Returning To Sunday (Part 1 of 100)…
I’ve been church shopping.
There’s so much in just this one statement…
Am I selling out?
Is this not going against everything I stand for?
Will I even be accepted back?
What type of church am I shopping for?
Does this type of church even exist?
How will I be doing this (i.e. church) differently this time around?
Is this me just returning to the same toxic vicious cycle secluded in this Christian Institutionalized bubble?
And, why? Just, why?
Allow Me to Explain…
I haven’t spoken of this in quite some time; a few years back, I stopped attending church.
That is, I stopped attending any program associated with a larger institution of sorts; small group, conferences, Sunday mornings; I even went so far as not even listening to various evangelical podcasts, unfollowing certain religious leaders, and completely disconnecting from the evangelical community.
But, all of this is opposed to, my ceasing to be the Church and/or strive after living a Christ-like life. In other words, my values, my focusses, and the very core of who I am, none of this ever changed; during this time it was simply sharpened.
My leaving was a necessity to this refining. I could not have found myself if I did not separate from this institution.
Recently, Stephen Colbert said something that resonated with where I’m currently at regarding my faith and involvement with the church:
“The church is a flawed and human institution, for whom I always have hope”
His sentiments were well taken.
But, just reiterating, it’s not that I have hope in the church so much as it’s that I have hope and faith in the “Spirit of God” to transform our church and, to transcend these barriers of this man-made institution; therefore, positively impacting the rest of our world.
Otherwise, the church, as we know her, the “Bride of Christ,” she is lost, hopeless and without purpose or meaning.
Not to sound like a broken record but, it’s the differentiation between the church (as an institution) and the Church (empowered by the Spirit):
One is made and lead by “man,” the other is created and driven by the Spirit.
How else can a man-made institution be correctly driven if good and spirit-filled people such as yourselves reading this do not follow their call to become leadership [within this]?
Are we not the hands and feet God intended to use?
Does not utilizing this institution’s unlimited amount of resources to help the masses make more sense than starting all over again? As counterintuitive as it might seem, is this not part of what starting all over might look like?
I’ve come to find that this place, man-made or not, is the best place to appropriately “evangelize” to those who are also lost, hurting, looking for or running from _________ (life).
It’s not about preserving an institution; it’s about creating a better world (and, while we’re at it having as much fun while we’re doing it).
If we want to reform this Church, Christ’s followers must be active both in and out of this institution, collectively.
Remember, people such as ourselves, we never left the Church; we’re just returning to Sunday morning.