Sunday, July 30, 2006

Until that time it's on and poppin', CHURCH!

It's Sunday so I figure I'll drop a little of what I've been thinking about this morning. My relationship with church. Yes, church and I have a relationship. Not the tightest of relationships, but it exists.

Most of you who know me probably know that I don't go to church often at all. A good friend of mine in NJ (waddup Denea) asked me the last time we spoke if I'd started going back to church again. I felt kind of bad because a minute ago she and I had a conversation about church and how we both felt about church in general. At that time, I told her that I planned on going more often. As it turned out, that was just a momentary desire.

But over the past few weeks I've been thinking about going back to church at least a couple times a month. Since my family went to church with my stepfather on his birthday a couple weeks ago, I've really felt like I *should* start going again. But I have my reservations/issues with church. Let me explain...



Church and God for me can be paralleled (sort of) to someone's relationship with a drunk, crack-head uncle in your family and his son/daughter (your cousin) that you are REAL TIGHT with. Don't get me wrong here, just let me explain.

For me, church is like that crack-head uncle that you love, but you don't really want to see or talk to him all the time because you know he is always doing and saying some wild shyt that just ain't right. Not to mention, he is always asking his nephew for money. You love him, but you can't really eff with him like that all the time or believe what he's saying all the time. Church (for me) is like that in the sense that sometimes when I go to church, I can see just how much the preachers play with people's minds. I believe preachers are psychologists in a way. They can manipulate words and re-iterate scriptures in a way that can make you be like "D@mn! He's talking to me!" In some cases I find this valid and a very positive thing, but in other cases, I believe that some preachers use it to advance the financial goals of their church. So I can't always believe what a preacher has to say. Basically, I can believe the WORD, but not always the person preaching it. Sometimes I look at the scriptures they use in their sermons just to see what I can draw from it and develop my own interpretation because I can't always take what I hear from preachers as truth. Just me. Aside from that, at the pentecostal/baptist/free-gospel/whatever churches, the number of offerings per service seems to average like 2.5...I barely have enough money for the first joint! That BLOWS ME!

My relationship with God is like that I have with one of my closest cousins. You talk to them all the time, you respect their opinion, and you enjoy being in their presence. Most people would consider me a fake-Christian because I don't go to church, which doesn't really bother me. But even though I don't go to church and I say all types of wild stuff on my blog and I make mistakes and bad decisions like everyone else, I do believe that Jesus died for my sins, that He rose from the dead, and that if I repent and ask for His forgiveness I will be saved from the pits of hell and granted eternal life with Him in Heaven. I firmly believe that!

God and I speak on a regular basis through prayer and through me asking him to help me not lose it when dealing with ni99orant folks and to give me strength, patience, humility, etc. I believe God understands me fully and accepts me for who I am, and the person I strive to be. I'm good knowing that. I also believe he understand that because of how I was raised; how I was introduced to church; the type of churches I've been exposed to, that my walk back to church may be different than most peoples' and that it may take longer. Yet-and-still, he never lets me stay away too long.

So to those of you who always encourage me, don't lose hope. I'd like to send a special shot-out to all those people that have given me real opinions and perspectives on church and God. Especially that boy J-Rock.

I just gave you guys a piece of me...Use it wisely. Peace!

8 comments:

chantele said...

mmm... just gotta love the scent of eloquence that an opinion/emotion/feeling can possess.

miKeSee said...

Yes indeed!

T.C. said...

I must say that I truly appreciate this post for more than one reason...

one thing that I have learned, and this may help you too, is that church should be more so about the fellowship (we still have to develope our own personal relationship with him, spend time with him OUTSIDE OF the Church walls) and NOT the only place that you get your word....for example, my pastor told us straight up, if the only time you get in the Bible or get the word or talk to God is on Sunday in church and Wednesday at Bible study then you are cutting yourself short in having a relationship with Jehovah God....

Meaning: you must make it a point YOURSELF to do what you have already done, read the word for yourself and come up with your own meaning...

I have had issue with church for a while too, mainly because of what you have stated in your post...and I have come to understand that MOST of the issues that I have are because, the things that are being done are either out of religious tradition OR greed, and have nothing to do with the Bible...but rather politics of the church...

I have found a good church home where I can go and get the word and fellowship and all of that...BUT I also read and study alone and with a mentor...

We all struggle and fall short, period point blank...and I feel like the best way to be a Christian is by the way I live, and that is NOT perfect by far, but I am working on it because I understand now just how important God's opinion is of me is, and how I don't want to hurt him by doing the wrong thing...So I just lean on him daily and keep growing...

In time you will make your way back to the church...until that time, just keep developing your PERSONAL relationship with Christ and Jehovah Jirah GOD...

PS you have probably said what so many people our age are thinking and started a conversation that is needed...

miKeSee said...

You know that I could open my little Pandora's Box about church. I have alot of other things I could have said, but I don't want to talk bad about my church experiences too much b/c I may prevent someone else from wanting to open up and learn more about God or start going to church. I just decided to share a little of my internal struggle with church in general. I have tons of more opinions, problems, things that make me smile, things that make me feel great, etc. about church. But on Sunday afternoon that's kinda where my head was at so I just put it out there.

I appreciate your comment though Tiff. You know from way back home me and church have kinda been at odds and my struggle to really dive in head first and learn more. Trust that I am making progress and breaking down mental and spiritual barriers that used to be in place.

Thanks again for the comment.

T.C. said...

I trust that MC...

I know you are a good dude with a great heart...
I just wanted to share what helped me...looking at church as a fellowship and not relying on it to be my ONLY source or a relationship with God has helped me deal with church and get from it what I can get and the rest I lean directly on God that...

looking at it like that has really helped me to appreciate church for what it is...

We could both go on and on I am sure...but again, MC I know that you are growing... we have both come a long way...and we will keep growing too

Daneger said...

Man I feel you on this one. I wasn't alwasy the biggest fan of church either but always believed that Jesus was my personal Lord and Savior. I used to get into arguments with my old girlfriends (back in college) about not going to church and then turn around and tell them about stuff they didn't know was in the bible. It's funny how far we can come with growth and time because now I hate it when I miss church but a lot of that has come with me finding a comfortable church for me and finding a pastor that I enjoy and believe in. You have to find the place that will help you grow spiritually. Not that it's the only source of your growth but having that church home helps. You need to come down to Largo one Sunday and hit up church with your boy. My church is young and my Pastor keeps it real and that's what makes me WANT to keep going back and I never feel that money issue you spoke on either when I am in church.

And that metaphor about the uncle and cousin is really on point. Jon will attest to that situation (being tight with his cousin but not my father) personally.

miKeSee said...

Honestly Dane, I see myself getting to the point where you're at with church. I have always known that I want my kids to come up with a spritual foundation and that really begins with me before they get here. I *might* (LOL) take you up on that offer homeBOI!

Send this post to your daggon cousin!

Kaisha said...

mike, you are always welcome to church in b-more with me. there are so many churches in our area alone, and one of those will be the perfect fit for you. you just have to find it. we have three services every sunday- 7:30, (most tailgators like this service on raven's sundays) 9:30 (home in time for that great wb54 movie! or 11:30 (if you had a late night and REALLY need to make church for comminion, lol).

but seriously, i understand and respect your point of view. just remember in your reading of God's word two things. one, people are people. we are faulted and we mess up. we do some dirty things. just because those same people are in church does not mean they are going to be perfect. we're all still trying. i think people set themselves up for dissapointment when they think the church is going to be a safe haven with no problems and then someone doesnt smile at them or something and they get upset and leave. church is a gathering place of imperfect people. that perfect place that people are thinking of where no one has a bad day and everyone is christ-like 100% of the time... yeah... that's heaven, thats later.

secondly: remember that in the new testament the writer paul calls for the gathering of saints in worship to God. outside of the spiritual aspect and power that can come from a group of believers... like any good social system, i see the basic premise for this, as a system of checks and balances. no one can just go off willy nilly all thier life reading and interpreting what suits them that day. who knows how the effects of that persons daily events can taint their reading that day and for the rest of thier life maybe in the wrong direction. thats how we get religious sects and cults asking you to "drink the kool-aid" OR to grow a 3 foot beard and shave your head! (lol, shout out to my philly people! :) )

your views, like many, are not un-common and are well founded. thats one of the main reasons why i am recording an album in the unconventional way that i am (PLUG). because under the big hats, colored suits and large bibles, there is just a person. flawed like anyone else and struggling to find the right path. i cant wait to relaease my single later this year (BLATENT PLUG).

here's the skinny... the black church has done more for the uplifting and unity of our community through the ages than any other organization. when we werent allowed to gather or to even talk or congregate for fear of being beaten, the sunday at church was our one place and day of sanctuary and freedom. as a result, its hard to blame and point a finger at the current politics and traditions because its so deeply rooted. that would take at least another 103 paragraphs to just write an intro of how it started, what needs to be seperated, and where to begin.

the binding thread in the church is that CHRIST is our center. in the end, and it WILL take time, there has to be a shift from "church as usual" to "church for the usual"... which is what Christ did daily in ministry. not reaching out the religious but to those who were lost. with all of our (new believers) help, change will come. but like anything, you have to be apart of it to work for change brother.

oh yeah, i'm not working today so... i had time to write. in case you were wondering why so long! i took a break from judge mathis, ok! :)