My dinner with Paul

I had an interesting conversation with my brother last night at dinner.  Many people {okay my husband} shake their head when I sit beside my brother because it inevitably turns to Jesus/God/Church/Religion and last night it took about 5 seconds.   We talked about his dissatisfaction with organized religion.  He said a lot {I really should invite him to guest post} and it was important stuff.

My brother doesn’t believe that ‘church’ works anymore. He lamented his lack of voice and regards the money spent on hierarchy and structures to be a waste that could be redirected to something useful in the community.  He said the rules and rigidity are so defined that he cannot find a place for his piece in the puzzle.

He might not believe it but these are issues I think about all the time.  I try to think up ways to give everyone in the Church a voice and ownership over their worship experience.  I get frustrated when our rules prevent us from doing ministry and don’t allow for flexibility.  I wonder if we can ever move towards a faith that finds it’s energy spent on people and experiencing God in the world {as opposed to buildings, budgets and tradition}.

No matter how disgruntled I get and how many times I question the point of what I am doing I cannot find it in me to give up.  When asked why I continue I can honestly say I have too much passion for the message.  I still have my sense of calling.  I have seen too many circumstances where the Church or some part of it has truly made a difference in the lives of it’s members.  There is a need for community, for shared history and craving to truly know God in this world.

With all of that said I have a feeling that this conversation will happen again and I really hope that there will be some kind of progress forward that I can report back on.  Is it too much to hope for?


One response to “My dinner with Paul

  1. I have seen too many circumstances where the Church or some part of it has truly made a difference in the lives of it’s members. There is a need for community, for shared history and

    Well that says it all. I am Presbyterian(but considered a heretic) but I earned my BA in religion at a Methodist college and my MA in religion at a Catholic college. I did not go the route for pastoral ministry but focused on history, philosophy, sociology and psychology of religion. The Jesuits and PhD nuns always admitted the evils, the corruption, the military and political intrigue in which their church has been involved. But they also posited that Christianity did not start in the Reformation of the 1500’s but that despite all its frailties millions of people have been brought to know Jesus in the last 2,000 years and that cannot be dismissed. If the minister is having an affair and the elders are skimming the collections does not in the least contaminate the faith. They shall be rewarded according to their works.

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