Monday, July 2, 2007

no more church crap

do you ever get tired of church? i don't mean journey - i love our faith community, its lovely and strange and very loving and honest people.
i mean, church as institution. church as cultural pillar. i'm tired of the whole thing. i see churches building more and better and bigger and fancier buildings. i see churches enforcing rules and regulations. i see churches telling people that they don't know their own minds, their own feelings, their own hearts or souls. i see churches crushing people under the weight of shame.
i'm tired of the whole fucking thing. i really am.
i hear stories from friends - and strangers - all the time about how the church broke their hearts, stole their dreams, imprisoned them. i hear opinions all the time, as well, from church people, or former church people, who still haven't gotten it out of their heads that women are not equal to men, that judging other people is okay, that god is vengeful, that god is a man, that god is white and speaks english. that rules are more important than compassion. that it's alright to demean and exclude and ridicule and hate.
it makes me mad and sad. but mostly mad.
i quote again thomas jefferson, and take the same vow:

"i have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

i'm not hostile in that i'm eaten up with hatred about it. i'm just telling you, i'm not having it. i'm not putting up with it. i will respond with compassion and love. and comfort to those caught in this sick system. and i will respond with clarity and force against those forces when i see them asserting themselves to enslave people. nonviolent force, but force nevertheless.
crucify me. i dare you.
jesus said, "anyone who causes the little ones to stumble? it'd be better for that person if someone tied a rock around their neck and threw them into the ocean. that's how pissed off that makes me." the church causes little ones to stumble. not "little ones" as in children, although it does that too. i mean all children of god. that's what i think jesus meant.
or, if you prefer, i quote jesus saying, about the Temple, "tear it down."
i'm with him.

i added the "pissed off" part, but it seems to fit.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I hear your pain! I basically gave up on the traditional/insitutional church and traied starting a new one. Though, for some we are pretty institutional.

Along that journey I have discovered that people both ruin and make wonderful all parts of the faith. I think one of the problems with "church" is what we have made it into as broken people. When we are "church" in all the wholeness that God wants us to have. I think it can be pretty darn awesome if not altogether transformative.

BTW - not even sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but somehow you ended up in my reader. God perhaps?

Rick Diamond said...

hey reyes-chow! welcome! cool that you're here.
a group of us did the same thing. we don't think of ourselves as "church" at all - we're a community. for some people i suppose we feel like church, but for others it feels like we're sleeping on dirt out on the prairie. we just do what we feel led to do, and follow jesus around.
one of the things that's important to us is not to deny that we're plain ol' broken human beings, but to embrace our brokenness and goofiness and sadness and hopes, and keep reminding each other that god is in the middle of all of it. it's sweet. there's no "when i'm at journey" vs. "when i'm not at church." i just got tired of being two or three or ten different people. this is me. jesus puts up with me. i can put up with myself.

most days.

nonprofitprophet said...

ok homey, whats up? who is pushing your buttons?? remember what I always said about prison? Be a good place if it wasn't for the people!
reminds me of a farside cartoon - God as a Chef holding the world in his left hand while holding a salt shaker in his right hand. The shaker is labeled "JERKS" and the caption is "just to make things interesting". I'm not so sure you are really railing against nice looking church buildings overall, just the jerks that show up inside, or , um , work inside.

Rick Diamond said...

mostly what i was feeling - and still am - is that it's the institution itself. it needs rules. i guess they all do. i dunno. it just bothers me. it's not even that the church has all these rules and it's not congruent with what jesus was about - that's just the icing on the cake of crap. it's that people believe that the church is right. and because the church speaks for god, and culture, and all things right and proper, it's hard to get those tapes in people's heads erased.
oh well. job security for me.

nonprofitprophet said...

"Ladies and Gentlemen! In the left corner, weighing in on the side of all points of contention in the New Testament - Saint Paul (aka Saul of Taursus), persecutor of Christians, leader of Roman legions, convert to Christianity, spreader of the Gospel!.
In the right, weighing in on the behalf of PostModernism, Ricky D (aka holy dude), follower of Jesus, pain in the butt to organized religious leaders, and armed with a doctorate degree!"
would make a good celebrity clay-mation death match I think ;)