Monday, March 17, 2008

Church is Scary

Awhile back, I had thought about going to my old church for a Sunday service. But I couldn't find their phone number online. So I drove out there (randomly - not on a sunday) and the church is no longer there. So I decided to try another church - the church that Mark's grandma and aunts go to. Flutter has been looking for a church too - so we decided to try this one together. Yesterday.

At first, I was liking it. They had the Royal Rangers (Christian boy scouts) come up and give the food that they collected for the food closet (and a contest to win a pizza party). They were so excited. Then one of the pastors got up and talked about the easter egg hunt and how they need more plastic candy filled eggs if anyone felt so inclined. And I'm thinking I WANNA MAKE EGGS!

And we sang. And clapped. And then the regular pastor came up and started talking about tithing and collecting extra money for a scissor lift used to change lightbulbs in the sanctuary. And I'm thinking,'s kind of early in the morning for this...but okay.

And then we prayed and he asked something like "is anyone struggling" and some people raised their hands (I'm assuming, because I'm a good girl and my eyes were closed) and so then he says, those of you who are struggling, you should come up to the altar and a couple did and then he called out some woman - he said, "I saw your hand up, you should come up here." EEEK!

I guess I just felt like people weren't allowed to worship in their own way. He kept calling people out or singling people out. Like when it was time to do the tithing - everyone had to bring their envelope up to the altar and lay it there. so when everyone else was up at the altar you could see who was left NOT TITHING (OH NO!)

And when they called people up to come to the altar and only 1/2 the congregation when up there - he looked out at the rest of the people and said, "well you guys must be doing pretty good then, huh?" like we all should be struggling and head to the altar. Um, yeah, dude. We are. Thanks!

And then he began speaking in tongues, and that's when he really lost me (and Flutter). I will say though, that I have been to churches where the pastor goes through the crowd at the altar and touches them and they fall down - like, BOOM and CRASH. And that didn't happen, so I was relieved in some ways.

So, now we're a little wary of finding a new church. I used to go to a Nazarene church and they were pretty low key - lots of singing, a message, more singing, and sometimes a potluck. We discussed the option of just driving around and finding one that is pretty. That way if either of us ever get married we have a pretty sure to do it in.

Do you all go to church? How did you find yours?

Do you think that I can call around and just ask, "do you speak in tongues? do people regularly fall down? are their potlucks?"


Nicole P. said...

Speaking in tongues is not ok. It is freaky. And the tithing thing is totally shitty. Single out the poor people, much?

flutterbyshutter said...

you forgot to mention how amazing we looked in our sunday dresses UNTIL the wind took over and caused some over-exposure :P

Anonymous said...

My husband and I struggled with this for years. We were raised catholic but just didn't feel like it was for us, it didn't fit how we felt. So we went searching. We tried one of those "knock you down and have a seizure church"....and we ran. We went through about 5 other churches, after we settled on what type, some were too big, too small and a few didn't have anyone attending under the age of 55. Then we found Kingsway. Its a Christian bible church, period. Nothing fancy. Just great people, a young pastor, a great kids program.....and potlucks all the time. We felt at home, we connected instantly with the people and the message our pastor was delivering. He still makes us think every Sunday. we don't get bored or make excuses not to go and we leave wanting to be a better person each week. That to me is when you have found your church! Don't give up!

Carrie said...

Aimee, you would probably go to hell for knowing me. That is how big of a sinner I am. lol

Julie said...

Tim and I have been thinking about going back to church... but we get weary because each time we have tried going back in the past, we get the "Gays are Evil" homily...

Yea... not so much into church lately.

What were these tongues??

Lara said...

finding a church can definitely be hard. jitta and i are trying to find a good community near us right now. we've been reading reviews of some churches on maybe that will have some ideas?

audrey said...

I grew up in the Episcopal church, and I've always loved the tradition of it, the way the congregation is permitted to worship in their own way while still participating in a structured service. My husband and I haven't found a church since we moved here, but I have been thinking about checking out the local Episcopal churches and seeing if they're as good as the ones i grew up in.

Good luck to you in finding the right church; i know it's not an easy task!

L Sass said...

It can be tough to find a church, definitely. When I found a church to go to in NYC, I visited like 8 or 9 different churches on Sunday until I found one that "felt" right, but it was worth it.

No creepy stuff or singling people out!

Nonnie Bear said...

I have had that same experience before. I remember one pastor who even pretended to have a direct line with God. He pulled that whole, "God is telling me someone needs to come to the alter for forgiveness." He just went on and on. I am now Presbyterian. I love the tradition and never, ever is there weird stuff. I have never attended one I didn't enjoy.

We are THAT family said...

Churches like this make people QUIT church. We found our church by shopping online. We downloaded sermons, checked out the children's programs, etc BEFORE we visited.

It worked for us.

Also, ask God. He cares.