What church has taught me…

More of a Sunday post, but let’s just roll with it. 

I was at church yesterday (obvi, or this post wouldn’t be happening…) and it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been there. Each time I go, it feels like I’m getting a huge slap in the face but in a good way. Do you ever feel that way? If you go to church and you sit down and you’re just like “Ok, Sunday, woo worship YEAH! Praise!, nice prayer, good, good” and then it’s like “GAH! RIGHT IN THE FEELS!” Followed very quickly by a “Thank you, Jesus, I needed that!” Lately, it’s been happening to me every time I step foot into this new church that I’ve been going to and I have really been enjoying it.

I’ve struggled on here to really articulate my feelings towards the church and my own spiritual journey. I have been raised in the church and have been going since I was 2 years old. I witnessed my parents get baptised (can actually remember it happening) and then was baptised myself. But when I strayed, I strayed hard. For years I had nothing to do with the church – trying to develop my faith by myself with no fellowship with others (it didn’t work ya’ll).

Yesterday at church, someone put it into a perfect sentence. The church taught me, but the church didn’t show me what it taught. Right away I was like YES!!! This is it! This is what I have been struggling with!!

The church taught me to love my neighbour and not to pass judgement. It taught me that only those without sin should cast the first stone, that Jesus kept company with outsiders and thus I shouldn’t condemn them as well. That when Christ was born and then died for my sins, the old covenant with God (the old testament one) was broken and that Christ formed this new covenant. The church taught me to be uplifting to my fellow Christians, to join in fellowship with them and to quietly speak to them and offer guidance when I see them struggling.

These are some of the things that the church has taught me.

But the church didn’t show me these things. It has shown me ridicule of choices, of pastors alienating their congregations by preaching judgement and condemnation from the pulpit. It has shown me criticism for other sectors of the Christian faith, for others who don’t follow Christianity. It has shown me open humiliation for private acts. It has shown me pettiness and distrust. It has shown me exclusion. It has shown me a hard and fast tie with the old covenant with God, an unwillingness to break from its instruction while still proclaiming that Christ formed a new one. It has shown me an unwillingness to forgive past transactions and hold judgement over them. It has shown me a lack of brotherly love for those who have made choices in life that the church wouldn’t approve of.

I can now articulate why I left the church. Why I was so dissatisfied with my fellow Christian, with my pastors. Even now I can see these things happening in my parent’s church. My mum has declared a “war” on her pastor, and at first, I thought she might have been overreacting but then I started to get details and I have to say I’m starting to support her. Not to the extent she is taking it, but I do support her.

Then I reflect on my choice in church. How this desire just came over me to find one during lent and just when I was starting to lose my ambition, I found one. And this church is showing what it’s teaching and I couldn’t be happier.

It was a guest speaker who said this line yesterday, and then our regular pastor stood up and started to sing a hymn – it’s one that I love. Great is thy faithfulness. It’s amazing – it starts off kind of slow and then when you reach the chorus it’s like this outpouring of joy from the depths of everyone’s soul. And we sang it without any instruments to back us up, which I think just makes it sound all the more beautiful.

So if you need a little bit of a pick me up, have a listen.

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12 thoughts on “What church has taught me…

  1. That is exactly why I’m so fed up with my own church right now…nothing but judgement and hypocrisy. If I could find another church here in town that actually practiced what they preached, I would switch in a heartbeat. These people claim to be Christians, to be showing the love of Christ to the world, and in reality they are doing the exact opposite. Fed up doesn’t begin to cover it! I have non-Christian friends who are more Christ-like than these people, how sad is that? Glad that you have found somewhere you feel you belong! Being on your own is not fun, feeling alone where you are is worse, but finding a new spiritual home is one of the best feelings ever! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry that your church is like this. I won’t even go to my parent’s church any more. I can’t look the pastor in the eye without feeling so much resentment for him and I won’t go and ruin my worship time with those feelings. I can’t have that negativity in my life. It’s not worth it.

      I hope you find some place better for your spiritual growth! A family friend of ours visits churches in the summer time every year (even though they are so happy with their current church). You should try that!! Just take one or two Sunday’s a month, and bounce to different places to see how you like them. It’s summer so the drive might be nice, and the scenery a bonus if the service isn’t to your liking. Plus you get to explore different places maybe. It’s a nice summer habit for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have to try that on Sundays when it’s not raining, although I don’t drive (no license) so they’ll all have to be within walking distance for me. As it is, my current church is on the south end of town (and I live on the north end) so it’s at least a 20 minute walk for me, which is why one of the ladies from the church picks me up every Sunday, as long as she’s not having car trouble.

        We’re technically between pastors right now, as our new one doesn’t start until the second Sunday in July. He was just appointed by the bishop and introduced at the leadership meeting last week by our DS, who’s been preaching every week for the past several weeks, ever since they decided to sack the pastor we did have (he hasn’t even been there a year yet, he just started in July of last year), all because he stepped on a few toes with one of his messages (boo hoo, they got their feelings hurt because he told them like it was and they couldn’t handle it) and those people complained. I could have sworn Jesus did the same thing to the people in power at the time, and aren’t we supposed to be following His example? Guess they forgot that part (they probably also wouldn’t want to hear that they’re acting just like the Pharisees, but oh well, the truth hurts sometimes).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ooooo the horrors of being between pastors!! The church I was raised in was like that. We had a solid pastor (or at least from what I remember…I was in my teens) and then he “stepped down” (read as fired), and then we had an interm pastor for something like THREE YEARS! and then they finally got someone who they kind of liked but he didn’t even WANT to change churches from where he was, and they voted and it didn’t pass the vote so they changed the church’s constitution to get him in and now he’s destroying that church little by little.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, our DS decided he was going to be our “interim pastor” until we found somebody else, and then he springs it on us that he was going to introduce our new pastor to the leadership team at a special meeting that no one else was invited to (normally other people can show up if they want, but this time it was for the leadership team only)…now normally there are at least a couple candidates and they meet with the leadership team and the team votes on who they want to hire, but this time there was none of that. Apparently the bishop appointed this new guy, so no one in the church even got to vote on it (total crap) and then the DS decides he’s going to introduce this guy to the team because it’s an already done deal (since when doesn’t the church get to vote on who they want as their pastor anyway?) and I immediately got the impression that this guy was going to be a puppet for the DS (I don’t care who appointed him, if it wasn’t our leadership team then he’s working for whoever hired him and not us) and while his bio makes him sound like a really great guy, I still maintain that since he was appointed to our church and we didn’t get a say in it at all, he’s not working for us he’s working for them, and he’ll either do exactly what they tell him to or he’ll quickly be out too. I tell you, I hate church politics worse than the government kind, and that’s saying something.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Wow – that’s harsh!! I hope that he turns out to be a good fit for your church and that he does actually work for the best interests of the church and not just for the people who hired him! And I agree, I hate church politics more than governmental politics. But for me that isn’t saying TOO much haha! I have a degree in both politics and religion haha

              Liked by 1 person

              • Whenever something like this happens, I can really see where people are coming from when they say the two shouldn’t mix…the problem with that of course is that they’re going to no matter what, it’s just sad when the politics happen to be inside the church and not what’s going on outside. If we can’t even stop fighting amongst ourselves, and keep trying to influence the other people in our church to do things our way instead of the correct way, then how can we possibly hope to have a government that will do otherwise? Until we can stop all this infighting and backstabbing within the church, we’re not going to have government leaders who actually do the jobs they’re supposed to and look out for the people’s interests instead of their own.

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