Today I went to a church service (one of my denomination) for the first time in probably a year. (Before I go on, let me say I enjoyed the service. The people were friendly, sang loudly, participated in the sermon and generally left me wanting to return another week).
I’m not sure why I haven’t gone in a while. Perhaps it’s because I need to attend a church with an audience that is friendly and participates in a service. Not just to say “yes” and “praise Jesus” so that everyone around can know how holy they are but because they mean it and would say it even if they were in a room alone and no would would hear it. They would be so inspired and so into the sermon that they couldn’t help but burst out those words. note: I’m sure there are people in my former churches that are not hypocrites and who are in honest pursuit of an intimate relationship with God.
It’s also because, after joining/hearing the monks simple tunes of worship and occasional trio performances, I find it hard to get into the modern (take a breath every fourth word) songs. I was thankful beyond belief that this church had at least two hymns that I could read the music from. Besides, I believe most hymns are much better musical compositions than modern ones.
Allow me to rant. Has anyone ever considered that having words up on a screen without any kind of sheet music to let a person know the notes (or, to the untrained eye, at least which direction the notes are going) makes a visitor or non-Seventh-day Adventist visitor feel awkward and even more exposed.
If you must do modern music, I beg you, PLEASE provide us with at least a one-staff bar of notes and words to follow!!!!!!!! (I cannot add enough exclamation marks here.)
As for other reasons for having not attend regularly, I do not claim to be enlightened by any means. However, my views about religion, true Christianity and other things have changed since visiting the monetary last summer.
For example, today some well-intentioned woman gave a “childrens’ story” that essentially told kids to read the bible even if they don’t understand it, because it will wash out their sins and make them more Christian and closer to Jesus who will forgive them of their sins. I don’t think she realized the implications of what she was saying but it took every ounce of me to not roll my eyes and cross my arms.
Making a child read a book that is beyond their comprehension, I believe, is cruel and could turn them away from scripture. There is a reason there are books for children and books for adults. Perhaps instead, a parent could read some scripture with a child. Ask them what he or she thinks it means and then help them discover the story.
More importantly, I believe that no book, human or ritual action, such as reading scripture, will save a soul. Instead, it is only through developing a pure intimate relationship with God (one that cannot be explained in words and only barely captured in music) that we can know, be changed and proceed in a way that brings Glory to God, whatever direction that may lead us.
Anyway, I had intended for this blog to be about something completely different but this poured right out of me. Catcha ya again next week.