Yet Another Voice of Frustration

Adam over at Becoming God’s Samurai echos the frustration that a growing number of people including my self are feeling with the Institutional Church.

 The following paragraph from his post really resonates with me

The Distance – the word “fellowship” is one that is only ever used in Christian circles (and the lord of the rings). I’ve come to conclude that it is code for “making us look like we have a more meaningful relationship than we actually do”. From the moment I walk into church I am handed a newsletter from a woman with such a grin she looks like she is meeting an old friend. I can’t even remember her name. Over biscuits and coffee I people (who I hadn’t seen since the previous service) ask me, “how are you?” but they don’t really care, so I reply, “fine” because I don’t really care either. We stand in pews looking at the back of each other’s heads, only hearing what the people on the stage have to say rather than what the heart of the person next to me is wishing to scream. And in the end we depart for another week, each of us feeling complacent with the “fellowship” but none of us having actually given anything.

Adam doesn’t post very often but his posts are always very profound.

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5 responses to “Yet Another Voice of Frustration

  1. Hi Aaron! I like your new “digs”! I just updated my blogroll to include the new url… I’m slow but I catch up eventually 😉

    On your post — I can so relate. That’s one reason why I think small group studies — meeting either at home or at church — are so important. It’s impossible to be intimate with 100+ people but you can get real with just 10 or 12. Last August I found 10 like-minded folks at the church where I work and we’ve had a Bible study group going in our home every Wednesday since then. (btw I didn’t ask permission to host one, just called people and said “come”) Talk about a blessing!

  2. I think small groups are so important. My wife and I go to a bible study on Thursday nights. We have thought about starting one in our house as well.

  3. “Fellowship?” What an archaic term to describe interpersonal relations, perhaps unintentionally chosen to mirror the otherness, the alienation, of those involved. It is a special word, so seldom used, that — even spoken so robustly by Gimli — it strikes the hearer as contrived, synthetic, the connotative antithesis of the word’s denoted intent; a word invented to describe the pretended familiarity of those who employ it amongst their fellows.

    I have no use of such fellowship, with dwarves or others, and certainly not within the local body (another example of contrivance in terminology, but I’ll limit this rant to a single subject). The hand extended in such fellowship is too often meant to maintain others at arm’s length, to be excluded rather than embraced.

    In fact, the accompaniments to such fellowship — the music (with its droning hymns or repetitive worship) the banal homilies too often vaguely reminiscent of Dr. Phil or Tony Robbins, and the stilted, ritualised interactions, are wholly without value. Indeed, the contemporary church, so maddeningly hollow and presenting only a facade devoid of anything remotely human — let alone Divine — in appearance, is so far removed from any need or desire I possess, and serves so minor a ministerial function in my life, that, were it to disappear entirely, its absence would scarce be noticed.

  4. love your blog title… i hope this frustration leads us towards a church that we can believe in.

  5. Andrew Wallace, Newcastle Australia

    Fantastic .. great to hear about people getting into small groups .. and “not asking permission’ .. I love it

    May I recommend robert fitts book avaliable at his web site called, “Church in the house a return to simplicity”

    http://www.robertfitts.com

    He’s the father of Bob Fitts, the well known worship leader from YWAM Hawai

    Andrew

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