Sunday, January 22, 2006

communes, church, and life

today i have been thinking about church, mainly why after being almost religious about going every sunday for years the thought of going fills me with dread. i find that i can't return to my community group because i am now expereiencing community at school which makes my community group feel like social hour.

what is it about church that breeds false community? today marilyn was saying how she feels always like the oursider when ever she enters church. today she went to a well known eastside church who is great at community involvement and yet also is so extreme in their views of homosexuality that they were being picketed this morning. she said the lady next to her upon hearing that she was attending seminary visably prickled until she said that she was in the counseling program. (i wonder what that woman would have thought of me...not only am i a woman getting a master's of divinity but an actress to boot!) previously marilyn has gone to a church in town that has theology that she believes in but is not welcoming and has no real community involvement. what good is right theology if it doesn't move us to a point of action? and on the flip-side what good is community involvement it is exclusive and isolating to the community?

later on tonight as i have been thinking back on our discussion and my lack of desire to attend "my church" i realize that it is not so much that i don't want to be involved in church but that i want to be involved in a holistic church, a community, a family. now all these words harken back to growing up and the evangelical lingo and sub-culture from whence i have come. i don't want those empty meanings i want something more something deeper. i want to enter into(even as i write these words i know that i cannot truly understand the weight of what i am asking for) a community like that of the early church. i want to live in a community of believers who are encouraging and supporting each other.

i know this all sounds like a hippy commune of sorts which it may in part be. i think the early church did somewhat resemble a commune life...isn't that (minus the sex and drugs) what monasticism is like? i am learning that community a deep true community is where one is grown and lives out faith not alone just me and jesus. because how can i see jesus outside of seeing others.

i am both excited and scared for the chance to live in a community house.


Becky said...

awesome post.

the scary thing, though, is that a christ-like community would bring the judgmental woman and sweet marilyn together and invite them to become one.

what does that look like in a community? what would it look like for us to move into a neighborhood and work to reconcile picketter and picketted? to restore them to the unity made possible in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

i wonder if your fellowship group is social hour because there are divisive issues beneath the surface - i wonder if it is the fear of disunity that drives us from any possibility of unity.

i wonder what might have happened if you had been there, told that woman you want to be a pastor and an actor, and told her you long to be with the picketters because you love them and agree with them. i wonder if that meeting could be a true meeting?

we cannot have encounter without bringing our entire selves, yet we are constantly leaving gaping portions of ourselves for the sake of one accord. how foolish. can we change this? is there hope for such a lofty phrase as "unity on the essentials, freedom on the nonessentials, and in all things charity." can this be our attitude every sunday morning at every church?

i don't know....suffice to say, community is much more difficult than we ever imagine it to be - but you know that.

Becky said...
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