t-shirt: i hate your religious meetings

God hates our religious meetings and conferences.

Can’t get any clearer than that! I wonder how popular this t-shirt would sell at a religious conference? Haha.

But… Guilty as charged! The church I pastored last was famous for its renewal conferences. Speakers and worship leaders: we brought in the big guns. We would have a couple thousand at these huge events. We used to have Friday night renewal services that packed the building. Our Sunday church services were like renewal meetings and were always packed.

Some good things happened at these events. Lisa and I experienced life-changing things at these events that we will keep with us always. They helped many people. In a way I don’t regret them. I do have fond memories.

But the truth is they had a way of concealing some very serious issues. There were problems that festered in spite of the church’s success. The hidden monster reared its horrible head in a huge church split that ended it all.

The religious meetings and conferences were, in the end, superficial. Like jewelry, makeup and nice clothes. They are fine, but they aren’t the things that matter. What matters is the heart. We can have fine accessories but be very, very sick and ugly underneath.

If we point to the superficial things as proof of our health, then that’s when we start to get in trouble.

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Thirza

    aaah i like… :) thanks 4your honesty also about the good things that can happen at these conferences. but i so agree with your last words. it’s nice, but not what it’s about. the hearts. God’s working on mine and it gets better and better. for myself & others. bless u.

  • http://magdalenaperks.wordpress.com Magdalena

    I absolutely loathe the idea of meetings and conferences. They usually do nothing more than support the status quo and/or pay a good fee to the speakers.

    If I wasn’t Plain I would wear this t-shirt.

  • http://brainatthedoor.blogspot.com Hugh

    I think God feels that way about a lot of what we do in church – we seem to spend more time maintaining the structure of the church instead of being it!
    “Some good things happened at these events. Lisa and I experienced life-changing things at these events that we will keep with us always.” is so important. God does good and great things even when we mess up and if He was there we mustn’t look down on what happened. We are all the sum of our Christian journey not just the person we are today.

  • Marty M

    Hate to be a pain, but shouldn’t that be Amos 5:21?

  • Al

    Um! people. I am not sure what version of the bible you are using, but I looked up in my old King James version Amos 5:23. It does not say what is on that shirt at all!!!! It says “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.”

    So dumb shirt.

  • Al

    Even if the shirt really mean Amos 5:21, it isn’t justified yet. Again my old King James bible, I got in Baptist sunday school, says

    “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.”

    So God was unhappy with their holidays, and maybe he thought there was some Body Odor in the assemblies!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Can’t stand those conferences. Went one about 15 years ago.

    That was plenty.

    _______

    Good catch, Marty.

  • Tired of it…

    I think I’ll make my own T-shirt that’ll read- “I can’t stand your childish bitter complaining and I am fed up with your blogs, artwork, and “Free Believer’s Network” of bitter complainers who just never wanted to grow up spiritually, butcher Scripture, and only use it when they like what it says.”

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Tired of it…: I only told you my experience. I don’t see what I wrote as complaining. You sound like a very angry, bitter person. Would you like to talk about it?

  • Marty M

    Umm, Al,
    This shirt is an excdllent translation (and application) of Amos 5:21.

    So good shirt.

  • Rich R

    Isn’t it slightly taken out of context though? Does God not want to His people to meet up, ever?

  • Tim

    Ok, a number of pastors have dared each other to wear this shirt to our synod assembly. We love it… may not have the balls, but we love imagining we could pull it off. How might I contact you to talk about availability?


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