I am my favorite subject.

Last Sunday we spent the morning talking about ourselves.

Over coffee and bagels we told stories about the churches we’ve attended.  We talked  about the good things, bad things, right things, and wrong things they taught us.  With neither fear nor judgment, we delved into the past.

After all, how can we know where we’re going if we haven’t explored where we’ve been?

Stories were told.  We giggled and cringed, sighed and cried at the journey that has brought us each to CCfB.  But time was short and the janitor needed to put up the tables, so we packed our boxes and left before there was really time to finish.

But maybe this is a good forum to continue the discussion.  If you couldn’t be with us on Sunday – or even if you were at CCfB and would like to reflect a little further – share a few sentences of your story with us.  Choose one (or two… or three) of the sentences below and complete it by telling us how the church you were raised in formed your current views about God, yourself, and your world:

My church taught me that God is…

My church taught me that I am…

My church taught me that people are…

if you’d like 5 bonus points, reflect on your answers to the top three questions and use that info to answer: “Because of this, I now need my church to…”


5 Responses to “I am my favorite subject.”

  1. 1 bryancurrie
    June 24, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Ok, I’ll start.

    My church taught me that God wanted to change me. Even though this was taught lovingly (God loves you even though you’re a sinner that needs changing…)*, it still made me feel like his love was dependent on the change. Because of that I now need a church that loves people the way God actually loves people… without conditions.

    *btw… yes, I did intend the dirty diaper allusion. 🙂

  2. 2 Landon Young
    June 26, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Hi everyone!

    God’s love is truly incredible, and he loved us while we where still sinners. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” However, those who know the truth and know the words of the law are called to a higher standard. We are “Christians”, imitators of Christ. We were once in the world and behaved like anyone else, but now we are called to be in the world but NOT OF THE WORLD. We now have the Spirit of the LIVING GOD INSIDE US! It is an unbelievable privilege to be known intimately by the Almighty! We must put off the old self, not meaning the sports hobby, favorite pet, or video games, but meaning the SINFUL ACTS. Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
    God is going to love and yearn for all of humanity to be with him in heaven until the end of the age, but that doesn’t mean that all of humanity will end up there. He is offering eternity in love, but it is our decision whether or not we will humble ourselves and obey him.

    There are endless paths we can take in life, but we are called by the Lord to fallow a narrow path. Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. God does not ensure an easy path, a fun path, or a safe path. We live a life of faith. Not a life exactly the way you would want to live it, but the life that God calls us to, and we cant deny it or take our own bends on what he says. The word is the law, and that is exactly what it is. We need to view it that way and see that the punishment for disobedience is death. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We cannot live a life in disobedience because of this grace, though. Our goal is “to live justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with our God to be more and more like Christ.

    I need a church that loves people like God loves people… without conditions, but I also need a church that holds members accountable like God and one that punishes like God. If I am in the wrong, I want a church that tells me.
    Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

    The church should exemplify love, hope, grace, peace, joy, self control, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, kindness, and goodness.

    Love you all

  3. 3 Amanda
    June 29, 2009 at 6:53 am

    I was there Sunday, but didn’t talk, since my relationship to the church can historically be tagged, “It’s complicated…”

    Basically, my church taught me that people were flawed and hopeless, and ought to be ashamed: that suffering was the result of these imperfections, and that to regret or mourn or feel compassion for suffering was subversive — it was calling into question God’s plan and God’s justice to ask why a child died of cancer or suicide or AIDS. My church taught that you weren’t to feel proud of yourself, because you were pathetic and despicable in and of yourself, and you weren’t to feel sorry for yourself, because you deserved much worse than you got.

    Because of this, I need a church that affirms — repeatedly, passionately, unequivocally affirms — how deeply and unreservedly and intimately God knows and loves each of His children. I need a church that takes to its heart the sufferings of the individuals around it and that, as part of its mission, looks for ways to ease that suffering, holding up a mirror to God’s children and showing them how God sees them. Because I don’t think that my church’s shortcomings were of the “hypocritical, judgmental Christian” type. I feel that our neighborhoods and city and world is populated by people who have been treated as though they are nothing, as though they are inadequate. I need a church that is actively looking for ways to share with those outside the church how deeply they are loved and how infinitely they are valued.

  4. 4 JTB
    July 5, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    My church taught me that God is…male.

    My church taught me that I am…not.

    My church taught me that people are…”spiritual equals” but this doesn’t mean they have to be social or legal equals, even in the church.

    Because of this, I now need my church to…”get right church, and let’s go home” (surely someone will recognize this reference…fellow Harding alums…???)

    I know these statements don’t nearly match the eloquence of those above. Wow. We need to get you folks on the preaching rotation. Don’t think I’m joking either.

  5. July 5, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    My church taught me that God is vengeful, and that my purpose as a Christian is simply to bring others to know and agree with our very narrow view of God. A God who feels that everyone is not created equal, that certain relationships are more holy than others, that heaven is small and has room for only a few of us there.

    My church taught me that I am only as good as the number of people I bring to this narrow view. And that there is only a place for me in this tiny heaven if I can sway people to this way, regardless of harmful it may be for them. And really, my church taught me that there was really no room there for me.

    Because of this, I need my church to open to everyone without condition. For there to be room for disagreement and discussion and change. To provide a place of rest for those who have been left outside.

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Welcome to the Christ's Church for Brooklyn blog. We are a loving community of believers who seek to be the hands and feet of Christ, in service to our neighbors in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and beyond.
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