Shattered Worlds

I sat in a membership class at a church tonight–not planning to become a member, but it’s a good way to figure out what they are really thinking. A lot comes out in membership classes that aren’t discussed on Sunday mornings.

And tonight’s class was on church community… and church discipline. I was expecting to be guarded. I wasn’t expecting the leader to begin by making a list of all the things we hold dear (family, friends, God, etc) and then reordering them so that there was a cross (to represent Jesus) in the middle and all the other things (family, friends, etc) around it. And I realized what went most terribly wrong for me: when Jesus and a church group or doctrine are too closely combined and Jesus/church becomes the nucleus of your life and most of your friends, family, etc, are in that church too… when something goes wrong in that church it doesn’t just make you redirect and refocus on Jesus. It blows your world apart.

I started shaking. I couldn’t stop. I don’t think I was shaking had enough for others to notice… at least I hope. But then there was the second ‘hit’… church discipline. And I started shaking harder. Nothing was said that raised any red flags; there were actually things said that were surprisingly healthy. I also suspect that there were things not said, but that could be more my lack of trust in anyone or any entity that says those words.

Everyone disappeared afterward, so I am OK. But the idea that it wasn’t just that church fell apart, but that my world was shattered when I left… that is both helpful and frightening. Too many churches end up being the center of people’s lives along with Jesus. And that’s not good. Not good at all.

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About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? http://wp.me/p1CY5z-1R Baptism! http://wp.me/s1CY5z-baptism

Posted on March 19, 2017, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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