December 14, 2019

Matthew B. Redmond: I Am Not Excited about Church, but…

Matthew blogs at Echoes and Stars.

* * *

Where’d you get them scars?
How blue is your heart?
Is it sad enough to break?
She said, “It’s sad enough to break.”

– Brian Fallon

The two pastors of the church we have been attending, took me to lunch this past week. We talked about a lot of things – fantasy baseball, Presbytery meetings gone awry, bacon, and what was I thinking about the church.

I’ve known one of these pastors for 16 years. This was not an awkward conversation. I felt like I could be gut level with both of them. So, I told them what I was thinking.

We’ve been visiting since the beginning of summer. And to be honest, we’ve missed almost as many Sundays as we’ve made. It’s our first summer since Seminary where we have not “had” to be there. So, if someone in our family was feeling poorly or the Zoo beckoned, we might have skipped. And we went on vacation once.

Summer is also a time when other church members are not around and guest preachers show up. So I told them we were going to stay in visiting mode for a couple more months before pulling the trigger on anything like membership.

And then I told those two pastors some more.

On the way back from the beach a couple of weeks back, Bethany and I reckoned we had three choices in regards to church. We could stay where we are and join the church we have been visiting. We could go back to the church where we thought we would be forever and ever, amen. Or we could start visiting elsewhere.

We were not excited about any of those choices. And I told them this. Yes, those two pastors. Don’t worry, I explained. And they were nothing but understanding and gracious, modeling what they preach.

I cannot think of any scenario in which we would be excited about a church. This is no slight to any ecclesiastical body and I guess a shot across the bow of them all.

After all we’ve been through in the past few years of ministry, being excited about church is impossible. It’s not even on our radar. “Excitement” about joining, getting involved in a small group, giving money, and being expected to serve others in the context of a church might as well be a lottery for which we refuse to even buy a ticket.

And we are OK with that.

Even if we were not, we would not be able to muster the wherewithal to correct the course we are on.

I find myself not only weary but weary of the excitement people have for church. Or their church. Or THE church. (For the record, there are no advertisements for churches with congregants weeping, they all look excited. And pretty.)


So much of that excitement has the feel of those parents who project the image of a perfect family onto everyone else’s facebook page. I’m real glad your 4 year old just found out he is an Eagle Scout while y’all are on your way to your daughter’s Cheerleading (“She made head cheerleader!”) practice, after which you will take a family stroll along a bubbling brook. Our kids are fighting like drunken Nazis and we have homework up to the eaves that neither my wife or I know how to do while the kiddos watch Phineus and Ferb, OK?

That’s probably not fair. You may have very good reasons for being excited about your church. Thought I cannot imagine any longer what they could be.

But I find myself among those who are not excited about church. Number me among those. Number me among those who go because we are hoping for a just a crumb from the table. Number me among those who would feel all that they need from God and his people would be cheapened if we worked up excitement over it.

We know we need it. On another level we want church. But excitement escapes us totally. Everybody wants to sing Chris Tomlin. I just wanna sing the Blues.

I assume we are not alone. I can only assume there are many out there who have not felt anything like excitement for weeks. Or years. You keep going. You keep at it. You taste the bread, the wine, and hope against all hope it will wash away the dregs swimming around in the bottom of your soul.

The problem is excitement is now the gold standard of authentic faith. For all our generation’s longing for authenticity, we have missed like lightning in the night, our obvious neglect of the real thing. Sunday mornings and retreats and camps are now fraught with designs upon our hearts to work up excitement. It’s not real. It disappears quicker than the toys my kids cry for at the dollar store.

There is good news for all of us, though. For all the calls in the New Testament to praise God and worship him, there are no calls for excitement.

Pastors and the other excited people are always saying they are excited about what God is going to do among their people. Well, what if he pulls an Ananias and Saphira on your congregation? Would you be excited if he made your congregation like the one in Corinth? Heck, would you be “excited” if he started taking you through unreal suffering for the faith like they went through in the book of Hebrews?

Right now, there are Christians in Middle East being crucified for their faith. No really, they are literally being hung on crosses. Are their pastors excited about what God is doing among them?

I am not excited. I am terrified and worried and restless and broke. Emotionally and financially. I don’t even tell my wife the horrors stories of the church anymore because I’m afraid of pushing her over the brink.

I am not excited. I am frustrated and exhausted and just wanna lie down with Sam Adams and Billie Holiday.

I am not excited. Sometimes I want to openly weep for myself and everyone else’s dreams that have crashed like my mason jar on our driveway yesterday, into a million pieces. I’ll be finding those dashed dreams….those pieces of glass for a while now.

I am not excited.

But there is a slight hum of hope in the background. Though the din of this life rings loud and clear – and in stereo – the hope is constantly humming behind it all. I’m not excited about the church but one of those two pastors said this past Sunday, “there is a hope that is deeper than what we are seeing and feeling.”

I heard, “there is hope in Someone and that hope is far too profound for excitement.”

Comments

  1. Let me tell you about an experience I had “with chruch”. I was lying in ICU at Fairfax INOVA Hospital and a non-denom pastor who was a chaplin asked if I wanted a visit from a chaplin. I said yes.

    We talked and he asked, “What faith am I?” and I told him “I don’t know..about 5 years ago I would have consdiered myself evangelcial but life threw me some wrenches…” He asked if I wanted to talk and I told him about some of my doubts.

    In return he stood bedside and told me about his own doubts with God. And gave some practical loving advice about dealing with the issue of evil which I am still chewing on.

    He told me of his disapointments with God, and some of the issues in his family. A Disabled child, raising one with a leanring disability, etc…

    He talked about how he became disabled while being an Army Chaplin deployed abroad. He briefly told me of his deployments to Panama in 1989, and Middle East. He was raw and loving.

    His openness about pain, suffering, and doubt deeply impressed me. And best of all I didn’t feel like I had to say “OH PRAISE THE LORD GOD IS SOVEREIGN!!” clap my hands and sing my lungs out to the latest Hillsong or Matt redman song. Instead someone shared their problems, difficulties and doubts…and I felt I could connect.

    Oh…if only church was like that chaplin viist in the hospital I would be first in line.

    • Eagle: thanks for that. I’m a full time hospital chaplain on a unit among the sick and dying everyday. I think I’m the kind of chaplain you spoke of, I hope so, I want to be.

      • If you are like that Chaplin…I commend you for your pressing through that challenging work situation, and the grace and love you show. My hat’s off to you sir! 🙂 The last week in the hospital I was on the oncology floor. Every kind of cancer imaginable…at night I could hear people in the next room struggle to breath. It was painful, labored, and loud.

        I never want to see a hospital again. But folks like you and CM I think very highly of.

    • So glad you are back Eagle!
      I can never forget the University Chaplain in my day when I expressed the doubt I was experiencing. He said ‘wrestle your faith top the ground’ and was not horrified.
      He was a great encouragement to me. And he was (and is) of the evangelical persuasion. It was people like him that demonstrated a different, more robust Christian faith.

      How are you?

      Ken

      • Recovering at home. I spent over 3 weeks in the hospital in August. I’m still on an IV taking penicillan (when this is all done I can hit the bars and go wild on the town!! 😛 ) and I’m recovering. I have a lot to think about it life, between the grace and love people showed me to how this infection went. Some of the treating physcians and nurses told me it was on of the worst leg infections they saw, and that I was lucky that I didn’t lose my leg. So I have a lot to think about…. I am anzious to get back to work, gym, life, social activities with friends, etc..

        Right now even as I type with an IV in my arm I’m grateful for this moment. My Dad’s MRI scan in California was clear for his brain tumor. The treatment for him is working, and I am grateful for that. I have a lot on my mind Ken, and I’m thinking a lot about life.

    • Mike L Harreld says

      As a Hospital Chaplain, I am thrilled to hear of the honesty of this Chaplain, bringing real life and God to you. I was paralyzed 26 years ago but yet still struggle with the reality of life in so many areas including and not including my disability. It is what I like about chaplaincy. REAL LIFE

  2. Definition of church: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may be really excited.”

    No, wait. that’s not it.
    It’s “…that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

  3. Pascal Boyer (in “Religion Explained”) calls this the “tragedy of the theologian”–that religion can either be interesting (think Jack Schaap giving his “shaft” sermon), or it can be standardized (as in the larger, “franchise” churches), but it cannot be both.

  4. Church, isn’t that supposed to be the body of Christ?

    So yeah, I’m not to excited about “going to church”.

    But we are the Body. We are not supposed to tell each other that “I don’t need you.”

    We are supposed to be the Body. United. Together. In Christ.

    When one part hurts the other should hurt too.

    But yeah, agree with your non-excitement about “church”.

  5. Wow….well written, articulate story…..and one that makes me feel sad.

    Maybe I have never had this experience because I am NOT a professional Christian (any sort of pastor or theolgian) , or maybe it is because I am part of a Church that totally accepts, even embraces suffering.

    I hope our friend finds the Lord’s mojo soon!

  6. Matt,

    I have been where you are, and I understand.

  7. Matthew, excellent, honest post. I too ran out of excitement big time. I began my scarey journey in the “evangelical wilderness” and part of that journey was finding this website thereby finding I was not alone. And God put a book in my hands that helped tremendously. It is “The Spirituality of the Cross”. For the first time I was introduced to the fact that there are two distinct theologies. The theology of triumphalism and the theology of the cross. I never knew. It explained so much to me of what I had believed and why. But once the bottom fell out of my life my theology of triumphalism failed me and I felt like I was totally adrift. And I felt guilty, ashamed for not being triumphant. I talked with a pastor friend who had recently lost his wife. He kept saying that he would “have the victory over this grief”. Privately I asked him to please explain what he meant by that. He could not – he just kept proclaiming it. He died of a broken heart not too long after our conversation.

    Now that I have my new understanding of Jesus, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, I feel like I have put down roots. Like I am home somehow. Yes, the church in the U.S. has failed. It has failed because of its skewed entertainment-centered “worship”. All the hype, glitz, lights, camera, action. But there are some out there that have truly kept the faith. Don’t give up your search.

    • “The Spirituality of the Cross” had a remarkable impact on me, too. It was like a big weight was removed from my shoulders and it gave me a sense of holy relief. It helped me enter a season of just “being’ with God, just quietly worshiping. I don’t have to do/be/feel everything – it’s wonderful. Highly recommended.

  8. Such true thoughts. At least, I’m glad I’m not the only one with these thoughts.

  9. Wonderfully transparent. After being horribly burned at a church, my wife and I visited several places, attended a small church over an hour from home for about a year, then decided to become a part of the church I grew up in…without even visiting. I forewarned her that it wasn’t exciting, wasn’t happy-clappy, and was just kind of normal, in a lot of ways. The body there doesn’t often latch onto trends, though they do have a service with contemporary music. They don’t do huge outreaches. They aren’t experiencing a growth spurt. It’s United Methodist, so the pastor is moved frequently, and we get some good ones, and some really bad ones, and truly only one dynamic one in the past 40 years.

    The selling point for us was that it’s a place where we feel safe. It’s okay if we occasionally miss a Sunday, or don’t raise hands during worship, or if our kids behave like drunken Nazis (love that statement, and completely relate) on the back row. Oh, and even though they have asked me to take on some small role in the church, I can sit on the back row. In the megachurch where I began ministry, the rule was “leaders lead from the front. Sit on the front row, and teach the back-row Baptists how to worship.”

    We love our little church. We laugh at its quirks, and enjoy its people. People dote on our kids, even when they dump their crackers all over the floor and stomp them before we can intervene. It’s a good place to be. We feel rested after we attend a service, even if parts of it wouldn’t make the cut at our local “relevant” churches. And we feel safe. And that really matters to us.

    • David Cornwell says

      Exactly! The “exciting” churches depress me when I visit them. I’m too old to dance to their empty, loud, stimulating music, or to enjoy their cheerleader sermons.

  10. Thank you for being so honest.

  11. The church is where we go to get what we need.

    We need to hear the Word and to receive the sacraments.

    It’s also good for us to be with and comfort and encourage and laugh with and cry with other believers.

    __

    This life is a veil of tears and it doesn’t end well. But we have a sure Hope in Christ Jesus who has forgiven our sins and will raise us from the dead.

  12. i’ve long since wondered why “church” in and of itself is something to get cranked up for and committed to. More often than not, the things that excite me are creation, music, good conversation with good food and beer, and the Gospel.

    If the church wants to gather around these things and celebrate, I could see myself getting excited. But it would not be an excitement “about church.” So yeah, I hear you loud and clear.

  13. I was just pondering this morning something along these lines. Thank you for this. I’ve got a bit more grit in my grace and prefer to walk honestly and authenticly, I’ve never been able to help it. I wear my heart, my faith, my smile, my doubts, my anger, and my struggle on my sleeve.

  14. Anthony Nonymous says

    As someone recently observed (I have forgotten whom), in worship, the audience is not the church congregation–the Lord God is the audience. Perhaps we would do better worrying less about whether or not we are excited or amused or interested by the proceedings, and more about whether God was at all interested or excited about it–it is entirely likely that then, “church” might indeed become the sort of place that people would “get excited” about,. though one might hope for a slightly higher order of response than mere excitement–“transcendent awestruck trembling shouting joy” might be a good place to start.

    • Sort of brings to mind the gamut of phrases used to describe God’s reception of worship. From “a pleasing aroma to the Lord,” to “I hate, I despise your religious feasts…”

  15. I am excited about the UM Church that we attend in Indianapolis. A year ago, I retired after serving as a UM pastor, so my wife and I began looking for a church–a new experience for us. The attendance there has been declining for years, but new families with young children are attending and becoming members. Many would find the worship “boring” with no really big “Wow” experiences, unless you count connecting with God, which happens for me each Sunday. This past week, I was nearly in tears, which is somewhat rare for me, as I mouthed the words of the Communion liturgy as the pastors shared them. We have two female and one male pastor, all solid preachers. The church reaches out to the community in service. We have come to feel that the people there really care for one another. So, I am excited about being there for worship each week!

  16. I have to thank IM for what I have learned, although that knowledge has taken the exitement out of ‘church’. Still trying to get a grip on my faith, but I have learned that much of our church service has nothing to do with the Gospel. I sit near the back and wonder how we got to another sermon on ‘biblical principles for your finances’ or how a sermon on a minor prophet is all about leadership qualities.
    I realize that much of the ‘excitement’ comes from all the ‘God wants you to have …’ sermons, almost a mob mentality. I keep listening for Christ and the cross, maybe the next sermon series.

  17. I’m a 100% full-on Christian, but I can’t step through a church door at the present. I just can’t abide by the programs, church building funds extravaganzas, the don’t question ‘cuz you’re causing distention and, btw, do not touch the head of God’s anointed..and…and…and…the excitement factor is just another in a long list of my saying, ‘what am I doing here?’

    Granted, I came out of a church that was hyper controlling, so it is heartening to see some of the responses (thank you, Eagle, Et al.)–that there are Pastor’s who share personal and spiritual truths, don’t shake their heads or feel threatened with questions, and talk with a person, not at them.

    I want to be more like Jesus and act more like Jesus the best I can and not mindlessly succumb to someone else’s interpretation of what that should look like. It feels like if there is a limbo, I’m in it. BUT, I still believe and have hope. Desert time, I guess. Thanks for the post, Matt. It helped.

  18. Thank you! We’re ‘church hunting’ and quite frankly I’m tired of the hype. Where is the ‘make it your goal to live a quiet life’ or ‘be still and know that I am God’ in all the noise and pursuit of an emotional experience. Excitement doesn’t do any good if it doesn’t mature into discipline and consistency.
    .

  19. Good, honest article.

    This Sunday, the worship leader interrupted the service to share his thoughts on worship (every time a worship leader feels the need to “share” – i.e. “preach with out a pastoral call nor authority – I want to run for the door). He shared that we are commanded to worship, and singing God’s praises is an act of obedience. On a Sunday when I was already struggling, this guy turned worship into an act of legalism. I’ve heard this message many times before – mostly in my Pentecostal days.

    There is a grain of truth to this message. Our worship should be an expression of who God is and not of how we feel. It’s difficult to adequately express the words from Hebrews regarding those are rewarded who diligently seek God. Perhaps the average Chris Tomlin song performed to sound like ColdPlay just doesn’t express that diligence or desperation found in the psalms of David (as a deer in the desert dying of dehydration, so I long for God to break through the pain and nonsense).

    I don’t know. Worship which finds its validity in excitement has probably abandoned the truth behind the words of scripture which we claim to be the basis for our worship. This happened in the the post-peitism days of Schleiermacher. Given the level of pragmatism in the average evangelical/megachurch sermon, I tend to think this is the heart of the problem. Pragmatism is an inadequate substitute for truth.

    • Dumb Ox,

      “Our worship should be an expression of who God is and not of how we feel.” –

      I’ve been ill today, a quiet and slow day of resting and laundry from a good long camping weekend. No big revelations, no miracles, or breakthroughs……I was making dinner – a very average dinner of spaghetti and breadsticks – and suddenly I’m struck by His presence in the very ordinary and I lift my face to my cupboard doors and say (in my heart,) “Thank You Jesus!”

      I have no idea why your comment made me feel like sharing, but it did so here I am 🙂

  20. Matt – I hope you find somewhere you can call ‘home’ soon but I can relate to much of what you say and sometimes I think it is good to keep your distance.
    In my early 20s I worked for a big international city church that was ‘exciting’. I only worked there a year but when I resigned I took a whole year off church; I just had had enough of all the hype and spiritual manipulation.
    Then I spent about 3 years just paddling in the shallow end of church life before feeling it was time to join in as a committed member.
    I am grateful for the churches that allowed me to recover in such a gentle and non judgemental way. When I came back to church I knew exactly why I was returning and I wanted to but I am glad I had given myself the time and space to work it out.

  21. Matt Redmond isn’t excited about church. We know this because he said it over…and over…again. This post could have been one sentence long and he would have said all that he wanted to say.

    That he is not excited comes as no surprise since many people, even Christians aren’t excited about church. (To tell the truth, I’m a pastor and I’m not excited much of the time.)

    He’s not alone in failing to be excited yet he writes as if this is some profound discovery on his part. As if he is imparting some unique wisdom to us.

    But he fails to tell us this: What should we seek instead of excitement? How do we find that which we are supposed to seek instead of excitement? He even fails to tell us exactly why he isn’t excited (although he does allude to it a few times) and he fails to tell us what we ought to do about it.

    Maybe it was somewhere toward the end that he said these things, but I don’t know, my eyes glazed over after the sixth or seventh time he used the words “excited” and “excitement” and their cognates.

    • “What should we seek instead of excitement?” How about the preaching of the Gospel, the preaching of the Word
      (Jesus), not law, law, law and more law.

      • Wout:

        I’m with you but shouldn’t he have said that in the post and pointed us to Jesus instead of droning on about how he’s “not excited” about the church?

        And he seems to remove this as an option when he implies that the church is done for. He even says that he cannot fathom why anyone would be excited about their church. He does not seem to allow that Jesus could even show up much less make people excited if he did.

        • Michael, people in the “wilderness” find themselves at some dry places. Matt’s post reflected that. He hinted at “answers” when he talked about there being something more profound than “excitement.”

          But not every post is required to resolve a problem. That, in fact, IMO, is one of the problems with American Christianity, especially of the evangelical variety. We are threatened when people are wandering and can’t imagine that anyone can be in a good place with God unless they are doubt-free and enthusiastic about the path they’re on.

          • THIS. I’m over being offered “solutions” that imply, if not outright promise, all my problems can be fixed.

            Best line: Everybody wants to sing Chris Tomlin. I just wanna sing the Blues.

          • Spot on CM. I liked the way you responded to Michael, I thought he was a grump. “We are threatened when people are wandering and can’t imagine that anyone can be in a good place with God unless they are doubt-free and enthusiastic about the path they’re on.”

          • Chaplain Mike:

            I see your point. I think my response has less to do with my evangelical Christianity than it has to do with my personality. I mean, I’m reading this blog and have for years so obviously there’s something here that speaks to where I’m at, too.

            But this blog has never descended into whining and that’s how this piece struck me. I, too have been in the wilderness and in some dry places, so I know full well the difficulties (and my original comment alludes to this). I was not threatened by it nor am I saying that everyone should be doubt-free (I’m not) and enthusiastic (I said in my comment that I’m not) so that part or your reply speaks past me rather than to me.

            I wasn’t looking for an easy answer nor was I looking for a resolution as you state but this post was an exercise in navel-gazing rather than a real wrestling with one’s spiritual state and, for this reader at least, it read as a declaration of despair rather than a true cry of hope and longing. As such, it reinforced the worst part of my own spiritual weakness rather than allowing me to relate and then encouraging me in the midst of it as this blog usually does.

          • Gail: I am often a grump (and I can totally see how it came off that way) and when I am a grump I need to be called on it. Thank you.

          • I am very grumpy & sad right now, my Mom died last Thursday so I just blurted what came to mind… Lord Bless You Michael.

          • Oh hun. Thats terrible 🙁 hugs for you. (Gail I meant)

          • So very sorry, Gail, grace and peace to you.

          • Chaplain Mike, Michael, Gail,
            You all just encouraged me by the way you handled your conversation with each other!
            Mary

  22. Matthew, I’m with you bro… I’m not excited anymore either – especially considering the big picture – there’s too much corruption – I believe there’s hope, only in Jesus, but the church in america needs to spend more time in sad, heart-rending, beg-for-mercy, humility and repentance rather than “excitement” I’ve been listening to a sermon series on the minor prophets and what God had to say to a people who thought they were ‘good’ christians but were far from Him… It makes me tremble because if the church doesn’t turn from this self-centered path of shallow hype, entertainment, busyness, feel-good-excitement….I don’t know what’s in store, but I tremble… it’s not going to be exciting in a fun way and it’s not going to be a triumphal rapture either – at least not before some serious purifying.

  23. A great post and some honest comments. As a former non-denom missionary-now-at-home, I have ran the whole nine yards of church experience in my 56 yrs. With loads of dissappointments, hurts, and you nameits. Yet something within propels me on… BTW, I love my Charismatic Episcopal Church, even though we have a book study at a local pub.

  24. One more Mike says

    Well done piece Matthew. I guess I have another blog to follow, like your stuff over there too.

  25. Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

    This is a very thought-provoking article. In fact, I read it yesterday and refrained from commenting at the time because I wanted to think about it. Mostly, I wanted to figure out why I usually *am* excited to go to Church. Or at least reasonably so, for me. I mean, I tend to be pretty level most of the time and not demonstratively excitable in general, so this is all relative.

    But I do sincerely look forward to going to church most of the time. It’s certainly not about our programs, which are almost non-existent. It’s not about our music or liturgy, both of which would better be described as “functional” than “spectacular” (by which I mean, that they serve their purpose in the worship service, but aren’t professionally slick designed for entertainment). It’s not about our Sunday school, which is usually well-taught, but I often skip it. It’s not about our sermons, which are solid, albeit a little longish, but rarely memorable. While there are people I really care about at church, my closest friends don’t attend with me; given the option I’d choose to hang with the latter rather than the former. All that is to say that it’s certainly nowhere near a perfect parish. There’s a lot I’d change if I were given a magic wand and absolute veto power.

    So, why do I get excited about going to church? Or if not excited, at least generally look forward to it? I seriously don’t know for certain. The best I can figure is that I like worshiping God with these folks in this way, in spite of (or maybe somewhat because of) its relative simplicity and lack of “big-show”-ness.

  26. I go to church because it feels most nearly like having a bad sunburn reversed. I think most of us have a fairly thin line between emotional stress and physical pain after a while, and I don’t realize how much of that stuff is sitting on my chest until I walk into worship. Life is chaotic and exhausting, and I can’t get out from under the weariness on my own. At this point, church is helping, and I’m grateful.

    Reminds me of the Screwtape Letters, where CS Lewis writes about death; how it feels like coming inside after a day of chilling rain, and peeling off one’s clothes, and sliding into a bath.

  27. I’m not responding to the article so much, but something about the Chris Tomlin line made me feel like giving a plug for the music director at my current church, Mark Peterson. He has released a few albums, and I enjoy sing his biblically saturated songs each week. He may be worth checking out if anyone’s interested he, I believe his website (markpeterson.com.au) lets you preview tracks. For a point of reference some of my favourites are The Day Will Come, Never to Hunger, Our Glorious King and In the Name of Love.

  28. Last time I was excited about church was a looong time ago, when I was a teenager.
    No matter what church I tried to be a part of, it was impossible because I am the wrong kind of person.
    I am an “other”, even an enemy……I definitely do not belong.
    I could never be or become who christians want me to be.

    It took me many years to admit to myself that I shouldn`t be where I am unwelcome, including in church.
    Hoping for just “a crumb from the table”, as Matthew Redmond says, is not a healthy state of mind.
    I did this too much and too long.

    And I have grieved over the sickness of western christian church, particularly American church, even before I finally left it.
    Yet, I am happy for all christians who have found a home in church. They do exist.

    Healing for me will only come in the next, the eternal, life. In the meantime, Creator Jesus is daily tending to my wounds and scars. He has always been by my side.