Sunday to Sunday

This entry was posted by on Wednesday, 8 November, 2006 at

It’s gotten to the point where Sunday is really the only day that I care about. Sunday’s are interesting. The in between days are just filler. However, two Sunday’s ago, it was almost enough to make me throw in the proverbial towel. But let me back up.

A couple of months ago I happened to be listening to that Christian rock station, and the fellow was singing:
I am broken inside over and over. I don’t happen to know what song that is. I can understand the sentiment, but in this case, there was something about his tone of voice that just made me think, “I don’t believe you.” Now, I can not begin to imagine the emotional state of a person who would say something like that when it was not actually true, and maybe I’m completely wrong here, yet to me, he sounded like he was just repeating something that he had heard somewhere and did not actually experience himself.

This is a problem I have with Christian music in general. I believe that I have previously mentioned my irritation with the 100% praise music in my church. If you are going to stand up there and sing as if your heart is filled with nothing but praise to God, and has never known pain or doubt, then I don’t believe you. Best case scenario, it may actually be true, but then you simply do not speak for me. My resentment toward the music at my church had been steadily growing for some time.

I’ve been going to a new church for the last month. It happens to be entirely contained within the other church, but it is held in another room. The sermon is the same via video, but the music is indescribably better. Not long ago, I would frequently leave the church actually angry at how impotent the worship music was. For the first month of this new service’s existence, I was actually moved to tears four times out four. When John and Tonya Mace sing, I believe them.

The Sunday before last, the band announced that in the coming weeks, each of them would be sharing their story of faith. I had heard a portion of the Maces’ story in the past. My initial impression was challenged several months ago when John’s father was nominated to the elder board at the church, and I realized that he did not exactly come from quite the skeptical background that I had once believed. But no matter, for atheists come in many varieties. But after last week… well, all I can say is: HAVE ANY ATHEISTS CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY FOR REASONS OTHER THAN “BECAUSE OF A WOMAN”?

That was only the beginning. Later that day, I was called to the carpet, if you will, by my accountability group for the fact that I was not actually being accountable for anything. (I felt that the particular implication that it was my fault that the discussion tends to gravitate towards video games, cell phones and movies was not entirely deserved, but the overall accusation stands.)

The night ended with what had previously been an ongoing private situation involving another individual suddenly becoming very public. A lot of people felt very awkward about that, but I was actually quite relieved, because once it was out in the open and other people were involved, I suddenly felt that I had done all that I could and it was no longer my problem. (A foolish assumption, as it turns out.)

In between there was a discussion group. I suddenly realized that I don’t like discussion groups. There are basically three reasons that I generally do not contribute. One is that sometimes I genuinely do not have anything to say. More often, it seems to me that a lot of people who do speak out are often more interested in making their opinions known than in hearing what others think. A lot of times I either do not think that people really care what I have to say or else it is not particularly important to me that other people know my opinion on a given topic, or somewhere in between. Then there are those times when I actually do want to say something, but simply lack the social skills to get a foot into the conversation.
On this particular occasion, I really did not get much of value from the passage which we were studying. There was however, one discussion question at the end which went something like,”Do you sometimes feel like God is far away? On those occasions, who do you think moved, you or God?” This was a question that I know something about. Unfortunately, the facilitator (though well intentioned) chose to introduce the question by first pointing out it’s lack of relevance to the passage at hand, and essentially declaring that it was a stupid question in general. It was then posed to the group, not to answer the question but rather to comment on whether or not we agreed that it was stupid. That was not really a train that I wanted to jump on.

To answer the question:
No. I do not feel far away from God sometimes.

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