And so it goes on …

September 6, 2007 at 12:01 am 9 comments

mouths.jpg So, most of you know I’m struggling with “religion” in general. I try and be a fairly opened minded person, and in pursuit of such openmindedness, I haunt a variety of blogs.

I responded to a friend’s on-going conversation about the truth being revealed in a certain church situation we, on that blog, are all familiar with. One person responded with a comment about the church “finally” finding it’s purpose. At the church, this “purpose” apparently is being spread by a neat little graphic showing up in everything the church does.

Now, in my opinion, purpose is about what we do, not how we graphically represent ourselves. So I questioned the writer, and asked, “Don’t tell me the purpose is the cute little graphic thing we’ve been seeing?” Here’s the response I received:

“Why so cynical all the time? I feel the graphic is their “new found purpose”. I am glad they figured it out. It is time we all got up and love others they way Christ intended it.

Lost girl? Are you trying to help the situation? If you know better, then are you trying to fix it? Where are you in all of this? Where were you the past couple of years during this searching? Nothing will ever get solved here on a blog. I am done.”

Wow. Call me slapped and reprimanded, I guess. Silly me, to question whether an organization could reduce it’s purpose down to a graphic, and expect people to sign up for the vision, regardless of how this “purpose” is reflected in the leadership. And apparently, learning to love like Jesus is wrapped up in this thing, too. Crazy me, I thought maybe those kind of lessons happened when we got off out butts and actually did love … not just talk about it. And I can’t believe all I was missing was a graphic representation to help me. (OK, maybe I do tend to be a bit cynical …)

Where was I during the “searching”? I’ve been searching myself, thank you very much. I’ve been weeding through a lot of religious “stuff” and trying to see who God might really be and trying to live a life that would show people I believed what I said. What a concept. Not re-writing my prejudiced, pre-conceived beliefs, but actually looking for truth regardless of what other people around me thought.

I’m a person who’s been “on the inside” for a long, long time. Somehow, it should be easier for me, but it’s not. And it’s damn near impossible for someone on a true search for God to find him anywhere near organized religion — in my opinion. He’s there, but he’s in individuals, not organizations. He’s in nature, not neutralized buildings. He’s waited to be discovered on many different levels and many different plains, not just one that is summed up by a vinyl graphic hanging in a hallway.

Yeah, I’m a little pissed. But I’ll get over it, and continue to blog and appreciate people with different opinions and questions that push me “further up and further in.” Including the amazing people here, wrestling with questions that may never have answers. But that’s OK. Because I feel like things are accomplished here in cyberspace.

I just feel sorry for those so chained to their closed minds they can’t even hear anyone else outside the doors anymore.

- lostgirlfound

[follow lostgirlfound's journey]

Entry filed under: lostgirlfound. Tags: , , .

The Power of Belief There was no baby in the bathwater!

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Eve  |  September 6, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Hullo, lostgirl. I feel your pain, I really do. :o( What I’ve learned so far is that, the wiser one grows, the farther one goes–away from the madding crowd, etc. I like to think of churches and even whole denominations like… schools. When you outgrow grammar school, you move on to logic school… and after you learn logic, well, you go on and get a bachelor’s degree. And then, if you like, you may grow into a master’s degree, and then a doctorate etc etc.

    I don’t think that tiny little desk you had in kindergarten would fit your big… brain now, eh? ;o) I know my big… brain doesn’t fit in a tiny little desk any more. Not fitting in the desk any more doesn’t make me hate the dear children, much less their teachers. Thank God they have a place to be happy.

    As for me, I take myself down the road and I stubbornly keep looking for people with bigger desks. And brains. I wish you luck on your journey, and I wish you good metaphors to ease the frustration, because God knows that it is pretty darn frustrating to have people make church work be about GRAPHICS or choir robes (don’t get me started) or REMODELING instead of feeding the poor, caring for the orphan and widow and… well, you know. Hugs atcha, Eve from eve3.wordpress.com

  • 2. StaCeY  |  September 6, 2007 at 1:40 am

    girlfound & eve!

    Whazzup?
    Did you both miss Jesus’ Sermon on Graphics, Choir Robes, Remodeling & Organized group think? Where is your vision anyway?!

    (“actually looking for truth regardless of what other people around me thought.” What is this world coming to.)

  • 3. Steve  |  September 6, 2007 at 1:55 am

    About 30 years ago uttering the words “purpose: to” was enough to get many of my friends grinning. It was a kind of in joke, because we had all been to many church meetingsd which would begin with someone writing on a piece of newsprint:

    Purpose:

    To

  • 4. HeIsSailing  |  September 6, 2007 at 6:39 am

    Eve:

    I like to think of churches and even whole denominations like… schools.

    That is a really good way to look at it! How many of us, as Christians, sat in the pews listening to the same sermons over and over and over again, for YEARS!??! Yes, yes, I know there are at times challenging and convicting messages, but like anything else, those sermons tend to be remembered while the seemingly endless number of repetetive and recycled stuff is just outright forgotten.

    I still attend Catholic mass on occassion, and I do focus on the liturgy and ceremony. But the homilies given by the priest are, without exception, the most unchallenging, insipid, tepid and barely warmed over lefterovers of sermons that I have ever heard. How devoted Catholics can listen to different versions of ‘you must be a true Christian not just in deed but in spirit’ over and over and over and over again, for their entire *lives* is beyond me!

    Eve, you are right. It is like growing up in a little elementary school chair and asked to repeat your abc’s even when you should have moved on to calculus by now! No wonder I felt so cramped, so uncomfortable, so unfulfilled at my old Baptist church. People are looking for more than week after week after week of the Purpose Driven Life.

  • 5. Jon F  |  September 6, 2007 at 6:47 am

    It seems to me that the reason it is so hard for christians to define their mission is because it is so hard to define what a “christian” actually is.

  • 6. girlwithnoname  |  September 7, 2007 at 11:36 am

    I have to agree with Jon F.
    And maybe take it a little further…maybe it is so difficult because the ‘original’ purpose of a christian (as taught in Sunday school) was to preach Jesus to the world and save them from sin. Well, that has gotten around pretty good now and most people that come to church are ‘saved’ and most of them want to remain safe inside four walls or 50, whatever…so what purpose do they have now? Dictatorship? You and I (lostgirlfound) both know it is not to be relational, somehow that has been lost, again, because of maintenance and fear of those walls collapsing (if they went outside). I’ll say it again…I don’t think it should exist.

  • 7. Jon F  |  September 8, 2007 at 5:42 am

    I also think one of the biggest obstacles that the christian church has placed in its own way are the buildings which they erroniously refer to as “churches”. Not only can they not figure out what the word “christian” means, they can’t figure out what the word “church” means either!
    I had a big rant about this a while ago, but strangely, and somewhat surprisingly, it has had little effect on christendom:

    http://jonfeatherstone.wordpress.com/2007/04/04/church-buildings/

  • 8. girlwithnoname  |  September 8, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Read the link…again…I agree.
    Thanks for sharing Jon F

  • 9. mewho  |  September 25, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    HelsSailing,

    Sounds like you grew up alongside me. I realize now, after many YEARS of listening to sermons crammed with scriptural minutia and pointless Biblical stories that always somehow boiled down to either “God loves me” or “I need to repent”, that I was cramped and kept down in a Dark Ages of sorts.

    As I’ve grown up, I’ve visited lots of churches and heard lots of sermons. Many of them preach extremes, useless debated dogma, or sermons that are meant to help the church out, not the individual. Many preachers habitually “talk down” to their congregation. Many, many churches across America have no influence in their community whatsoever. (Except an occassional Garage Sale.)

    My wife is a Christian, and out of a deep love for her I go to church. We recently found one that preached messages that were more of a “self-help” orientation. Gladly I latched on. There is only a 5-minute “invitation” to be “saved” at the end of each message. No more sermons where THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE MESSAGE!!! I told her lovingly that I NEVER wanted to go to another church where the messages were either an attempt to make me a Biblical scholar or attempt to get me saved. I don’t care about all of that baggage anymore. I want to live life in abundance, and that will not happen as long as Sunday is wasted hearing how you’re going to Hell. (Borrowed from “The Simpsons”.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

Twitter

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 2,022,538 hits since March 2007

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 202 other followers