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Church - Darrell - 04-10-2012 07:30 AM
Why does it suck so much?
RE: Church - Don - 04-10-2012 07:38 AM
Because it has become something it was never intended to be, an institution.
Not only that, it has become an isolated institution that exists within the four walls of the "Church" property.
It has become a man made tradition rather than the Body of Christ here on earth.
RE: Church - Darrell - 04-10-2012 07:43 AM
Quote:Because it has become something it was never intended to be, an institution.
"on this rock I will build my church." A building or construction sounds like something being founded or instituted if you will.
Christ references "the churches" in the letters in Revelation which seem to be some kind of organized body.
Quote:It has become a man made tradition rather than the Body of Christ here on earth.
Is there any way for people to join together in common cause without forming traditions? We seem to be pretty prone to them as human beings...unless, of course, we're going to show up every Sunday and intentionally do something we've never, ever tried before. And this would in itself become a non-tradition tradition.
RE: Church - Tiarali - 04-10-2012 07:49 AM
You can have your own traditions while still acting in a loving manner to those who don't hold to the same traditions. I believe this is how the church was supposed to be. But it is not so.
Many churches have become about power, and lack of personal accountability. God is no respector of persons but congregations sure can be!
If each individual was striving to become like Christ, and meeting together and loving each other while respecting we are all over the place in our maturity/convictions, etc, and loving all those who didn't want to come near us and doing good in the community, I think church would be an awesome thing.
But it's about becoming like everybody else, who is becoming like the pastor, and even in cases when you have a godly pastor he's still human and will make mistakes, and then if he's also held up on a pedestal then he's never called up on those mistakes so he continues them and multiplies them... And of course the pastor is paid by the congregation, so even if he is convicted that everyone's got something wrong he has to be careful not to offend people.
God designed a good thing, people made it a mess. I'm not really sure why I'm surprised.
But you know, if you look at how Jesus treated poor, marginalised and hurting people in the bible, he was AWESOME. I wish there were more pastors and christians who were honestly trying to be like him.
RE: Church - laurat99 - 04-10-2012 08:08 AM
I wish you could attend my church for a little while, Darrell. It's full of people who love God. Our pastor is a true servant who lives by Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
We're not perfect, and we aren't out to get you either. I really messed up yesterday and hurt someone in the church I dearly love. I called to apologise and she was as gracious.
RE: Church - Presbygirl - 04-10-2012 08:14 AM
When I show up hoping to meet God, I am satisfied.
When I show up hoping to meet people I am dissatisfied.
I've tried to get around that thought, but for me, it's been true every single time.
edit: ***Yikes, that sounded so Fundyesque. I really didn't mean it THAT way. :/
RE: Church - myotch - 04-10-2012 08:38 AM
For someone with your knowledge and history and family, many churches probably won't fulfill anything close to your expectations.
Are you just burned out?
Maybe you need a change of scenery and sermon-focus. Try some other denoms. Seriously. You don't have to agree with paedo-baptism to find soul renewal or refreshment in an Anglican, Lutheran, or Presbyterian church. Maybe a few sermons on really loving God and loving neighbor (sans the "if you don't witness to your neighbor, you don't love him" claptrap) could do you some good.
Christianity is a lot simpler than we humans tend to make it out to be. And a church doesn't have to be perfect to be a positive aspect of your life.
Also, you are an admitted introvert. Church is about the body of believers, the "others" you join in spirit. Work on some of that.
Read that old story about John Goodman Brown. Don't be him at the end of the story, miserable at church because of all the wrong he thinks he has seen.
RE: Church - Elijah Craig - 04-10-2012 08:46 AM
For one thing, most of us were raised in folk religion but have been educated enough to think ourselves something better. So folk religion can seem really ugly to us.
For another, liberalism and the advances of the modern age have eroded faith in Christianity, so that the wisest, most intelligent, best educated, and well-heeled have largely abandoned church and their influence has left with them.
And finally, the tradition we were raised in has been reactionary and ugly from the beginning.
A lot of people do find comfort in liturgy. You can borrow a depth of thought and artistry from the centuries and millenia before modernism and Fundamentalism and the battles between the two robbed the church of such.
RE: Church - Bob M - 04-10-2012 08:53 AM
Mostly because its boring.
But we have made it into a predictable time of the week when we will be harangued for more time or more money or more commitment, instead of being fed spiritual food that nourishes our soul, and instead of meeting with other people who admit their failures and come alongside us to pray with us and talk with us about our struggles in honest words. Even the one church in our area that was started with the express intent of being a place where people who were abused at other churches could come and find healing, even that church has become a predictable place where the same service week after week with different songs and a different sermon happens.
RE: Church - Ricardo - 04-10-2012 09:26 AM
Lately I've been visiting churches, more often than in the previous thirty years combined.
I'm loving it!
Emphasis on "VISITING."
A large part of the problem with churches are our unreasonable expectations.
Many of us still go to church to talk to God. (As if we couldn't talk to him anywhere else.)
Many of us still go to church to listen to God. (As if we couldn't listen to him anywhere else.)
Many of us still go to church to be in fellowship with other Christians. (As if going to church was any indication of who is or who is not a Christian.)
So, of course we set ourselves up for failure.
These days I visit churches because I'm on a mission. The community organization I volunteer with is trying to reach all Latinos in the area, especially the undocumented, and it just happens that churches are a safe place to find them.
I make it a point to go to the whole service, not just drop in to make an announcement. I make it a point to talk to people, meet them, really listen to them. AND, I make it a point to find something in the service/mass that I can enjoy.
It has been wonderful!
I find myself enjoying Catholic masses, just as much as an hour of singing and an hour sermon at the Pentecostals, and even the bible studies at the Jehovah's Witnesses. (The vegetarian potlucks after the Adventists services are to die for.)
At first it was a hard exercise of "Take what you need and leave the rest." Because I could easily tear apart most sermons: Bad exegesis, texts out of context, weird doctrines and what-have-you.
But after a point, it turned out to be being pretty easy to simply look for that bit of divine light in each one of them.
So at least in my case, "no expectations" have really been a blessing!
I keep reminding myself of the story "The Gift of the Rabbi."