“And where do we go from here?”

I have started, and deleted this post about 3 times now. It’s gone from snarky to whiny to incoherent. As I sit here trying for the 4th time to get this written, this version may be snarky AND whiny AND incoherent. See, there are events and conversations behind it that would give it the necessary context, but I don’t want to blog about those. But there was one conversation that has kind of served as a catalyst for wanting to write about this because something was said that kind of shook me up and made me think.

At one point I said essentially that doctrinally I am still a baptist. Then later as I thought on it I thought “But culturally, I don’t think I am.” This brought up the realization that I have been a baptist my whole life – 12 years longer than I’ve been a believer. So naturally, me being me, I “have” to question whether I have picked baptist churches as an adult because I am altogether baptist or if it’s because that’s all I know. I mean, seriously, up until the past month, aside from a handful of base chapel services when I was active duty, the only non-baptist church I had ever attended was a Catholic church with my best friend in high school for a few months.

There are some things that I am sure of.

1. I don’t want my “Christian experience” to consist of just church attendance. That’s performance. I did that for my entire childhood as a deacon’s kid. I don’t want to just play the part at church services and functions. Like I said, been there done that.

2. I don’t want to go through the motions and not get out of my comfort zone. Kind of like #1, only I want to perform in a way that brings glory to God and not attention to me. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”

3. I want to reach out to the lost, particularly the unchurched. You know, the ones who don’t know how to “perform” as a “good Christian” is supposed to. Rough, crude, and unpolished. The ones that folks who grew up in church and never openly rebelled/strayed don’t know how to relate to.

4. I don’t want to “get our country back to God” by means of political activism under the banner of the church. We cannot ever change a culture of any kind through politics. No law ever changed a person’s heart. Plus, the USA has never been nor will ever be the new Israel which is to say we, as a country, are NOT God’s chosen people.

So far, this seems to be kind of a ramble, but whatever. That’s what happens when I don’t fully contextualize. 😉 Where I am right now is with my family looking for a new home church. Let me tell you, when you leave a church where you love each and every person there, it is like breaking up. It’s not pleasant. It hurts. It hurts you, and it hurts them. But sometimes you have to move on for the sake of the whole family, and when your kids don’t want to go anymore, and you reach the point that it is nearly impossible to force them, it’s time to move on. Hence the dilemma. Do I continue to press for a baptist church out of tradition? And I have come to the conclusion that what I want is a church faithful to scripture, zealous for evangelism and discipleship, as focused on children and youth ministries as adult, and not afraid to open up in worship and in life (meaning, you can’t be open if you “bite and devour” aka gossip and backbite).

I think I managed to hit snarky, whiny, and incoherent. Therefore, since I have labored over this post for well over a week, I leave you with a little “Flyman.”

10 Responses to '“And where do we go from here?”'

  1. MacBros says:

    Did you change your feed settings? Here I thought you stopped posting or something because you never showed up in my Google Reader lately.

    Anyway, I’ve updated your feed in my RSS Reader again and I see SO MANY POSTS that I missed!!!

    Luckily I decided to pop in here to make a smart ass comment about you not posting anything lately.

    • DragonLady says:

      You know, that would explain why I’ve had like hardly any visits from the “old timers.” I still have 2 feeds in my reader, the original and a newer one. One is feedburner and one is from the blog itself and one of the 2 only updates sporadically. :-/

      I just checked my reader settings and the feedburner one is the one updating regularly so if the one you subscribed to ends in “rss2”, take the 2 off and replace it with / or replace it with the feedburner feed in my sidebar.

      But your smart ass comment is still valid. lol I’ve been slack about posting. And I thought up a great post while I was running this morning, but do I remember it now? :pullhair:

    • DragonLady says:

      And I just looked at today’s traffic (which is mostly you – lol) and I see you subscribed to the feedburner feed. 🙂

  2. Petra says:

    You can use my name. “Petra was voicing her disdain for most Baptist churches and….” lol… actually, I don’t know that our conversation had anything to do with this. 🙂 But you weren’t incoherent or whiny or snarky (at least you didn’t come across as snarky) 😉 I’ve been rethinking completely how I view church and how I want to be involved in it. And I’m wondering if there is anyplace in or around Sanford that can even remotely meet my church needs…….

    • DragonLady says:

      I write it out a little more dramatically than it actually was. 😉 I was already heading down that path, your statements just “forced” me to bring everything out in the open. ‘Cause I’m still owning my own faith. lol

      I’m really hopeful about New Hope. 🙂

  3. I’m cynical about a lot of churches (and political groups also) since some folks within them seem to be content to stay inside those bubbles. Yeah, keep those blinders on buddy. Not much outreach will happen if you are content to interact with those that are similar to yourself. :dunno:

    I was raised Baptist too and went to them throughout childhood and part of my adult life. Who knew, I’d have so much in common with Lutherans. Well, it’s more the people that make up the church than the denomination. We got the basics covered, because of Gods grace we’re saved. Check, Works? No… I love the fact that they’re willing to interact with all and not those that are the same race, socioeconomic backgrounds… Because if you’re truly reading and applying the Bible to your life, well that’s what many of us should be doing.

    It’s a shame, that many of us content to stay inside the bubble. I’ve been there, but I was able to break out of that mindeset I wish some others would do the same.

    • DragonLady says:

      So I’ve been thinking the last couple of days that there was something somewhere I still needed to respond to. lol

      I used to be pretty heavy into politics (as is still evidenced by my sidebar), but all it was doing was pissing me off and causing me to want to disassociate with a whole swath of society.

      I grew up in lily-white churches. The first 2 were blue collar/farmer folks, and the latter 2 were that plus various middle class (mostly lower). One of the things I was first drawn to about the church we are leaving was the diversity of people. White, black, hispanic, asian, american indian. And also various income classes with blue collar to white collar. They had a split before we started going, and about a year after we joined, there was a hemorrhage followed by a steady trickle of people leaving. We have attended a Wesleyan church for the last 3 weeks, and so far I love it. My daughter and I were trying to describe it to my son before his first time there (he missed the first Sunday we went) and she said “It is the opposite of ________.” With the blank being the church we left as I don’t feel comfortable calling them out like that.

      Staying in the bubble is comfortable. I’ve been there too. Far too long…

  4. Danny Poole says:

    Hope you’re having some luck finding a church. I’ve managed to “wear out my welcome” at most major denominations. Can’t seem to find one that hasn’t died. Can’t deal with “zombie” churches. I have found one that sounds good on the radio, but no local branches. Hang in there. The self-examination is a wonderful tool to keep yourself straight.

    • DragonLady says:

      Zombie churches. Huh. That’s a good description. 🙂

      We’ve been going to one of the “satellite” campuses of a multi-campus church for the past few weeks. It’s Wesleyan, which I really didn’t know much about before we started going. I also didn’t know it was Wesleyan before we went that first time. I disagree with nothing in their statement of faith. And I can overlook the senior pastor being a Duke fan since he actually went to Duke. lol 🙂