Friday, August 12, 2005

The point

If there is one thing I've learned in this great church adventure is that there is often a disparity between what the church should be and what it actually is, and people will fill that gap with a group apart from the organized structure. From 1982-1985 I went to Mass, but for fellowship I planned youth retreats and carried them out. 1985-1987 was Church on the North Coast, but it was also Solid Rock II, the college age small group. 1987-1990- Bowling Green Covenant Church/Fellowship of Christian Students. 1990-1997- the lean cow years. 1998-now- various churches, but nothing on the side. My most enjoyable years as a Christian featured the presence of a small group where the real church took place.
I can't do it alone. If you can, then God bless you, more power to you. I can't. When left to my own devices I will justify my own behavior every single time. (And if you're honest, you'll admit it- you will too.) Which, in theory, is why the church even exists. I need someone to call me on the carpet and say "hey, dude, do you want me to treat you like you're treating your wife right now? I didn't think so." Or "you know what, dude? I love you." And then actually do the love instead of just saying it while they're looking past me to the person who can actually increase their social standing in the church institution.
"Now – here is my secret. I tell it to you with the openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God – that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love."
---Douglas Copeland, Life After God, page unknown

And this is why I've spent 20 years trying to find a church that fits, and this is why I spend time doing this blog. Forget the pleas for comments, forget the shameless attempts to generate more hits for the site. I need God. If the phrase "born again" actually means what it implies- that you get to start at square zero and get a do-over- then that's what I need. If 2 Corinthians 5:17 is true, and every person that's in Christ is a new creation, then sign me up. You can't tell me that there isn't one person reading this blog that hasn't looked back in a moment of solemn reflection on their life and said "You know, I really screwed up, I'd like to call a mulligan on that shot." Theoretically you can call a mulligan on your whole life, and Christ wipes it clean. And if you screw up after- 1 John 1:9 , baby. Christ picks you up again.

Jesus I love you, but I don't understand your wife
She wears too much make-up and she always wants to fight
In my world of black and gray, she argues shades of white
---Dead Artist Syndrome, "The Bride Song"


Anonymous Ksprague said...

Hi, Sean. Just wanted to know if you've found a church yet. I have "lapsed" in my commitment to attending services myself, but if you are shopping around, have you tried Community United Methodist Church on N. Abbe? I highly recommend it.....

6:32 PM  
Blogger Sean MacNair said...

My wife and I have been attending a local Assembly of God church. I'm not going to name it, because right now it's not a great fit for me, but they are doing good with my autistic son, and that's a big issue for me.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Ksprague said...

OK :-) But keep us in mind if you want to visit sometime....
We'd love to meet all of you!

10:35 PM  

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