Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Surch for Church

I started to try to write this on my Facebook page, but frankly that was near impossible. Facebook has its uses, but trying to vent thoughts and feelings that aren't likely to be commiserated by others is not one of them.

As you know, I've been looking for a new church home for me and my family for about six months now. A lot of people have told me that they are praying for us and I really appreciate that. I'm not sure that I'd be able to make any headway at all if it weren't for the prayers of virtuous friends. But frankly, the whole search process has been very frustrating. Sometimes it's hard to talk about without sounding negative and critical -- particularly on Facebook which is where most of these virtuous friends have come to learn about my search. As I've visited one church after another, I've felt the urge to write about my experiences, to discuss aloud what I've seen and experienced, and to compare my notes with other people's opinions and advice. That's just sort of how I am. They say that most men don't talk all that much, that they don't share their feelings. I never seem to shut up.

And so, since pretty much everyone has strong opinions about their church or their church preferences, when one person says something that disagrees with them, people bristle. That's completely natural. Without question, some people may be offended by some of my posts. (Read "all people, one way or another".) I promise that is not my intent. In fact, there has been a lot that I've wanted to get off my chest but it just hasn't been possible because there was no way to vent the frustration without sounding like a jerk. I can be pretty blunt normally but I'm not one of those who pretends that it is acceptable to disguise rudeness as "honesty". So, as much as you've already wanted to slash my tires, I'm sure you'll be incensed to know that there was more that I held back. (No need to thank me.)

Now, before you start thinking that I'm some kind of malcontent who is never happy, I want to assure you that is definitely not the case. Probably. Maybe. I really don't think I'm much different from any other guy who attends church on Sunday; who wants to hear doctrinally sound preaching; who wants to be uplifted by spiritual music; who wants to see each member of his family ministered to; who wants to engage in true fellowship and friendships with other like-minded believers; who is jaded by past negative church experiences; whose attitude sucks; and who is in need of a good schiaffo in faccia.

Don't stand too close to me. When the lightning strikes, I don't want you to become collateral damage.


Anonymous said...

Your captchas are inhumane, sir!

It's a shame that people would think you're being fussy. Church isn't just about sitting in a pew - it's about HOME.

And I know, that coming from me, in particular, is funny, but I could never fault people for wanting to find a good place for themselves to belong. A lot of Christians like to belong at a church. I mean, REALLY belong.

That's an adult and healthy thing to want. Nothing wrong with searching for the right place.

I mean, hell, you wouldn't get married to someone just because it's "mostly right". You'd wait until you found the RIGHT person.

Same goes with home.

For what it's worth, I'm rootin' for you, man.

PenrBrown said...

Eh. People get so invested in this because their church becomes an extension of themselves. So, when you have something negative to say about their 'home', they take it personally.

Ultimately your surch for church should be about finding truth. Not about who has the best music, whose minister speaks with the most charism, or who serves the best pot lucks...

I found the right church for me but let me tell you... there are days when I want to strangle my fellow parishioners, days where the minister is so boring I want to bury my head in sand and suffocate to death rather than sit through his homily, days where the music is so horrible I wish I could just go deaf... but ultimately this church contains truth and so I stay.


All the best in your search. Careful... talking about why you have rejected some will just make people really angry.

Gleno said...

Thank you both. I very much appreciate your thoughts and opinions.

Gleno said...

By the way, I figured out how to turn off the Captha. You won't have to deal with that anymore.