Thursday, March 27, 2003

Why Rachel is leaving her church:

Teri did hit on something, so lest you think I'm just an overly critical flake, here are my list of reasons why I feel that I do not wish to stay at the church I'm currently attending.

1. Preaching that seems to go nowhere and say nothing.

2.Bible study that doesn't really study the Bible, but meets once a week to discuss everyone's rather hazy views on why they appreciate their faith, without any reference to Christ

3. Sunday school that is an interesting lecture series on icons, prayer mazes, and such, but something I could read about on my own.

4. Lack of Biblical foundation manifested throughout the church laiety -- to the point that most of the congregation cannot tell with any accuracy where to find any given book of the bible.

5. The Rector.

6. A general sense on my part that there should be more to church than church stuff. The focus on church should be to meet, and worship, and learn something that can be applied to daily life. Litergy is wonderful, community service is great, even socializing with other Christians are all good things, but it shoudln't be the only reason to be there. We don't go to church to feel better about ourselves for having done our good thing for the week, and then walk out without having been challenged to grow, to mature, to grow closer to God, to repent of the things in our life that are keeping us away from him, to become connected to God so that in turn we may minister to others. But to try think that you can do all of that church "stuff" without the basic foundation of a personal relationship with Christ is a serious waste of time and energy -- in fact it seems worse than nothing at all. It seems to me that a person is much better off doing no church stuff than calmly sitting year after year in a place where you're getting fed watered down pseudo-Christian mixed with the latest pop-psychology and motivational speaches where you'll never have the chance to even hear TRUTH, and never know the difference. After four years of it, I'm starving spiritually. I've loved the liturgy. I've loved the music. But I need someone to teach me something that I can't get out of a book, or by reading a commentary. Don't think I haven't tried to glean nutrition out of what St. Albans has to offer. I'm going to sunday school, to the rectors bible study, and to sunday every week on top of helping out with youth group (which is actually run by a Baptist, so we do get meat and potatoes there). But I'm still frustrated. I thought it was just me not trying hard enough to take advantage of opportunities that were being presented, or being so critical that I coudln't possibly get anything out of it. But then I went to another church for a sunday. And there it was -- truth, a good sermon, an application to daily life, a congregation seeking to do God's will, and that went out of its way to welcome a stranger. And It felt like coming home.

So it's not just me. And I'm not the only person on that church that feels the same way about it It's not a decision I've come to lightly, and I don't think anyone should leave a church "just 'cause." So there you have an endlessly long tirade! Now I'm going to go practice....