Day 2 (a little late)

There have been lots of questions about what church I am going to attend and I love this question.  To me people are interested but they are interested because they want to compare.  I think that the church I chose will make it easier for someone to say “oh well we wouldn’t act like that” if things don’t go well and conversely to be able to say ” our church is just like that” if things go well (which I am sure they will).

My ex-husband’s first question was if I would be going back to LDS Church since that is my most recent history.  No.  I do not think that would really be a new experience nor would it be in the spirit of the request.  I thought about going to a Catholic church since that is where Lent originates from and I did have an invite but again not really in the spirit of the request.

So I am going to be going to a non-denominational church in a school!* I actually think this is perfect. I have always laughed and made snide comments about church in a school. I mean couldn’t they get their own building? Geez. Isn’t God important enough for you to get your own building?  I called the members “Blue Jean Christians” simply because many would wear regular street clothes including jeans to services and no one cared.  Growing up I always wore dresses to church and when I was attending LDS Church I wore skirts.  None of them were ever made of denim.  If your God is so important why can’t you take the time to dress up? Couldn’t you just stay home and read the bible to your family in your jammies? Why even bother?  Even as an Atheist I thought it was disrespectful.  Would you visit the President while wearing jeans?  I wouldn’t. So why visit your God’s house in jeans?

I realize that this is pretty closed minded and the other side is why should God care about what you are wearing or where you are worshipping. So I am pretty excited to see how this whole “church in a school on a Sunday” works and to see if it really has the “churchy” feeling I am expecting or if I feel like I am back at high school having an assembly with the people from Young Life (though I am not expecting any brick breaking).

I was able to get some additional information about my new temporary church yesterday when I met (for the first time) the person I am going to go with.  I met up with her at her house yesterday and she was a great host and a mom to twin daughters and a son.  We were able to chat like moms do while our kids played together.  She is very active in the church and has bible study at her house on Saturdays; she is also her church’s Communications Director (which I think means she helps with advertising the church to the public- I will have to ask her when I see her again).

Wait What? You have never met her before but are going to church with her?


Yes.  We may live in the same small town shop at the same grocery stores and eat at the same fast food places but we had never met before.  We were social media friends (Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook).  When I got the suggestion to do this I immediately knew I would ask her.  We have only been Facebook friends for a short time and on twitter the majority of my posts are about soccer.  Foursquare just confirmed that we were never in the same place at the same time but we both spent too much time at Wal Mart.  So basically I knew she didn’t have too many preconceived ideas about me and she had just publicly asked people to come to church with her the week before so I took that as a kind of general request.  Granted I think she was looking for something a little different but hey it still worked.

Another reason is she is a journalist herself so I figured the idea would be intriguing enough to her it might calm any fears about an atheist infiltrating her church (my words not hers).  I sent her a quick (ok long) message on Facebook explaining what I was doing and asked her if she would take me to church with her. She replied yes with no questions.  That’s faith right there.

________________________________________________________
* I will name the church later if 1. they don’t mind being named and 2. I decide I feel comfortable giving up my location to the entire internet.

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14 thoughts on “Day 2 (a little late)

  1. I wore jeans to church. It was a “come as you are” environment. Their mission statement was, “Attract, accept, change, send”, which is so contradictory (accept and change? Um…). They wanted it to be a comfortable environment as to not scare off us lowly heathens who might wander in from the dark. And it was comfortable, and inviting. And I liked that it was okay to wear jeans there because I hate dressing up. But I do understand your thoughts on it. I can see it both ways: God loves us regardless of how we dress, but also we show respect by dressing nicely when we go to church. I mean, xians, not me. Obviously.

    I like that you mentioned that even as an atheist you found it disrespectful. It’s like how I see parodies of the Lord’s Prayer as being disrespectful toward their religion. Is it a holy book or not? If it’s holy and sacred and the word of your god, then why are you making a spoof about it? I mean, yeah, I made a parody of it about Zach buying me scrapbooking supplies, but I’m an atheist and disrespecting the Bible is what I do.

  2. I’ve always had a hard time with people thinking they have to dress up for church. I don’t get how it’s an issue of respect at all. That’s totally a cultural thing. Culture says that wearing nice clothes is respectful, it’s not in the Bible. I am glad that my church doesn’t care what we wear, but I respect churches that to want you to dress up. But anyone that tries to tell you it’s Christian or un-Christian to dress up or not is just. plain. wrong. If you want to dress up, it’s a personal choice. I just choose not to label it as Christian or not. It’s neither of the two since Jesus says to come as you are. He doesn’t say to stay that way, but He doesn’t care about the outside, he cares about your heart. You can be the best dressed person at “church” but if your heart is ugly it doesn’t really matter.

  3. I agree that it is disrespectful not to dress your best when going to church. It is no different then showing respect for others. By taking the time to shower, shave and press my best suit I am showing you that, yes, you are worth the effort. It doesn’t mean that you have to spend money you don’t have to buy overpriced fashions of the week. It just means take the time and effort to look your best. It may not be fair or politically correct, but people do and will always judge us on our appearance. How I dress when I am out with someone not only affects how others view me, but them as well. My suit and tie may not be in fashion, or brand new but I always wear it when going out with others. A sign of respect not only for them, but also for myself.

  4. Steven, dressing respectfully is cultural too and suits in church is definitely not a global thing. I am just saying that Jesus doesn’t care what you wear. Wearing a suit to church doesn’t impress him. Yes, be respectful. However it’s our culture that even says a suit is respectful or dressy, not Jesus. Jesus never wore a suit. That’s not to say you should wear inappropriate clothing to church because the Bible does talk about modesty, but I am positive that I am not disrespectful when I wear jeans to church or when my pastor does. I’ve been to a Christian church in Ireland, England and Japan and they all dressed different. There is no ONE way to dress to go to church. Just my two cents…

  5. I am not saying it has to be a suit. Just your best. Just showing “god’ and others that you care enough to take the time to dress appropriately. Going from working on your car to walking into church without even washing your hands shows that it is not important to you. I have seen that happen on several occasions. Yes, a part of it is a cultural thing. But that is more a comment on the decline of civilization. If I can’t wear jeans on the golf course, what makes it appropriate to wear in church.

  6. I guess I’ve never seen anyone do that, but I get what you are saying. For some jeans are their best. For me, I am lucky to get out the door without kids snot on me. 🙂

  7. The “church” is NOT the building – be it a school, a shack or a tent. Jesus said to follow Him, he didnt add a dress code! Jesus walked with sinners, the poor, the hungry, as well as the rich, I, sure blue jeans are just fine with HIm. No offense, but maybe you ought to read up on the Bible BEFORE you embark on this ridiculous journey.

    • Many churches and people actually agree with me. Catholics do not wear jeans to church nor do they attend church in a school, Mormons definitely do not wear jeans to church and despite not having enough buildings to house all their members they do not go to church in anything but their own churches.
      If Jesus just said to follow him is just worshipping at home acceptable also? Can you guide me to where in the bible it talks about places of worship or anything of the like?

      (tone cannot be expressed on the internet so I want to clarify that I am asking out of genuine curiosity not to be snide)

      • I wear jeans to church pretty regular. But it’s what I own. I do dress up some times. I like dresses, but I also like being warm and in winter, skirts just do not cut it. I think two things: “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1st Sam 16:7) It’s probably a matter of upbringing/local culture too. I didn’t grow up with people who dressed up a lot – and personally find it disingenuous for someone to dress up if their own attitudes are ‘ugly’ inside. Isn’t it neat how we are different?

        As for place of worship, it’s not about the building, it’s about the people who meet together. In the New Testament the believers met in homes, outside, in the temple, in on the road… So yes, one could worship God at home. But to fully experience all that God made the church to be, one has to meet/work together with/mutually encourage other believers on a regular basis. The apostle Paul likens it to a body – all the parts have to work together – I can’t go walking if my feet decide to stay at home! And like wise, if my feet stay at home they cannot experience the world that only the “body” can take them to, if that make sense.

        Hebrews says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:24-25)
        And Paul wrote, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. ” (Romans 12:4-5)

  8. Hi Dy-Anne, I am really enjoying your thoughts and your bold journey. It’s all very interesting. As one who is a Christian, but with a lot of dear Athiest friends in my life, I love when people are open to exploring! My friends and I will get lots of discussion out of this blog, I am sure. 🙂

    On the dress thing, I think your points are valid. I, for one, do wear jeans to church. I I usually “dress it up” a little–nice shoes, nice top, but for me it’s not really about respect or disrespect. I go to a church that reaches out to the very poor in my community, and I work with several “social programs” like food pantry and such. Several times I have invited or brought people from the community to church and time and again, clothing is an issue for many of them, they feel uncomfortable because they don’t have nice things to wear. Some have refused to come because of it. One came in jeans and a casual shirt and left, feeling uncomfortable and out of place. I would rather put them at ease by wearing jeans than create an issue that keeps someone out of church just because of what they wear. I believe that God get it, knows my heart toward him and that it’s ok, and I think, as I look at Jesus and how he lived his time on Earth, I think he would have done the same.

    However I do think you make a valid point about reverence in general, in that I think a lot of Christians have gotten very comfortable with the idea of God being our “friend,” I think we become very casual about what it means to interact with and relate to a holy God. Reverence is a lost art. I wish in some regards that some churches had more sense of reverence that one finds in some other churches like the Catholic church. It’s one aspect that I see waning and wish we would find some balance in that area.

    Regarding your questions about places of worship: I think if you look at places like the Book of Acts and the letters following it written by Paul you will see that there are lots of times where churches/bodies of believers met in places other than the temple, which was the official place of worship at the time. They especially met in houses.

    What you asked about is just following Jesus at home, I think a lot of people would say yes. But I’m not sure. I think there is an element of faith that is lived out in community, in the company and presence of others, so I think meeting together is important, but following Jesus at home would still be the primary source of my faith. I get something very beneficial both spiritually and emotionally out of being with other believers, but it isn’t (and shouldn’t be) my only place that I worship God.

    Just my take on your questions. Hope they make sense. Of course I’m just one, with a lot of questions of my own, and lots of people feel differently than I do.

  9. There is a difference between the doctrine of a church, and its dogma. Just because the Catholic church or Morman church or the church of whats happening now choose to dress up, doesn’t make them any better then any any other Christian church.

    James 2:1–4
    2 My brothers,1 wshow no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

    there are many such references in the bible on the subject of dress, ( 1Timothy 2:8-19 or 1Peter 2:3-4 among others) As long as your butt is covered and you boobs are not hanging out…your good to go

    Heb 10:25
    “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near”
    (many references on this as well)

    you could certainly have church in your living room if you choose, but why would you want to. I love going to church and being around people who believe as I do, have questions I have answered, hang out with people who encourage me not only in day to day life, but in growing my faith.

    Matt 18:20
    “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” God doesn’t just show up Sunday morning because there is a big cross or sigh on the building that says CHURCH! He is everywhere.

  10. Pingback: Lent and Hypocrisy – Day 5 | A Temporary Christian

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