« Misc. and a Bomb! | Main | Selling Jesus »

Comments

rose

I would agree that it is sad to not feel joy about the resurection. We should feel joy year round because with out it, there would be no Christianity. Our faith would be totally in vain. I think Paul said something to that affect somewhere. So, even though you weren't joyous on Easter, just meditate on the fact that we all would still be living based on works if it wasn't for that. I know most churches suck right now. I am tired of talking about it too. People just don't get it. Also, I grew up independent baptist. I am pretty sure they are more screwed up than the southern baptists. :)

Adam

Rose,
Thank you for understanding. Its scary to think that there might be a group more screwed up than the southern baptists. Oh well. I wish that my problem were theoretical or doctrinal and that I could do what you are recommending. I think though that its an experiential problem. I believe in the resurrection, but so what? I mean I've ran into maybe a very small handful of people that acted like Christians (I may not even be one of them). So without the resurrection we wouldn't have a small handful of people that are either in college, married, or live so far away that community isn't possible. We are probably pushing around a million people or so in my county, and I've run into 10-15 people I think have a clue and all of them but 2 fit into my previous categories. You would think having grown up in church and having visited many churches I would have found more than that. Maybe when Christ said "Narrow is the way" he was understating big time.

Leighton

Ever since Martin Luther reinvented how we read Paul, churches in the Protestant tradition have viewed first-century Judaism as a religion of works rather than grace. Besides the fact that it's too simplistic to speak of Judaism in that era as a unified whole, none of the major groups actually operated like that.

In this context this quibble is minor, but I point it out because I think it has implications for how we relate to people of the Jewish faith today, and also for how we understand the history of Christianity in relation to Judaism. (Sorry, I've been reading Yoder.)

Regarding the main post, I've noticed that sometimes I can participate in the spirit of holidays, and at other times I have to stand in opposition as a kind of protest. While everyone else celebrates, it's important that some pause to remember those things that should not be forgotten. I'm not sure which category this last weekend fell into for me, though; I had originally planned to go back to the original meaning of Easter as a pagan fertility ritual, but I'm afraid I wasn't so lucky. ;)

paul

hey adam,

i stumbled across your site through the whole "donuts for jesus" marketing comments that have been going around. as a media director in a decent size nondenom church, i have really been enlightened by your posts about what's not working in churches.

in reading this specific post i just want to let you know how saddened i am that you've been burned so bad by people, and really just pray you can find your way through it. to find some people you can trust, who trust God too. and maybe even find a church that understands why there's new growth in the "outchurched" market. but i won't hold my breath on that one ;)

best of luck, and thanks for being frank about the way you feel.

Law Bob Esq.

Adam,

I think you may be more right about church size than I'd care to admit. This is probably due in part to the fact that in my own church, my wife and I are the only members who's last name isn't "Buckman." (Well, the pastor is new to the area as well...) I think though that the problem with megachurches is of entirely human origin.

I think the whole "personal relationship with Jesus" thing is silliness. On the other hand I do quite enjoy haveing a unique and personal relationship with everyone who frequents my little church. My advice is, if you want to try a church and have a good experience for a change, drive 20+ miles to a small town, find a cozy little 40 member congregation that hasn't changed the hymnals in 60 years, and take a seat. Do this and you'll get one of two possible results:

1. An old woman will stand silently but impatiently in the isle waiting for you to get the hint and move out of "her" pew. or...

2. You'll have no clue where in the hymnal the service order is printed, and some 11 year old girl in the row behind you will politely tug on your shirt and show you page 5 or 15.

Go for church number 2. Of course, since you're not from around there, it may take 2-3 visits before they figure out that you're not a spy and start inviting you to breakfast....

Meg

Law Bob,
I love your advice! I have choosen my current church for exactly that reason - people saw me. Coming off of a huge disillusionment with the megachurch movement (and I should know, I was one of their lackeys) this, to me was real, and healing and loving. I'm beginning to think size does matter and small-enough-to-care is the key.

Adam,
once again, I love your honesty. Isn't it interesting how those of us with fundy backgrounds bring it with us no matter how hard we rail against? Thus, my current conundrum of letting go of "truth" in favor of faith and doubt. I sense this in you as you are concerned with not feeling the "right way" about Easter. Who gives a flying flip how you feel about it? Who's standard of right-easter-feelingness are you not measuring up to? Read the account of the disciples responses to the risen Lord, especially the road to Emmaus. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't. There's room for everything - even Thomas-onian doubt -which means, my friend, that there is room for you. Warm fuzzies do not true (whoops!) faithful religion make.

Keep writing, whether about the church or anything else, I'm enlightened by your mind and heart.

Jason

Your post is the reason why I read the Psalms and the minor prophets. It reminds me of Micah and his beef with the established religion of the day. My only hope is that peace may find you, not that you reclaim the excitement of the resurrection (sometimes there is little excitement in the co-opting of the death of an innocent peaceful man to form a religion that does what it does today).

If you want advice, don't go and find a church, go and find a home, find people at Starbucks or the gym, and talk with them about what is missing, what is meaningful, what is good. If you don't want advice, then scroll on down.

grace and peace

Adam

Meg,
I don't know why your so kind. But I'm glad that you come here. Thank you for your words. I've needed that kind of encouragement recently.

Jason,
Same to you (as I said to meg) That is good advice. I'm trying to do such things, the process is slow going.

LB,
I'm afraid that a liberal minded, sometime bluntly outspoken outchurched person like me would not be welcome in a small town church. I've been to some. Not impressed with all the petty bickering that went on. But I'm sure that not all places are like that. I've found that places like that there is this sort of understood "We believe this" type of mentality. It wasn't ever really talked about but it was sort of like having your last name. You just had it (or those beliefs). Its that way with my father. Not believing the same things is like changing your last name. They still are nice to you (sometimes) but you not so much part of the family anymore.

lil-E

Adam, my friend,

U know there was a time in my life where i didn't care about all the hubbub of the Christian holidays or dealing with Christians, or even hanging out with any of them especially in church. I had been surrounded my entire life with it and didn't know any different. I personally had some other issues I was dealing with, but I was also angry at God for all the stupid christians that I had to deal with on a daily basis and yet those who were really devoted to God were the ones that seemed to struggle the most. I didn't understand why all this trauma was happening and started to do things I wasn't proud of, but God still found every opportunity to draw me to him. Whether it was a Song on (a secular) radio station, a note some one sent me, or even a phone call from a long lost friend, he spoke to me through them. And I eventually found my way back.

I think that those of us who grew up in the church have alot more to over come than those that found their faith in Jesus along the way. Some see it is as an advantage but i have just seen so many people who like your friends have ended up with so much hurt and pain and so far removed from reality that it almost to sad to even think about. then there are those who are mini-clones of thier parents not knowing how to think or speak for themselves. And now there of those of us who "work out our Faith" and get to know the Heart of the Father in the process.

Today, I got so disgusted with all the circus acts in the church that is almost forcing a message of greed, jealousy, & dishonesty rather than the Message of Love, Hope, Peace, and Joy. Then I remember what my Mommy always told me when I got frustrated with people in the church... "We don't go to church because of the people we go to church to Worship God and that's it." So buddy, when ever you get that feeling where you want to go postal in a service distract your self by reading the word Focusing on Jesus and maybe even doodle on the program they handed to you when you walked in and it will be all Good. Cause He's sees your heart! God is God and He Loved you, just because you are you, that His Son, Jesus, came here to die for You so you wouldn't have to worry about the consequences of your sin and be able to enter into the Kingdom of heaven pure and holy before God to live eternally. Isn't He So Worth it!


Scott Jones

Adam,

You've got good friends. In a sense they are your church right now. You don't necessarily need a place to go.

I do wish you were somewhere where you could experience different types of churches. All of them, of course, have their problems and issues, but some are better than others.

You should go to Dallas some weekend and just see Royal Lane. I'm pretty proud of them, though I complain about their imperfections pretty regularly.

Adam

Scott
I would love to do that sometime.
Is that where your at?

Lil-E,
I'm not sure if you are ensinuating that I am doing things I'm not proud of because I'm not into the church thing right now, but I'm not. I have a pretty developed moral conscience and I don't need the church to make me feel good about my actions.
Despite the many thing we probably disagree about. I am thankful for your concern.

lil-E

Adam:

No No No, I wasn't ensinuating anything about you... I was just letting you know what I had personally went through in my own life and giving you a glmpse of what my own journey back to church. I understand completely what your going through. I really believe that those of us who "grew up in Church" have to ask our selves questions that challenge our faith so we can really know what we really believe:

Why do I go to church?

Do I go because That's all i ever known or is it because I want to please my parents?

Do I believe Church is the only place where I can seek the Lord?

What is the Purpose of the church?


I think that u are on the right track and that during this u will discover alot more about your self.


When it is all said and done. That period of my life I got to experience that! Please know that I think you are a real kewl kat who like the rest of us we are just developing our walk with Jesus everyday! I agree you don't have to be in church but you do need to have a place and a time where you can focus on God. I really just wanted to let you know that I had been through a similar situation and knew of others who had been in situation like your friends that you got the recent news about.

Sorry if I didn't explain my self very well! ;)

And if you do come to dallas you'll have to come check out where I go on the Fort Worth side!

The comments to this entry are closed.