Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just Give Me Jesus

I know it has been awhile since I last wrote here and I really struggle to put my thoughts down in this format, but for my friends and family who occasionally check in and for that random reader who might just have an opinion, I feel I need to write again.

So here is something that has really been driving me crazy and I just need to vocalize it. I have really been going through such a dry stretch spiritually. This is for a number of reasons which include, but are not limited to:

1) Work schedules that include overnight shifts that keep my husband from getting home before church starts and my utter lack of desire to go to service by myself.

2) Not totally understanding where we are in our lives and where we go from here and feeling a bit like God isn't really concerned with that (even though I know better and continue to talk to Him about this).

3) Total disappointment with what seems to be the great topic of teaching in churches that I am associated with and even the one I attend. I am so confused as to why Jesus seems totally forgotten in church.

It is on point 3 that I will vent for now. Seriously, I know it is July 4th week and some churches are choosing to honor the Friday holiday on either Sunday surrounding it. Let me just say for the record--I love this country. I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!! I cry at the National Anthem, I can't say enough thank you's to those service people who are giving their lives in service to our country. I love history and Kevin and I are currently listening to a great book on CD about the Founding Fathers. I love this country.

What I am challenged by is the swapping of patriotism for faithfulness and religious belief. I think churches should honor the birthday of this country and to talk about our religious history and the role faith plays in our lives as citizens. Have a concert, present a program, please, honor our military, but could we please not forget that our worship is to be of Jesus and not the United States.

Our speaker on Sunday morning was a politician and a professor of communication at a local university. Both of these things appeal to me. Unfortunately, the presentation was just bad. No coherent point, all over the place in terms of organization, you name it. I would have failed the speech in one of my Freshman level classes, but to top it off, she claimed that the Constitution was a divinely inspired document and that she is pretty sure that the founder's must have prayed daily as they began their sessions and prayed about the document that God was giving them to write. It was all I could do to stay and keep listening.

The Constitution is a great document, but it is not anywhere near divinely inspired. No where near scripture in my opinion. Seriously!!! It has been amended 20 times. Did God get it wrong the first time with the inspiration or maybe they just weren't listening on those points.

Again, I am all for demonstrations of patriotism, but couldn't we have just worshiped Jesus? Couldn't we have been taught about true freedom? The freedom that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus???

Our church is not the only one with this fervor...combine and election year with the 4th and whew!!! Topics I have heard recently include that Thomas Jefferson was really tantamount to an Evangelical and a Christian Education class that is talking about the British failure of the Jews after WWII. What???? Jesus...that is what we need...that is what I need. That is what we all need.

I am just so discouraged that I get more and more why people are leaving the church. We can't use words like sanctification and we can't teach doctrine and theology. Really??? People don't know those words and the reason behind our theology because we are spending our time on the apologetics of Thomas Jefferson and not on teaching people about Jesus and the gifts he has given us and the role they play in our lives.

I guess I just feel alone in my quest to serve the Lord better. It is lonely. We are taught that we need the church and the community of the faithful to build our faith, but if this is what the church sees as the important topics of faith, then I am not sure I want it. Just being honest.

So there is my vent. I am praying about this, too. I am not just talking about it. I hope that reveals something new that I can share later on.

1 comment:

Jeff and Sarah said...

Joy--
You are so right on! I find your views accurate and your honesty refreshing!

If you like the church you have for the community aspect, then stay and join arms with those there. If the teaching isn't hitting the spot, there are some really really really good sermons you can get at www.blackhawkchurch.org/sermons. Download them as podcasts, watch online as videos, or just listen to them while you're surfing facebook. :)

Thanks for putting out there what a lot of us are feeling, thinking, and experiencing.

love to you!
-Sarah