Sunday, December 16, 2007

Perhaps I should just think less.

I’m going to post about something that has been on my mind for some time. Perhaps it is not a good idea to be so out there with my thoughts, but well, here we go anyway.

This is about ‘the church’.

I recently read the book ‘Love Jesus, Hate Church’ that I heard about from Lindsey. Now before I go any further I AM NOT recommending this book. I found it to be full of one man’s bitterness and anger due to his lifetime experience in a specific denomination of the church.

The reason I found this to be such an eye opening, albeit off-putting book, was because it showed me how a man who loves the Lord can be so hurt by His people that he no longer wants to associate with them, and goes so far as to tell others that perhaps they should leave the church also. I find this terribly sad.

I think sometimes we humans get it so very wrong that we must surely grieve the Lord. Sometimes my very own church appears more like a country club than the hands and feet of the Almighty God. So often being part of the church detracts from growing as a Christian. How can this be? Where did we go so wrong?

Sometimes I look around and wonder when looking better than the person next to me became more important than loving them. When did wearing the right outfit to church become more the focus than preparing our hearts to hear God? When did my children’s behavior at church become more about my reputation as a parent than what is best for them?

This kind of attitude is so ever-present in church these days. Not only that, but the judgment we inflict on each other is awful. Why would I share what is really on my heart, why would I ask for prayer about an issue that is plaguing me when I know I’m going to get judgment behind the prayers.

Sometimes it seems to me that Church has become more about putting on a facade than being real. Looking better than we really are, acting better than we are, being someone different on Sunday than we are the rest of the week. And if you don’t play the game, well, you don’t fit in.

I’ll tell you all right now, my family does not fit in at our church and we haven’t for years, since we started there 6 years ago. We don’t play the game; we kinda stick out like a sore thumb. We have simply decided it is okay. Both D and I have a weekly bible study that is independent of any church. It is just make up of several friends who want to meet together to study God’s word.

These are the people who keep me sharp. These are the people who are real with me, people who I feel like I can be real with. These are the people who I feel would come along beside me and walk with me through hard times (THEY HAVE) and would gently lead me back if I lost my way. THIS is what the church was ment to be.

I am not really trying to solve any great dilemmas, or answer any age old questions. I am just announcing my sadness over what it sometimes appears the church has become. We don’t always look that different than the rest of the world.

So there are my Sunday ramblings…take it with a grain of salt. I think I have too much time on my hands to think on Sundays.

6 comments:

Tonya said...

Tricia,

Wow, you should talk to my mother! :-) Do you go to their church? I thought you did. This is a HUGE issue with her, something she has strong desire to change. I just gave her the book, "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore". It really is a great book, but I do take some issue with its conclusion. (This could be a really long comment if I get all the way into it, so I won't for now.) Ask if you can borrow the book from her! She already finished it! :-)

Tricia said...

Yes, that book is next on my list.

We do not go to your parents church anymore. We left several years ago when Pastor Wayne was still there.

We have toyed with the idea of going back many times, but the kids are so firmly entrenched at Faith (where we go now) that we just don't feel right pulling them.

As I mentioned the youth group is really amazing and I hate to pull them out of it.

Sometimes you do things that you don't want too for the good of your kids, and for us staying at Faith is one of them.

I just pray it will get better.

Tonya said...

Again, talk to my parents. They did the same - we chose to attend New Life (? that is the name now, right?) when we moved there because we kids wanted it. Not sure my parents would say the same now. I think I'll tell my Mom to read your blog. She will be saddened, but encouraged at the same time. Sad for you, but encouraged that you aren't just accepting the "norm".

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

while I do agree that the book is an "angry" book...I don't think he's suggesting we don't do church at all. I think he's suggesting we do it DIFFERENTLY. That was the perception I got, anyway.

You and I talked via email, but I posted on this a little bit today.

Unfortunately, my grief from my "church abuse" is still very, very raw. Try as I might to just get over it, I can't completely. I've forgiven, but forgetting is a whole different matter for me.

I am so glad you've found a fellowship where you can be YOURSELF. That is what I'm yearning for. :)

Merry Christmas!!!

Tricia said...

Thank you Lindsey, and I totally get you about the forgetting part.

I still have a great deal of trouble there. I honestly just try not to think about it. If I think about it, all the pain and anger just come rushing back.

I don't know that we feel like we can be ourselves at our church, we have just decided to be anyway. I know everyone thinks we're a bit out there anyway, so we have just stopped caring what everyone thinks and we do what we feel led to do, KWIM?

It is not easy but we (dh and I) can do it because we both have our close friends at our weekly bible study. That is our 'church' to us KWIM?

Sometimes the idea of the small homechurch sounds like the right idea. That idea is taking off around here, I have some close friends who are part of a small fellowship that meets in someone's home.

Maybe...

The Carnegies said...

Interesting post, and kind of a hot topic, eh? I'm sure many can relate.

My husband recently bought a little button to wear on his coat that says "Who says I want to fit in?" This should be one of the mottos of the church. Why does the eye try to fit in with the hand? We are supposed to be different. If everyone is trying to fit in and be the same then I think the results are: a luke warm church.