Wednesday, December 28, 2005

And one more thing.

Someone asked in a comment on my Christmas Service post why I still attend and lead worship at ICC. I responed there.

(BTW: To be technically correct - I don't really *lead* worship, although I do lead people in worship. But I'm not the worship *leader*. Just one of my anal word things... which mostly comes up at work. LOL)

But one more thing... If you believe you have a personal relationship with God (which I do) and if you go to a church that believes in that, then the topic of what church to go to, where to serve, when is it time to leave, etc., etc. comes up in a lot of discussions and sermons. The normal answer is "You should serve where God tells you to serve." He knows how he wants a "body" formed (i.e., who He wants in which church, who will help further a church, etc. etc.), and He knows where he wants you placed. So you should go where He wants you to go - and stay there until He wants you to leave, gives you peace to leave, or whatever.

And when people leave they will frequently used the "God Card" - "I've got peace to go" - to which there is reall no answer - because you can't usually argue with someone when they say "God told me its what I'm supposed to do." - Unless it is something totally unscriptural, but leaving a church doesn't really fall into that category.

So - is God telling me to stay or to go? Well - I believe He is telling me neither. (And yet another soul bearing disclosure on the internet - blogging - how weird.)

I've left church's a few times. In one instance I "heard" as clear as I could that God was telling me to go. I was asking Him about something and He said, "Well why don't you just go to this other church?" Ironically enough, it had never occured to me until He suggested it. It wasn't something I was struggling with. I was just thinking about things. Other times its been some family issue that has caused me to leave a church.

A few times I believe that God has told me, "Do what you want. I love you - I always will. Which church you go to isn't going to come between us." I've gotten the feeling that He doesn't think I belong in a certain church, but because He understands me way better than I even understand myself; He knows how hard it is for me to change. And so He isn't rushing me. He's just letting me know that no matter what I do - it isn't going to effect our relationship. And that if I stay, He is ok with it (even if He doesn't think it might be the best for me), or if I go - He'll help me find a new place He'd rather see me at. But he isn't going to push me. And that is they way (even when He said "Well why don't you go to that other church?") He has always interacted with me. Gently. Never pushes too hard. Just helps me along.

So that's where I'm at right now - for those that care (and I can't imagine that many people find this all that interesting. But I blog it anyway. I'd rather read some funny blog personally...) I'm weighing the options. Looking at pros and cons. Trying to listen to God and see what He wants me to do. And if I decide to go - getting the "oourage" or whatever to go talk to someone about it.

Until I make a firm decision - I probably won't say that much more about it; other than when someone asks - which is what prompted this reply.

And again - even though everything on the public internet is out there for "everyone" to read... I don't think of these entries are so much as being a public critique of ICC. I think of them more as *me* working my issues though with a particular church - and a particular place in my life, at this point in time. No church is perfect. Every church has something to offer someone. The point is to find one where you think you are supposed to serve. Where your needs can get met, and you can offer something in return. Where it is a win-win for everyone. And that is the issue I'm having right now. Is ICC that place for me. Not whether anything is wrong there, or any person or person's are bad, etc. I've never left a church because I thought the church was "wrong". I've just felt (for whatever reason) that it was no longer the place for me.

Which is a reason for not serving and just hanging out at a church. The less involved you are, the less you have to deal with these issues. Because it is just somewhere you go on Sundays. But I've never been that kind of person - especailly because I always want to serve on a worship team.

But I'm starting to ramble now...


just got off the phone with you. said...

It is so great to hear your heart blasting out loud and clear. It is hard to get true feelings and thoughts into words isn't it? So much of what we say verbally is tone, pace, body, and facial language. It is hard to not make mistakes in writing, especially blogs and im, that are taken out of context or misunderstood. (Makes me appreciate good literary folks like Lewis, Tolkein, et al.)Therefore, I understand the need to clarify. Your quip turned into much more than that. Obviously many more are reading than you originally thought. Maybe someone who secretly and silently agrees with you but are too chicken to speak up. So you are a courageous hero to them. Regarding the "anonymous" thing- I ignore it. If someone doesn't have the huevos to say who they are, then it is fodder. Anyone can say anything unsubstantiated anonymously, it means nothing. So don't let those anonymous messages get to you. It was good to hear your thoughts on xmas (To you anonymous folks who are offended by the "x," in Greek it stand for Christ, as in the Ichthys, so don't get offended.)and your take on how it should go. There is lots of debate about what should be sung, etc. I would love to chat about some of them sometime. It was so good to see you, Tina, Jamie, and to meet Michael. Tina came away without any bleeding or bruising? I am so glad. And the roof didn't even collapse! Tina, you a bright spot in my life. I love spending time with you. I miss our "Breakfast with God" days. I have come a long way since then too. The Thai place will have to wait for another day. I love you my brother. Did you see the place ont he stage where your place is still open?

Anonymous said...

Interesting how someone can be so opinionated about the "anonymous" issue and be anonymous themselves. Sounds like an ignorant individual to me. Maybe they should think through their soap boxes prior to being so open.

James said...

Sometimes I have to step back and think about the technical abilities of a person. Meaning their computer skills. I've seen peole use ALL CAPS (which many of us know is shouting) but they never realized it and didn't think anything of it. I work in the IT field, and I'm constantly amazed when 100 mail msgs come out because of reply-all. Some folks just don't understand some things - and you just have to cut them some slack.

The first person that replied to this wasn't anonymous. Their identity totally told me who they were.

Made me start thinking - maybe some folks are "anonymous" and they don't even know it. I never am, because I get how not to me, and on blogger it knows who I am anyway. Plus if you blog - you are kind of out there for the world to see anyway, so whats the big deal about replying anonymously to someone else?

Anyway - I find it kind of ironic that the person that replied was also anonymous.

I think my original post that started this (topic of anonymous repliers) may have been misunderstood. I've never really been flamed by anyone anonymous. If it does ever happen, or I think the post is inappropriate. I just delete it. The real reason I posted, was because I *believe* from what I can tell, that I have a handful of folks that read this blog. But when someone comments anonymously, it makes me wonder... Is this someone that is a regular reader that I know who just isn't saying who they are? Is this someone I don't even know who reads - and there are actually more people out there than I thought. Or maybe this is just someone who hit "next blog" and ended up here. That was really the point. :)