Friday, February 23, 2007

On Being Unchurched

I have been unchurched for quite a long time now. I don't enjoy getting up early when I don't have to work. I don't feel comfortable trying to sing at 9 am on Sunday morning. I really do not want to see another performer do his or her best imitation of the current Christian music singing sensation. Christian karoke gives me the jibblies. Calisthetics at that time of day is not something I am up for. You know what I mean, "Let's stand and sing" Please sit down and... or even worse, "Kneel and...." My knees are 55 years old and they do not work well. I do not kneel. This is not out of disrespect. My knees hurt.

Years ago I was asked to leave a church. That hurt me for the longest time. I got over all that. I forgave the shunners years ago. I figure they have missed out for years on the good fortune of having my friendship and comradery. So that is their loss.

Apparently I am not the only unchurched Christian. There are quite a few of us that are tired of mega-churches, leaders that seem to send the message, "Do as I say, not as I do." These folks are also tired of the church leadership begging for money. Many folks would love to offer their time, their knowledge or skills. And we have seen some churches that have not been good stewards. Why do we need another building expansion? Why do the pastors and their families live in a $250k home in a great part of the community and I am struggling to pay my rent? Why are we sending money to missions? Me and some other church members could use a hand.

Of course I am making some sweeping generalities. However it's not like I haven't experienced all of these issues I have mentioned. In my quest to rejoin the flock I have come up against some deep potholes in the road to redemption.

And what is it with all these extra-curricular activities that seem to have no Biblical basis? My wife was disabled some years ago. She spent 11 years in terrible pain and had to use a walker. We have been to Churches and have gotten odd looks from congragants that cannot understand why I did not force her to the front of their church so the pastor could "slay her in the Spirit" hence bring about her healing. It's not like both of us had not been asking God for her healing those past 11 years.

We were both Baptized by sprinkling. When we became Jesus Freaks, we went into the icy November water of the Ohio river and were Baptized again. Shortly after receiving the "right foot of fellowship" from my home church I attempted to rejoin a local church in a town where we had just moved. Well my first two Baptisms were not valid according to their dogma. To join them we would have to be re-Baptized. Forget it! If you do not have confidence in me, I am afraid that I cannot accept you either.

What about these mega-event churches? Everyone is wagging their hands about and dancing and being spoonfed a sermon-lite. No doubt that I would love to feel good, but to me that's all dessert and no meal. God has given us a great set of instructions. Let's take a look at them and forgoe the two-step.

I would not at all mind "suffering" and getting up early on Sunday. I would not mind opening up my congested mouth to belt out Standing On The Promises at that same time if I could find a group of sincere believers that are serious about God and family.

Until then, I'll keep you posted.

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