It used to be that I’d know what day of the week it was by how long it had been since I’d last gone to church. These days, I’m a bit better about knowing the time – but not so good about going to church. The interesting thing these days is when I see people from church; “So it’s been awhile since we’ve seen you at church. We missed you.” Is something I hear every now and then. It’s even more awkward when I meet somebody from the church before that …
Thinking back – I’m not sure that there was anything to miss. Making friends in a tight-knit church isn’t easy and I never really fell into any of the groups that were there – I was usually too young (for the elders), too old (for the youth), and too single (for the marrieds). And it wasn’t like the music was all that great – just old-fashioned hymns that didn’t speak to me. I’d rather not sing them at than to have no choice but to sing them and them alone. The preaching wasn’t bad … but I’m not sure if it’s enough to justify putting up with the bad music and being isolated in a crowd. Sunday school … well, they were trying but it wasn’t working either. So it seems, they miss me at church a whole lot more than I miss going to church.
But judging by some of the interactions I have with various kinds of Christians online, it’s probably for the best. The more I’m out of church, the more my beliefs fall away from the pre-approved labels of Calvinism or Arminianism or what have you. There’s a lot of it that – to be honest – I just don’t care about. So much of it doesn’t apply, so I don’t see why I should have to agree that it’s a valid teaching.
I know that if I went to one of the local churches, the more they’d try to supply with a fix of their particular teaching – something that’s out of my system now but they want me to become re-addicted to. They’d want me to turn, to reform into one of their own. It makes me feel that it’s not really about me – but how they can mold me into their image rather than helping me bring out Christs’ image in me. That’s one thing I really don’t miss about church.