Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Holy Week.

I've started thinking about how and why I don't go to church. I am thinking about it. This isn't one of my favorite conversations, and I feel like I have it more often than your average person. It is a combination of a lot of things; my choice of town and state for one, (The other day my grocery cashier asked me where I went to church.
I said, I don't.
He said, Oh. Sorry,) my choice of friends and occupation for another. Sustainable farming with a missions focus makes people thing you are a church goer.

It isn't that I am bitter against the church, though I know a lot of people who are. And it isn't that I expect a perfect experience, because I know that you cant have one. I have attended so many churches in my life, so many denominations and regional denominations, and I think I came out of it with almost no formalized doctrine. I have no idea what makes a methodist different from a baptist and why the two of them aren't the same as the presbyterians. I do know that I like some music better than other music. And I have developed my own understanding of Christ, which I would call a theology, though I don't know where it would fit in to the giant denominational mess which is the protestant church.

Amongst my friends there had been a wave to conversion to catholicism in the last couple years. It has been interesting to see the most academic, intentional, and driven of my friends study their way through school, come out with philosophy degrees, and convert to catholicism. They are brilliant minds and I respect them and respect their knowledge of things that I have barely an inkling about. However, the more time we spend in conversation the more I feel that, if we must continue to draw lines, I am on the protestant side.

I believe Martin Luther was probably wrong about a lot of things. I think it is very probable that he was a bad man, as they say, that he had some wrong views and that he did some wrong things. It is also very likely that those wrong views have leaked into protestantism. Wouldn't surprise me. The same can be said about most church fathers, Augustine for one.

The problem comes in when I start to really think about aligning myself with a church background. For all its fascination, early church history is riddled with scandal and sensation and it makes me ill to think about. I am not so arrogant as to assume that I could do better living and worshiping outside of the body of believers, but it is difficult to "just pick a church" when all of the avoid the issues which, from my reading of the bible, seem closest to Jesus' heart.

So, in celebration of Good Friday and the death for my sins, and therefore my salvation, of the most complicated and magnificent person ever to have been God and man at the same time, I am going to go do some seeking after his heart. I hope you find him, too.


Allan said...

ellie... i found your blog, through dave and stephs... I am saying hello!

Hopefully we will see each other in waco after kris and I return.

are you moving off the farm soon?

Davie said...

I like and identify with your consternation, your bemiffedness at random and unimportant denominational distinctions when the very freaking heart of the gospels of Jesus is ignored or overlooked. I like and identify with your need for a break from church. I like and identify with you.