Church, Faith, and the Struggle.

I’m waging a war.

With whom?  I’m not sure.  All I know is that I’m fighting with myself, with The Church, with Faith.

Am I done with “Baptist” life?  Am I done with “contemporary” life?  Where do I fit?

I can’t reconcile myself to the churches that boldly proclaim their “conservative, evangelical” prerogative.  I don’t believe that’s the way to go, to bash political leaders from the pulpit, or to preach hellfire, damnation, and a lack of personal responsibility for the earth simply because they believe that “global warming” is a liberal agenda.  I can’t agree.

I can’t find solace in the “doing life together” churches either.  Their seeker-sensitive stadium seating, free Starbucks and drinks, rock-star style worship, and messages that seem so polished that they don’t seem real … they unsettle me. They are large, impersonal, and they seem so popularity driven.  Don’t get me wrong, I like contemporary worship and on-key singers.  I like being able to show up in jeans and a nice shirt.  My brother said this once… “I have a hard time attending a church where Jesus seems like a product.”  Maybe that’s my problem.

Where do I belong?

Has anyone else had this problem?  Has anyone else been able to find a solution?

Where are the legit churches?

I’ve been so blessed to know people who are legit Christians.  Many of the people on the blog links to the right of this post are truly real… and they are some of the most amazing people I know.

I’m struggling.  I really am.  This is causing me to really reflect upon myself.  SO many people are happy with the church they are attending, so it is a problem with myself?

I’m having such a hard time even wanting to make an effort towards faith at all anymore.

I’m not asking for condescension.  I’m not asking for a “suck it up” speech or anything like that.  Should I just give up trying?

I have no answers.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Sometimes I think you are able to read my thoughts and steal them for your blog posts! lol

    You are definitely not alone. I actually think you are in the majority. Most people don’t see the appeal of the modern church in America. I know I don’t. It’s been over 4 years since I was a regular at a traditional church and a little over a year now since I’ve been to any church service on a Sunday morning. I can say my life is better for it. I gave up on trying to wedge myself into churches that never really accepted me for me. I realized that instead of trying to be a part of a fake church I should just embrace the real church that was all around me. My church is my friends and family that truly know me and love me. Some live close by and others far away but we are there for each other and we help each other through the good and bad times. I have no use for a social club that pretends to be a church. I have enough real friends that care about me. It’s my friends and family that can truly make a difference in my life and I can make a difference in theirs. I’m glad that some people find that support in a traditional church but for me I usually just found shallow friendships that were going strong one day and gone the next. I’m thankful for my friends and family that love and accept me. I’m glad I can be there for them through thick and thin. Once I gave up on the traditional church I realized I have a much more genuine church that’s been here for me all along.

    Reply

  2. Amen, sister. The church is an important establishment; unfortunately, the American church has traded the Acts mentality of what the church is supposed to be for a perverted extension of our egocentric culture. And because of that, it’s really really hard to find the church you’ve described. But they do exist; don’t give up trying.

    Reply

  3. I agree…Church as a whole is hard. I think its most difficult because its full of people. I’ve spent a lot of time recently evaluating some of what I believe about church. I love the church we serve at however, do I think I’m at a “perfect” church? No way. However, where is the “perfect” church? I’m afraid its not out there because they all have people in them.

    Reply

  4. Debated on posting anything, but after much thought decided to chime in. Take it for what it’s worth…haha! We’ve only been blessed to serve on staff at amazing churches so I have a hard time with this. BUT…we’ve never served in any “super conservative” or “popularity” churches. We’ve only been a part of small country churches where people are real. They want you to be a part of their life, not because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but because they genuinely love and like you. Is it easy? CRAP no! People are people…nobody’s perfect. But, the majority of the time, we are all just normal people trying to figure out this thing called life together. It’s encouraging that on my worst days, when I don’t want to be there, I can be transparent with my friends. Because we’ve all been in that same boat together. That’s comforting to me. To know that “this too shall pass” because someone else has been there, and it did pass. Praying for you…and not in a cliche’ type way. A genuine way.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Jamie Banister on November 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    All the things you said are things that I have been feeling for a long time. Years, now.
    I’m gonna be honest, I’ve kinda just given up on it. I can’t reconcile any kind of “church life” with my own conscience and ideals. The agenda of the church is, in many places, diametrically opposed to what my own conscience demands.
    So, for now at least, I’m out. I’m sorting out how I relate to God in my own way, in my own head. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but if God is worth knowing, he’d rather we find our own way than just blindly follow something we don’t agree with.

    Reply

    • Yeah, I guess I have felt at least a margin of this when I was on staff, which was evidenced by my seeking towards authors such as Anne Lamott and Kathleen Norris… something more to the root of faith rather than the sparkly surface of it. My definition of who God is– it’s definitely changing.

      Reply

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