Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Church

I have this rare break where I feel like...hey, I'm going to sit down, relax, and maybe blog.  House is mostly clean ;), laundry is mostly done...and I only have a couple of orders pending...which I need to get supplies for after naptime soooo...here I am.

We have been in Tempe for 3 months.

And we need to find a church.

We've actually been going to one church the whole time we've been here.  It was recommended to us by a friend in San Franciso.  It's fine.  I mean, it's Gospel centered and pretty friendly...and they love Jesus so yeah.

But there is one thing that we are having trouble with.

The worship.

Okay, so here's my thing.  I've always thought that we come at church hunting pretty selfishly.  Very "what can I get out of it" versus "what can I contribute".  I think as Christians we can be a little whiney and "waaa waaaa I don't like this, this, and that so I'm outta here".  So we have TRIED to keep an open mind.  I mean...we've given it about 3 months.  We joined a small group/class.  We've tried you guys. Triiiiiiiiiiied.

But I just can't.
I can't do it.

I cannot get passed the worship.  It is smoke machines, light shows (that literally laser you in the eyes), performer focused.  The congregation hardly sings and I am so. stinking. uncomfortable.  I dread it.  Literally am relieved when it's over.  I mean I'm sure the worship leaders love Jesus.  I do not doubt that at all.  I think though that maybe there might be a little room to step back and let the Spirit move within people on it's own?  Like maybe God doesn't need THAT much help.  Oooh.  Is that messed up to say?  I have no problem with contemporary music, not singing hymns, etc.  If they kept their style and songs as is and just toned it down I think we would be fine but yeah.  Apparently I am old, lame, and boring and I just can't deal.

We have really enjoyed the pastor and his sermons though.  They are always Bible focused and right on and so that's what makes it hard...and seemingly like a dumb choice to seek out another place of worship.  I don't know.  Maybe we will come crawling back.

Finding a church is definitely tough.

I know that it took a little while to feel completely at ease at our church in San Francisco.  It had a completely different set up.  We took Communion every Sunday, stood up, sat down, prayed the same prayers, followed the church calendar and etc.  But it was a good church.  They LOVED the city of San Francisco and served it in beautiful, huge ways.  Currently they are going through a bit of an upheaval on their stand on gay marriage.  While I don't agree with their opinion on it I don't know if it would warrant us leaving the church if we were still there like many have.  The Gospel is there and God is working and I think there is grace for those who don't quite have the right answers to the questions out there...heck...I don't know the right answers.  The Gospel is still very much intact but apparently the pastor and some of the elders (some left because of it) have a different interpretation on gay marriage.

City Church's stand practically went viral in the "Church World".  And it just has me thinking.  Is there something wrong with me that I would be willing to stay at a church that finds gay marriage acceptable (they are allowing gay married couples to become members if they wish, versus before they would only allow people who are struggling with being gay but are celibate) but I'm not willing to stay at a church because they have cheesy, over the top worship?!?  I just feel like that's weird and maybe I need to check myself.  I don't know.  I've always took far too much pride in my "consistent philosophical thinking".  My philosophy background has both ruined me and helped me immensely.  I understand that the issue of homosexuality is a HUGE thing in San Francisco.  Having made a few good friends that are homosexuals...and having Jason walk along side a friend and have conversations with him AS he was processing his sexuality and "coming out" has made us realize that it's a big, complex, personal, crazy thing and they are people.  They are real people who need our love and friendship like every one else in the world.  And I'm not going to call them sinners because seriously, who the heck am I?!?  While I have my opinions on what constitutes a marriage under God it really doesn't matter what I think at the end of the day.  It doesn't. 

I am very conservative on many fronts and yet I think that as I get older I realize that there is a lot of grey out there.  A lot of grey because people are not black and white.  We don't fit into nice neat categories 100% of the time.  We fluctuate, we change, we grow, we sin, we have moments of faith, moments of weakness, moments of strength, and moments of utter failure.  We are poor sinners who need a Savior and we are so very "grey" most of the time.  A mix of good, bad, and ugly.  And Jesus loves us just the same.  And therefore...I will love those around me just the same.  Because I'm no better.  And God knows.  And God judges.  And that is so very much enough for me.  I mean really, it's a relief.  Because it's a heck of a lot of pressure to feel like you have to have and know the right answers to everything.  WOW THAT WAS A TANGENT!  :) 

Anywhooooooooo, back to the original thing about the worship.
So what do you think?  Should we suck it up?  Is it enough to warrant looking for another church?  Dish it baby!  :)

7 comments:

  1. Finding a church is TOUGH!!! One recommendation, in my humble opinion, is that it would be worth it to find a church you really love and are willing to go the distance for. Our previous church was "good 'nuff" we thought, yet the longer we stayed there, the more my heart was just so discontent and even bitter. Yet, by that point, we felt like we had put in too much time to leave (esp being military). I wish we would have searched more. Anyways, that said, there is no perfect church, but I do feel like God can give a peace about a good fit for you. Have you heard of 9 marks? That's how we found our church in Tampa, and we love it. Here's the website for you: http://9marks.org/church-search/

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    1. I totally agree. Even at City Church we never felt... "rooted". I always attributed it to the fact that it there was the "city mentality" even within the church. San Francisco is so transient and it was just hard to get to know people. I would love to feel planted and comfortable at a church again. It's been a loooong time. I will check out 9 Marks. I've never heard of it! Gracias my friend. :)

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  2. I wouldn't be able to go to a church like that either. I guess it just doesn't feel reverent to me when the focus is on the people rather than on God. I think overly emotional experiences can leave you feeling empty because emotions change. Also, out pastor actually mentioned the whole debacle with City Church a few weeks backs. I would say that while people are grey and changing, God is black and white and neither he nor his law changes. This is what makes His grace so miraculous. Even though his standards are specific and unbending, he forgives us for our "grey". I'll be praying for your church hunt!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not alone. I mean...I don't feel like a total old fart but I definitely don't want to feel like I'm going to a pop concert every Sunday. Maybe that moves some people but me...um no. ha! And yes, God is definitely black and white and I am so very glad he loves and bestows his grace on His wishy washy, unfaithful people. Blows my mind each day.

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  3. My parents attend a mega worship/concert church (which I introduced the, to, cough) but I can't stand it. I can't stop focusing on the performance. Maybe I need to pray about my own attitude when I attend with them, but I just couldn't stay there permanently either. Zach can't even go bc the flashing lights give him headaches. Another mega church we tried here even had a video disclaimer in their bulletin that by setting foot inside, we were agreeing we might be videod for the t version/crowd panning, etc.

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  4. Also I hate commenting from ipad I can't fix anything! Anyhow, "videoed for tv" plus the ushers all wearing ear pieces like someone is orchestrating some big plan behind a mirrored window...way too distracting for me. I need pastors with bad hair and old flowers on stage for less visual stimulation, lol.

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    1. Ha! Seriously...bad hair and old flowers!!! THIS is what I need! :) Really though. I feel so uncomfortable because a) it's just uncomfortable and awkward and b) I feel so guilty for feeling this way. I don't want to judge and yet just can't get over it. This church doesn't have the total "mega church" feel but it's still too much for me.

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