Go Back   Christian Guitar Forum > Deeper Issues > Theology
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 12-12-2017, 12:10 AM   #1
I am real super sand
 
Toast's Avatar
 

Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 5,622
Heathens and church

By no means do I have ill intentions by posting this. Part of it is thinking out loud, part of it is curiosity. And part of it is spurred on by missing people I'd still like to call friends.

What point is there for a nonbeliever to even want to go to church? As someone who used to believe, the idea of going to church and sing songs about someone I believe to be dead for a half hour and listen through a sermon basically centered around the notion of that person being alive and the consequences thereof.. it sounds so pointless.

When I disclosed my disbelief to the pastor of the church I last attended and stepped down from music and tech stuff, I was encouraged to continue attending services. But the only thought in my mind was: "Why? Christianity is founded on belief in a resurrection I believe didn't happen. At the very core of belief, I am an apostate. Why should I come?"

So what could cause a non-believer (particularly an apostate) to want to go to church?

__________________
Journal // I have a business! // What's a genre anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
...wives are expensive upkeep...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
Ben Toast, I have been sanctioned by the official CGRARC (Christian Guitar Resources Awesome-ness Recognition Committee) to declare that henceforth and hitherto, you are awesome.
Toast is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 12-12-2017, 02:41 AM   #2
Chur Bro
 
dogfood's Avatar
 

Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 14,073
Send a message via MSN to dogfood
Free muffins?

From the testimonies I have heard of people coming into our church, they have experienced feelings of peace and comfort, safety and a fulfilment of that longing to be at home. From someone who has been in church a long time, I also feel that peace, comfort, at times that pleasure of voicing aloud my worship of my God.

It’s different for different people, but from what I’ve heard from them, is that church is so much better than what they thought it would be like. And they get to feel in their own ways a tangible presence of God.
__________________
dogfood is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-12-2017, 10:19 AM   #3
Registered User
 

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,026
paid
I am sorry you've left the church.

I think if you're convinced that God does not exist or that Jesus is not who he said he was to the point where you think investigating further is pointless, then singing the songs and listening to a sermon would also be pointless.

Here's some ideas though:

a) If you think you came to this realization in a biased way (set too high threshold for evidence, influenced by desire to be independent, decided in anger or depressed funk, etc.), then going to church can be a stable context for you to wrestle with the issue and work through it. (Someone might say it is biased to stay, but I don't think so any more than someone who recognizes that he gets into conspiracy theories intentionally staying around his scientist friends who want to help people avoid conspiracy theories or global warming denial)

b) There is something to be said about how practicing something authentically can influence attitudes and beliefs in a good way. Being around Christians and trying to live according to Jesus' commands, including singing songs regarding truths that you find beautiful, is a great context for realizing what something is like from the inside. If you think you already know everything there is to know from an insider perspective, I can understand why this would seem less beneficial.

c) If you have any hope of changing your orientation toward the topic of Christianity, the only realistic way to expect change is by going deeper. Deeper in knowledge, deeper in wrestling with doubts, deeper in every way. For me, this is why I stayed in the church when I was going through a period of agnosticism.

[edit]
In my suggestions I am making, none of these imply that you go to the church where you were. It is possible that they weren't a great Christian community. A good community for other reasons, but not for obtaining a gospel grounded in the historic faith, in reason and for daily life.
__________________
I'm gone.

Last edited by athanatos; 12-13-2017 at 09:30 AM.
athanatos is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-13-2017, 03:36 AM   #4
Admemeistrator
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,155
paid
Athanatos' said it pretty well, but I'd just add - if there's anything about Jesus Christ that you ever found beautiful or compelling, that might be a reason to stay. Dostoevsky said it well, when he said, in a letter to Natalya Dimitryevna Fonvizhina, the woman who'd given him a New Testament before he went off to the prison camp in Siberia,
Quote:
“I want to say to you, about myself, that I am a child of this age, a child of unfaith and scepticism, and probably (indeed I know it) shall remain so to the end of my life. How dreadfully has it tormented me (and torments me even now) this longing for faith, which is all the stronger for the proofs I have against it. And yet God gives me sometimes moments of perfect peace; in such moments I love and believe that I am loved; in such moments I have formulated my creed, wherein all is clear and holy to me. This creed is extremely simple; here it is: I believe that there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. I would even say more: If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth.”
Lastly, might you be reacting to a kind of ahistoricity in Evangelicalism - one that basically sees Christianity as having been lost until Martin Luther discovered a dusty Bible in the 16th century? I could see a kind of skepticism about the historical origins of Christianity arising if one didn't have a solid understanding of how that original community of Christ-followers matured and grew up and a conviction that that very same institution exists to this day and can trace its faith, leadership, and designated authority back to the Apostles and to Jesus Christ.

I'm convinced that that very institution is the Orthodox Church, and as it happens, there's a great mission parish (so I've heard at least) of the Orthodox Church of America in the Des Moines area (kinda... it's in Ames) called Holy Transfiguration church. The priest there is called Fr. Marty Watt. Maybe you could talk to him for a different perspective?
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac
==========

The tree of Eden once caused bitterness,
But the Tree of the Cross made sweetness of life to blossom!
In tasting the first, Adam fell into to corruption,
But as we eat the Body of Christ we are given life and mystically deified,
Receiving God's eternal Kingdom.
Therefore we cry out in faith:
Glory to Your suffering, Lord!

- from the service of Wednesday Matins


Homer Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-13-2017, 07:44 AM   #5
Sojourner
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Just Passing Through
Posts: 57,946
I don't have an answer for you. If there is anything in the community you were a part of that still attracts you I could see you attending just to be around the people. Truthfully, you can find community in other places though. Honestly, without the resurrection, Church (and Christianity) is pointless. Paul even said so.

13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. 15 Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified wrongly about God that he raised up Christ—whom he did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.

1 Corinthians 15:13-15 (CSB)




A lot of it will depend upon where you are in your convictions. If you have flat out rejected the resurrection and have no desire to contemplate further, I don't see why you would want to be a part of a group that holds to that. Also, your motivations for wanting to attend play a part in it. If it's just the idea of community then I can see the benefit. If you want to stick around to debate (or derail) what others believe then I don't know. There is a place for healthy debate but the Sunday morning worship service is not one of them.
__________________
Leboman Reviews Stuff
Through A Glass Darkly
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.

Last edited by Leboman; 12-13-2017 at 02:28 PM.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-13-2017, 01:55 PM   #6
by hope we steer
 
Almost Enough's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Far Northern California
Posts: 2,633
I think the three posts above mine do a much better job vocalizing what I would say, as well.

As someone who continued to serve in the ministry throughout a bout of agnosticism as well I would recommend not focusing on the theological why as much as the social why. To serve, to commit to being a part of community, to see people healed of various social ailments, and to be able to engage with another kept me in church. I've seen people turn their lives around through the church. For a while I viewed it as a mechanism, but have continued to remain in the throes of Christian life - the mystery that is Christ.

Dostoevsky helped salvage my relationship with the Church. This guy gives me a kick in the ass when I need it. A theology professor at my university that introduced me to the rich history and depth of wisdom that exists outside of my evangelical upbringing gave much new fuel to a waning fire. Reading, speaking, and sparring with other believers/agnostics/atheists helps me to mull about my faith consistently. Remaining in church and serving on ministry teams gives me something tangible to do within the community and keeps me grounded and not as cynical towards the idea of faith.

Not sure if that will help, but I thought I'd share a bit.
Almost Enough is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-16-2017, 09:33 PM   #7
I am real super sand
 
Toast's Avatar
 

Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 5,622
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogfood View Post
Free muffins?

From the testimonies I have heard of people coming into our church, they have experienced feelings of peace and comfort, safety and a fulfilment of that longing to be at home. From someone who has been in church a long time, I also feel that peace, comfort, at times that pleasure of voicing aloud my worship of my God.

Itís different for different people, but from what Iíve heard from them, is that church is so much better than what they thought it would be like. And they get to feel in their own ways a tangible presence of God.
I based my Christianity on emotions and experience for wayyy too long. Riding the ups to feel close to God, and the downs to feel like there was something I was doing wrong. I felt dead through all of it. "Got to feel in their own ways a tangible presence of God"... what do you mean tangible? If you mean some sort of goosebumps or chills type of experience, that's exactly what I left 5 years ago in pursuit of a Christianity that made sense in an effort to strike a balance between logic and emotion.

Spoiler: both came up dry to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by athanatos View Post
I am sorry you've left the church.

I think if you're convinced that God does not exist or that Jesus is not who he said he was to the point where you think investigating further is pointless, then singing the songs and listening to a sermon would also be pointless.

Here's some ideas though:

a) If you think you came to this realization in a biased way (set too high threshold for evidence, influenced by desire to be independent, decided in anger or depressed funk, etc.), then going to church can be a stable context for you to wrestle with the issue and work through it. (Someone might say it is biased to stay, but I don't think so any more than someone who recognizes that he gets into conspiracy theories intentionally staying around his scientist friends who want to help people avoid conspiracy theories or global warming denial)

b) There is something to be said about how practicing something authentically can influence attitudes and beliefs in a good way. Being around Christians and trying to live according to Jesus' commands, including singing songs regarding truths that you find beautiful, is a great context for realizing what something is like from the inside. If you think you already know everything there is to know from an insider perspective, I can understand why this would seem less beneficial.

c) If you have any hope of changing your orientation toward the topic of Christianity, the only realistic way to expect change is by going deeper. Deeper in knowledge, deeper in wrestling with doubts, deeper in every way. For me, this is why I stayed in the church when I was going through a period of agnosticism.

[edit]
In my suggestions I am making, none of these imply that you go to the church where you were. It is possible that they weren't a great Christian community. A good community for other reasons, but not for obtaining a gospel grounded in the historic faith, in reason and for daily life.
The only problem I have lies in a lack of documentation. A few insider (biblical) mentions of key items for me, but mostly allusions, secondhand claims, and then a lot of faith.

Things NOT in question whatsoever:

- The existence of God. Or "God." Or something beyond time, space, and matter that made all that we know. I believe some extradimensional being exists. I don't think our universe to be an accident.

- The existence of Jesus. To say Jesus never existed would be a historical fallacy. He was real.

- The intentions of the biblical writers.

- The possibility that external evidence currently nonexistent could have once existed but gone up in flames with Jerusalem in AD 70, and legends alluding to said external evidence maybe being destroyed with the fall of Rome.

Things that ARE in question for me:

- The dead coming out of their tombs at Jesus' death. There is only one mention, and that is it! No post-resurrection mentions. No mentions in the epistles. No external mentions. Nothing. Just a single vague mention for something that would seem to make huge news in any historical setting.

- Claims of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances. Only a single vague mention of Jesus appearing to over 500 people at once? But nothing else written down anywhere about it? Not even internally? Seems a bit thin (though not as thin as the claim of the dead coming out of their tombs).

- The resurrection. No external mentions whatsoever. I'm sorry but claims of people rising from the dead would seem to make news no matter the historical context.

- Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. Blinded by the sun and hears a voice from the sky? Stress-triggered paranoid psychosis? I mean, think about his job. Not easy being one of the most feared and hated guys around. A lot of people experience psychotic breaks under immense stress, claiming to hear voices and see visions, etc. Back then such an experience would seem utterly believable, not only due to the claims of a resurrected Jesus, but the cultural and historical context itself (lack of knowledge of medicine and psychology in general, with even simple psychological conditions like depression being ascribed to supernatural origins).


I hope these also answer why I do not remain in a church context. In my mind, the writings of the entire new testament are invalid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
Lastly, might you be reacting to a kind of ahistoricity in Evangelicalism - one that basically sees Christianity as having been lost until Martin Luther discovered a dusty Bible in the 16th century? I could see a kind of skepticism about the historical origins of Christianity arising if one didn't have a solid understanding of how that original community of Christ-followers matured and grew up and a conviction that that very same institution exists to this day and can trace its faith, leadership, and designated authority back to the Apostles and to Jesus Christ.

I'm convinced that that very institution is the Orthodox Church, and as it happens, there's a great mission parish (so I've heard at least) of the Orthodox Church of America in the Des Moines area (kinda... it's in Ames) called Holy Transfiguration church. The priest there is called Fr. Marty Watt. Maybe you could talk to him for a different perspective?
I don't necessarily see it as you've described entirely. I know believers were always found in groups and pockets, not in robes and cathedrals.

Even if I came to accept the resurrection and consequently the teachings of the new testament, I would not desire to speak to a priest, because it is my opinion that the new testament teaches that all believers comprise the new priesthood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
I don't have an answer for you. If there is anything in the community you were a part of that still attracts you I could see you attending just to be around the people. Truthfully, you can find community in other places though. Honestly, without the resurrection, Church (and Christianity) is pointless. Paul even said so.

13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. 15 Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified wrongly about God that he raised up Christówhom he did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.

1 Corinthians 15:13-15 (CSB)




A lot of it will depend upon where you are in your convictions. If you have flat out rejected the resurrection and have no desire to contemplate further, I don't see why you would want to be a part of a group that holds to that. Also, your motivations for wanting to attend play a part in it. If it's just the idea of community then I can see the benefit. If you want to stick around to debate (or derail) what others believe then I don't know. There is a place for healthy debate but the Sunday morning worship service is not one of them.
I have for now rejected the resurrection entirely. I do not foresee myself accepting it either, unless evidence arises that can satisfy my concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Almost Enough View Post
I think the three posts above mine do a much better job vocalizing what I would say, as well.

As someone who continued to serve in the ministry throughout a bout of agnosticism as well I would recommend not focusing on the theological why as much as the social why. To serve, to commit to being a part of community, to see people healed of various social ailments, and to be able to engage with another kept me in church. I've seen people turn their lives around through the church. For a while I viewed it as a mechanism, but have continued to remain in the throes of Christian life - the mystery that is Christ.

Dostoevsky helped salvage my relationship with the Church. This guy gives me a kick in the ass when I need it. A theology professor at my university that introduced me to the rich history and depth of wisdom that exists outside of my evangelical upbringing gave much new fuel to a waning fire. Reading, speaking, and sparring with other believers/agnostics/atheists helps me to mull about my faith consistently. Remaining in church and serving on ministry teams gives me something tangible to do within the community and keeps me grounded and not as cynical towards the idea of faith.

Not sure if that will help, but I thought I'd share a bit.
I understand where you come from with this. I just don't think the church is necessary for someone to turn their life around. I'm not cynical toward the idea of faith, just unconvinced of the resurrection. I have plenty to do within the community (if you mean the community in general and not 'the community' of the church) between music and life in general. I was happy to continue serving at the church in the sound and media department (it's fun and I really enjoyed doing it) but was asked to step down when I revealed my doubts and their serious nature. At that point, with no purpose to be at the church, I saw it as pointless to get up and go. If I'm not doing something, why even get out of bed? Why not get some much needed rest?
__________________
Journal // I have a business! // What's a genre anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
...wives are expensive upkeep...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
Ben Toast, I have been sanctioned by the official CGRARC (Christian Guitar Resources Awesome-ness Recognition Committee) to declare that henceforth and hitherto, you are awesome.
Toast is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-17-2017, 01:48 AM   #8
Admemeistrator
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,155
paid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Toast View Post
I don't necessarily see it as you've described entirely. I know believers were always found in groups and pockets, not in robes and cathedrals.

Even if I came to accept the resurrection and consequently the teachings of the new testament, I would not desire to speak to a priest, because it is my opinion that the new testament teaches that all believers comprise the new priesthood.
Ah. A skeptic, but still a good Protestant skeptic (I'm sorry, haha, I was talking with my pastor about this conversation and that was the turn of phrase he used. With no malice, I should add, as he is a former Protestant himself. As is Fr. Marty, whom I mentioned!)

There's a lot of misunderstanding to unpack there and maybe this isn't the best place to do it since it's kinda tangential, nevertheless, I'll say this, briefly.

I don't really understand your point about "groups and pockets, not robes and cathedrals", but if you mean to say that the people of God can worship wherever, then I agree. But that doesn't mean that presbyters can't wear vestments that reflect the majesty of the liturgical act they are participating in, or that the people cannot invest their best into building the physical temple/worship space. But a church needn't be ornate. Mine isn't. We built our icon screen out of lumber from the hardware store and our icons are mounted on plywood with glue (except for the two icons of the infant Christ and Theotokos, and Christ the Judge on either side of the altar that we had commissioned by a professional iconographer). Those vestments and trappings aren't strictly speaking necessary - Orthodox clergymen who were imprisoned by the Nazis and the Communists celebrated the Liturgy in the death camps in their prison uniforms with whatever scraps of bread were on hand. But when better is available, better - the best - should be offered.

Secondly: you may not actually know this, but the word 'priest' as it is employed by all churches who use the term comes from the following etymological route: Gk: presbyteros --> Lat: presbyter --> Vulgar Latin: praester --> OE: preost --> ModernE: priest. (Source). You'll notice I also refer to my priest as a 'pastor' since that is a role he fulfils in our community, entrusted as shepherd of the flock of Christ the Good Shepherd. But what he is is a presbyter. A priest.

The service of ordination of a priest in the Greek church still uses the term 'presbyteros'.

So I concur that the New Testament teaches that all believers are priests, and all the community of believers stand in the church and offer their sacrifice to God in union with the priest who offers the liturgical sacrifice that is the Eucharist. But not all are presbyters charged with actually officiating that divine worship. I am not duly authorized by my bishop to preside over the Sacraments, and this is as it should be, as the Apostle lays out fairly specific requirements for ordained office (1 Tim 3:1-12) that I don't think I meet.

If you read Fr. Alexander Schmemmann, he actually points out that the act of the ordained presbyterate in the altar is meaningless if the laity - the people of God - aren't present, precisely because of the priesthood of believers.

On another, different note (to do with your latest response to others): it's interesting that you mention your flight from 'emotionalist' Christianity (the theological term for this is pietism). There's a pretty good antidote to this in 'high church' traditions, and in the individual rule of prayer where you keep a regular habit of prayers that you say. Prayer is a habit that one keeps, even when one does not want to. And eventually, one learns to want to. But prayer as an act of the will is just as acceptable to God as joy overflowing - perhaps even moreso, since such a prayer as offered when times are tough and emotional resources are low.

You've stated that, "In my mind, the writings of the entire new testament are invalid."

Why so?
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac
==========

The tree of Eden once caused bitterness,
But the Tree of the Cross made sweetness of life to blossom!
In tasting the first, Adam fell into to corruption,
But as we eat the Body of Christ we are given life and mystically deified,
Receiving God's eternal Kingdom.
Therefore we cry out in faith:
Glory to Your suffering, Lord!

- from the service of Wednesday Matins



Last edited by Homer Simpson; 12-17-2017 at 04:29 AM.
Homer Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-17-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
Admemeistrator
 

Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,155
paid
Sorry, I... may have a different definition of 'briefly' than some
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac
==========

The tree of Eden once caused bitterness,
But the Tree of the Cross made sweetness of life to blossom!
In tasting the first, Adam fell into to corruption,
But as we eat the Body of Christ we are given life and mystically deified,
Receiving God's eternal Kingdom.
Therefore we cry out in faith:
Glory to Your suffering, Lord!

- from the service of Wednesday Matins


Homer Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-28-2018, 07:16 AM   #10
Laborer/Philosopher
 
Chrysostom's Avatar
 

Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 18,033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Toast View Post
By no means do I have ill intentions by posting this. Part of it is thinking out loud, part of it is curiosity. And part of it is spurred on by missing people I'd still like to call friends.

What point is there for a nonbeliever to even want to go to church? As someone who used to believe, the idea of going to church and sing songs about someone I believe to be dead for a half hour and listen through a sermon basically centered around the notion of that person being alive and the consequences thereof.. it sounds so pointless.

When I disclosed my disbelief to the pastor of the church I last attended and stepped down from music and tech stuff, I was encouraged to continue attending services. But the only thought in my mind was: "Why? Christianity is founded on belief in a resurrection I believe didn't happen. At the very core of belief, I am an apostate. Why should I come?"

So what could cause a non-believer (particularly an apostate) to want to go to church?
Hi Ben,

I'm glad to hear from you. It's been a while, and I'm sure that's entirely my fault. I'm so bad at keeping up with any online communication.

We can't have the kind of conversation I've usually had with folks in your situation. In the past I've sat down for lunch, asked a couple of questions, and we've been able to have a good conversation.

Of course, writing on a forum stops you from doing that. You can't ask a short question, listen to the response, follow up, and so on. The medium of communication makes that hard.

So instead, let me lay out a few guiding principles in the back of my mind.

That's a big change.

I love my wife. Now, say that I thought she was a championship tennis player when she was younger, and I come to find out that I was mistaken, she just played a lot of tennis and never played competitively.

That might make me think differently of her, but I wouldn't decide to leave her.

When I hear people voice the type of concerns you have -- "Why does only Matthew record all of these people raised from the dead?" -- I don't typically see them lose faith in Jesus. I see them lose faith in some view they used to hold about the Bible. Maybe the Bible isn't as simple as they thought. But this isn't something that would reassess their trust in Jesus -- just their trust in what someone else told them about the Bible.

So I would ask a couple of questions trying to figure out why these things have had big results.

What is big enough?

95% of the time I find that these types of questions are more like "the straw that broke the camel's back," these nagging issues that take front stage when most of what's going on is back stage. And so I'm listening to find answers to these questions:

#1 - Did something happen in your life?

#2 - Who are you sleeping with?

I don't mean to be crass, cynical, or cruel. Both of these are very important, very human things. But typically the further we get in conversation the more I find that one (and sometimes both) of these things is what's really driving them personally. The whole picture is always much more complicated, but this is sort of the fulcrum point that provides the leverage for everything else.

Anyways, I certainly wouldn't expect you to write about these kinds of things on a public forum unless you really want to. Instead, I'd just ask you to consider these types of issues in your own heart.

And that's what brings us to church.

Why would someone struggling with doubt go to church?

Christians have always believed that doubt is an important part of faith. Why? Because when I doubt, I tend to discover that the thing I'm doubting is a lie I was telling myself about God -- not God. So when I come out on the other sides I have found a new repentance and abandoned another idol. (There always seems to be one around the corner!)

God is this way, I tell myself. I'm so great, I tell myself. God owes me that, I tell myself.

And on, and on, and on. Too many things I tell myself about who I am and who God is. Too many things that are wrong.

It always looks like something else, at first. But the deeper I get into it, the more I discover that the things I thought I cared about weren't the things that were really creating the problems. Instead, it was my own errors, just like these.

Why attend church, then? To help you get to the bottom of what's brought about such a big change. Because it was definitely something deeper. I don't know what, exactly, but it was definitely something deeper. And it's worth taking some time to figure that out.

Perhaps you should consider attending lots of different kinds of churches. You may be struck by a new aspect of God, or a new aspect of yourself, or a new aspect of humanity. Often when you approach something from a new angle, the inner truth that you couldn't see before is now plain as day.

Peace to you, Ben Toast.

John
__________________
Peace,
John

CGR Blog
Chrysostom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 AM.


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2