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Last weekend

Posted by onyx 
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Last weekend
March 13, 2011 08:57PM
Ok, so I haven't been around much...
a week ago I went to Auckland to see the family and in particular my old grandad again, who was very ill in hospital. I took Princess with me. We stayed with my parents. On Sunday, we went with my parents to their Anglican church service. Big mistake. IT WAS TERRIBLE.

I felt angry, choked, smothered, claustrophobic, and sad...all at once. The religion was deadly. The stand-up, sit-down, say this now, and drink this, eat that because 'that's what we do'. I was fuming. And very surprised by my own reaction. My mum was part of the service; chalice bearer for their 'communion'. And Princess and I were the only ones who didn't go forward to kneel at the 'altar' and partake of the wine and wafer.

When we got back home I apologised to my parents for my reaction. They wanted to know specifically why I didn't partake in the communion. I felt I couldn't because the whole essence of communion to me was turned into a cheap religious imitation by their service; that communion was sharing of a meal with other believers, and remembering Christ in our midst; that the fact that I wasn't part of that 'fellowship' meant that I was shouldn't( I don't know any others, and couldn't in that religious format); that the very essence of the word communion was in communication, sharing and fellowship - all things that were dispelled by the religious ceremony. They agreed, and began to ask about the walk that I am on; they called it "church without walls". And so I began to share about life outside religion but inside faith. I think Mum was still hurt, as she didn't really partake in the essence of communication on that topic. But Dad agreed with the lack of life in the religion, saying that he does not feel the Spirit of God in that place, and that he only goes in order to support Mum. So it will be very interesting to see what transpires in their lives now!

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Last weekend
March 13, 2011 11:04PM
Onyx
Me and my 2 oldest had a boxed experience today they both enjoyed it but i felt a stranger.

I found myself not wanting to conform to the prescibed routine, the stand to worship requests which always got me from times at church sat next to my youngest son in a wheelchair, (pray for him to stand first then i will willingly comply). the songs of worship in a language alien to anyone not in the box and even then a language only used in box time, not in boxed peoples real life, then in the preachers enthusiastic talk, when else in life would i sit and be instructed by someone and not question.

Later today i listened to a recording of Rob bell in conversation via itunes in which he talks about the reality that his mega church is just a meeting, that church for him is about being broken with christ and being drawn closer to those we feel most different from, how few "one anothers" the bible tells us to do can be done in a meeting, where the most can be done in sharing brokenness in life.

I do truely believe that god can speak touch and move people in meetings and to deny that would be to limit a limitless god, and then how can i claim god can speak to me in the pub? Maybe when and if we venture back in the box we should free ourselves from feeling that conforming to the set actions is agreeing that this meeting is what christ planned as his church but allow ourselve to be open to god in that situation but know that church is something bigger and more wonderful.

Maybe if i went into a church meeting as i do the pub (minus the dog) without preconcieved expectations of how people should and will behave and treat me, i would be less judgemental.
Re: Last weekend
March 13, 2011 11:53PM
Yeh, J, you get it. But how can we change other's expectations of us in these situations? Specifically, where they expect us to join them in their religious ceremonies? I mean if part of their religious ceremony was to slap each other with a fish...do we really need to join in?Laughing Where is the freedom?

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Last weekend
March 14, 2011 12:44AM
Yes, you can't change their expectations of us. I know that I have tried with my husband, and of course, he has tried with me. I refuse to go to that giant box and and play Walmart church. I resent it, and would gag at it if I had to go. I keep thinking that the strong feelings AGAINST will go away, but then I get some "prayer request" or some email that sounds like witch craft: "pray that God would lay it on the hearts of the people in these tight financial times for these needs at the church" And of course, they are all about the BUILDING and the STUFF and the professional religious people's wages, yadda yadda. Then there was the prayer request that actually had MY name in it. I had shared this with Shelley. Something like this: "Heather has been a prayer warrior for ChangePoint for many years. However, she is not really connected with any ChangePoint ladies at this time. Please pray for God to speak to ChangePoint women to seek her out and draw her back into fellowship with them." GAH!!!!!! Can you feel the love?

Good deal Onyx, your parents had the opportunity to listen, and your dad shared his thoughts...... that's great!!!!
Re: Last weekend
March 14, 2011 12:44AM
fish slappin bring it on! Monty Phython
in the pub there is an expectation to get drunk and letch over women when you dont do it regularly enough people stop looking at you strangley and start looking inward
Re: Last weekend
March 14, 2011 11:09AM
Quote
onyx
do we really need to join in? Where is the freedom?
When I've had to go to church for funerals and such, the freedom comes for me, by knowing that I'm ok with God on the inside, that this too (like J says) may be a place Papa can speak to me, and I can if I want to but don't have to, join in all their reindeer games.

Singing in church was never my favorite thing. So now I don't do it. Unless there's a song I like and I feel like it. I usually do take communion, just on the odd chance that Papa might want to touch me there. which hasn't happened yet.

The service itself doesn't bug me, I can endure it, but it's the manipulations like Heather mentioned that get my goat. When I hear about manipulative prayers and church infighting and "you need to give more"....I'm sooooo glad i'm outta that.

Onyx, it sounds like you may have opened a dialog between your mum and dad. That's pretty cool, maybe that's why you had a such a strong negative reaction, so you could be prompted to talk about it.

I really like this:
Quote
J
Maybe when and if we venture back in the box we should free ourselves from feeling that conforming to the set actions is agreeing that this meeting is what christ planned as his church but allow ourselve to be open to god in that situation but know that church is something bigger and more wonderful.
Re: Last weekend
March 14, 2011 09:00PM
IMHO - It' really is a 'respect situation' when you go into those sorts of places. Out of 'respect for their belief etc one accepts them where they are at. I for one have never been in a IC where they told you to "take the communion or sing this or your'll break out in a rash ..... I simple passed it on or didnt really "get into the swing"... Gosh how would I go in the tribes of the world? ( a time to think about 'drinking and eating stuff that will not harm you kind of scripture comes to mind, not that i really want to "test it"winking smiley

If we believe we have love and acceptance then become all judgmental about the fact we think we have the corner of the the market for 'relationship' then have lost the ground we were standing on and lost the battle. Its not about pretending either. I have my own areas that I still struggle with.
However when occasion or discussion can occur, then we have a opportunity to testify our little socks off... in 'love' of course!

Being at the pub or tavern is seen as a 'fallen area' ("bad company corrupts good character" is bashed around the place for lots of situations...), for many and yet what we see coming out is a mess from these places, we dont see the church rushing in to "love em help them or give them a drink" Dunno about Sally's or Mother Teresa? For some of us maybe thats a good thing because it could start us on a trail to no where, so unless Father is leading you ....keep up the current direction...

J - you have found a special place to share what Father has done in your life, you go for it, just make sure your armour is on and the sword at the ready!! Be careful brother.

As soon as we think we have the right to tell someone else what we think they need to do we have "should on em"

When we change that to encouragement/challenge them to seek something of greater value, like Jesus did, then there is a time where the Spirit moves in the unseen realm to do a greater good. Sow the seed, water the ground and let the Father do the work? Some of us just love to chat, come on guys lets be truthful herrreeeee?

How many times did Jesus go into a temple and then say 'you guys 'should be' doing this", instead of reading what they had in the sacred scrolls, and it touched their hearts to conviction? How many times did he go to house and sit and eat with sinners! Those Pharisees sure had a hard time figuring out where He was at!! Obviously not religious enough??

"Peace out"

LH
Re: Last weekend
March 14, 2011 09:03PM
(((ONyx)))

IMHO - I feel its really a 'respect situation' when you go into those sorts of places. Out of 'respect for their belief etc one accepts them where they are at. I for one have never been in a IC where they told you to "take the communion or sing this or your'll break out in a rash or your hair will grow out or something (i wish) ..... I simple passed it on or didn't really "get into the swing"... Gosh how would I go in the tribes of the world? ( a time to think about 'drinking and eating stuff that will not harm you kind of scripture comes to mind, or worse Bear Grylls, not that i really want to "test it"winking smiley

If we believe we have love and acceptance then become all judgmental about the fact we think we have the corner of the the market for 'relationship' then have lost the ground we were standing on and lost the battle. Its not about pretending either. I have my own areas that I still struggle with.
However when occasion or discussion can occur, then we have a opportunity to testify our little socks off... in 'love' of course!

Being at the pub or tavern is seen as a 'fallen area' ("bad company corrupts good character" is bashed around the place for lots of situations...), for many and yet what we see coming out is a mess from these places, we dont see the church rushing in to "love em help them or give them a drink" Dunno about Sally's or Mother Teresa? For some of us maybe thats a good thing because it could start us on a trail to no where, so unless Father is leading you ....keep up the current direction...

J - you have found a special place to share what Father has done in your life, you go for it, just make sure your armour is on and the sword at the ready!! Be careful brother.

As soon as we think we have the right to tell someone else what we think they need to do we have "should on em"

When we change that to encouragement/challenge them to seek something of greater value, like Jesus did, then there is a time where the Spirit moves in the unseen realm to do a greater good. Sow the seed, water the ground and let the Father do the work? Some of us just love to chat, come on guys lets be truthful herrreeeee?

How many times did Jesus go into a temple and then say 'you guys 'should be' doing this", instead of reading what they had in the sacred scrolls, and it touched their hearts to conviction? How many times did he go to house and sit and eat with sinners! Those Pharisees sure had a hard time figuring out where He was at!!

Obviously not religious enough??

"Peace out"

LH
Re: Last weekend
March 14, 2011 11:54PM
LH
Thanks for your concern, but i feel safe and welcome, i have never felt the need to try drugs, hate getting drunk and would take a hug from any of my kids over the lost bragging or longing over a sexual encounter, feel at peace in the knowledge that christ spent most of his recorded time in the company of similar people, fishermen who is dont imagine kept the cleanest tongue, prostitutes and thieves leppers and beggers, yes he did go into the temple but it wasnt like a weekly ritual and often when he did he had an alergic reaction to the place.

I dont go there alone but walk in with the lion, tonight one of the other regulars who came to skinnys baptism talked about how real it all seemed to the people at the service and i talked about how i agreed but felt uncomfortable with the religion of it all, i told him i had been to church most my life and when he asked and others listened i talked about the difference between religion and knowing god
Re: Last weekend
March 15, 2011 12:53AM
Quote
J
he did he had an alergic reaction to the place.

I dont go there alone but walk in with the lion, tonight one of the other regulars who came to skinnys baptism talked about how real it all seemed to the people at the service and i talked about how i agreed but felt uncomfortable with the religion of it all, i told him i had been to church most my life and when he asked and others listened i talked about the difference between religion and knowing god
Allergic reaction! That's it! That's what I had ; I should have realised, being a hayfever sufferer winking smiley

Nice one J, how did they take that all? I bet they are still mulling it over in their little noggins.
Quote
LH

When we change that to encouragement/challenge them to seek something of greater value, like Jesus did, then there is a time where the Spirit moves in the unseen realm to do a greater good. Sow the seed, water the ground and let the Father do the work? Some of us just love to chat, come on guys lets be truthful herrreeeee?
Yeh, dude, if the format of that religious meeting had allowed ANY interaction, I would have been there encouraging and challenging. Unfortunately they have it tied up to be predictable and without challenge.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Last weekend
March 15, 2011 08:07PM
To be honest they often just take little bits at a time, I'm sure they listen to the bits I say more than they let on. I think I confuse them because I don't leap to defend Christianity, the church or god they are entitled to their opinions some times I agree with them and often when I don't it's not my battle.

I find it sad but funny some of their arguements, they have a go at skinny saying he is using Christianity as a cop out sin one day cuz Jesus will forgive you the next. I'm sure that's not what skinny is doing but what is worse sinning and asking for forgiveness the sinning again or just sinning and sinning. Because skinny is a bit of a clown they feel his faith is foolish, somehow I have a wise status (mainly because I'm the soberist at the end of the evening) but they don't tend to joke about my faith.
Re: Last weekend
March 15, 2011 08:31PM
Then it makes a nice juxtaposition; he's the clown, you're the sober and sane one. And you both have a love for God and people. That in itself has to say something to them of the all-inclusive nature of Christ's love grinning smiley

It would be interesting to ask them some pointed questions, as Christ did, "Who do YOU say I AM?", i.e. then they are on the defensive, trying to explain someone they don't know, in the face of those who do know him.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Last weekend
March 15, 2011 11:30PM
Funny I have similar reactions around my family J. I would actually love to go to an Anglican brand over the hell fire and brimstone cult of a church that they go to. I've just had to make sunday's a travely day for a few years now, just too painful to be a part of.

And J that is cool that you have a place to be. In there yet not quite one of them. Cool! I don't feel the need to indoctrinate anyone with my belief's just live life along side. Most people are pretty respectful. And it is neat to be able to build friendships and just share your story.

Heather should I email your former hangout and express concern over the fact that you are known to associate with heretics? That would really give them something to gossip, oops I mean pray about.

smiling smiley
Re: Last weekend
March 15, 2011 11:50PM
cant beleive the flack rob bell is getting, well i can but i hope people stop having a go and start questioning themselves, funny how love can seem so problematic
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