was a wee toddler.
Thanks, Mom & Dad ... .