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The blue pill or the red pill? April 23, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in Uncategorized.

In an over generalized and stereotypical way, I don’t like Church Shopping. I was born into a church and that’s the church I attended until we moved to Knoxville. When we moved to Knoxville, I attended the church closest to us because 1) I could walk to it (my mother is deathly afraid of change, so she didn’t attend) and 2) It had the word “Baptist” in it. As a rule, my upbringing informed me that “Baptist” is a crucial word to attending a church. I stayed with that congregation until my senior year of high school. It was by this time that I was starting to feel uncomfortable there. I wasn’t sure what to do. Can you leave a church? Is that allowed? Without much to-do, I started attending a Presbyterian Church also close to my home. This was because I could 1) Walk to it and 2) attend with some people I knew.
High school graduation and college entrance led to a whole new dilemma. I was moving to a place I didn’t know a thing about. I also didn’t have a car. There was a Free-Will Baptist church down the road in walking distance, but I had also been taught that if the words “free will” are in the name of the church, it negates the goodness of “Baptist.” Thank you, Mamaw Shirley.
So, I made the decision that it was time for me to be open. I would attend any church, regardless of denomination, until I found one. My timid self, only made it to three different congregations. The first one being Grandview Christian Church. I don’t actually remember why I chose to attend Grandview. I think it’s because I thought I would be useful there. This, besides theology, is my top priority with a congregation. I want to be active in the body of Christ.
I joined the congregation in February, officially, and launched headfirst into doing anything and everything I could. This typically meant I was downstairs with the children for 3 ½ years, which I loved. I got to try so many different things, and learned a lot about what I am good at and what I am not good at (keeping on schedule). Meanwhile, my theology and understanding of the Church was changing and growing. By graduation, I firmly planted myself somewhere between Anglican and Orthodox – a long way from fundamentalist evangelical missionary baptist. I never left Grandview, though, because I had also come to the conclusion that it was not my place to leave a congregation where I was needed just because we had some theological differences that I did not consider imperative to our salvation.
Living in Knoxville, my decision to attend St John’s is based soly on the fact that it is the closest Episcopal congregation to me. I want to support my local community. I don’t like everything about it and I sure would prefer to sing with a piano than an organ. I know there are church politics abounding, especially since we’re the cathedral. In the end, you attend where you are suppose to – not where you want to.
Now, I say all this, because of my upcoming (possible) move back to Johnson City. Do I attend the church that I was originally attached to, knowing for a fact that I could useful and my presence would be welcomed, or do I attend the Episcopal church since I am now confirmed into the Anglican Communion and now have an attachment to the liturgy and the sacraments as they are taught.



1. kate5kiwis - April 24, 2008

after twenty years of intense church involvement, Bulldog and i are in (what he calls) DETOX.
like, no church-on-sundays at all. for the last four years.
(our kiddos still go, they like it)

we just hang with friends and talk about our stuff “organically” any time of the day or night over coffee or wine with all the kiddos running around and joining in as they wish.

we’re both really comfortable with that, maybe we’ll come around to church involvement again one day…
i’m just sick of having our lives sucked down the plug hole by other peeps and their agendas/prescriptions on how i should live.

yeah, soz for jumping down your throat: that really pressed my button lol.

oh, in our teenage years Bulldog and i attended an anglican church and both of us are still so drawn to the liturgy. it’s beautiful.

so i say (even though you’ve “known” me for two weeks and what i say shouldn’t mean squat lol) go with what YOU feel, or try each and see what feels right…
mwah X

2. Roland Hulme - April 24, 2008

Isn’t it ridiculous that a single religion (Christianity) stemming from a series of events that occured to a single person (Jesus) have resulted in so many diametrically opposed and contradictory ‘churches’ each teaching different things in ‘his name’?

Personally, I’d become an athiest (I did recently and I’ve never looked back) but as an Anglican of 29 years, who attended a theological college and had an Anglican vicar as my grandfather, I’d definitely suggest the Episcapalion church, as Anglicanism seems purer and more ‘on message’ than the splinter Baptist and Evangelical movements.

3. Amber Lee - April 24, 2008

Kate – I can understand that feeling. Since every culture is different, I don’t think we can get angry at people for not going to a building called a church. St Paul reminded us that what is important is to be involved in the corporate adoration of Christ and to feast and break bread in rememberance of him. We can collect as a group and do that in multiple places 🙂

As a pretty orthodox gal, I choose to believe that the Eucharist blessed by a priest in the apostolic succesion is the best way to go – but I also refuse to say that I have a monopoly on the Truth of Christ!

Roland – I definately think it’s almost congregation by congregation here in the US when it comes to that sort of thing – even in the Episcopal Church. I tended to agree more theologically with my Anglican Church in NZ than I do with my priests at my current location. The church I attended during college I don’t think would label themselves evangelical. The church probably is one of the best congregations I’ve ever seen when it comes to balance and tension when dealing with the multi-facited beliefs of many people.

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