Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Would God Say About Church Today?


I am from Macon, Ga. That is where I grew up.  If you know Nancy Grace, she is from Macon too.  I can easily talk just like her when I want to.  Macon has tons of music giants like The Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, and Little Richard. All this is on my mind this morning because I am going to meet up with some Facebook friends from Macon on Saturday at Miss Bessie's TeaRoom in Barnesville.  The odd thing is I don't know any of these gals!  But we have a lot in common and it will be fun to see what of that simple life each of us has chosen to hold on to.

For my part, I am thinking about the church where you could find me, with my family, all through the 50's almost every time the doors opened.  This first church was called Lynmore.  It was Methodist and my daddy went there when he was a teenager.  I think it did its job. The people gathered, opened their hearts, shared their joys and their struggles, baptized, married, and buried.  No doubt "God" was in their midst.  I felt it many times.  I won't say lives were so much changed.  Seemed back then they didn't need to be.

As youth we played together and prayed together.  We learned that if you put a piece of bread in liquor, it would disintegrate so why would you want to put alcohol in your body?  I learned the Christian Attitude Toward Sex from a single woman, who I totally imagined was chaste and couldn't possibly know what she was talking about.  I mean how could she? She taught us that "French Kissing was the same as having intercourse" which was a no-no until you were married.  I wondered how she knew.  And I wondered how I was going to break this news about French kissing to my long time boyfriend.

Nevertheless, in the midst of this sweet and secure 50s lifestyle that I lived, I emerged capable of handling a quickly changing world.  This church taught us much.  It taught us to live our faith, to love our neighbor as ourself, and to be good.  You learned to open your heart and know the love of God....it was all about love then, not power, not labeling.  We didn't have to talk about all this to everyone we saw.  We weren't commissioned to go out and tell everyone that we were Christian and that we loved Jesus and quote scripture.  We didn't wear it on our sleeve.  We just lived it.

I am currently churchless, wandering around trying to find a good fit for me.   We've moved, favorite ministers retired (boo hiss), and right now we haven't found a new spiritual home.  I went to church Sunday though.  I have been visiting a church near me lately, trying to make it fit.  It doesn't quite though.  It seems the new way of being Christian is to talk about it all the time, profess it everywhere you go, get the T-shirt, praise God, love on Jesus,  wear it on your sleeve.  Maybe that's great and maybe it's necessary today, but it isn't me.  I go back to the simple way I learned about God that has served me so well. I think I am lucky. That is my foundation upon which to build my new thoughts.  More about those New Thoughts later.

Sandra

17 comments:

  1. Best of luck in finding the right fit. It isn't easy.

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  2. I'll keep looking that's for sure. Thanks.

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  3. Well said. Church in the 50's was pure and simple for us. No bells or whistles. We were taught to do the right thing because that was Jesus’ message. We were taught to emulate Him by our daily living, not flaunt Him. The good news is that He knows your motivation, your desire, and your heart.

    Through my practice, www.womenschristianlifecoaching.com I have encountered numerous women who are on the same track as you. As Marsha said, it is not always easy finding the right fit, but I believe it is out there. Remember, "The right fit" may not look the same for everyone. God can present Himself on the beach, on a mountain top, or, as for me this past Sunday, on my deck just appreciating His works.
    Keep searching for the community you desire. He knows the desires of your heart and He will lead you to the right place. Keep in mind that the "right place" may be temporary for reasons only He knows. Even though this last church you visited has not proven to be the right fit, I bet you learned something from the experience that, at some point, will draw you closer to Him. In the meantime, enjoy the journey and see if you can decipher what you are meant to learn during this process.

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  4. Wow. Thank you so much. I didn't go to church in the 50's (because I wasn't born until the 70's), but that is always how church was for me too. We visited a church a couple of Sundays ago and my husband's comment was, "well I don't know about church, but they can put on a good rock concert." That isn't why I go. I go to connect with God, to praise him, to learn, to be with fellow Christians, to be filled up, to teach my children, etc. I keep wondering where the real churches are nowadays. We've had a lot of trouble finding one too.

    Stopping by from SITS.

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  5. I agree with you. That's how I was taught, and why I have such a problem with the ostentatious methods of today...

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  6. Our family hasn't found a good fit for us either. We'll keep looking though. I love, love, LOVE the new slideshow of blog buttons. I've been looking for something similar and yours is so creative!

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  7. i wish all churches nowadays are like yours in the 50s after reading this. it should be for the hearts, not marketing to the masses.

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  8. Thanks for all your thoughts. I know churches are doing all they can to attract people and keep them. And everybody is different. Here's to the searching.

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  9. Miss Sandra,
    A Amen, A Amen, Amen A A Amen.
    you nailed it, ain't gotta advertise it if you got it, live it and they will know.
    BIG HUGS

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  10. WE went ahead and joined miss shirley, she is your sister, right?

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  11. Hi Bob. Yes, Coach Shirley is my sister but she doesn't have a blog...she'll have one soon though. Her website is http://www.womenschristianlifecoaching.com/ but nothing to join, just poke around and see what's there.

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  12. It took me the longest time to "find the right fit." You'll know it when it's right.

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  13. This one's an important thing in a person's life. Goodluck with your search. My you be directed to where you should really be.Ü

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  14. I've been wondering about this a lot lately too. I wawsn't born until the 80s so I don't know about church in the 50s or anything, but I've noticed a huge change and I thought it was just because I was getting older and noticing more. I have only found a church that I love during my short time that I spent in CA, which is strange because I'm from NC, but I absolutely loved that church, it was perfect for me! And now that I'm in VA again I can't seem to find one that I want to attend every Sunday, that I feel right in. So, I'm in the same place you are, sort of. But, lately I've been thinking a lot about exactly what you said. My mom's been doing the professing to me every single time we talk, and to everyone she meets for a few months now, she's always been religious, but not like that! Everyone nowadays that is religious says that you are not a true Christian if you are too embarassed by it to tell the whole world! I'll tell the world that I am a Christian but I don't feel the need to convert people or push my beliefs on them, if they ask I'll tell them. This bugs me too, hopefully it will change back at some point. I thought it was just me, glad to know other people are seeing it too! (I think it has something to do with tv, but that's just me).

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  15. Thanks Daker Mom. I love people to agree with me...haha. I think I answered this on your blog already but I just reread it. I hope we both find a new church home. There's nothing like it but you can't fake it. It has to be real and right for you, for me. It will. We must be patient.

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  16. Thanks everyone. I think I went to each blog and responded to you there but I want to make sure I thanked you for visiting. This post is, I'm sure, part of my searching process. I'm glad you joined in. I know I will find my new spiritual home eventually. In the meantime, God lives in my heart. Always has, always will.
    XOXO

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Love to hear your thoughts! What do you think?