I’ve found myself wanting to drift off in church.
Not for the typical reasons of it being boring or dull. I mean, I still pay attention during worship. I love corporate worship. I don’t know if it was something that God intended for the church to have, but it really does renew my faith.
But, pretty much everything else about church does the exact opposite.
One of my main issues is preachers.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate preachers, or dislike them in any way. From my vantage point, the problem with traditional preaching is that the person doing it, whether very qualified in theological studies or not, often times simplifies things to the point of ridiculousness. They speak in cliche. They say things that nearly everyone in the church has heard a thousand times. And like I said, boredom is not the problem.
The problem is, that simplifying something that is so obviously mysterious and that requires much faith, makes me doubt. When Christian theology is put in such simplistic and absolute terms, I sit in the pew thinking, “I literally can’t believe that I believe this.”
Just the other day, I was reading about the whole Mitt Romney/Mike Huckabee heresy debacle. I dug a little bit to find out more about the Mormon faith. Lots of stuff about planets where people live, Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, aliens, etc. And I laughed. I was making fun of them in my head.
But when my faith is treated in the same simplistic manner, I look at it and think “I believe there’s some unseen being that decided to create this world, then the world went bad, so he sent part of himself, that he calls his Son, to earth to die, so that we can be saved from another unseen place that apparently is much worse than being in poverty in Africa, or in war torn Iraq. And that those people in those countries have got much worse problems than the fact that they live day to day, not knowing if they’ll survive.”
I think, “How is that not more crazy than believing in aliens, or that Jesus and Satan were brothers?”
I guess church doesn’t really resonate with me much anymore. I can honestly say, if it weren’t for relationships I have at Otter Creek, even though I love the corporate worship, I wouldn’t be there anymore. Its the developing relationships that I have there that keep me planted in my seat when Sermons make me question what I believe, or when someone prays and it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Its the relationships that often times talk me off the cliff when it comes to faith. Its the relationships and the lives of people that really strengthen my faith.
Anyone have any thoughts?