I don’t know if I am a non-conformist, if I have a problem with authority, or if I just don’t fit into any moulds, but one thing I know is that I will never be a cookie cutter person. I always wanted to be. I’ve tried. I have lost many hours, days, months, years of my life in agony, wondering why I just don’t fit it.
This frustration has been most evident in my invovlvment with the church. It always starts out really well. I show up. God moves in my life. I get involved. I make some friends. We’re all lovey dovey. Then, somewhere along the way, I stop listening the my gut and start doing what is expected of me. I start to feel dissatisfied, knowing that something is off. I dig deep, trying to figure out what is off. The dissatisfaction grows deeper and deeper, until I am just angry. I try to step back from the things in which I am involved. But that is easier said than done. Because, you know, people are depending on you, Deneen.
I’m not pointing fingers at others for my personal deficiencies. I have a huge problem saying no. Almost a fear, if I’m honest with myself. However, the church as it is, plays into the fear of saying no and the problem with all of the expectations placed upon its members/attendees to be a part of the church.
Jesus came to heal the sick. So, why is it that the church doesn’t recognize that everyone in their congregation, from the top down, is broken? Why does the church not realize that along with attending services once a week, that its people have jobs, families and *gasp* friends who are not in the church. I have friends that are black, white, asian, hispanic, gay, straight, catholic, non-denominational, pentecostal, agnostic, athiests, doctors, lawyers, customer service reps. Is the church of 2009 relevant to people who are not in the church of 2009? I’ve been out of church for about a year, and frankly, I question whether it’s relevant to me at this point.
What is difficult for me is that I truly love the church. I want the church to be what God has called her to be. But, I can’t bring myself to be a part of an organism that judges people who are not like them. I want to be a part of a place that allows me to bring my friends into a nurturing environment, a place where they can have educated conversations about their difference in beliefs/lifestyles. I want to belong to a church that is a part of a conversation, not a monologue.
Maybe I need to restart some conversations of my own…I need the challenge again.
If you want to check out the catalyst to this blog, check out Shaun’s blog here.