So there comes a time when it becomes necessary to take stock of one’s church and how much progress has been made since day one. Have I continued to study the Word at the same rate as before I joined this church, am I studying it more or less? Have I coninued to pray at the same rate as before I joined this church, am I praying more or less? In the same way, Have I grown in my faith? Have I grown in my friendships? Have I grown more patient, kind, gentle, generous, etc? When I ask myself these questions, I discover that my old good habits (studying and blogging) ceased, and my prayer plateaued, while all other things just didn’t get started at all. Since I don’t feel that I’ve grown in this church or attached to this church or it’s people, it makes the decision to leave it a necessary one.
In all the time I spent there, I never found anything for me. My first problem is that the denomination of that church doesn’t agree with a few things that I personally believe. They said “We believe what’s in the Bible.” But their actions stated: “We have our own interpretations, and although Jesus had the utmost respect for women, we teach what Paul wrote.” People, it cannot be done both ways. Who is your risen savior? Jesus or Paul? Who set the example by deed and word? Jesus or Paul? Two thousand years worth of progress have passed since Jesus set Mary and Martha straight on chores and yet churches of this denomination are reluctant to let women aspire to lead like Phoebe because it just isn’t their place – unless they lead in the kitchen or nursery. Why oh why aren’t I sufficient in your eyes to humbly walk up the aisles and collect the offering?
The other thing that particularly bothered me was that the morning Bible study consisted of reading out of a popular book by the pastor of a southern church who traveled the world only find out that he was so rich that he couldn’t worship God with the proper motives, so he suggested that everybody live as if they made only fifty thousand a year and to give the rest away because the American Dream was destroying Christianity. Never mind the fact that if this isn’t our toughest Christmas this year, it’s a close second. What’s wrong with studying the Bible? The old book of red letters? Tell me about the Early Church, I want to know who were the disciples of the disciples and who were their disciples. How did The Way turn into the orthodox church? Do you know any of these things things? Could you tell me?
One last thing was that a sermon suggested that the problem with the church was that the people were so alike that it make it difficult to bring different people into the fold. Practically everybody agreed that there was a problem that needed to be dealt with. Then … nothing happened. Nothing changed. No difference whatsoever, and the problem didn’t even solve itself. It was natural to come to the conclusion that this church wasn’t quite ready for my ‘guess what, it’s pretty much 2011.’ views or for my continued attendance because eventually I’d want to burst their bubble and then where would we be? Square one. Unfortunately for us, all of the churches in this area are either of that denomination or a more strict one. In short, I really don’t think it’s possible to find what I”m looking for. So would you settled for moderately happy, or continue to seek out something wonderful?