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Saturday, April 23, 2005

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Jeff H

Rick, take this in the brotherly loving sense in which I mean it:

Unchurched Guy: I'll never sit foot in a church again. All those hypocrites...

Churched Guy: Well, come join us, there's always room for one more!!!

I've been in a space similar to what you describe as your current space: unchurched, not wanting to be, but not wanting or knowing how to resolve the seemingly conflicting pulls of my faith and my intellect/background. I finally came to a realization, through various means, that if I didn't make a huge change in my life IMMEDIATELY, I'd soon be dead--if not physically, then spiritually. And all I could think of was to run to church--my church, Southern Baptist (not my "actual" home church, but same denomination). It was the best thing I've ever done for myself.

I'd urge you to just start going. Find a congregation near you that is in the tradition in which you were raised, and just start going. You don't have to give up all your beliefs or even feelings toward the church and your past. God works with us in our imperfection and struggles. But you need the community of faith for your spiritual survival--and the community of faith needs you, Rick. A warrior by trade and nature, to help fight the battles that are already raging around us.

Sermon over, but you know I won't let up so easily. Peace, brother.

Leslie

Rick,

I would definitely count myself as one of the others like you. Over the years I’ve found myself navigating amongst many different stripes of protestant denominations as well as the Catholic church. I’ve been disappointed with all at times. Things that seem to me to be so important – letting God work, loving our neighbour, feeding the hungry etc – are often waylaid by the new paint colour or whether or not jeans in church is respectful or whatever. Very frustrating.

Why does God let it go on this way? The only way I can reconcile it in my head, is to know that if the church functioned properly – quickly spotting needs & filling them lovingly & thoroughly – a collective pride would probably develop, plus onlookers would see the church’s accomplishments as a sign of an incredibly efficient organization of *people*. It'd be a distraction.

This way, anything good that comes from the church is unquestionably the movement of God. In fact, it’s a bona fide miracle! I don’t know. What do I know? I do know that I hear myself in what you say.

All the best.

John Y


Rick,

I enjoy your common sense immensley. And I agree with Jeff H on one major thing, you ARE needed. Come on back to the Catholic faith, friend, come back home...

There are a lot of smart people out there (not necessarily me) that can explain why things such as infalibility (note, not impecability) are necessary.

If you are ever board take a look over at http://forums.catholic.com/index.php?
And search for infalibility or some other question. There are some ummmm, highly emotional people there, that some would call "brutally honest" about their faith, but I bet you could handle it! :-)

John

Rick

Thanks John Y. and thank you Leslie... and thank you Jeff...

Wise words from all, sound advice as well...

You're all very much appreciated...

Pandu das


The part, "God's grace and love found only in Jesus Christ," is wrong and offensive. It is also atheistic, a philosophy of those who have no real idea about God.

NOTR

Man is too rational an animal to need the mysticism and Tribalism of a Catholic church. While I found the new Pope's comments on the dangers of moral relativism refreshing, he does not grasp the concept of the virture of selfishness. Perhaps I ought to send him Rand's book?

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