I Tried That ~ What About the Church?

Too often the church treats God like a windup toy.

Greetings Dear Reader,

In case you have not picked up on it, I have a tenuous relationship with churches. I do not have a problem with the Church universal. That is established by Christ and built on the Gospel. My issue is with many, not all local churches. This does not mean that I do not attend and participate.

This is not judgment or condemnation. Rather, I want to be certain that I attend for the right reasons. This requires setting a balance between attending and accepting. I need to realize that like me, no one is perfect. This includes church leaders. What I need to look for always is love and humility. This also what I must always bring.

From the outside, the church gathering can look like a costume drama or magic circle depending on the flavor of the church you attend. We sing our songs to summon God, offer our money to appease him, and listen to a story or lecture about what we should be doing. I say this to make a point and not in anger.

Too often, the church treats God like a windup toy. A Steve Camp song says, “We pat God on the back like a buddy from out of town.” The Father loves us. He thinks of us constantly. Jesus is a friend and companion, but he is also God. He is not our buddy. When the church loses sight of this, they use God for their own purposes.

The reality is that when we mold God to our image of him, this is what it really means to take the name of God in vain. When churches make the practices of their distinctions the focus it is defrauding the Father. When money or lifestyle trumps faith and following, the purpose is not Jesus. We have relegated the things God commands the church to do to social institutions and governments.

None of this lets me out of the obligation to be a part of the body of faith. We are not going to find a perfect church but we must keep trying to make the church better. We are supposed to be what Christ asks us to be and infect everything with that. This means that we do not abandon the church but we work lovingly to make it stronger and richer. We become the love and grace the church is supposed to represent.

You will not find a perfect church, Dear Reader. You will find people who are trying to perfect themselves in Christ. Keep trying until you find them and then help them. It is sweet and makes the journey so much easier.

Wind Up — Jethro Tull

When I was young and they packed me off to school
and taught me how not to play the game,
I didn’t mind if they groomed me for success,
or if they said that I was a fool.
So I left there in the morning
With their God tucked underneath my arm —
Their half-assed smiles and the book of rules.

So I asked this God a question
And by way of firm reply,
He said — I’m not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares):
Before I’m through I’d like to say my prayers —
I don’t believe you:
You had the whole damn thing all wrong —
He’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.

Well you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
And have all the bishops harmonize these lines —

How do you dare tell me that I’m my Father’s son
When that was just an accident of Birth.
I’d rather look around me — compose a better song
’Cause, that’s the honest measure of my worth.
In your pomp and all your glory, you’re a poorer man than me,
As you lick the boots of death born out of fear.

When I was young and they packed me off to school
and taught me how not to play the game,
I didn’t mind if they groomed me for success,
or if they said that I was a fool.
So I left there in the morning
With their God tucked underneath my arm —
Their half-assed smiles and the book of rules.
Well you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
And have all the bishops harmonize these lines –

When I was young and they packed me off to school
and taught me how not to play the game,
I didn’t mind if they groomed me for success,
or if they said that I was a fool.
So I left there in the morning
With their God tucked underneath my arm —
Their half-assed smiles and the book of rules.

So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares):
Before I’m through I’d like to say my prayers —
Well you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
And have all the bishops harmonize these lines –
I don’t believe you:
You had the whole damn thing all wrong —
He’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, “That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Every human story is part of the great story that leads to the Father getting everything back to Good.

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Too often the church treats God like a windup toy.

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