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goldilocks and the 3,532 churches

I went to a new church with some friends today, and I'm still trying to digest if it's the "right fit for me". Right now, it fits a bit like a prom dress straight off the rack.

Flashy, pretty, self-serving, all-consuming, and requiring a lot of alterations. And, like prom, over-hyped to the max and ultimately very self-aggrandizing...but so dang alluring!  When the praise band came on stage, the 'house lights' came down, and the stage lights shone down glaring, multicolored hues. And, I kid you not, there were information booths set up to guide stranded visitors around the building. And traffic control people in neon orange vests in the parking lot. I don't like being a religious special snowflake. I truly wanted to be able to find young people on these islands that didn't want to Party It Up All Weekend Long and with whom I could grow spiritually. I can't grow if the only direction is intolerance. I don't know how to find people with similar values outside of church. 

I love Jesus, too, guys, even if I don't have a date where I accepted him as my Personal Lord and Savior.  My "Jesus is a Loving Man" mantra sits at the other end of the spectrum from "God's vengeance is upon us!!" and is probably equally as spiritually dangerous.  As a result, I cried twice during the service. I hope nobody saw me. Once I cried because I thought I had found something truly wonderful, and the other was after the sermon because this seems like the 500th church I've visited that "feels so close to being right", and then fails.  This Specific Church, you deserve more than one crazed litmus test, so I'll give you another go next Sunday. I don't trust you, though.

I don't understand biblical literalism. After all, if you take something like the works of C.S. Lewis, a man very much inspired by God, and read them literally, you end up with tales of space exploration, lions, and devils.  And that's it.  Why is is ok to treat a work even more inspired by/created by God as a textbook? I am So Confused.

Part of their Core Values reads as follows:
    "Within biblical parameters, [we strive] to create relevant environments to make disciples while encouraging creativity, innovation, flexibility, and openness to change."
I do not understand, this is an oxymoron. How can you remain "open to change" when the Bible is the Main Authority? The Bible clearly says that shrimp are not for eating.  Clearly, most of us eat them. Does that mean that the Bible is Open to Change? Huh? Huh? Bring it. I will be waiting with a 5 gallon pail of shrimps, and you will get none of it.  NONE. ALL MINE. NOM NOM NOMINUM

I liked Focus way back in the day. It's not a stage, it's "The Muffin". You don't applaud after the songs because it's definitively Not a Concert.  And the songs were good. Focus was the reason why I went to School One for that ill-fated year, and I loved nearly every minute of Focus-related activities.

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DANG IT. I am judging This Church so hard. This isn't what Christianity is about. If they are my neighbor, then I must love them as well. 

...this is hard...