Monday, December 07, 2009

The alarm is going off, and you're tempted to hit snooze...

Guilt pretty much ruled the day for you yesterday. You went through all the motions as usual; kids in minivan, kids to Sunday School, sit through 56 min of information, kids out of Sunday School, kids to lunch, kids back home…meanwhile your head is swimming with so much disillusionment, and now add the dutiful Christmas element to it for another few weeks….yikes, it’s too much to think about. Thankfully there’s football on when you get home.

All this ambivalence, where is it going to lead? Is this as good as its going to get? Is there any real hope of transformation that you can expect? If so, what’s going to change?

You are.

Yes, you are the one that will have to change, and it might cost you more than you ever know. And if your faith is of any real importance to you, as I think it is, you are capable of doing what is necessary to return to a vibrant, meaningful expression of that faith that will leave you dangerous in the eyes of many. And I mean that in a good way.

The first step toward your revolution of liberty is to quit demanding the Church As You Know It to be any different than it is. Stop letting it be the focus of your attention. The problem does not lie with it, and neither does the answer. You will not change the institution. You are capable, however, of changing the trajectory of your own path.

The Church As We Know It is full of people for whom the system works. There is no need to get those folk to answer your questions that they aren’t even asking themselves. It would be unfair to expect them to. Instead, focus on what you believe you wish you could do.

Start by not going on Sunday mornings.

If you are serious about getting your faith back, you have to be willing to confront the barriers that are keeping you from it. The system of Sunday church is killing your inner life. Why in the world would you want to keep beating your head against that wall?

Let me repeat: This is not an indictment against the Church As We Know It. I am not pointing any fingers at It. It is a wake up call to you, and you alone. This decision is not controlled by anyone else, but it has everything to do with you and whether or not you have the balls to step up and address what is going on inside your soul.

Remember when you came to a decision about faith, and how you feared many of your friends and family would not understand as you resolved to make God a central part of your life and worldview? Remember feeling resolutely you were going to have to cut against the grain and leave a few folk mad at you?

Same song, second verse.

Faith always runs the risk of being misunderstood, even when expressed in the best of intentions. Some will understand and some will not. Deal with it and get over it. Just be willing to contend with the fallout as a result, knowing that clarity may not emerge until a later time.

It’s time to take it back, my friend. And its not just your life that depends on it.


Spirit Flower said...

You are so funny and so on track! 5 years ago when I decided to break out of the Roman Church, I intentionally stopped going on Sundays, and boy did emotional he!! break loose! Second step was to lay the Bible aside for daily reading and wade thru Heidegger's Being and Time instead...go on from there.

krturner said...

Kevin, I have such an overwhelming desire for you to meet my husband jeff and us hang out over a beer! so good to hear your thoughts on Church and the reminder to move against complacency...I'm so good at complacency lately. thanks for your thoughts!