church nonsense, life

Something’s Wrong

200127_1863212696847_822020_nMy husband is at church alone this morning.  I stayed home to worship through writing.  I began my “service” the way I’ve started each day this week – by praying with Anne.  And just like every other morning this week, I whispered a salty amen.  And as I did, I realized that that few minutes of prayer did more to refine my sin-dappled heart than an hour at church ever does.

I sit in my well-respected mega-church and I am unmoved.  My mind is impressed with the well-rehearsed and well-staged music,  with the cool graphics and visuals, but my heart is unmoved.

I listen to the announcements and to the boasts of how awesome we are in all that we are doing and I feel like a spectator.  Like my only role is to give audience (and cash) to someone else’s vision.  To be a bricklayer in the building of an earthly kingdom.  But I long to lay bricks in the heavenly Kingdom.

I listen to the sermon hoping to hear from God.  It is a nice, generic, one-size-fits-all message.  It begins with some promise but it lacks Spirit.  It does not challenge me to love better, behave better, think better, relate to God better.  It just pats me on the head and sends me on my way.

I leave disappointed, frustrated and, if there were any visible threads of misogyny showing that morning, irritated.

Something is wrong when going to church does more harm than good.

Anne preached more in a week of prayers than my pastor has preached all year.  And she moved me much closer to who God wants me to be.

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6 thoughts on “Something’s Wrong

  1. Alma Mater says:

    I totally hear you! A few years ago, when I was a(n even) new(er) Christian, I attended a Bible Study with five or six other women. I learned and grew and studied the Word of God, and it was really life-changing. When we moved, and I had to leave the Bible study, I realized that it was that Study that had truly been feeding me all year, not church. I wonder if “church” the way we do it today is really anything at all like the church in Acts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if “church” the way we do it today is really anything at all like the church in Acts.

      Small, intimate churches might be. Home churches are probably even closer. If you were to redesign church, how would it look?

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      • Alma Mater says:

        Definitely smaller, and probably meeting in homes. Where the moneys collected can go to evangelism and other projects, rather than into rents and mortgages and sound systems. There wouldn’t necessarily be a preacher to listen to for forty minutes. I don’t really see that in Acts. Maybe more like a small group Bible study, but with time allotted for prayer, for worship music and hymns, and for study. Not banning sermons, just not necessarily for them to be such a big focus each and every time. And not every time from the same preacher. The elders would be actual elders, with grown children and their houses in order, rather than young men out of seminary institutions.

        And it would definitely be family-integrated, with a focus on the whole body of Christ coming together, elderly to children. And maybe these small groups would come together from time to time with other small groups, to team up to work on outreach projects specific to the community.

        How about you?

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        • Yours exactly. With regard to projects, I would favor one ongoing relationship building outreach/ministry project – one that meets physical and/or emotional needs in addition to spiritual needs.

          I would also favor joining with other groups for larger projects. I see that starting to happen in a city near me and it is exciting. Churches of various denominations are joining together, along with some secular organizations, to boost a very poor and failing school district. Churches that were once in competition with one another are beginning to cooperate toward a common purpose. Amen to that. The needs are too great for the church to remain prideful and divided.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Alma Mater says:

            The needs are too great for the church to remain prideful and divided.

            Prideful and divided. That’s exactly how I would describe the church that I was in last year. I think that they believe that it’s of course possible that there MAY be other Christians in town besides those attending their church, but it’s doubtful.

            It’s really sad, because I don’t think the pastor and his wife are happy at all. They are so hurting by people who have left their church, and they are so bitter about it, questioning their salvation all the time, to remaining members of the congregation. Pride and division just seem to lead to bitterness and hurt.

            Sorry, that’s kind of hijacking the topic of this post and thread, but your words “prideful and divided” just struck such a chord with me — the very opposite of humble and merciful, which I need to strive harder to be.

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            • “I think that they believe that it’s of course possible that there MAY be other Christians in town besides those attending their church, but it’s doubtful.”

              Exactly!

              Hijack away. I enjoy your comments. It’s nice to chat with a kindred spirit.

              Humble and merciful – oh what a world it would be.

              Like

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