Church. Again.

 
Went to Church again today. Mia went off to Sunday school with friends from her class, and Merrick lived it up in the nursery, which (in theory, should have) made for some quality distraction-free worship time for me and Caleb. This makes 3 weeks in a row for our family, which–I think–is some kind of record for us. I don’t know why I fight church tooth and nail. I don’t know why I can’t settle down and I don’t know why I can never quite grasp that calm and Godly state-of-mind that everyone else in the pews beside me seems to have. I’m a spiritual retard–what can I say? I’m working on it.
 
Something that bothered me this morning? I read this on a collection envelope: "3 out of 4 people in Canada and the United States DO NOT have a personal relationship with God." Says who? Says the Southern Baptist Association? Based on what? A door-to-door study? A phone survey? On the percentage of people in North America who are not Baptist? Do you have to be Baptist to have a personal relationship with God? Do you have to run crying up to an altar in front of hundreds of people on a Sunday morning? Do you have to shout "Amen!" after everything a preacher says during his sermon? What? What then?
 
And, if there’s no fact to back up the statement on the collection envelope–and I’m pretty sure there’s not–why are they strategically placing it every 3 feet throughout the church? To guilt people into giving money? To scare people into being "saved"? Are they going to try and scare my kids into being saved? Will they tell my kids that Catholics are ignorant in the ways of the Lord, and that to really go to heaven, they have to say a prayer with real tears in their eyes one time, and after that, everything’s gravy?
 
I’ll stop now, before I get too carried away. I’m over-analyzing. I’m sure the church only aims to enhance the religious life of families, and that my kids will be better off in a Sunday school class than they will sitting at home watching Dora the Explorer, or worse–Hannah Montana, who is probably the devil anyway.
 
I can’t control the way me children feel about God and Jesus and church and Sunday school, not completely anyway. I feel completely unworthy and unqualified when it comes to being the director of their spiritual growth. But I hate to think that they might one day, one moment, be emotionally manipulated into believing. It should be so much more than that. I want it to come to them. I don’t want them "getting saved" after watching a scary Christian cartoon about hell, or after an hour of much poking and prodding from a well-meaning Sunday school teacher. Surely that makes sense, right?
 
As for me, I just want God to grant me the ability to chill out in church. For once, it’d be nice to get the message and not go crazy with questions and worry. It’s not the place, either: I’d probably roll my eyes if I were doing a one-on-one bible study with the Pope himself. Please, God–just let me get it.
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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

5 responses to “Church. Again.

  • Tiffany

    Have you totally agree with you! I grew up in the Catholic Church. Britt grew up Southern Baptist… so when we got married we had to have some compromise on where to go to church. We decided on a non-denominational and LOVE IT! I totally get the sermons every Sunday as where I would want to fall asleep at the Catholic church! It’s good that you guys are going though! And, it’s great for your kids too! Love ya – Tiff

  • Bev

    You hang in there my friend. You are correct that God does not want us to repond to Him out of fear but out of love. You asked God to "let you get it" and I am sure that if you continue to seek Him, you will get it. My hubby and I are going to "house church" where we meet in people’s homes rather than a church building. I am amazed at how wonderful it has been. Perhaps you need to visit some other churches and see if there is one that isn’t so negative. I send you a big hug my friend!

  • barnyardmama

    Oh, there is a book that you should read–only I don’t knowthe name of it. I’ll have to ask my mother in law. I loved my nondenom church in AR, but a good church is hard to find. I wouldn’t want to feel like I was being guilt-tripped in the pews myself.KM

  • Joell

    Watching Fireproof did you in…I agree with the "shouldn’t have to guilted into a relationship with God" thing. It should come from somewhere inside you as a response to feeling the love of God. I agree with Katy….a good church is very hard to find. Keep asking God to help you get it, and He will.

  • Diego

    everything and everyone are people wonderful what live united states

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