Give up Church for Lent?

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“Garden of the Gods” Colorado Springs, Colorado

I do believe in God, a Higher Power, or similar title. I radiate a spiritual connection to Him/Her and feel close in that spiritualism through music, poetry, and empathetic dealings with other humans and the loving entity’s creations.

I do feel a kinship with Jesus Christ. I don’t know, if He is/was the “only” son of God (as the Nicene Creed states).  I am sorry for his suffering on the cross. I know my humanity is prone to sinfulness no matter how hard I try. I do appreciate forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit surrounds me – and you – whether acknowledged or not. Sometimes, I forget the third part of the Trinity and the all knowing, all seeing abilities.

What I don’t appreciate are the problems I see with my experiences in the 21st Century church, especially with fundamentalism and doctrines. I also am sad to see exclusivity and prejudices. I’m talking about the “Christians” who believe if you are not with them, you are not a good person. “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself” seems to not apply if their neighbor is homosexual, or of a different ethnic group, or race.

Why do we need a sermon each Sunday? It seems that’s just a time for the preacher to tell of his/her personal experiences. Sometimes they try to entertain with jokes or anecdotes. I remember my grandfather snoring loudly through one sermon. A couple of years ago a church I attended, had the congregation profess, “From This Moment On, It’s Not About Me, but All About Jesus.” Then the pastor would start his sermon talking about himself. I enjoy a sermon which tells me history and culture behind the Bible verses and not today’s everyday problems with no real solutions. The Music Director in that same church would  say we were “dismissed” after the last song. What? Am I a child?

Why do church committees beg  for more money for building maintenance, staff salaries, supplies, etc. after they just sent a considerable donation to a mission? Shouldn’t their first fiscal responsibility be to maintain their own church? When they have surplus, that’s when more could be sent for a charity. Beg for that after paying the church’s bills. And by the way, why do they need the biggest, fanciest building and the loudest organ? I refuse to “pledge.” Instead I give what I feel is my fair share. If I gave more, they would probably waste it.

One pastor scolded me when I said, “God helps those who help themselves.” He stated that was not from the Bible. He felt we shouldn’t be helping ourselves!

What Would Jesus Do? He was a humble man, not rich, not flashy. Shouldn’t Christians be more like him?

Speaking of the name “Christian,” more sermons and Bible readings seem to come from Paul than from Christ. Why not just be called Paul- ians? Sure, St. Paul helped the Christian cause back then. Are his epistles still so necessary now? Is there a Bible condensed to just what Jesus said? I have one with His words marked in red. What about the words God said, shouldn’t they be highlighted as well? So much more is said in church than the words of God and Jesus.

I do attend church with my husband each week. I try not to cause waves, because my main purpose is to worship. So, I take time out to go to services. Then I spend quiet time at home for worship or study.

Will I give up church for Lent? No, I’ll keep attending and spending time at services. Every day, I try to treat others fairly and forgive them when I am hurt. I ask for forgiveness for my faults and am thankful for my blessings. I pray that “modern” churches will evolve and truly reflect God’s love.

Happy Lent Season

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