That was the topic of the sermon at Calvary Church, Damansara Heights at the 5 pm English service just now. I thought it was quite interesting, something to think about at least. I’ve been trying to find a church that I’ll be comfortable in.
I haven’t been to church in a long time. It’s 18 years by my count, excepting the time I went to Wesley Methodist Church in Sibu last time I was back to visit my mom (and I thought it was election time too).
I’m not used to loud and expressive praise and worship sessions – I was raised as a Christian, went to Trinity Methodist Church in Kuching and Wesley Methodist Church when I was in Sibu. They’re both UMC sister churches and we use the hymnal – usually droll but somehow peaceful hymns.
This is totally different. However, I think that the ability to unlearn and relearn new things is a prerequisite in this fast moving social media age and I found myself enjoying it by the second song (which I would really like to know the title of).
I’ve been procrastinating in going back to the church – I left the congregation when I was 12 coz I didn’t believe in it anymore. It’s more than just knowledge, it’s the hypocrisy and politiking that I see which made me lose faith in Christians.
I’m sure I’ve said this before but one thing my dad said that caused me to reevaluate is – Don’t look at the Christian, look to Christ.
…also I have my own personal reasons for going. You can call it the opiate of the masses but there are no atheists in foxholes too. 😉
Nifty way to hold the Eucharist cup.
However, I’m still trying to believe. I think I’m moving towards that direction but I don’t think this church would be a good fit for me. I prefer to contemplate in a quiet setting and speak to my personal savior and this isn’t very conducive to doing so. It’s also an Assembly of God denomination which has doctrinal differences from Methodists, the biggest one being:
The Assemblies of God believes in the Pentecostal distinctive of baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
That goes against everything I believe in. I find that churches like these tend to coerce people to do so (speak in tongues) which leads to a lot of people faking it to make it. I was at a seminar a while back in Sabah where a Canadian group came to speak – they’re also Pentecostals and during a blessing session, everyone (about 300 people) fell down, “consumed by the holy spirit”.
I didn’t. There were people behind me waiting to hold me and one of the pastors whispered to me – “Just lie down”.
I don’t want to coz I didn’t feel the touch of the Lord. I was the only one standing in a group of 300 threshing and moaning people. The sheer pressure to join them is quite incredible and I believe that’s what most people were going – just succumbing to the pressure. I stood my ground though. It was hard, and I’ll be lying if I said I didn’t feel self-conscious but I don’t want to pretend to do feel something I don’t.
I won’t judge, Matthew 7:5 says the famous words about that but in matters of faith, I ALWAYS defer to my dad. He’s hands down the most pious person I ever met – a True Believer. I trust him in these matters.
Thus, I’ll probably be still searching for a church that fits the doctrine I believe in. I can’t say I’m a Christian right now, and I’m still trying to reconcile God with science, life and sociology – things I believe in like evolution, LGBT rights, massive allegations of fund mismanagement (hey, they’re human and humans sin).
I also want to make sure that I’m doing it for the right reasons and not using religion as a crutch to get me through some hard times.
I’m really opening my mind here after 18 years (it’s actually longer, I stopped believing but continued going) of being an agnostic atheist – I want to believe and I know it’s not your prerogative to show yourself to me God, but you know, it would help a lot, especially right now.
I’ll end this post with a prayer. 😉
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.
Heh! It’s actually non-religious, it started from AA but I learned it in NA, it’s called the Serenity Prayer and AA/NA isn’t a Christian foundation – it accepts people from all faiths and religious discussion is prohibited.