Re: Why Are You Here Tonight?

Last week (or was it the week before?) Brother Phil at church asked a small group of us, “Why are you here?” I was immediately uncomfortable, found my hands fascinating, and hoped he would not call on me to give an answer (mercifully, he did not). The question pushes toward places I don’t want to go. A vague driftlessness in my faith I’d rather pretend didn’t exist. The question haunted me again in a list of writing challenges as: “Why do you go to church?”

I considered skipping over the question but I knew it would bug me if left unanswered twice. I lack the faith to believe in coincidences. That is something of a bummer when confronted with a question I’d rather avoid. Words will swim restless in my head leaving me sleepless if I do not wrestle an answer to freedom.

Yeah, I hear the crazy.

So why was I sitting in a small group at church with strangers on a Wednesday evening? One of the reasons I chose to remain silent is because I am new to the group and they are unknown to me. I’m still struggling to remember names with faces. I found the question too personal for the setting. Maybe because my initial answer is not all pretty and properly Christian. I’ve been harshly judged by my fellow Christians in the past and am very reluctant to share my real thoughts so openly.

Honestly, I didn’t want to be there. I’d much prefer to be home with my husband cleaning up dinner and watching some television. I’m sitting in that meeting for my kids. They need to be involved in something outside of home. They need to make friends. My kids also genuinely love the children and youth ministries at this new church. They did from day one. I had planned for us to visit a few churches but the kids are happy. Why would I mess with their joy?

I feel like I should say I am sitting in this pew or small group because I love the Lord and his people…or something similarly pious. I cannot say such candy-coated nothingness. I’m not losing my faith. But I am fairly certain my religion is dust. In the past I would have used faith and religion interchangeably. The two words are worlds apart in definition now.

I am not a lost sheep. I’m just not sure where my sheepfold is located…or if I have one.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Re: Why Are You Here Tonight?

  1. Any other Christ-based church who preaches Truth around? Find a church where those who attend love the Lord instead of their own voice!

    As a new pastor’s wife, I truly hope you would trust my hubby, a Baptist pastor, 🙂 for he preaches the Word. In fact we are going through James and his last sermon was on not showing favoritism. Visit our church and you would receive the warmest welcome possible and yet even in our church we have one person (there’s always one) who wants to serve up dissension. I feel sorry for her but whatever is her problem, it’s between her and the Lord. Likewise in this situation.

    Tell them whatever is on your heart for the Lord knows exactly what you are thinking anyway – just express the turth in love. (I’m mouthy enough to answer this question and use Scripture to bolster my words and yet delicately use as a put-down.)

    Don’t let anyone steal your JOY my dear friend. Also remember that people aren’t perfect and some are downright foolish. Consider the way he worded it. Were his words intentionally hurtful or was he simply ignorant? God knows why you were there and that’s the only important reason there is! Blessings and write me if you need to vent, blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll make an exception for your husband! And I’ll be honest and say that if we lived nearby I would go to your church just to sit with you!
      I think there are dissenters everywhere…just goes with the territory. I do not hear so much of it anymore since I haven’t worked in ministry in a couple of years now. (Blessing!)
      I am sorry if my tone came across as a rant because I did not mean it that way. I’m not angry at all…just wistful.
      I did talk to the pastor of the church we are currently attending (because my kids love it) and confessed my real feelings. He was so very kind and understanding. He reminded me that Christianity is for the broken.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, you are free to rant and what you voiced was truth. As my husband says from the podium, “why is it when we are taught to love one another . . . love one another . . . love one another, that Christians still eat their young?” We’re going through that right now with the head of the search committee woman who fought so hard to bring us here, only to turn around and discover that since she couldn’t control our actions (only God can do that) she’s been causing dissention in our ranks. (But only one other person listens to her) We knew it would be a challenge with her when we discovered that she had caused the two splits previously. But God is good and has truly blessed our church with new, vibrant loving Christians! Just like you!!! Feel free to speak because you probably have the gift of exhortation. Blessings my friend and pray all is going well with your recent move.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Moving, oh, this reminds me of moving. By the time we are finally accepted and integrated into our church here, it will be time for us to move again. We’ve been in our current house and corresponding Baptist church for 1.25 years. It takes me a looooooong time to become comfortable in a church. Occasionally, I come across a pastor that I truly love. There have now been TWO in my life time. One is in Maryland. One is here. They are out there. But the more important thing is that you have your faith. But gosh, it sure does add to life when you have a moving church leader too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yup. Faith not religion. I go to church for fellowship and because it keeps me focused, but my faith isn’t “practiced” at church but in my life. I really like this post.

    Like

  4. Religion is just a tag people use, what we should have is a relationship with Jesus Christ, not a religion. It is He that saved us, not a certain cult. So I encourage you to stick to a church, but don’t feel obligated to share or open up your thoughts. Fellowship is important and I am certain all things will work out in time. Trust God’s timing in everything! Be blessed, you and your entire family!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much for being brave enough to share your thoughts here. Glad to hear you haven’t lost your shepherd, and I pray you have found a place where healing can happen. Blessings, Vicki

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You my friend are brave and that speaks volumes. Your faith is enough! There are people out there that will relate to this, so never stop sharing. Love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

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