"On the whole, the Sunday school programs of today are statistical failures. There are few Sunday school classes that exist that really instruct a young person in sound doctrine, to encourage him or her to understand what the Bible teaches and the reasons why its teachings are true."
This article postulates just that. And I'm not sure if it's a problem. I'm so doctrinally backwards that I'm not sure why I'm going to church anyway except for some vague verse about not giving up fellowshipping together in Hebrews 10:25. So, in this post, I'll chat about church attendance, and in some future post, I'll cover teaching children more specifically. Do you feel obligated to attend church and why? Personally, I like *most* of the people there well enough, but I don't know that "hanging out for a couple hours a week and sharing prayer requests" is really what fellowshipping is about.
Our pastor says that church should be like family. But my folks haven't been out to see the youngest two children, so I'm not sure how applicable that analogy would be. God loves ya, and he sends you some money every now and then... but He's too busy helping other people than to spend time with you. And you wonder what you did wrong that things are like this, but there's nothing you can do to fix it now. You wish you had lived your whole life differently so that you would never get to this point. You think of the five million things you've done wrong, and wonder which one of those five million is the root cause of the broken relationship. Bummer to be alienated from family AND God. Sucks to be you. I keep thinking maybe if I just become an atheist again, it wouldn't be so hurtful. Kinda tough to do that, though, when you really believe the stuff deep down. Though I hear from my atheist friends that when you keep going to church to get your programming updated, that's what happens. Hm.
And if church is like family, and family is expendible, then we're back at the "why bother" question. I mean, if I got to decide, I'd boot the church lady who told me that it's ok for schools to have "safe rooms." Because that's different from a closet because the teachers know what they're doing... well, she can go rot, and I halfway wish I could tell her so somewhere off church grounds (bring it on! Just not in church. Decorum and stuff.) Once I interrupted her little "discussion" about how she's surprised the pastor's kids did well in public schools since they were sheltered at home before and blah blah blah with a, "Guess-what? I'm homeschooling, too, and so do lots of people because public schools STINK." And watched her little face wrinkle up like a lemon as she had a "guest" listening. Who never came back! Too bad! Don't go fishing for trouble by gossiping about the pastor in front of me during "fellowship" next time, then. Come to think of it, we were off church grounds then. I should have been a little more specific about what I thought of her opinions then. I wish I could be more outspoken. Maybe that is a fault of mine, and all you people reading my blog aren't quite sure about my opinions. Interesting. I will have to think about this and devise ways to be more outspoken. You are welcome to leave ideas in the comments section, or a link to your blog on how you did this.
I think I'm skipping those "fellowship" times now on. People just start kicking doo around and I have a tendency just to pick the doo up and fling it back at the kicker full-force instead of speaking in love and all that. I just don't have the patience for that, and I'm not good at mincing my words and being all sweet and political. So whatever. (How's that for Christian talk? Maybe I'm just a bad Christian. I have a lot of trouble hearing things, like "I know you're very busy, but I just wanted..." means "I want something from you. Quick. And I don't specially much feel like talking to you." I read things SO SO literally. And I'll be pretty literal back after the old patience limit has been reached. And I get hurt when "I know you're busy" doesn't really mean "I know you're busy." Just tell me you don't want to talk and it's a quick call.)
I think I'd have a whole list of people who wouldn't make the grade and if I lived long enough, even I'd be on it. So is everyone who feels like attending a church included in the family? No matter what they do, anytime they do it? I don't think that, though I try to *act* as though I do, make nice while I'm in the building and let the pastor/leadership deal with the private matters because they know more about it and I have enough to do without worrying about who's doing what and howcome. (Hopefully that made sense.)
Since I'm telling pretty much everything in this blog post, I may as well mention that mostly, I go to church because I think there are at least a few people there who care, and that matters a lot to me. I also go because Elf needs to go and see other children. Well, so does Emperor, for that matter. It would be nice to say that I go for spiritual reasons like "glorifying God" and whatnot... but that isn't my real motivation when I look on my own heart. No point dissembling.