Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thoughts Roaming Inside Nicole's Head

I always had a hard time relaying my opinions, thoughts, convictions and really just the way I live my life. I always stumble over words, trying to get my point across or ideas to mean something other than nothing to some. It’s hard to explain to a person why I don’t go to church. My faith is not based on whether I go to an institutional congregation, although when I was attending, that was my life or where I put my identity. However, I have become so disillusioned by all of that which used to grab my attention in the institutions. I used to think that going to church kept me out of trouble, or grounded in so much good. But now, I feel the opposite. It’s not like going to church is now looked upon as a bad thing, or in my case it wasn’t bad, but, it sure hasn’t been as productive as one would think… Even that isn’t a good way at looking at it. No, I think that in my case, as like some, the institution is now looked at as a system in which takes from you then gives or adds life. In order to be a part of it, you must give something; money, gifts, time, effort. This giving wasn’t focused on God, nor was it for God, really, it seemed more for keeping the institution running… Like a business, in order to keep it open, you must put forth money, time, and effort. This is what a lot of churches look like in America. I don’t think I have ever attended an institution that didn’t want something from me. This isn’t really how the body of Christ is supposed to run, nor does it really produce real family life with other believers either. It’s focused on how much you ‘do’ or ‘give’ than on whom you are in the family of God.

Here are some questions to ponder on…

Are you experience true family life with other believers?

Are you attending an Institutional Church because you think you have to in order to be right with God?

How deep are you willing to go with God?

I think about these questions a lot. I thought at one point that going to church was the time to sit down, listen and not speak. No real transparent deep fellowship happened even though these church settings such as this were called fellowship! I did used to think that in order to be right with God I had to go to church on Sunday. I think I found times outside of the church walls deeper times with God than inside. Even though it felt like church was a time set aside to spend time with God and go personal. I hardly did, I just sat there and listened half-hazard like.


Amy said...

Great post. Indeed, I can definitely relate to you in your disillusionment of the institutional congregational system. But, if you've been following my blog, I'm sure you've been able to "read" all my thoughts upon that (Smiles). Indeed, it's interesting, lately, I've just had a peace about the whole system. I just know that I never wish to go "back." For I wasn't able to have the life, experience His Love, Know Him the way I am now experiencing by walking with Him everyday and listening to Him speak to me within my heart, discovering for myself who He Is.

Love your posts.

~Amy :)

Aida said...

“I don’t think I have ever attended an institution that didn’t want something from me. This isn’t really how the body of Christ is supposed to run, nor does it really produce real family life with other believers either. It’s focused on how much you ‘do’ or ‘give’ than on whom you are in the family of God.”

I agree, Nicki. That’s how we’ve come to believe that God wants to “use” us instead of him just loving us and wanting to be with us. All institutions including religious ones need many hands to keep them functioning. While I’m not opposed to some structure, too much structure robs people of their freedom and makes them workers who are usable and then disposable.

For this season in my life, I have learned how to live free while in the system. It’s amazing what new programs they can come up with. Usually, these new ones don’t replace the old ones, they’re just added on. The result is a bunch of physically and emotionally tired believers who never develop a real relationship with God or with one another.

gmarie said...

Hi there...ya, me too...I used to stumble over words as well.

Maybe for some, as far as o.r. goes, is like paying dues? "Look, there you have it...a way to keep them off your back...I'm not sure?
Generally, no body asks me anymore why I don't go but it's like a wall exists...some invisible force field?
Our identity is in Christ and it rests on faith. The Church..His Body is an accomplished fact... living and full of vitality. We have to just walk in that reality- by faith.

Bino M. said...

Last Sunday, I preferred Apple picking over church!

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