Monday, January 30, 2006

Church: Heather was sick yesterday and Nathan was recovering from the same stomach bug so my friend, BJ and I were on our own for church. We had planned to hit the early service at a church he had visited about a year ago. He said the church was enjoyable and that he would like to check it out again, it sounded like a good plan so we followed through on it even though it was just the two of us. Besides there isn't much else to do at 8:30 on a sunday morning. (There is always the Golden Corral)

I'm going to leave the church nameless because of what I'm about to say about it. Overall I would say it was one of the worst church experiences I've had in my life. During the worship through song I just didn't connect with the style, which is fine, it's not all about music. What was hard was the preaching. The church was charasmatic by name and theology. I knew that going in. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that I was made to feel second class because I am not charasmatic. The kicker is this. As a believer I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the gifts of the spirit...all of them not just the ones that are easy to understand.

In my denomination (C&MA) we are taught to "seek not forbid not" regarding the speaking in tongues issue. I confess now that a few years ago I wondered by I did not have the gift of tongues and prayed that God would give me the gift. For a while this was my prayer but after some I came to the conclusion that God did not desire to give me that gift and I instead felt led to nurture the other gifts that he did give me like preaching and teaching.

So what do I do? I sit in a fellowship of believers that say I am not baptized in the Holy Spirit unless I speak in tongues. They say I'm a skeptic and just don't believe enough but I am a man of great faith so that answer is without merit. So where does that leave me. Well in their eyes and how I'm made to feel while in their church is that I'm second class, I'm a semi-christian. I know but I don't believe.

I know where I stand in God's eyes and I know I am equipped mightly as he calls me to ministries. That's not a source of insecurity at all, but it does bother me that my brothers and sisters would view in that light.

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