Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm not very 'religious'

Well, I've come to the conclusion that maybe I'm not as 'religious' as I thought I was.

I miss church sometimes. We just don't go, for whatever reason. Does that mean I'm not placing enough priority on God in my life? It's one day, set aside for worshipping Him. It isn't as though I'm doing anything else. We just don't go.

I do not always get into my Bible to start my morning. Truth be told, I've done a much better job with those morning prayers and devotionals since Dewey's been gone, but still, it's not always consistent. Not like it should be.

I struggle with things that I think should be settled in my heart concerning 'religion' and such. I don't care for the term 'religion' at all, but for lack of a better word right now, it gets to the point. I don't like labels. I am a blood-bought Christian. A child of God. I happen to attend an Independent Baptist church right now, but I don't know that I can really identify with the label of Baptist. Maybe at some point I could. Honestly, it is probably the closest denomination/label that fits my beliefs, but these days there are as many flavors of Baptist as there are every other religious variant out there. Someone doesn't like this or that belief so they tweak it a bit and give themselves a new name. It's ridiculous. I don't see that in Scripture anywhere -- did I miss the part about needing a gazillion denominations?

Saturday or Sunday? I suppose one could argue any day of the week set aside for worship and giving of one's self to The Lord would be ok. I have too much 'debater' in me -- I can argue both sides. Part of me struggles with Sunday being more of a day created for corporate worship, something more man-made than God-ordained these days. Another part of me could argue that Saturday is the true Sabbath. OT Sabbath, NT Lord's Day. Georgian calendars (?) and the changing of our methods of tracking days and weeks, variants in naming the days ofthe week, etc.

Why am I legalistic for dressing in dresses-only, for wearing a headpcovering, for mandating this for my children as well (modesty, conservativeness in dress, etc), for seeking something more than most churches today are offering? I don't tell anyone else to follow my lead -- I'm not God. I'm not your Bible. I'm just anothe pilgrim on the Path, maybe the same one you are, maybe I'm on another one. Time and a good prayerful reading of Scripture will let you know. I have a strong belief in rules, standards, for my children. Of course, just thinking along those lines places me at odds with everyone else. I was told at church that if I keep strong rules for my children, they will run hardand fast the other direction as soon as they can. Pick my battles, I was cautioned.

I can't live like that. Things are plain and simple in my heart. It isn't a matter of gray...it's black and white. You have right and you have wrong. You don't have 'maybe' tucked in there. I understand the concept of 'free will' and all that, but that is different in my mind. There are rules everywhere...you are born under rules, you grow up under rules, you marry under rules, your job comes with rules attached. Your life is grounded by the rules you keep...or those you choose to ignore.

Were I to give my children over to themselves, even my teenagers, what would you exect to happen? They would dress like everyone they saw who exuded some sort of 'freedom' and 'fancy' in their manner. They wouldn't be concerned with schooling at all, it's no fun. They would eat as they pleased, when they pleased and hang everyone else. They would come and go as they chose, they would run amok in the world as so many do already. Do what you want, when you want, how you want and to hell with what anyone thinks about it. Situationalism, Utilitarianism, Free Will.


Where does it all end? Is it important, really, in the end? Do I need a label, a specified day of the week and a church building to call home? Do I need to skip the rules that govern all common decency and morality so my children can be 'happy' in their own minds? Shall I just throw caution to the winds of the world and just pray on my face for God to grant mercy to me and still bless and guide my children?

Not that I think He won't or can't in any way, but does it really make any sense that He would? Yes, I know th Scripture about seeking and finding, asking and receiving. But still...I have some stake in this. These children are God's -- not mine. I am just the steward over His Gift. If I allow them to turn their backs to everything and pick and choose what suits them on any given day, I've really slacked off on God's Gifts to me. I can't do that. I don't know how to really 'steward' them properly, but I have to keep seeking a way to do it. That is what I am called to do. Seek and respond.

I don't have any answers to anything. Maybe if I studied His Word more often, more deeply, I'd have some answers for my ponderings and mind-wanderings. I don't know why I struggle with certain things. As I said before, they should be settled, I would think, after this time. The internet isn't much help. I can find very good arguments on both sides, all sides, of each pondering I have. That leaves me to decide for myself. I need to pick and choose, it seems. I just don't know if I can do that. It just doesn't seem right.

I have no idea what has prompted all this religious rhetoric in my mind today, but it's been rolling about in there, bouncing off the walls all day. Sometimes I do wish I could simply turn off my mind and just not think. I over-think things far too much.


Dawn said...

All I can say is Amen. I to struggle with the organized denominational church. To many have gotten so far away from the truth. Maybe all that was rolling around in there because the Lord know someone needed to read it.
In Christ

Jamie said...

My husband and I are in the same situation, we attend a Baptist church right now, that when we started 4 years ago it seemed to be great, right on with the scripture. Here lately my husband has not even been wanting to go because of so many issues. Many families have left the church. What we have seen in our church is the comprimising with the community. They will do anything to try to get the community in and neglect the families that are hurting. Anyhow,this also has been a struggle in our daily lives. The more biblical churches are doing anything to please the world instead of helping the one in the church that are needing it.


Anonymous said...

I loved this post. I feel the same way. People are hard when we are tough parents and can't believe a badly behaving child. You are right to make your own decisions and never look back. Great post. Brenda

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Stumbled upon your blog this afternoon ... glad to know that I'm not the only one with these sorts of things rolling around in my head.

I too often find it difficult to attend church these days - I still attend very regularly but it has become a chore instead of a joy. Not because I'm lazy or I count my relationship with Christ any less, but because I am so tired of watching my denomination compromise the Bible and bend toward the ways of the world. This is being done so that the church will be more attractive to the masses of the world. It causes confusion within my children and frustration within me.

Brenda said...

Deanna (Quote) as my grandmother would say.. As long god is in your heart that is all that matters..It doesn't matter if you go to church.. And ( god doesn't judge you on what you wear to church. )

If you didn't have standards for the children..Look of the children out there with rings everywhere and holey sp?clothes hair everycolor..and the list goes on..

I say your doing the right thing with your family...

You got a friend in Maine.. Brenda

Anonymous said...

I wanted to comment as soon as you posted this, but didn't know where to start. I could write a book, there's so much to say, but I'll try to be brief: I believe that it's the Lord who is exposing to you the many errors in the institutional "church" today. Yes, we can find some common ground with some denominations, but as you're finding, there are varying degrees of error and compromise. I believe that the whole system of "religion" is apostate these days, and the Lord is calling out a few of us.

Sometimes loneliness is the price to pay for obedience. "Come out from among them and be ye separate" does not just apply to the world out there, but to the world in the churches. How can we be in fellowship with darkness? Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Abraham and Sarah walked alone with God, as did the Prophets. In Jer. 23 we see a description of the false pastors, and the weak condition of God's people that holds true today! The false pastors condemned by the Lord sound like the televangelists of today!

My husband came out of the institutional churches more than 30 years ago, and I came out in 2000. We've had scattered periods of fellowship with a handful of others, but mostly it has been just he and I (we were married only 4 years ago, known each other for 8 yrs.), plus we have a dear friend in Michigan. We simply read and pray together, sharing what the Lord has been showing us. I would love to have some more like-minded believers to fellowship with, but so far, I've only found them online in blogs like yours and others.

I support you in your seeking. Please feel free to email me anytime, I'd love to hear from you. Maybe you're familiar with Spurgeon's split with the "Baptist Union"? He called it "The Down-Grade". He withdrew, at great personal cost, from the corruption of the gospel he witnessed in his denomination. Somewhere, Spurgeon once stated that he longed for the day when there would be no more Baptists (or Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.), a day when man-made divisions would be done away with. I encourage you to do a search online for: "Spurgeon + Down-Grade"--very good reading.

Ante Family Agrarians said...

Haven't been to an instutional church in (umm) don't really remember the last time. In our family we observe the Sabbath and the Lord's day. The Sabbath being commanded by the Lord to rest from work, and focus on Him. The Lord's day to meet with fellow like minded believers and worship the Lord together. It is black and white. Not hard to get, and my bible isn't watered down. The Lord chose me from the foundation and called me to be one of his children by giving me faith that is a gift. To many churches today preach that man chooses God. Not so the bible is clear about the state of "man's" heart. Men didn't choose God, otherwise Adam won't of been tempted and fallen. It's only Christ choosing us to see and hear do we then truly become regenerated. Therefore it's not a works based system per se. I desire to live according to the Lords will, ways, orders, and commandments because of grace! Not because I'm legalistic, (which I know your frustration), God choose me to put His desires in me. Why wouldn't He put His commandment, ways, order, and will then on my "heart" to obey. Yes, it's pretty black and white. I'm blessed to be in fellowship with like minded brothers and sisters. Thanks for sharing this post, and sorry for my rant... I pray you'll find peace with your struggle.
Peace, Kris

Mrs. Trixi said...

I didn't realize you were over here either. I should have figured it, since you have been scarce at homesteadblogger. Anyway, I got to researching root cellars and raising pigs, that I decided to just open one up here. I love this post on the state of the church. I love Kris's comment above. We are so longing for that kind of fellowship here. We had that at home before we moved but have yet to find anything even close here. We still go home about once a month but it would be nice to have one like minded believer here. However, I know God called us here and we will be content.
Your rat post below is too funny. That's how I am about snakes!!!!
Have a great day, friend. I will be adding you to my sidebar.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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