Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Okay, I didn't mean to start a firestorm of controversy with the "church" conversation that I posted. I just found what the people were saying quite interesting.

I'm not out to change anyone's mind or force religion on anyone. I would feel just as frustrated if someone had been talking about temples or mosques. Maybe pretty windows and music ARE a starting point for some people. But I don't think that's the case with these people.

Going to church serves specific purposes. Worship and fellowship. I find that if I don't go to church for long periods of time that I start to get moody and upset without knowing why. Spirituality is not just a solitary thing. We all need our private time for prayer, reflection and meditation. But part of Christianity is also fellowship with your other Christians. I love going to church (even though I go alone and I don't know anyone) and just being with other people who share my beliefs. I love the congregational confessions of sins and raising our voices in song for worship.

There is a time and a place for everything. Many places of worship DO have beautiful architecture that everyone should enjoy. AND beautiful music. But if you just want to sing Christmas carols, there are plenty of other places to do that. And if you just want to check out the windows, you can do that at other times. It is a mockery of people who actually go to spiritual venues to worship to make fun of their beliefs, their sermons etc and just go there as a tourist. If I believed that the woman in the conversation was actually serious about trying out different churches and/or faiths, I wouldn't be offended. But I don't care for looky-loos who just want to hang out and look at decorations.

I will always welcome people to my church who come in a spirit of learning and/or fellowship. Who come with a sense of respect. The same respect that I would carry with me into a place of worship of another faith. My friends who have commented thus far are all correct. People start down the road of faith from different places. For some, music and art can be starting points. And I agree with that. I just don't want people coming to my church to hang out and then disrespect those of us who come there to worship.

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