Tuesday, November 22, 2005

silly sunday trix are for kids

Why Sunday morning? Man, I have been racking my brain over this for years now, really I am not even exaggerating, for the past two years I have been upset with the current model of church. I seem to be stuck in this deconstructive and angry mode of “hating” church. Perhaps its not church as in the body of Christ which I feel is the church, but church as in the place, the building, this thing that people can become so meshed in that they are more absorbed with doing church right rather than loving people or letting things grow them, they want safe church. Church should not be “safe”. Perhaps church should scare you a little, at least that would be something, a pulse or a heart beat, something that shows that there is life in this thing church. A little while ago I was talking with a friend over something that we had both been working on for a little bit. My comment was that this thing was in danger of turning from church into church. It was something that both of us understood, that church can be this cold dead thing that people just go to as to feel better about themselves, or it can be this alive body of diverse and different people communing together. I was going to say friends, but you don’t have to be friends with all the other people, that’s the point, that some of these people are not like you, they are different, unique, and if you listen to them they might have something important to say to you.

Last Friday I had some tea with a friend of mine, I actually lived with this guy for a term or so, ( I have really shallow roots, I am currently in a record breaking 6 months of living in one place, the longest time sense the late 90’s) I came to the conclusion that partly he wants to keep tabs on me because I am somewhat of a project for him. I guess that he is worried about my Christianity, so we get together and chat every once in a while. Most of the time we just talk and its nice, we chat, ya know, like friends almost, which is a good thing because I really do think of him as a friend. Still I get the feeling that he has a mission with me, its something that I hate about modern Christianity, the idea of friendship evangelism, I think that it is one of the most deceitful, hurtful, hateful, slimy, gruesome, nasty, and evil things ever. A more appropriate term would be friendship prostitution. Somehow this idea that you can win someone over to your side by becoming there friend has become a tactic used in church, man how sick is that. If that were my friends goal, I would drop him like a bad habit and probably leave him with a few choice words or a black eye, but its not, he is just locked into this idea that church has to happen on Sunday morning, with someone lecturing at you from behind a pulpit. He feels that I am “backsliding” or “falling away” (humm, church language is funny sometimes don’t ya thing?) the point is that I was arguing with him, trying to explain that I felt empty inside a church, sitting, standing, singing, sitting, standing passing a basket, sitting, shaking the hand of someone next to me, but not knowing who they are or why they are there, how they are hurting, how I can help them. No, we have to just sit there and fold our hands and nod with the preacher, perhaps even throw in an occasional “amen” if your one of those crazy people. Why is it looked down on to skip the Bull $hit that fills the empty tomb of American church and go to the heart? The people, why cant we just go take someone out for breakfast and chat, find out who they are, how they are living, whats there story?! The thing that I hate about most college classes is that its not a question environment, I feel that church has become some kind of lecture hall in the college of life and proff preacher wants you to sit there and listen to what he thinks. BS, God did not make me stupid, and did not give me this mind that questions things just to sit it on a shelf and let it collect dust. You cant ask questions in service, you would just interrupt the flow, its all dead and cold and empty. So my friend looks down on me because I chose not to participate with that kind of church, fine, that’s his choice, I don’t hold it against him, I just get to rant about it on my blog, why, because its my blog and I can rant about anything I want. Including why church sucks and has missed the point, people are the point and the further church sinks into this thing that they are in, the more people they miss. Cant they see that they are driving people away? Why are we stuck in the broken thing. It feels like we are stuck on a project, perhaps a paper or lab report or whatever, but sometimes I get so involved in it that I don’t even realize that I am really messed up, but I just keep trying to patch different holes in my paper not realizing that I just need to recycle the whole thing and start from the beginning again. I am not saying scrap church, but dang, that’s the feeling I get.

“The greatest lessen you can ever learn is just to love and be loved in return” (RBG)


Patty said...

You have some good points. I don't have much time at the moment so I'll just say that we have this small tapestry thing with a bell attatched to it hanging in our hallway, so whenever you walk by, it jingles. On it is embroidered Mary & Joseph looking at the manger & it says above this picture, 'To love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth.'

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Anna said...

The Black Horse is back with a vengeance :) I often feel the way that you do, that people are throwing away something that should be vital in their life with God, this communion of believers, and their love for the world of people. Be it known that not all churches are dead and performing mindless ceremonies to comfort themselves. I went to a church service this last weekend where everyone was asking questions, thinking of how they could live out their convictions. I didn't say a word and yet many people came over to say hello, ask who I was, what mattered to me. A couple asked me to lunch afterward, and they knew I was a believer, that I had a "home church," that I was just visiting. When I was in Africa, I saw the most beautiful church I have ever seen, and also the poorest. It was a bunch of old boards on gas cans under the canopy of a tree, with a thatched grass fence on three sides. After the joyful service, we walked 20yds to the house, and there sang for a family whose mother had just died of AIDS, and we said prayers, while the body was still in the room. There are places where church means something, and believers care for each other. Don't lose hope.