Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crisis of christianity . . .

Here's what I have been pondering all day. I read an blog post by a woman talking about losing her religion. She is the mother of a child with special needs and she said she prayed for a sign while her child was going through a very difficult time and may lose her life and she didn't find the sign. She went on to say how her child survived and has since thrived. I commented that even though it happened some time down the road and even after some very difficult months, maybe that was the sign. . .

What I have been thinking about since is how I view my own relationship with God and how we as Americans expect our God to behave. I know for myself I pray for things whether it be healing, clarity or closure and I expect an answer to fall out of the sky. . . right now . . . while I'm waiting, with a tag attached to it. I think it comes from our ready made and drive-thru society. For goodness sake we don't even have to peel carrots or cut and clean celery after bringing them home from the store. We can buy pre-made mashed potatoes and already cooked pot roast, why should I have to wait for God to tend to my needs? God works in his own timing. It may be in years that I can look back and find that eveyrthing worked as it should.

Same things with praying for a specific answer. Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn't pray for the answer because maybe I won't like what God has to say. His idea of what's best for me and mine may not always jive in the short term. It's when I look back and see how things worked out that I can understand and appreciate the greater plan.

For me my faith is more about resting assured that God has my well-being in His hands, not about asking for things I want or even need. I have always assumed that my God is omniscient and not only knows what I need, but usually knows better than I do what that might be. Because of that my prayers are not a laundry list of what He can do for me, but rather taking Him along for the ride. I chat. I talk about my struggles, I talk about my stupidity, I talk about His grace, I tell Him how thankful I am. It helps remember that I do have things to be thankful for even in times of turmoil and stress. Talking to Him helps me keep things in perspective and reminds me that I am human.

For me faith is not about FEELING there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God on my side, but KNOWING there is. I equate it with what someone once said to me about marriage. They said, "Feelings fade. You will not always feel like you are totally in love with the other person, you just have to remember that you are and try to remember what you once felt." I think that's why we are called BELIEVERS. We must believe there is a God and believe that he still has as part in our lives today, because we can't always FEEL it.

I think the problem I have with christians is that they tend to go all rabbid. They take everything in scripture to the honking extreme. (LOL . . . honking extreme . . . I think that will be my new favorite phrase) You can have tattoos and be a devoted follower. You can have a glass of wine or even a few shots *gasp* and be a devoted follower, you can enjoy music other than contempory christian and still love God. What's that bumper sticker . . . Jesus, a bleeding heart, long-haired, peace-loving, anti-establishment liberal with strange ideas, Everything Conservatives Hate. Jesus hung out with the dirty, unwashed masses. He loved-on the ones shunned by the church he ate in their homes, he embraced their families. He cleared out the "den of theives" in the temple. So many times, we forget what our "mission" is, so many times christians get caught up in their own little world and forget they are supposed to be community activists and fight social injustice and care about those that are not like themselves.

I think that because of the way christians judge everyone unlike them and turn them into pariahs we are creating a society in which there is a crisis of christianity. So many people are turning away from the church and on christians because so many times it "their way of the highway". Where's the love? What happened to hate the sin, love the sinner? Churches have interpretted the Word of God in so many different directions and yet forgotten some of the most important verses in red.

If churches don't wise up to how their followers are acting more and more people will begin turning their back on God due to his followers and their way of handling their religion. We ALL need to become christ followers as opposed to church followers. Churches are fallible. Christ is not.

Gandhi "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1


PreSchoolMama said...

Sheri I agree with you so much on this. So many times God has not answered the way I wanted, but later after I see the big picture I see that his ways were best.

Claudia said...

I couldn't have said it better. Very powerful post.

Accidental Mommy said...

I agree. I've always said that God and the church are two different things in my eyes.

My husband was atheist when we met, I never prodded or pushed him. I just explained my view on God and organized religion and my stuggle as a Catholic with the church.

I could see that his beef was with people, "crazy christians" to be exact. I could understand that.

Some where a long the line, his thoughts changed and he believes again.

Lisa said...

Amen! Very well put and so true!
P.S. Please don't get mad and leave but I tagged you on my blog. Inquiring minds want to know.....

Torina said...

YES! YES! Well said. Faith should ever be about what we can get out of it...but what we put into it.