Sunday, September 05, 2004

Why I'm Not in Church Today.

It's Sunday morning, and I'm not in church. This past week I thought about church...and wondered who was going there now...and if any NCU students still went there. (Used to be THE church to go to, but now the IN church is DDHC) I thought last night about going, and decided not to. Maybe I'll go next week. At least I'm thinking about it. I'm just not going to guilt myself into doing things anymore. That's the wrong motivation for just about ANYthing.

Am I still angry? Minorly. Seems to me that God really didn't need to create all this, the world and its people and animals and space and free will, if he knew we would end up being such a mess. (There are those who say that God DOESN'T know the future and this is not what I'm after.) The unnecessary pain that people go through (school hostage situation in Russia, the Iraqi people under Sadaam, abused children who believe they have brought on their own suffering, fractured families, drugs, bitterness, abortion, suicide, gangs, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, Alzheimers, bioterrorism, school shootings, loneliness, war, street kids, child prostitution, alcoholism, rape... ). Shall I go on? But on this particular subject my anger has burnt itself down to a few hot coals, mostly because there's not one dang thing I can do to make the earth stop spinning, make the universe disappear. Earth just IS. And as much as I hate that, I'm stuck here as much as you are. And that's just kind of where I'm at.

I'm not in church because it seems to me that 'going to church' basically amounts to sticking your fingers in your ears (or at my church, closing your eyes) and pretending the world doesn't exist. I'm not pretending anymore. And I don't currently have the energy to try to incite change. I can't look at so many tear-stained faces and walk into a nice building wearing khakis and a nice shirt and sing happy songs about the rugged cross and telling it on the mountain. Would I like to see how the mountain people live? Could I live on what they make in a year?

It just doesn't look anything like real life and so I choose not to go.


Emily said...

Would you go if it did?

Kristy said...

Odd that so many of my close friends feel this very thing re: church. Even stranger still? YOU!! Holy cuss word Jenni...I don't think I've ever known this REAL side of you...this side that is so like me....and all I have to say is WOW! I can't believe it. I'll admist it's hard to's hard to read anything that approches subjects like you did. And it's hard to read people's feelings when they aren't positive, but BUT they're TRUE and REAL and NOT hidden ... and that makes it bittersweet for me. I'm amazed and saddened, but know that you're on your way back..and that my dearest is a wonderous thing.
p.s. I bet if you came to my church down'd see something different ;)

Barbara said...

More people feel like you do than you realize. Maybe the "disconnect" you are feeling is the idealism you lived in and now that it's gone you feel a sense of disconnect. Have you felt comfortable asking questions in places like Solomon's Porch? Or the Church in Uptown? People there ask a lot of the same questions. And you know you can always ask us any questions! We might not have the answers... but we'll listen!
Love ya

Jenni said...

BG, you may be right. I feel that I lived in some nether-dreamworld/artificial reality before and am waiting to see how and if my faith can be realigned with the world I now know to be real.