Yesterday, after a year and a half of not belonging to any one particular church, and about 3-4 months of sporadically attending a Unitarian church, I got up the gumption to go try yet another area church service (a traditional Christian one). I have come to the recent conclusion that I really like and miss many of the elements of my actual Christian faith. Including, well, the Elements (Communion, that is).
I made the point to get up early – I was going to try the church/service a dear friend raves about. I’d been to her church before, but had always gone to the later, more traditional one (having set aside contemporary ones for all the problems they’ve caused me.)
I should’ve guessed I was in for trouble when the band was still rehearsing past the start of service time, and the pianist said (with microphone on) “Who opened the doors without our permission?” Yeah, that feels *really* welcoming to a visitor. I bit my tongue. Anyone can have an off morning.
Moving on, we didn’t move on. One of the mission ladies talked our ears off for 10 minutes about why we should all help out in the food pantry. I’m all for food pantries and service ministries, but 10 minutes at the beginning of worship….really? What happened to meditative silence before God, Who, after all was the reason I *thought* we were here.
Sigh…..worship finally begins…. and, I start belting out beloved Christian worship songs. And….. sneaking sideways glances, notice I’m one of the ones singing loudest and most enthusiastically. Hmmm…. how odd, I’m just a visitor – this is their chosen service. Oookay, maybe everyone’s having an off morning.
Children’s time – a grand total of 3 children go up – this in the service my friend assured me was full of families with kids. Children’s message was….weird, and not actually theologically (God was scared because he didn’t know where Adam and Eve were….um, really?) or even just logically correct.
Main sermon – happy fluffy pablum about how if we put God first then we will find out that all the other things in our lives will work out, or that we simply had the wrong perspective. Oh? Tell that to Deitrich Bonhoeffer and all the other Christian martyrs. How about the Apostles? How about Jesus himself?
Sigh…. I left completely flummoxed as to what on earth my dear friend sees in this mess. And, the sad and frustrating part for me is – so *many* of the churches I’ve visited are *just * *like* *this*. With bored and boring people who look like they’d rather be anywhere else and rush out the door the minute it’s opened.
It’s really no wonder I fell in with the Evangelical camp – at least there you’ll find some genuine enthusiasm for what is, after all, *supposed* to be the Body of Christ worshipping her Savior and God. At least, I thought so. Maybe I’m the only one who does….