Thought Dump About Coercion and Guilt Trips

Disclaimer: this is a thought dump and was not edited. Also their are related points that I thought of but didn’t write down here.
The protecting the children training (protectingthechildren.churchofjesuschrist.org) mentioned that using religious language to coerce religion is a form of abuse. Woah!!! That was like a big clincher for me. It’s crazy how to guilt that ruled my life as a 14 year old took this many years to unwind. And I estimate it’ll take another few years to fully heal. Anyways, a while before I heard that quote, I started to, to a large extent, stop doing things that I was doing just because I felt guilty. Then one day I was talking to Colton and I was reminiscing about college and I was like, “I don’t feel as close to God as I did then. I would like to feel closer to God.” And then I started doing the things I had stopped doing with real intent this time.
My one “stuck point” is this talk in a face to face about how prayer shouldn’t be a “chat” and about how we’re talking to God and it should feel as if we’re approaching a throne. So I’ve been pondering that for a long time. And I am realizing that God doesn’t want you to approach his throne with fear and guilt (unless you’re truly intentionally evil, in which case you would have fear and guilt).
 
I went to the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial today and reading and hearing stories of innocent people and their loved ones dying makes you sad and it also makes the ground you’re standing on feel holy. And you don’t want to push your stroller over the pavings with words written in them. And you wouldn’t want to laugh loudly.
 
And I think that’s the kind of sacredness that God wants us to approach His throne with.
 
Like, there’s a difference between earned sacredness that anyone with a heart feels, and ascribed sacredness that people are guilted into.
 
And yeah, all of that has to do with all of this. And I’m not completely sure how.

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