The other day we were in the car and Big Kid suddenly said, "Why don't we go to church?"
A feeling of guilt, and I hate to admit it, dread, crept in.
"Church? What made you think of that?"
"I dest wanna go to church is all."
"Oh. Okay. We can do that. Why do you want to go to church?"
"So I can judge people."
"So I can judge if people are bad or good."
"Wait...what? What are you talking about?"
"Church is where you go to judge people and decide if they are bad or good."
"No, it's not. It's not supposed to be like that. Church is where you go to worship God."
"Worship God. That's what you do there."
"Whore ship bogs? What?"
"Wor-ship God. You know, appreciate and celebrate God."
"Pod? Who is Pod?"
"God, Big Kid. God. G-O-D, God!"
"Oh God! Is God the judge?"
"Well, yeah. But church isn't really about judging people."
"Mom, church is where you go to decide who is guilty and who is innocent."
"Wait--are you thinking of 'court'?"
"No. Church. You know, where the judge is and where people go to decide who is guilty and who is innocent. Church."
"You mean court. You're talking about people breaking laws? Needing lawyers and going to jail and stuff?"
"Yes, but that's church, mom. My teacher said."
"No, babe, really it's not. That's court. Court and church are entirely separate."
"Can we go to court then?"
"I'd rather not."
"Please! I'll give you a dollar! Pleeeeeeeeeeease take me to court, mom, please! I promise to be good, please, please, please take me to court."
"Uh, okay. One day we'll go to court, I guess."
Sounds almost as fun as church.
Sounds like he's been to church with my grandmother. She likes to judge.
Taken out of context, "Pleeeeeeeeeeeease take me to court" is REALLY funny.
honestly, lmao on this one. BK is right on the money.
You could go and sit in on traffic court one day for 30 minutes or an hour. He'd probably love it. Luckily, when I had to go to traffic court, the judge was SO FUNNY and kept making everyone roar with laughter with his comments and interaction with people. People are walking in and out of there as their cases are called up and closed, so you could leave when you want.
Unfortunately, Big Kid is right about church. Most young people these days see folks who go to church as judges who would rather condemn than love (which is what we're actually called to do).
As a pastor, his words break my heart but also ring so true. This Sunday I'm preaching on "Rethink Church" (the new United Methodist campaign to get people (UM's and others) to do church differently...the way Jesus actally meant for the church to act). I'm going to use Big Kid's story (thanks for the sermon help!) to enlighten folks to what we as the church are showing this world. And soon, hopefully, when Big Kid talks about church he won't talk about judges.
The Methodist church is the only one we've been too where we felt truly comfortable. The Baptists were nice, but way too concerned about the saving of my soul and everyone doing things the way they've decided is right. Also, VERY political, and I absolutely do not approve of that and don't want to hear it for one second.
I do think the reputation of Christianity is suffering lately and would love to see people worry more about what Jesus endorsed--to love each other, help each other, be good people and live the best life you can. I find myself feeling conflicted about the whole Jesus side of things and then realize there's nothing to feel conflicted about, I like the message...it's the way the whole thing is often presented that turns me off.
With that being said, I am going to take Big Kid back to the Methodist church to see what he thinks. I couldn't have formed my sense of spirituality without any church guidance, and I do think he needs that exposure so he can make his decisions regarding what he believes.
And let's face it, little kid could use some fear of God ;-)
Thanks for your comment, made me re-think the whole kids and church thing and recall that there is a lot of good to be had there too and it can be what you make it.
I wish comments could be edited, typos being recorded for posterity just kills me.
There's that saying, "I love Jesus, but hate his fan club."
Not that I hate anyone. And I love church, I love the fellowship and crying like a moron when "Shout to the Lord" is sung. I just wish I could find a place that "fit" me. I loved the people at the Baptist church I was going to with the boyfriend's mom, but when my study group leader told the story of how his son wanted to help his friend start a gay support group and he told him no because "We don't condone that" and then went into how homosexuals don't have lasting relationships because it's all about sex to them... Yea. Not the place for me.
Just gimme a place that's focused on love, tolerant of other's beliefs, without all the hatred and judgement.
I'm also a UM clergywoman. I loved this story, although like a previous comment-er, it breaks my heart. I hope you can find a church that will embody the openness and love that "church" is supposed to have.
PS - "Whore ship bogs?" and "Pod" made my day.
I'm still laughing. Even made my husband read this--and he cracked up. I'm voting this as my favorite post ever, Ashley--I mean---"Pod, who is Pod?" That is too funny.
Ashley, I hope you do venture to the Methodist church again sometime. And I hope you find one that truly does have open hearts, open minds, and open doors. There are many of us who are trying to live the life God has called us too...and eventually we'll drag the rest along with us!
Also, don't think I'm not excited about saying "Whore ship bogs" in worship on Sunday. :)
Gretchen made her husband read this also.
S'Funny that a pastor frequents a blog with 'weiner gobbling' in the title.
Slack, that is awesome. I feel blessed to have brought such a term to your congregation, LOL.
Dowlan, we apparently have at least 2. I'm shocked and impressed as well. I think this qualifies as proof that I am NOT evil (or I am and it's their duty to keep an eye on me...)
That's so funny!
I read it to my husband & he was cracking up. I love the "Pod? Who is Pod?", hilarious!
I have been to many, many different churches, and two "varieties" have made me feel welcome. First, the Methodists, with their love everyone style. Second, Grapevine churches are pretty non-denominational and very musical. Good luck finding a court and a church that you can bear for the sake of the kids. :)
I loved this post and the comments. Makes me want to be a Methodist.
I go to court every day . . . he would probably enjoy church more!
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