Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bad Catering Service

One of my personal biggest issues with the way churches are run is who they are catering to. This hits close to home. You see, I married a man who wasn't blessed with being introduced to God, Jesus, or even a congregation until after we were married. I grew up in church. My granny was and still is a Bible toting baptist, and never there was a Sunday that we missed a preachin'. By the time I was 10, I knew all the books of the Bible by heart and could tell you the stories of David, Noah, Daniel, Moses, and the angels all day long. What I didn't see then is that I was incorporating so much of what I call "steeple talk" into my vocabulary. It never occurred to me that this was something out of the ordinary until many years later, looking upon the face of my husband trying to listen to a sermon, brows furrowed in sheer confusion. You could almost see it spelled out on his face. "What's all this begat, and crucify, gospels and canonical... and what in the world is a apophthegm? Don't forget communion, passover, codices, exegesis, haustafel, liturgy, semitism, and who in the world is Yahweh?" For someone new coming into a church, they ARE speaking a foreign language. 

I get it. I really do. You have a 75 year old man who has been sitting in the same pew since before he had peach fuzz, and this is what he likes and this is the way he's used to hearing sermons, and he's paid his dues to the church and you respect the elders. Can't please everyone, right? So where does a new Christian fit in? Where is the class that starts small and speaks English? Even in Sunday school, I can remember the look I saw on people's faces when he read "Gethsemane"  and it sounded like geth-see-mane. It might seem like I'm pointing fingers at a church, but the problem lies with the fact that we've been to seven churches. Finding a place for him to fit in wasn't for lack of trying. We attended the same one for over a year. When it was all said and done, he still tells me he walked away gaining absolutely nothing. 

The advice we hear most of the time is that he should take some time and read and study the Bible, and then try to hear some sermons. I know I'm using my husband as an example, but I know of many others who feel the same way he does about reading. He is a brilliant man and can engineer anything you could possibly dream of, but you hand him an instruction sheet and the words written there turn to a blur of nonsense. We've tried to read together, and navigating a page of the Bible takes a week, and those steeple talk problems are still there (even in the most modern versions), and I can see the frustration on his face build up like air in a balloon. 

Should it be so hard to want to learn about YHWH?  


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