It’s been a while since I had anything to say or anytime to say it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’m not even sure I have anything to say now. A lot of things have changed since I last posted here or there or anywhere (0ther than Facebook) for that matter. I’m not even sure I remember how to do this blogging thing.
Many things have changed since I last posted here or there or anywhere. I have had a lot of time to think about a lot of things and I hope to explore some of it as I slowly begin to work my way back into writing about things like church and people like Jesus and books like the Bible. In some ways many of my thoughts on such matters haven’t changed a bit, but in other ways my thoughts, and perhaps more importantly, my actions, have changed drastically. There might be time to share thoughts on such matters later.
One thing that I hope to write about is how the Episcopal Church confiscated the building and property of the congregation we have worshiped with for the last nearly 3 years. They did so after a rather lengthy court battle which saw a judge scarcely even hear the argument before deciding against us and for them. (I hate using ‘us’ and ‘them’. It sounds so archaic and anti-everything Jesus came for.) They did so because we decided that the Episcopal Church is theologically wrong on certain issues. (They believe we are wrong too; a judge agreed with them.) Unfortunately, ‘they’ have more money than we do.
Another thing I hope to write about is my evolving relationship with Jesus–yes, that Jesus, the one who has been particularly and conspicuously quiet in my life for a while now. And yet, too, periodically, he has made such loud statements in the life of my family that I have had to run for cover for fear that it might be an archangel blasting his trumpet announcing the end of days. I still love Jesus, but it’s a different kind of love we have now. I’m not even sure I have words for whatever it has become.
Still further, I might tell you about my former church which has, for all intents and purposes, lost its identity. I amazed that so many of those who were confident the Lord had told them to remove me from the pulpit have, now, themselves, left the church. It’s a very strange irony and one that perplexes me greatly. There are a lot of things that perplex me these days not least of which is what it really means to be a christian and what it really means to belong to the church.
Church is a strange thing, a strange creature. It has been a funny thing doing church from the other side of the pulpit. If my relationship with Jesus has evolved, my relationship with the church has gone through two or three evolutionary cycles as my wife and I have tried to come to grips with the fact that we are, for all intents and purposes, orphans. (We love the Anglican church we worship with, but we also know that we are passing through there for a little while and that we really miss ‘our’ church.)
One thing I do know is this: when I start writing again on a more regular basis, I will be writing as someone who has embraced a career outside of the church. I will also be writing as someone who has been crushed by the church, hurt in ways that I wish I couldn’t describe, abandoned by a denomination that had little use for me and my family. My relationship with the church has changed drastically. This might be a good thing; it might be a bad thing. I’m not sure what sort of thing it is. All I know, at this point in my life, is that I’d like to think I am a gracious enough person to forgive the church and embrace the church, but I realize, truthfully, that the bottom line is that I am more blessed that the church continues to forgive and embrace me.
It seems to me that is what makes a church church.