My faith has taken several damaging hits. It's becoming a struggle to believe so strongly in something that feels so ineffective. My best friend, whose own faith was part of the inspiration behind my recommitment, became increasingly disillusioned by the near fanaticism being shoved down her throat and has seemingly abandoned her religion. This contributes to my own disillusion and frustration with what appears to be the rampant hypocrisy within the religious community. Why so many interpretations of right and wrong? Why do so many seem to follow only those commandments which are most convenient, labeling the others as perhaps outdated and no longer pertinent to modern times, and therefore not worth following? If our bodies are temples, why is it ok to smoke, or drink, or get tattoos or piercings, or eat too much? Why do some consider it acceptable to smoke, but not drink? To drink, but not smoke? To do neither, but cover their bodies in ink and foreign objects? And why are these activities such controversial topics? They aren't even part of the 10 Commandments; shouldn't Christians concern themselves more with not using the Lord's name in vain, and not lying, and not committing adultery?
And the sex issue is, perhaps, becoming my biggest frustration of all. How can someone say premarital sexual intercourse is wrong, yet find it acceptable to engage in all other sexual acts excluding actual intercourse? I'm positive that when God forbade premarital sex, he didn't include bylaws allowing oral sex. If I want to smoke and drink and get tattoos and have sex, how does this negate my belief that Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior? If I don't want to do those things, how does that somehow make my faith in Jesus "better" than someone who does participate in those activities?
And if these rules are open to such varied interpretations and can be followed or not followed according to what feels "right" to the individual, then what is the point of having the rules at all?
I need guidance. And answers.