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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Do Not Be Afraid of What and Who You Love
Doesn't this look kind of like a temple
Someone says going to church is a bad thing?
Lately I have had the interesting opportunity to read about folks who think that going to church is a bad thing. And they have pretty interesting theories as to why that is true. There are those that think if a pastor is paid then she is a “hireling” and cannot do a good job because of that. Wouldn’t it be cool if full time ministers had someone to go around with them and just get them everything they needed so the minister would not need money to provide for herself? Or I suppose they could all have full time jobs, and only minister part time. But then who would go to the hospital when someone was sick or attend to weekday services and or ceremonies like funerals? It is a cool idea for a minister to not be paid but extremely impractical in modern society.
There are prayer rituals that are bothersome to some. The words are not just right and say something that could be – if you wanted to, interpreted as not biblical.
Of course there is the standby that church goers are hypocritical. I guess that means that non-church goers are immune from that human condition of saying one thing and doing another. I wish that I would never do that, but alas I am not perfect.
Then there is this strange notion that you are not getting perfect stuff in church. Somehow and someway any doctrine or liturgy is bad for you. What I am saying here is that there is a school of thought that suggests that just going to church is bad. The services are bad for you, being in a building is bad for you, having a lectern or pulpit is bad, getting up and dressed to go is bad and even meeting with likeminded people is bad for you.
And here is a real kicker. If you attend church you cannot and do not study, pray, meditate or think on your own. Like somehow going to church is the only thing that one can do if that is what they do.
Just a little ditty to lighten the mood and it kind of fits
Just some art from my son
Just to contemplate is a good thing!
Of course here we always have my Christian bias but the same arguments can be made and are about anything having to do with joining together in a special place to be led in worship.
Now isn’t that interesting.
Eric’s Sunday Sermons were originally and are still today focused on folks who do not necessarily attend church. That is for a variety of reasons but the foremost is that just because someone does not attend church does not mean they are not interested in spiritual stuff. But this, not so widely held, belief that going to church is bad in and of itself is a little strange.
Now here is the theory behind this concept. If you go to church you accept what a paid person is telling you as the only truth. And basically activists in this area contend that all preachers are bad. The argument almost never comes out as “some preachers” are bad. It is amazing. Someone who never has been or even heard of the congregation that I meet with makes a determination it is bad based on the above concepts. Now keep in mind these are fellow followers of Christ.
Now one would expect that in a particular way – say between dogmatic Protestants and dogmatic Catholics. We could understand them objecting to the other’s dogma. But not that it was bad to go to church.
So for you who do not attend church and feel a little uneasy about that, do not worry there are those who say you should not.
I hope that the way I laid that out makes it interesting to you as it is meant to be more of an interesting observance than an objection. It really is not up to me to judge that kind of thing except for me. I know that is a cop out so I won’t do that. I think that most people reading these sermons take it and apply it for themselves and my views may help them see their views in a new light. These sermons are not intended to tell you how to think in anyway. They are an invitation to sit back and ponder. We hope they are an invitation for further contemplation to your wonderful situation in life – yes and then sometimes to help lift you up over a hurdle that you may be facing. As I like to think these are a giddy up instead of a whoa!
What do I know?
These dudes can sing. Very cool.
I think we all think for ourselves.
I hope I did that just right. I was a preacher in a congregation. Nonpaid, nonordained and without a pulpit. And the above is what I tried to do when I preached. We are not that strange of a lot of preachers. Maybe not the norm but close. See my point? If that is what I tried to do then I am not unique and many ministers try to do the same thing. No poison koolaid involved. Perhaps that puts this in perspective.
Hey, do not think this discussion is limited to Christians it is relevant to all congregations of worshippers worldwide.
Now here is the bad part upon which I am judgmental, I admit it. My brothers and sisters are not automaton drones walking around with push buttons and remote control. They are living, breathing sentient souls. Shoot some of them do not even like how I act and darn well tell me so. What nerve ;-) So in order for these concepts to ring true people would need to be morons. And they are not. All people I know have an amount of discernment.
Let me relate a little story. My wife was raised communist. And she loved it as a child. Everything was in order and there was no deviation from that order. She was even like a hall monitor in school to make sure all the other children did not deviate. And to question authority was a literal crime against the state. Little children walking in lockstep in their exactly the same uniforms. Her mom tells me that even after school in her little cadre of farm children she was strict with her friends.
Now she was partially raised by “nuns” in a Buddhist monastery type place. And she loved that structure also. After some time after our marriage and her citizenship here she was walking in the snow(the first she had ever seen) and was touched in just a moment with the undying love and acceptance of Jesus Christ. Baptized soon after and in a congregation with a very charismatic priest. One day after bible study this gal who just loved going with the group flow told me that the priest was wrong.
I must admit that I was taken a little aback at the revolt of thought. But being the preacherman husband I had to inquire. Was this exception to what the priest had said a matter of her ego thinking she knew better? No she thought not. And so I inquired what it was and she related that; God loves us unconditionally and he was putting conditions upon it. I pulled the car over and did a little jig dance right there. We still laugh about it to this day.
Be yourself and all will come out just right.
I am most certain that you got the point of that little story. Even those of us most inclined to go along just to get along have our own wonderful delightful minds and hearts. In communion or worship we find commonality not conformity. In love we find the fruit of the good stuff that heartens our souls and enriches our lives.
As is my want I shall give some scripture: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That is from John 8:32 – isn’t that cool, that Bible has some cool stuff.
And is my other want, let me leave you with this thought. Do not let somebody tell you that you cannot do something because you cannot think for yourself and will follow blindly. Boy howdy you are something special and if nobody told you lately let me tell you: You are special and if you really have given a matter some deep thought then you are right and go with it no matter the consequences.