Monday, August 10, 2015

Wandering in Church Wasteland


I've reached that point. I'm wandering in fellowship wasteland that appears to have no end in sight.

This does not mean that I have no contact with other believers. I see Christian folks here and there throughout the week. However, this usually just amounts to quick conversations about the basics of life that are no different from what non-Christians discuss. As for real fellowship, I'm seeking it but not finding it. "Wandering in wasteland" may seem like more than a little hyperbole, but it's not. I want to share life with other believers, but it is nearly impossible (or so it seems) to find others who desire to follow the biblical model.

You may be right in the middle of this same wasteland. Or, you may have been there in the past. It is not pleasant. When we look in scripture, especially at the one another passages, we see that we need each other for spiritual growth. Mutual edification is difficult to come by when there's nobody there to be mutual with.

I long to be part of a family/community of Christ-followers where everyone is active and everyone is needed. It's an odd thing to know what you want and to think that it is what God wants for you, but not to be able to take part in it.

I realize that this could be in large part my fault. Maybe I'm being too selective. Maybe my family should just go to a worship service, seeking fellowship there. Maybe we ought to visit with some sort of preexisting small group/life group from a large church. However, when I look in scripture I don't see any of these things.

I haven't yet given up hope. However, I also don't see anything positive on the horizon. To continue with this post's metaphor, I see no oasis in sight. Rather, it's just more large sand dunes in every direction.

For now I'll just keep on wandering.

14 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

If you see a second set of footprints in the sand, those don't belong to Jesus, they are my footprints.

Eric said...

Arthur,

I almost didn't use that particular photo just because it reminded me of the "Footprints" poem. I wondered if anyone else would think the same.

Kevin said...

John the Baptist lived in the desert, and look how people flocked to him.

Eric said...

Kevin,

He did. Maybe I need to dress and eat differently like John did, too.

Unknown said...

I too am Wandering in the Wilderness with an additional bigger concern. I find that as I interface with my institutional friends I find it hard to find folks who are passionate followers of Jesus and want to live in Him 24/7 and be held mutually accountable. I find many fans but very few followers.Gus Supan

Aussie John said...

Eric,

Join the crew. There are a lot of people in the same boat.

Eric said...

Gus,

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I agree with what you've said here. Much of the lack of passion has to do with the passivity that institutional Christianity breeds. With the "expert clergymen" doing all the important religious stuff, the people just sit in the pews and watch. This stifles vitality and excitement. A simpler model that stresses every member involvement is key.

Eric said...

John,

Too bad we live so far apart.

Peter Horvatin said...

Eric,

I think that the fellowship that you seek at the current time can be found in the encouraging responses that you receive from your simple church folks responses on your blog. You can count on me to be a person who will encourage you and build you up and be a listening ear. I too am in the desert wandering and wish that there were more who would truly seek the New Testament Way. I meet for Bible study with a group every other week. However, they know how I feel about how we should meet as a body of believers, but continue to meet in an institutional church setting. From my studies, tradition is a sacred cow and is not easily slaughtered. If you feel the need to shoot me an email, please do so! My email is peterhorvatin3@gmail.com

Sincerely
A Disciple of Jesus
Pete Horvatin

Eric said...

Peter,

Thank you very much. The blogging really does help. The discussions are the best part for certain. And thank you for being a listening ear; I enjoy your comments. I may just take you up on your offer.

Norm M. said...

Eric,

I'm struggling through the same thing right now. I don't have a solution, but I've found that it's better to be a free wanderer than a slave to a religious corporation.

Eric said...

Thank you Norm. I concur. While the wandering is unpleasant, the alternative would be even worse. I certainly do not have any quick answers. A short-term "solution" such as meeting with a pre-existing small group would probably end up leading to more problems than solutions (such as eventual pressure to attend the big worship service or divisive discussions over why we don't do the whole institutional thing). The last thing I want to do is cause problems for others. Therefore, we will continue to wander and hope for something better.

Unknown said...

Reading these posts helps. It makes me know I'm not alone. (Gus Supan)

Eric said...

Gus,

I you are ever driving past Savannah or stopping in please email me.