Church today, & lunch with friends afterward.
I'm concerned about the direction of our church & the trend of the preaching.
We chose this church because it, without a doubt, loves Jesus. That is very important to us as many churches these days seem to be losing sight of that. The idea of "inclusion" bothers me. It is essentially saying that there is no sin, no black & white, & to an extent, that God didn't know what he was talking about, & we'll all just do what "feels good" to be our religion. It negates what Jesus did for us.
I'm not an extreme black & white person. Usually in life i see lots of shades of grey, but there IS black & white in the world.
However, our church appears to be erring on the side of exclusion. (We are the "white" all the others are "black.") Our pastor seems to be saying that all the other churches are wrong, in sin/error, & until they change he will not talk to them or take part in any ecumenical activities. This bothers me very much. It seems to me that if other churches are falling into error, we need to be a "light on the mountain," to bring repentance. (However, as many churches as there are here, i cannot believe that all but one has "fallen.") But we cannot be that light if we simply say, "You are wrong, & until you admit it, i will not talk to you." Truth, that IS what our pastor is saying. I've heard enough of his homilies & discussions to know this. And, it seems to me that such a position is dooming our church.
Currently, Duane & i, in our 40s, are the youngest regular attendees there. (No, i'm wrong about that, there is a family that attends regularly. The girls are in their teens.) There are families with children who "belong" to our church, but they attend sporadically, maybe 2 or 3 times a year. It is not my position that we should be all inclusive & seek to preach only what makes us "feel good." That is not the gospel. But i also do not believe we should be so exclusive that we damn ourselves & our message to others before we speak - because of the attitude behind them.
I don't know where this will go. I think Duane's attitude is, "Where else can we go? We'd better just make the best of it." I know there is no perfect church, but i am extremely concerned where this will lead us. And each week it is getting harder for me to make myself go.