It's ironically nutty, but I really enjoy talking to my dad about church.
He rants about us young people not holding anything in reverence, not dressing right, not talking right, not treating the church (building) the way it should be treated, we don't sing right either.
I usually sit pretty quietly during that part. I wait.
And I wait. (He can rant a very long time.)
Then it happens.
He informs me that preachers can't preach the gospel anymore because WE won't let them.
That's when I pounce. It's one of the few areas in life I joyfully and passionately kick him in the verbal shins with a loud "BALONEY!" (For some reason we're not allowed to say "Bull")
And then I get about a 2 minute rant in (before he takes over again) about how if a preacher is a preacher he should be up there preaching what God has for him to say and if he gets kicked out then he gets kicked out.
If he lets me go too long I can start blaming the downfall of the church on his argument that preachers don't preach the meat of the gospel because they don't want to lose their jobs.
It's quite a pleasure.
I don't blame preachers though. I plant the blame right at my door and from there it flows outward to the church around me. That's right. You. You're supposed to be the church.
I went to a prayer meeting on Tuesday it was only me and one other woman and for 30 minutes the church was positively silent. I swear, I spent a good deal of time praying that something could shock us into making noise. I don't pray in my head at home. I longed for noise.
I longed for the relationship I have with Christ in my home, to be the relationship that I have in front of others.
I long for my excitement for spiritual things at home, to be slightly less than my excitement of sharing those spiritual things with you. All of you.
It's as though I spend my time at home in a close and personal relationship with God, and then I go to church and practice religion.
It's not the preachers fault.
It's not your fault.
It's all mine.
But, judging from the fact that there were only two people at the prayer meeting (and this is the first one I've attended in forever) I'm thinking that you've got the same problem I do.
It's exciting to be s a v e d.
Yet that passion is lacking in me when I go to the building church.
It's stifled into the corner even when I'm just around you church.
But, you, you don't seem too excited either. You don't seem relieved, or oozing gratitude. You too, just like me, easily qualify as the Stepford Church.
I don't know how to change. I really don't. And I don't say that sadly, or with regrets or bitterness. It's just a fact. I'm so focused on behaving as a Stepford Christian that even when I want to act otherwise, I've got that zeal locked so tightly that it's a miracle whenever it comes out.
And that's exactly why I'm not upset about it right now.
I know the One who can work that kind of miracle in me. And I trust Him that if I want so strongly to verbalize, and act out my relationship with Christ publicly He hears my request for it.
I won't always be this way.
Because I've told God all about it.
He hears me.
I know it.