I was riding in my car Sunday after I left church in Savannah and Saturday driving to Savannah and all I remember saying over and over in my head (as I contemplated over the complexities of today’s church and modern day Christianity) an unspoken prayer:
God just give me Jesus – No fancy buildings; No fighting over speaking in tongues or women preachers or women wearing pants, , No one pointing out the other churches’ or Christian’s “heretics”, No pastors talking about about former members who left the church from the pulpit – never mentioning their name, but EVERYONE in the church knowing exactly who they are talking about – My dear Pastor no matter how you dress it up, it’s still call gossiping; No theatrics or emotionalism, No “whooping or hollering” No “A & B” selection, No getting “high” and charged up from this week’s entertainment at church and feeling dead as soon as I step outside the doors. No fakeness, no phoniness, no arguing over doctrine and theology; Lord JUST GIVE ME JESUS!
I am not trying to down anyone’s church or their beliefs on Christianity, but honestly I am absolutely DISGUSTED with today’s church. I am finding myself more and more confused and disheartened everyday. I look at the institutional church and I honestly question: Is this the way God intended it to be?
This is not pointed at a particular Christian denomination or church, it is about the state of the Christian church as a whole.
I pray to God for clarity and understanding. And today while randomly reading through blogs, I came across a blog that gave a review on the book Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
Immediately, I am attracted to the title and of course I read more the book reviews and the chapter titles:
1-Have We Really Been Doing It By The Book?
2-The Church Building: Inheriting the Edifice Complex.
3-The Order of Worship: Sunday Mornings Set In Concrete
4-The Sermon: Protestantism’s Most Sacred Cow
5-The Pastor: Obstacle To Every-Member Functioning
6-Sunday Morning Costumes: Covering Up The Problem
7-Ministers of Music: Second-String Clergy
8-Tithing and Clergy Salaries: Sore Spots On The Wallet
9-Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Diluting The Sacraments
10-Christian Education: Swelling The Cranium
11-Reapproaching the New Testament: The Bible Is Not A Jigsaw Puzzle
12-A Second Glance at the Savior: Jesus The Revolutionary
-The Next Step
-Final Thoughts: Q&A with Viola and Barna
Here is a link to a copy of a sample chapter: http://paganchristianity.org/pc.pdf The 2nd & 3rd paragraph describes me to the T.
The book comes with a warning: If you are unwilling to have your Christianity seriously examined, do not read beyond this page…Spare yourself the trouble of having your Christian life turned upside down.
I felt offended by some of the chapter titles alone. After all they are things that I have long held very dear. But over the past several months I have REALLY been questioning it all. I tried to quickly dismiss it as the devil or satan trying to detour me or my own flesh not wanting to conform to “the things of God?”
But maybe it was God himself stirring it up my heart and mind all this in me?
I am going to order the book and of course continue to pray about it all…I’ll do a book review when I’m done.
I do know one thing: There is no such thing as a coincidence.
BUT the question still remains: Is this the beginning of an answer to a prayer or just another distraction from satan?