Beyond Church

Today was the first day in quite a while that I thought about church. Here’s what I’m thinking.

I don’t like liturgy
Every denomination, from the most high church, to the lowest of low, are based upon a system of liturgy. What I mean by this is that there are certain institutions that remain present: some form of singing, a sermon, communion/mass, prayers, and various other elements that revolve around a more or less passive experience. Just as I would go to the movies or a concert to experience an entertaining production, I go to church to experience a liturgy to meet my spiritual desires. In both cases I am a consumer. Yet I no longer find the liturgical experience to be appealing. Personally, I don’t think the liturgies are in the spirit of the events that formed them.

I don’t like life revolving around the activities of the church
Church can be great for community, establishing friendships, having a social circle. That’s really the only reason why I want to keep going. Yet so many activities of the church revolve around the Sunday service, with its dry liturgical forms, the youth group, and Bible studies. Now, I acknowledge that some of these activities can be really good; yet in my experience they do not facilitate enhanced closeness, along with personal and spiritual growth.

Since thinking and writing the above, I visited a church I had attended for six months. It was a cringe-worthy experience, as I felt alienated from the mindset and perspective I had shared with these people just over a year ago. All of the talk of sin and worship just did not ring true to me any longer, even though I still have a faith that includes these concepts. After all this time, the scene looked and felt the same, everything that I don’t like all wrapped up in the one package. All knowledge-sharing, very little practicality. I noted the energy-sapping old globes lining the walls, thinking they would best be replaced by fluorescent alternatives. In this place, climate change would never get a mention; simple living would be unequivocally avoided. In it’s place is the enjoyment of the best things in life, whilst trying to attempt to bring anyone in our social circle to believe as we do. It’s all very trivial, just like my non-church triviality. Each to their own, I guess.


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