Sometimes I feel so flat about going to church. My former church was the feel good kind. We’d gone there for 8 years before leaving. It was a church with a lot of fun for our kids, a lot of contact through small groups. We had gotten to know people there. We were so blind to most of the issues, and though we knew people had been leaving over the years, we chalked most of that up to inconvenience.
We live in an area with churches everywhere, so it was often true that people just left for whatever reason. Until we heard of one specific couple who left because of the direction the church was going in…we thought our personal fears of the church were possibly just thoughts we were having…strange things we had to figure out but not real issues. It wasn’t until we thought strongly about leaving that we began to run into people who expressed strong issues with specific things we were seeing ourselves and had left.
So now, we’re in a new church. It’s got a lot going for it, most especially the word of God is preached from the bible itself clearly every Sunday we’ve been there so far. This church staff and pastors recognize the problems in churches with emergent(ing) and purpose driven…etc. This is refreshing.
However, at this point I still feel a great distance when in church. There are so many times when it’s a chore to get myself ready to go to church. Once there, the message is great. Until I’m there though, I am not looking forward to it. I cannot put my finger on why though.
One thing I have learned in this process of leaving a church with a focus on emergent youth (even if they aren’t officially an emergent church) and going to another church is that you cannot trust your emotions. Emotions are not faith. Faith is something else altogether. I do not buy that action preceeds emotion every time, and I do not believe that just by doing something you can always shape your emotions…that they will follow. Some people are depressed no matter h0w much faith they have, and how much they pray. I was hurt by the whole process of leaving our former church. I found out that my judgement of things was off, my view had been blocked, I had been fooled.
I even at times look back and think about how we came to seeing the issues. It was really quick, actually. The wool was pulled away and I saw the former shining church for what it was. It’s not just that, but I saw that there was this network of churches. I also saw some of my favorite things were not at all what I thought.
I used to listen to Focus on the Family daily, and other radio programs through out the week. Finding them involved in contemplative and compromise took away my grounding and habits. So much of what I did before was built on popular protestant trends….all not bad if the focus of these things remained on Christ and the bible.
It was a shock to my system. I can imagine maybe it’s like the way a woman feels if she finds out her husband is not who she’s always thought he is. The church, and parachurch organizations who have let contemplative, emergent, purpose driven, marketing, and more enter and take over have been serving another master. This has caused a great deal of confusion for me over the last several months.
So, the new church has a lot to overcome. They are dealing with a woman who has been sucking off the marrow a bit on the wrong things and has been starving for it. It’s not that I didn’t get good things from our church, or we didn’t have friendships and support when needed. That church is right in these areas. I think though the sacrifice of biblical teaching (not just using the bible for a means to an end) is not worth any connections and community.
So now, I’m disconnected and emotionally not where I wish I was in the new church, in my life these days. It’s not about emotion, it’s about Christ and following Him. It’s about training my children in the church that is presenting the truth. Now, I just pray for trust if this is the place for us to commit as members. Who cares about emotions, I want the real deal….
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