I am a Christian. I practice my faith and take it very seriously. Yes, I know that's not a "cool" thing to say. The "cool" thing to say is how I don't embrace religion but find solace in the tree's and wind. The "cool" thing to say is that I believe in nothing and have rejected all things spiritual. Heck, if you read all the recent "cool" sites out there, that's what they're all saying, just look! I won't give you the links because they are the cool kids on the block and they'd beat me up. I don't care what others think about my spiritual beliefs. I believe that there is a God and that He loves us. I worship my God in different aspects of my life.
However, I can also understand how many can be turned away from God based on their church experience, how many leave with the feeling that they've entered a country club rather than a house of God. Personally, I don't like the church or organized religion as many refer to it as. I go to church, I don't get involved because when I do I get absolutely disgusted and walk away shaking my head.
Just recently I spoke with the Bible study leader whose group I attended before Camille. I told her how I would like to start back up. She told me I couldn't return at this time. She actually told me I would have to wait until June because I had not signed their sacred covenant. She basically was saying that I was not going to be able to study God's word at this time because everyone else had signed this sacred piece of paper and because I hadn't, I could not start until June when they will sign a new piece of paper. This was her procedure.
Now, just to fuel my already out of control fire, I attended my Mom's church this past weekend, McLean Bible Church whose pastor is pretty well known in the community, Lon Solomon. I have always loved the teaching in this church. I've always gotten fed spiritually, of course that was 3 years ago before it grew to over 10,000 attendees (that of course a rough estimate, I'm sure there are more than that). But this weekend I felt like I was attending a Broadway play rather than a Easter service. To begin, they do not allow you inside the sanctuary until 10 minutes before the performance. They keep the doors shut as a huge crowd of spectators wait outside the doors. Once they do open the doors, it is a stampede to get the best seats because you want to get a close up of the performance. I went straight for a row closets to the door as I had brought Camille with me and wanted a easy getaway if she started to cry. As I was about to sit, I was informed by the usher that I was not allowed to sit in that particular row. That families with small children were only allowed to sit in one particular row. And that particular row? It was full. There was no more room for me. Someone did finally get up so I could sit, however, I would be unable to sit with my husband and family. When I questioned her on this her response was "This is our procedure" so I had to leave banished to the cafe downstairs.
No one should be turned away based on procedure, Jesus never had policies on who and how people should worship He simply said "Come".
He did not say "Come, only if you sign a piece of paper".
He did not say "Come, but you can only sit in one particular row".
Shame on you McLean Bible Church, shame on you Karen. I hope I'm the only person who's been turned away based on your procedures.