It’s seven in the morning. Christian pushed back the bedding from covering what, by God’s grace, was another peaceful night’s rest. Then suddenly, he sighed,
“Ugh, God… another Sunday morning; I can’t keep this up, Lord, without seeing You more tangibly at this church. I’ve entirely lost faith in Your house. Each time I return to Christianity, I end up wishing I hadn’t. Honestly Sir, between Egypt’s ancient god, Horus, evolution and the decrepit condition of Your pulpits today in comparison to Your Gospel, I see less reasons than ever to even continue believing in You. But, You’re stuck with me. Without You, I could do nothing. Sorry, Lord, where are my manners? Please excuse me; I’m just waking up. Good morning, Father and King. Thank You for bringing me safely through the night.”
Every Sunday morning, Christian rose from his bed literally sick to his stomach. It wasn’t a hangover. He rarely ever drank. The source of his belly’s routine unpleasantness was his commitment to another church. But what else could he do? Playing for the small, mini-mega, Missionary Baptist congregation was where his natural gift to make music made room for him. Still, Christian dreaded having to sit through another programmed routine of empty religion regurgitated. The only reason he kept dragging himself out of bed each week was because playing for the church contributed to his livelihood. But even that motivation was being weakened by encounters with the same old whitewashed tombs he had before repeatedly abandoned.
Each week, during the hour-long drive to church, he’d lay it all at the foot of Christ.
“Why am I even playing for his church? You were right there when Dr. Shepherd said that he believed homosexuality is no sin. Plus, he’s divorced and remarried. You also heard him say to our faces that he’d lose most of his members if he preached against divorce. Lord, this man holds a doctorate in divinity, signifying that he’s an expert at helping others to understanding You. So much for degrees, I guess, huh, Father?”
Sometimes even rehashing old points he had entered into evidence during previous Sunday morning drives, Christian resumed his one-sided argument to God against organized Christianity today…
“God, You’re pure love. If Christianity delivered messages that filled all of its massive cathedrals to the rafters; if its prophesies actually became realities down to the minutest predictions; if surpassing all others, it worked exhaustively to help the poor and attended to widows and orphans; even if it worked arduously to help pass state laws preventing gay marriage; still, if the church’s leadership doesn’t love others like You have loved them then it’s efforts only amount to the creaking of an old, rusty gate. Lord, Your house is really is no different than the nonprofit, internationally successful conglomerate, United Way, who never acknowledges You.”
“You said it would be this confusing near the end of this wicked age, but who would have imagined that Your prophesied “…great falling away” would materialize through gifted and prominent Christian sellouts, like Bishop Ted Haggard, Bishop Eddie Long and Bishop Jim Swilley. Who would have imagined that Your prediction would blossom because of the self-inflicted antics those claiming to know You best?”
“Absent from the body is present with You, right? Well, I’d rather be with you, Lord. I’d rather be anywhere else other than where Light stumbles about at noon as if its night and Darkness prances around in the day as if it’s Light, while the rest of Your leaders goes about the business of religion. Really, I’d rather be with You, Lord.”
Christian arrived fifteen minutes before service started. He parked on the street, a block up the hill from the church. After turning the front wheels of his aging blessing toward the curb and then securing it, he ended his cross examination of the church before God for the moment. Sighing aloud, he prayed,
“Well, Lord, I might as well get in here and get this over with.”
Trust is wondrously complex. It can be an almost effortless virtue to earn, but has proven often difficult to impossible to earn back. This article reflects a routine Sunday morning in the life of one believer who once trusted in Christianity. But a half a century of wading through religious manipulation, hypocrisies and confusion has taught Christian the hard way to trust in Christ, and trust organized Christianity today only as far as it can be thrown.
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