Thursday, December 18, 2008


Sometimes, I get REALLY FRUSTRATED at church. And, i wonder why I go.

I think, "Gee, I have A LOT of questions about a lot of what's going on here."

But, if I ask them, will I get labeled and dismissed, or will my questions just get shrugged off?

Sometimes I think I'm just a trouble maker.

Last Sunday, I asked a pal "why do you go to church?"

It felt like raining on the parade... like, gee, duh, we all go to church... what's the problem?

I hate that vibe. I don't wanna be a downer and Take. Things. SO. Seriously. Butttt, I just have to bring it up. process.

I told her that, "well, i guess I just question EVERYthing."

Then, I ran across this snippet on Speaking of Faith.

I'm at #2, and hoping to work my way into #3.

So, read that if you like.

And, if you go to church, maybe you could tell me WHY.

And, if you DON'T go to church, tell me about that.... and maybe your thoughts on church...

Ms. Tippett: You often mention a Dutch philosopher.

Mr. Marty: Oh, yes.

Ms. Tippett: How do you say his name?

Mr. Marty: Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, who was a Swiss-German Jew and Christian. He's one of those geniuses that you can quote 20 pages of and then the 21st page is so nutty you're not sure you can use it. But I'll give a quick illustration of what I get from him. For example, he says — and this is extremely important in my life. He says you can write the history of learning in the western world in three Latin phrases.

The first is, in Latin, Credo ut intelligum — "I believe in order that I may understand." It's the birth of the universities in Europe, Bologna, Paris, Oxford. You believe to apprehend the universe; truth is divinely revealed and can be appropriated. And that's the charter that believers should never be afraid of learning.

Secondly, modern learning, without which we couldn't do, is Descartes. RenĂ© Descartes. Cogito ergo sum — "I think, therefore I am." Modern university is born on skepticism and doubt and inquiry and criticism, and you want that. I don't want a med school in which they're just taking things on faith. I want them to be extremely critical. But he said, 'That, too, gets sterile.' And so he says, in the 20th century, that we also have to learn that truth has a social character. I'm learning from this conversation with you. We learn from conversing with someone else, we learn from the meaning of "I" and "thou."

And his third motto was Respondeo etsi mutabor — "I respond although I will be changed." I'm not changed when I argue with somebody because I know an answer and I got to defeat them. I'm always changed in a conversation because they're going to surprise me. It's kind of a game, it's kind of play. And I think that that's the kind of learning we need more in the churches, in theology, in politics, and in personal life.


BigMama said...

Why go to church?

Probably a lot of reasons. On the "not so noble" side, it's just what I've always done and I can't imagine NOT going. There was about a month a few years ago where we didn't make it to church and I didn't know what to do with myself. So at least a portion of it is just tradition, like eating turkey on Thanksgiving. It would just feel weird not to do that.

Another reason is that I like to do music and the church gives me an outlet for that. It's nice to be able to play or sing and while I love to do it just in my own home or car, I like being able to do it with others as well. As great as it is to sing alone, there's just something extra special about singing along with a group.

I also do think that, if I am going to follow the Scriptures, it is important for me to be a part of regular fellowship with other believers. I do think that can be achieved in a smaller setting than a traditional church, but I think that it's pretty important. Honestly, I think it's good for most people to be with other like-minded folks at least occasionally. Someone who understands your "story" and who shares your values. I don't think that's unique to Christianity, but I certainly think that it's still important.

And finally, I like going to church because it's an opportunity to spend an hour or so doing nothing but focusing on God. I don't generally take that much time during the day to do that specifically. I have a little time to myself to do it, but as far as just devoting a large swath of time, I just don't do it. This is an opportunity to take a break and just spend time with God.

That's me off the top of my head.

Faye said...

I go to church for lots of reasons. But rather than go into a lot of detail, I'll give you the reason that's closest to my heart. When I'm in church, I'm home. Even if it's not my church, or I'm not particularly in sync with what's going on there, it's still home. It gives me a sense of place, and every single time I worship, I fall in love all over again with the one who set me free over 30 years ago in that place.