I’m tired. {A Church Rant}

A Saturday Bohemian Husband post.

 

I’m tired.

 

I’m tired of walking on eggshells whenever I get in a church.

 

I’m tired of worrying about whether or not I’m offending someone just by being me, when I also work so dang hard to be like Jesus.

 

I’m tired of people talking without listening.  You can see it in their eyes.  They’re just waiting for their turn to talk again.

 

I’m tired of people talking to my God without listening.  Who’s smarter:  you or God?  So who needs to be doing the majority of the talking in that conversation?  Have you ever listened to a middle school girl talk?  I imagine that’s about what we sound like to God.

 

I’m tired of people reading stuff like that last paragraph and their only response being, “God loves you even if you sound like a middle school girl.” Because I didn’t say he didn’t.  In fact, I didn’t mention love at all.  When my daughter hits middle school age, I’m still going to love her.  But I won’t think she’s as mature as she’ll ever need to be.

 

I’m tired of the other half of the people, who will read that same paragraph and come back with, “You wish you were like a middle-schooler compared to God.  Not even close!  You are a worm!  You do not deserve anything!”  Because you know what?  I’m not a worm.  And I do deserve something.  That’s why it’s called “justification”.  Don’t slander my God’s redemption, his sacrifice, his salvation, his mercy, or his adopting me as his son.  Jesus calls me his brother.  I was a worm.  I didn’t deserve anything.  That changed when God became my adoptive father.  So shut up, and stop talking about Christ’s church that way, because I have a seat in front of God in Heaven with my name on it, reserved for me by the death and damnation of my greatest friend.

 

I’m tired of people blaming “God’s will” or “God’s timing” for their screw-ups and inattention.  God is not the author of sin.  He isn’t Zeus.  Don’t blame fate.  Own your sin.  It’s pretty hard to turn away from something if you won’t even admit you’re doing it.

 

I’m tired of people treating my God like an ATM for all their needs.  It goes back to the listening thing.  And a few comments by Jesus about God already knowing what you need.  Israel’s whining in the desert wasn’t really one of their high points.  Jesus taught that we should treasure Heaven.  Why is it, then, that we only notice answered prayers when they come in the form of a physical thing?  God is far more concerned with your heart.  Try looking there for changes.  Pray for them.

 

I’m tired of people valuing church attendance far above church function.  Those doors aren’t magic.  You don’t go to Heaven just because you walked through them three times a week for 70 years.  People will judge each other based on whether or not they’re “in church”, but they don’t really give a crap about what else anyone does.  Don’t share?  No problem.  Materialistic?  Welcome to the club!  Obese?  Oh well!  Gossip?  Never—we just want to know how to pray for you!

 

I’m tired of the fact that the same bus-thrower-underers when it comes to being “in church” won’t get together any other time of the week to save their life—or anyone else’s.

 

I’m really, really tired of people wanting to debate theology with me when they seem to barely know “Theo” at all.  In fact, I don’t know many people who are succeeding at the fundamental steps of Christianity.  Loving God and your neighbor?  Telling the whole world GOOD news?  Let’s not debate our theological views just yet.  Or ever.  Because I don’t care.  And even if you “prove” that you’re right, it won’t change reality.  God will still do it however he wants, and we still have the same job to do in the meantime.

 

Basically, I’m really, really, really tired of people arguing about who read The Book the right way.  Because no one is doing what it says, regardless of what they think that is.

 

I’m tired.

 

-Jeremy (Bohemian Husband)

Comments

  1. Jeremy,

    I ENTIRELY AGREE with you. I have been through a lot of church crap in the past few years, a lot of hurt inflicted by those who claimed to love me and love God. Sounds like you maybe have, too? In the past few years, I’ve allowed what other have done and taught to mess with my walk with God. Despite all the junk, I want to really know who He is, and love him, and believe the words He says….I want to know Christ’s heart and love others the way He did.

    Thank you for being honest with your frustrations.

    • Thank you! You’re right. We have been dumped on harder by “church people” than we have by atheists (the angry kind, not the cool kind) lately. By lately I mean like the past 3 years nonstop in one way or another.
      And you’re right, I’ve let it mess with my walk with God. I’ve been at the point where I had to decide if any of it was real at all. Because I didn’t see anyone doing ANYTHING outside of their own power. I didn’t see discipline, self-control, or changes lives any more–actually far less in many cases–than I do with Buddhists, Atheists, or just regular people who turn over a new leaf. I see people making horrible decisions and running churches into the ground, cutting each other down, and just being generally offensive by anyone’s standards, let alone Jesus’.
      Jeremy recently posted..I’m tired.My Profile

  2. Amen. That’s why Mr. Hubby and I will be going into year 3 of “church detox” aka we don’t go. I love the Body of Christ, but most days I don’t like them very much.

    You are not alone.

  3. EXCELLENT!!! Oh my! Can I say that I’m Tired too, then (esp. the “justified” point)!?!
    Kela recently posted..A Story Still Being WrittenMy Profile

    • Thank you! When people encourage each other, even just being sympathetic like this, it makes me feel a lot less tired. :) Go figure! I think that’s a function of the church…
      Jeremy recently posted..I’m tired.My Profile

  4. Also loved the justified point, something I’ve felt for a long time and *still* feel like I kinda have to keep in under wraps because -don’t want anyone thinking I’m *proud*!
    How ironic, I have a best friend who was just chatting with me about feeling *exactly the same way* you do right now. Aaaannndd – I felt lead to teach my deaf women’s Bible study today something different then I had previously planned. Today I fell lead to teach them about the listening prayer. Where you *LISTEN* (radical, I know!) And I’m kinda stoked about it because I’m starting with the idea that they – being deaf – *can* “hear” God. It’s exciting.
    Michelle in Mx recently posted..The one about prayerMy Profile

    • That’s pretty awesome.

    • Jessica and I have both been reading some powerful teaching books almost entirely about listening during prayer, Christian meditation, etc.–whatever you want to call it. And fasting, not popular with the fried-chicken crowds…
      Yes, we have to keep our joyfulness under wraps. Otherwise, people will keep reminding us about hellfire! I’ve been in groups where people can’t even stand to have a conversation without mentioning how unworthy we are. That’s like baby step number one, people! You MUST understand that point before you can understand that God has saved you. After that, be happy about it, and get to work!
      I like the verse, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” I know it probably means with each other, but it works with God, too. If you listen to God more often than you speak, you’re a lot less likely to fly off the handle with someone else.
      Jeremy recently posted..I’m tired.My Profile

  5. Right on!

  6. Hmm. If you’re so tired, you probably shouldn’t be going around trying to enforce your religion/faith/relationship with anyone else. God’s love brings peace, understanding and passion. Sounds like you need a nap. Or some meditation. All of these other things; don’t worry. It doesn’t matter. Don’t be so attached to these things that the world holds you down or makes you tired.

    • I think the same kind of stuff made Jesus tired too, don’t you? Like when we would look out on the crowd sad or angry, frustrated at their hardened hearts.

    • You’re right. I wrote this about half a week ago, and since then I’ve had several late nights full of prayer (which involved mostly meditating, or listening). SO now, even though I’ve been helping a friend move all day, I’m not tired.
      Jeremy recently posted..I’m tired.My Profile

  7. I’m right there with you right now! I haven’t been to church all summer, then I got really sick at the end of July. I finally reached out for some church help this week and was told we’ll see what we can do. HUH??? I’ve done lots for that church and that’s what I’m told when I can barely care for me and my daughter. God will pull me through but I doubt the church will.

  8. I feel so thankful that I have never had a church experience like that. People aren’t perfect, sure, even in the churches I have loved, but I have been loved, blessed, cared for, and taught in some great ways. Not all churches are self-centered and full of people trying to prove they are right, thankfully. I love that my church stretches me to show God’s love to even more peole, and to learn truth, and to live out, to the best of our ability, what it mean to be the Body of Christ,
    HeatherinIN recently posted..First day(s) of schoolMy Profile

    • I would say that I also wish I hadn’t had these experiences, but I look back at who I was beforehand, and I was a really naive guy. Usually, I would make some bold claim about how people ought to be, and then God would say, “Ok smartypants, go do it!” So I got my hands dirty helping addicts and whatnot, and then figured out that I didn’t know what I was talking about. Unfortunately, those other people still weren’t right either. I really took my good church experiences for granted. I think God showed me the problems so I would know where to start working. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. But man, do they make you tired :)
      Jeremy recently posted..I’m tired.My Profile

  9. I like your point about people treating God like an ATM. I was at a lecture once where they talked about the main ways people think about God and that one they referred to as the “cosmic vending machine mentality”… the phrase has always made me smile.
    Jenna recently posted..Ok vagina… let’s do this.My Profile

    • I’m working on this theory that people perceive God to be basically exactly like one of their parents. If they come from a real authoritative, unloving, dominating environment, they see God as a cosmic micromanager full of wrath. If their parents were never there and only taught them to cheat the system, then God is the cool dad who will let them off the hook. I think it has some merit, at least from what I know so far. I’m sure people will disagree, mostly because they never perceive their own parents accurately. I think it’s called “positive attribution”…
      Jeremy recently posted..I’m tired.My Profile

      • I think that theory has a lot of merit. Our churches have done many a sermons on it. (we go to 2)

        I’m glad you specified being tired, otherwise I would have read it as anger. I do hope that you and Jessica are able t have more positive church experiences.
        Amy recently posted..Teaching my husband a lessonMy Profile

  10. AMEN!

  11. Right on, friend!

    I’ve heard so many ‘I’ll pray for you’s down here (I live in B’shear) being shared by former church members of my husbands (his dad was a preacher here back in early 90s and when we moved down here two years ago we picked back up some friends that he had went to church with then, although we don’t go to church with any of them now.) and I watch as they gossip, judge, and act as some of the most two-faced people I’ve ever met. Is it just this area? Two weeks ago, a battered mom with three young children, who was a church member and friend of this little click chock-full of teachers, foremen, etc…needed to escape her husband. My husband and I, along with only one other church member, moved her out of her house/the state with not one single offer of help from anyone else. Not one. She’s lived here for over ten years. Oh, but I’m sure they are praying for her.
    I am so over them all.
    Cam recently posted..☮What Haven’t We Done Since Last Thursday?My Profile

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