Monday, January 24, 2011

Read at your own risk.

I am so tried of being tried! I'm tried of being crabby, of caring and of not being able to sleep. I'm tried of the extra weight I'm caring around, a dirty house, homework, papers that need to be written, books that need to be read and the cold. I really wish venting on a blog could make you feel better, however I don't want to get this all over you anymore than I already have so I'm going to move on to ask you a question in hopes that you can help me understand the point.

First, a little background. I talk about my faith! Surprise! I haven't always done that, in fact I think it might have changed after I went on the Walk to Emmaus in 1999. Most people upon meeting me for the first time, have a difficult time believing I'm a Preacher's wife. I like to think it's because I live my life out loud and I'm not afraid to say what I believe and think (mostly). I say things like "God is showing me..., the Holy Spirit said..., the Word spoke to me..." If you ask me what I mean, I tell you. My desire to spend time in the presence of the Lord has grown as I have in the past years. It's getting deeper, wider and it's not on a time table. When the Spirit is moving and the preacher is moving with him, I can sit there all day long. So you can image how I feel when people say things like "Don't be preaching to me out of the Bible, give me something I can use today." or "After 15 minutes he needs to stop, cuz I'm getting up and leaving at noon." Well, friend, let me tell you something, you just get up and leave cuz it aint about you anyway, it's about the living God and what he wants to say and if you don't got time to listen to the creator of the universe, well then you just go on and get in line with the rest of the people who have to eat at straight up and down 12 noon! See, friend, I was were you are once, I was comfortable in my relationship with myself. Come to think about it, I was miserable and the whole reason I was going to church was for something more, I wanted something more. That hole that you have in your life can only be filled by God, no matter what you think you can fill it with, it aint going to work. Been there, done that! So don't be asking me to tell you why God don't talk to you, the way he talks to me, cuz I'm going to tell you! In fact don't ask me anything that you don't want me to get in your face about with the truth, friend.

So my question is, why are you going to church, if you are? I'm all about walking beside someone who is seeking to know God. I'm all about taking time to pray with someone. But if the first thing you are thinking about when you come to church is what time your going to leave and where your going for lunch, why are you even bothering? Can someone please help me understand this? 

I'm just tired of Christians acting like this. Sorry for the attitude, pray for thePreacher man, he has to live with me! 

1 comment:

Jonathan Powers said...

I think there are a few different things that come into play here:

1) For years now we've worked from the mindset that the church is a benefit to your life instead of looking at it the opposite way - you are part of the church for the benefit of the church. (Of course, we do benefit as well.) Thus, we do everything we can to cater to people's needs and to help them be comfortable at church instead of challenging them to be an active participant.

2) Christianity is no longer about the pursuit of holiness. In many ways, the American church has become a lot of "Christian" sub-cultures living in a post-Christian society. American Christianity and church attendance is on a very rapid decline. Some of this is because a consumeristic mindset will never fully satisfy. Donuts and fun music isn't enough to keep people pursuing the things of God. Similarly, recreating a spiritual/emotional/nostalgic event will not draw people into the depths of true worship. When worship, discipline, etc are not a natural rhythm of our lives, anything else will feel like an intrusion. Thus, an hour on Sunday mornings is more like a concert, a meeting, or a social event. It gets its hour time slot in our schedule, but becomes an intrusion when it bumps against other pieces of our lives. We have created a very interesting culture under the name of Christ, but the pursuit of God and holy living is not our main concern. And as much as we might want to believe our society is still Christian, it's not. I think that's where unfortunately we began to equate our culture with Christianity and didn't push people toward holy living.

3) We are obsessed with time. I think that the western world has this idea that they "own" time. Maybe it's because in general we are such a busy and restless people. We can't relax. We don't view time as a communal thing, or as something given to us. We think it's ours to do with as we choose, and anything out of our control is an annoyance. That's why we're impatient in traffic or why we can't stand for meetings, services, games, etc to go over their allotted time slot. We really need to learn to relax, rest, and be still. Maybe the idea of Sabbath is more important now than ever.

4) We aren't disciplined. That's just a general comment on society. It's easy to have what we want when we want it. We get hungry around noon, so we want to eat. We aren't used to practicing self-denial. And it's killing us spiritually.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts. I'm no expert on any of this, but it's what comes to mind when I hear your question. The tough question for me is how do we respond to all of this?