Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do We Choose Our Church?

Does LZ make a good point? I hate to say it man, but I am not sure if I see this as serious as the Arminian Vs. Calvinistic argument. When I had painfully left my previous church I took about two years off of serious church attendance to decompress. After a while I new it was time for me to go back. I would never grow as a Christian if I stayed on my own being the lone ranger (as we called it back in the day). I visited quite a few churches in that day. Mostly independent non-denominational start-up seeker friendly services. Not quite what I was looking for. They were all good people. People I do believe, at least on a surface level, wanted to know God. Until I remembered visiting this Presbyterian church a number of years ago and kind of liking it. After visiting there a number of times I decided to become a member. The Arminian side of me wants to say I chose the church. It had a lot to offer, good preaching and music, friendly people, etc. But the Calvinistic side says the church chose me. There was a lot of need for me to serve there. They were coming out of a similar situation as my own and were hurting. Just like I was. Perhaps he is right. It isn't so easy that we choose a church. Sometimes we stay when it is difficult because we know over time God will lead us through it. Or the church will eventually seek to exist. Right now, I don't think I could leave my church even if I wanted to. Something would draw me back. Probably the Holy Spirit with the knowledge that a lot of great working is being done in God's name.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:15 AM


Blogger Art said...

Interesting observations. I do believe we have choice but as believers we also have a calling that is difficult to ignore.

7:56 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

I'm not entirely comfortable with the premise of the question. It fails to take into account the enormously relational nature of the assembly. I mean, I choose my friends, but they choose me, too, right? I chose my wife, and she chose me. Is God behind it? I hope so. But still, there's a level of commitment to people (not institutions) that accompanies such a decision. That's why it was so gut-wrenching when I left, and why it was so joyful when I was able to return.

4:37 PM  
Blogger jasdye said...

i think what is more important is that we recognize that we are a vital part of THE church. and that the church is made up of messed up, screwed up people. but we need these people - desperately and badly.

so, for me, going to a specific church is not such a hard deal. 'cuz they're all screwed up.

yep. i got it all figured out.

4:47 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

I think you guys are right. There is more to it than just choosing a church. I think it's just as much an act of God as anything else.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

When I was in London I was essentially "assigned" to a church and it had some astoundingly severe dysfunctions, but I think I learned more about church and about sticking with it then than at any other time. I can be quite fierce about it, actually.

7:32 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Exactly, jenn. When you know you can walk away easily, it creates an entirely different dynamic than if you know you have to make it work. For one, I think it fosters greater humility and patience. Great observation.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you give a little public exposure to two new blogs:

God bless you!

1:48 PM  
Blogger Mad Monk said...

Hey man:

I'm totally not with you most of the time when it comes to religion, but then I read your thoughts on different things and we are kind of similar! What the heck! I have a few Calvanists in my life and for some reason we get along like a house on fire - so there you go.

Anyway, this statement gave me hope this morning when I was reading your blog, which I have been for some time now. "Or the church will eventually seek to exist" - wow!

Have a good one, and take care,


*Long time reader first time poster*

5:46 AM  

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