Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shifting Focus

I was raised in a slightly obscure faith.  One that people may have heard of, but often misunderstand.  Even within that faith, I go to a non traditional church.  I am used to people misunderstanding my church or thinking differently than I do.  And that's OK.

But today, I witnessed something really disappointing.  I walked into my local market (mind you, I live in a community with a church college, and many people are of the same faith) and saw a group of people talking. As I meandered by, I realized that they were talking about the church I attend (I knew this by their mention of people lifting their hands during the service...not a very common thing around here).  The man continued to say that he felt "dirty" attending the service there.

I went on my way, as I only had a quick break to grab some lunch, baby food, and body wash.  As I finished my shopping, I just felt shocked at what I had just heard.  Is it really so bad for people to worship differently than you?  Is it so bad that you truly feel unclean being in a church different than what you are used to?

I just can't help but think that people tend to miss the point.  It's not about having stained glass windows or drums in your sanctuary.  It's not about jewelry or jobs or diet.  It's about God.  If our focus is on something else, we need to take a closer look at what really matters.


  1. I agree that the comments made by the man were distasteful.

    It's not about having stained glass windows or drums in your sanctuary.

    Sadly it shouldn't be about these things but I feel that the church (in general not any specific denomination) is making it more about flash and flare instead of the divine. Churches across the U.S. are hemorrhaging young people and the churches are desperately doing anything and everything to keep their young members.

    Some people want to reach out to the divine but feel that the church gets in the way. The latest poll puts the growing movement of "Nones" (those who don't declare any association with a religious establishment) at 19% of U.S. Citizens (of which I am one of the Nones). These Nones still seek out spirituality but without religion. This may not be the case with the man in question but the movement towards God/divine/Allah/Elohim/etc. without religious trappings is a topic which highly interests me. Great post! (oh and stay safe tonight if you go out for Halloween.)

    1. I'm certainly not saying that any one way of worship is right and the others are wrong...I guess that's my point. It's OK for people to do things in different ways. And it definitely isn't about denomination or going to a church building. In either situation (conservative or "flash and flare"), if the focus isn't about God, the focus is misdirected.