I went to Church

January 15, 2007

Yesterday I went to church. That is nothing unusual in itself, I have been a regular church goer more or less since the day I was born, however it is something I have been doing increasingly less frequently over the past couple of years .
I have been thinking a lot recently about church and religion and my spiritual journey, and it is something that I had considered discussing in my very first post about my “non-resolutions”. At the time I decided it would open up too much of a can of worms and was really deserving of a post of it’s own. It probably could actually fill a blog of it’s own but I’m not sure I quite ready to go there yet!! Anyway I mulled it over in my head during the sermon yesterday and decided that regardless of whether I decide to post regularly on this topic I would write a post now. If nothing else it is a acknowledgment of something that is an important part of me, somewhat of a work in progress but something that deeply affects the way I view the world and other things I post on.
My parents are very strong Christians and we attended a pentecostal church throughout my childhood. My husband was also involved in pentecostal churches in Latin America since he was a teenager. We actually met as “missionaries” with a Christian based medical aid organisation in Central America. However even while I was there I was beginning to have some pretty serious questions about religion and Christianity and these were only exacerbated by stresses and issues that arose during our time there. We came back to NZ to get married and settled into somewhat regular church-going habits, finding a church (outside of pentecostalism!) with a Minister we respected and a community we came to trust. However we perhaps should have taken heed of the warning given my husband by a pentecostal pastor before we embarked on our respective university studies because the more we have studied and thought about religion and associated issues the further we find ourselves withdrawing from traditional and fundamentalist teachings.
Since returning to Wellington we have visited several churches. A baby’s routine has made serious church hunting difficult, but to be honest her “sleep time” is more often than not an excuse when we have little motivation or desire to sit through another church service. Quite apart from having “heard it all before”, I have some real issues with both the teachings and actions of Christians.
In particular I have problems I with the neglect of some aspects of the bible and spirituality, such as a Christians responsibility to the poor, and the over-emphasis on others. This includes teachings that are too focussed on self (“warm fuzzy” spirituality) and on prosperity, and the enormous amount of effort that goes into so called “moral issues” like opposing abortion and homosexuality. The black and white approach I grew up with has given way to a much more grey view of the world, and I hate to see the damage and pain rigid Christianity has caused.
I also feel in a bit of theological no-mans land. I am less and less convinced of the literal interpretation of the bible I have heard taught all my life, and have found myself drawn to more “progressive” ideas, to a more figurative reading of scripture. I am swinging in the middle, finding it hard to discern the truth, and not really fitting with either side. Not a very comfortable place, I can’t really voice my beliefs at this point, but at least I am being honest with myself and making some slow process on this journey.
So I am at a bit of a crossroads. We will probably return to the church we visited yesterday, at lesat for another visit or 2, maybe to stay. I think I have come to the point where I am ready to join a church- I miss the community, and I do want my daughter to grow up with with the direction and foundation that Christianity can provide. But I will continue my journey, reading, thinking, praying, and maybe one day will reach the truth, or at least some sort of peace.


3 Responses to “I went to Church”

  1. timbob Says:

    Greetings from someone who understands to a degree as to what you’re going through. During the past two years, I have had difficulty staying in one particular church. I love the Lord Jesus like words cannot describe and yet it seems that many folks are going through the mechanics of “going to church” and an Ephesian-like situation exists. I don’t talk about it too much because it’s difficult to describe. In Revelation, the Ephesians were doing everything right, but had left their first love. We are in a perilous age and fervent prayer and staying close to the Lord is a must. People will let us down and churches will continue to be “churches” but the vibrant relationship with the Ancient of Days supercedes all of the superficial. I know that he is very real and that he answers prayer. I know that if we lack wisdom (we all are lacking to one degree or another) he will grant us understanding if we ask in sincerety and believe. I’m glad that you shared your perspective.
    I hold true to Gods word, but a lot of stuff that goes on today is carnally oriented. I’m not sharing anything that you’re not already aware of, but I just thought to stop in anyways.

  2. cumby Says:

    I find going to church boring and sometimes excruciatingly boring, and I’m a preacher. 😀

    There’s little if any power. It’s like nothing described in the Book of Acts. I have been to services however that had the tangible presence of God, of His power and Spirit, so I know it’s real and attainable.

    The Bible is like a compass. It guides us on the path to pleasing God. When we begin to question it’s truth, then we get off that path and into problems.

    Ask God to lead you to a church where His Word is being faithfully taught and His servants are free of greed and heresy. Those types of churches still exist.

  3. […] well do I know the words of Jesus? Just to prove I have heard too many sermons…. here are my results for the Red Letters […]

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