20 February 2015

Whore Church. A Church for Whores.

Today, I read Jeremiah chapter 4. It kinda went in one ear and out the other. My reading comprehension is already just average at best, and this chapter was something that theologians probably spend hours dissecting. So, I'm not even going to try. It's a prophecy from Jeremiah, I think. It's talking about a lot of destruction and honestly, I don't know what it means. I'm also very tired... so there's that.

I'm trying to read the Bible every day, I'm trying to make sense of my faith. I've been listening to Unbelievable?, a podcast that explores all sorts of questions Christians should ask. (Thanks to Gio and Miranda for recommending the podcast.) I've also been listening to The Bad Christian Podcast--a podcast with guys from a band (Emery) that I've liked for years, and they talk in more of a hang-out conversation setting, and not as much of an academic or intellectual setting like Unbelievable. I like both podcast, because they talk about the stuff in Christianity that Christians don't want to talk about. Gay marriage, the Bible's validity, evolution and so on.

I've began to attend a mega church. My buddy Jon invited us, and we've been going since October or September. The teaching is good. It's Bible based. I don't feel that the church is judgmental and I feel that the church is about Jesus. We just started a community group, so I'm trying to get a feel of what the actual people that attend are like. I'm searching. I want Christianity, but I don't know what Christianity is for me. All my life I've been told what a Christian is. I don't like that Christian. But I do like Christ.

The other day, I was listening to the Bad Christian Podcast and they were talking with Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz. He was talking about how he doesn't go to church at all, and that he doesn't feel like our idea of church is something that fits in his life. But, he still says he's a Christian and that he loves Jesus. Church and community to Donald Miller is something completely different than what I think church is. Church is a pastor greeting, announcements, three or four worship songs, tithes and offerings, a message from a pastor (that better not encroach on my damn lunch), and an alter call if the message was heavy, or just a closing prayer or closing song. We'll maybe "fellowship" for a minute or two, but I'm freaking hungry, and I don't want to hang around very long. I want to get on with my damn Sunday.

Honestly, it's not something I've ever thought about...church. What is it? I think it should be different. I think America has whored out church. I go to a mega church, and I feel warm and fuzzy most of the time when I walk out of those doors. I like the music, it's nice. I've only been to one community group meeting, but it was okay. The people were nice, we talked a bit about God.

Why can't church be a bicycle group that goes for a ride, then ends the ride at La Cumbre where we talk about Christ while enjoying a delicious IPA? Or a hiking club that worships God on top of a mountain. Or whatever. Why does church have to fit in our American idea of what church is? Well, I think the answer is that it doesn't. I think Donald Miller is on to something here.

I don't think I'll ever get there, though. What would my family do without church? Would I just wake up on Sunday (or any day) and make breakfast and love my wife and sons while talking about God? Do we have to worship with music? I do like worshiping with music, but most of the time it's by myself. I don't like the whole crowd involvement during worship. I don't clap, I don't sing, I just watch. And I feel guilty about that, because if you were to see me at an MxPx show, I would be moshing and drinking and singing at the top of my lungs. But I don't do that at church.
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