Sunday, November 5, 2006

Church

I believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and if you accept Him as your saviour, you'll spend eternal life with Him.

I don't always, however, believe in church.

I grew up in a Lutheran Church. Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church on Cleveland Avenue in Hagerstown, MD to be exact. It's a nice little church. Most of the people that go there have been there forever and their children, grandchildren etc... follow. So the church has a lot of history.

When I was little my mother forced us to go to church to around age 11, then we stopped. When I was a senior in high school I returned, join the church and became a Sunday School Teacher. I eventually did a 2 year church study - The Bethel Bible Series - and myself along with the others in the class had great fun running Vacation Bible School with all our knowledge one summer.

Things don't always stay real happy in a church. As the years went by I went from being active to just attending to just not showing up at all. My nephew was taking the 2 year confirmation class, completed the first year with no problem. However, when year 2 arrived there was a new teacher, a retired pastor - Pastor Dave. Pastor Dave was old school. One Sunday my nephew forgot his Bible. Pastor Dave asked him where his parents lived (I assume had it been close he was sending him home to get it). Christopher answered honestly "Dad lives here, Mom lives there". Pastor Dave's response was that IF his parents really cared for him, they would still be together." According to Pastor Dave, Christopher has a low self esteem, needed good role models, etc... I don't think I need to tell you where this is heading. Christopher never became a member, and with the exception of my mother...none of us returned to that church.

Years go by, I meet my husband and we joined Ringgold Church of Christ in Ringgold, Maryland not far from the house. We got married there. It's a larger church and more contemporary. The people are very friendly. My husband played drums in the praise band, I joined a Sunday School class. We were very involved. My faith grew and I looked forward to church once again. That is until the last presidential election. Mind you, I knew where the church stood on this issue and the issues at hand. And that's fine, they have that right. But then, don't I have that right too? One Sunday, for some forgotten reason, Hubby and I attended different services. The service that morning was about "Abortion". A touchy subject I know, and I knew what the church's opinion of it was. I never however, expected the sermon to become a political opportunity for Bush. Summing up the sermon the Pastor said, "only one man stands on the right of these issues, and if you vote otherwise your house is not built on a christian foundation." Ummm...what???? Did the pastor just tell me that in order to be a christian, I must also vote republican??? Oh yes, I think he did.... Needless to say, our dealings with that church ended.

I'm writing of church today, because I'm on my way back to Christ Lutheran Church today. They've been through quite a mess in the past 2 years which resulted in over 1/2 the church leaving to start their own church (they basically tried to change the church from lutheran to baptist - long story). Christ Lutheran is rebuilding. I hope I can be part of that.

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