I grew up attending a Church of Christ church.
You know … no instruments, no fellowship hall, dressed to the nines for all three of the week’s services, surrounded by ladies who wear lace on their heads who teach all the little Church of Christ children that sex is a big bad terrible thing, always re-iterating the fact that our offering is “separate and apart” from the lord’s supper, repeating the five most do’s of salvation: hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized …
I could go on and on.
I remember thinking when I was younger, “I’m so lucky that I was born into a Church of Christ family…how else would I get into heaven?”
Yup. Pretty embarrassing.
And I didn’t realize how terrible and embarrassing and downright WRONG all that was until I got to college and decided to “church-hop”, as I’ve termed it. I went to Baptist churches, small groups, Methodist churches, campus ministries, community churches, Presbyterian churches, you name it. It was my own little faith journey that I desperately needed to figure out what I believed because I believe it, not because it was spoon-fed to me for 18 years.
And my simple conclusion was: It doesn’t matter which type of religion you claim … Baptist, Presbyterian, Church of Church, Methodist … because that is not going to get you there. It doesn’t matter how many times a week you sit in a pew. It doesn’t matter if you worship in jeans or in a knee-length skirt, with instruments or a pitch-pipe. There is not one thing you can do (or avoid doing) that will matter. YOU aren’t going to get yourself there (and thank GOODNESS we aren’t responsible for getting ourselves there, because we’ve already failed at that).
The only reason we even have a SHOT at getting there is because absolute perfection came and took the blame for all of our filth. That selfless act and what you choose to do with it is all that matters.
I say all that to say …
While I was off on my little faith journey, my Church of Christ church loosened up a little…which I appreciate. They now have a homeless shelter ministry, a more tolerant dress code (i.e. jeans have slowly become acceptable), and they actually learned new songs that weren’t written 300 years ago. I’m not sure if it’s enough to for me to back there regularly, but it’s definitely a start in the right direction.
The most recent tie to be loosened was the decision to do away with Sunday evening service and just stick to Sunday morning services. And since the change, I have learned that not everyone is on board. In fact, one woman opposed to it hates it so much that she has compared it to taking food away from a perfectly healthy body.
(Her logic is … if you take away a worship service from a healthy group of Christians, they will die a bad spiritual death. For the record, this woman has posted her views on FB for the world to see so I have zero qualms about speaking of it here as well).
Yes, we are all entitled to our own opinion … but gracious. That’s just ridiculous.
As glad as I am that my little Church of Christ church has decided to let its hair down a bit … it’s because of ridiculous healthy body/food mindsets, strict black and white policies, extreme traditions and narrow mindedness that makes me hesitate to come back for good and consider raising my future children there. We'll have to see about that.
Tonight, I'm thankful for the freedom to speak my mind and my precious little blog for a chance to vent.
I feel better now.