Home > Church, Faith, The Life and Times of a Disenfranchised Christian > The Life and Times of a Disenfranchised Christian, volume i

The Life and Times of a Disenfranchised Christian, volume i

Amber and I have been in the Cincinnati area for three years and some months now and we’ve yet to land in a church that we both feel at home in. Someone I heard once spoke of the different denominations and movements and flavors of churches as analogous to the tribes and clans of the Old Testament Jewish nation – you find your place among those who are family, who are like you.

This isn’t a bad comparison if you ask me, especially in the light of the perpetual insider one-upping among Christian organizations and the perennial migration of a large chunk of Christians from one church to another. Perhaps the point isn’t so much who’s most right, or most accurately embodying the commission of Jesus in the world, but who is most like you – first in beliefs of course, but closely second in family resemblance: the language they speak, or the way they minister.

This doesn’t give license to a consumerist what-can-you-do-for me approach to finding a church though. I heard a joke once where a guy gets rescued from a desert island after having been stranded there for years. Before they fly him away he gives them the tour of his island and the creature comforts he’d devised. There’s his home of course, as well as a park and a bowling alley he’d fashioned.

“Over here,” he continues, “is my church.”

“And what’s the building next to it?” One of his rescuers asks.

“That? That’s the church I used to go to.”

We’ve changed quite a bit in our spiritual journey over these last three years – been changed by the journey is probably more accurate. We arrived in Cincinnati with all sorts of high hopes and ambitions about the sort of things we’d do at whatever new church we arrived at, but we discovered the arriving itself to use up all the energy and motivation we had (compounded of course with the arrival of three children right around that same time period). So it’s felt a bit more like the process has happened to us than that we’ve guided it by our choices.

Still, I can’t escape the ways God has been present in our lives in all of this, and I certainly can’t write this season off as a spiritual loss. This is the kind of experience that I expect to appreciate most in retrospect, like junior high (ok maybe that’s a bit cynical 🙂 ). But it does seem like from further down the road the high times tend to seem not so glamorous, and the low times seem much more valuable.

May we have the grace to enjoy the good parts of this and wait for the understanding of the difficult parts.

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