Triple Threat: Condemn, Convict, Cleanse

January 17, 2011

Note: I apologize if this blog is subpar. I’m in hellhole Nebraska, kid behind me needs a spanking. I didn’t sleep last night, GPS broken, no atlas, headed into a storm, 14 hours to go.

Mountain View Community Church, Ft. Collins, Colo.

10 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m.

Chosen because…it’s small, my mom considered buying it years ago and I spent many a night jumping off the roof of a neighboring house to hang from a rope swing. Genius, I know.

Warmup

Getting out the door is rough. Mom straightening my clothes, touching my hair, thinks I’ve never dressed myself. Feels like the first day of school. Notice six-inch rip in upper thigh of my leggings. Don’t want to get in a tête-à-tête with mom regarding how hemline dictates whether an outfit requires leggings or tights. Instead, I change my outfit and get in the car. Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitter” playing. I consider feeling bad for agreeing with the following verse, which I love.

“Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding.”

I think better of it, continue thinking of stupid people breeding, figure church will help. Drive up. Sigh of relief. Young couples, families and teenagers walking up the steps. Fine with meeting my neighbor who is young, cool, interesting and sweet.

The Message

I like the message. Condemnation. Conviction. Cleansation (pastor admits to creating this word). We condemn ourselves when we do something wrong, feel unworthy of God’s love or, for us non-believers, the love of others. Rather than confessing, we cover it up or blame someone else.

I feel good. I don’t have an issue with condemnation or conviction. I do not blame others for my issues and confess everything to everyone. I think for a second, realize this is good for me but problematic for others. It damages relationships and, thanks to keypad confessions, has me looking into international journalism law, specifically defamation of character.

The pastor says “confession brings hope.”

I disagree and have another thought. Do I confess my sins to the entire blogosphere because I’m honest or do I do it because it takes the weight of sin off my shoulders and dumps it on someone else? For me, does confession bring hope? No. It begets relief. Something to think about. Hard.

I lose the pastor during cleansation. This is the point where belief collides with lack thereof. Cleansation requires faith in God or Christ. I don’t have it.

The Pews, My God the Pews

Next week I’m strapping a body pillow around my chest and wearing three layers of Depends to prevent pew pain. The pastor mentioned removing ourselves from our flesh. I have difficulty doing this anyway and sitting in a pew with a tense back, bra clasp digging into my spin, butt bones on fire, does not help.

Churchgoers: Why are pews so miserable?

Take Away

I would go back to this church. I liked the people, the size and the message. No donation platters. Pastor referred to judgmental believers as the “so called religious.” Loved that. Was uncomfortable with the baptism of two high school girls who were dunked in a waterhole hidden behind a wooden door. The Baptism, not the church, made me uncomfortable.

I felt better after church and thanks to some divine radio intervention that put Bob Marley in my head, I stopped thinking about stupid people breeding and thought about sunshine, snowboarding and enjoying life.

As BM says:

Most people think great God will come from the skies, take away everything and make everybody feel high. But if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth; and now you see the light.”

Yes, there was an attitude shift after church experience No. 1 but I don’t know what/who was responsible. I can’t relate it to God, but does it really matter what it is if it improves your life?

P.S. The title of my last post was “Though Shalt Not Judge.” I changed it to “Thou.” If you see glaring mistakes, please let me know. I’m a novice.

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10 Responses to “Triple Threat: Condemn, Convict, Cleanse”

  1. Quiara said

    I’d be interested in an exploration of the things (I’m assuming it’s not a simple aquaphobia) bothering to you re: baptism. Also what your understanding of it is bs what the church you attended says it is, etc. I guess I’m intrigued as much by the things you don’t say as by those you do.

    As to the “donation platters”: churches produce no tangible, saleable goods. The donations aren’t meant to guilt people into giving or make visitors feel bad for not contributing. It’s a way of letting the congregation pool resources to support the staff and building they choose rot have/choose to rely on. It’s more pragmatic than most people think –in most churches. Still, I can see why it seems obnoxious to some.

    • thumpme said

      I was impressed by the lack of the donation stuff though they did have a list in terms of money raised. Whatever method they use, I like it. Baptism just freaks me out. I don’t know why. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

  2. christine said

    “only stupid people are breeding”. The truth is that stupid people breed at 12 times the rate of smart people, which is bad enough. SMART PEOPLE, KEEP BREEDING!!! Confessing is like taking personal responsibility for our screw ups, unlike people who watch their big screen TV and smoke dope while collecting welfare because “I ain’t never got a break, man”

  3. absolutely love your comment about the pews. hahaha! reminds me of sitting in church in the small church i went to as a kid. so much better when you are in a padded seat instead. when i was little i used to try to sit all the way back so the curve of the pew forced me to have a weird ‘sit up strait’ kind of posture.

  4. marg said

    You mean there wasn’t some kind of joke/sarcasm/pun intended by using “though” instead of “thou”? :o) I don’t even recall noticing. Then again, I often overlook titles. Not sure why.

    Anyway, I am glad your first experience was good. Sounds like a pretty good church.

    When you write, I wish you would color code when you are being sarcastic. I think I miss a lot of it. :o[ (I wonder what that face is going to look like.) But I guess that might be kind of like having to explain a joke, right? 🙂

    ~marg~

  5. wontyoubemyneighbor said

    “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.”
    Matt 6:5

    While I have no desire to pray standing for the sake of seeming righteous, I do understand the need to stretch the legs! I once heard pews help people stay awake. Hmmm?
    I was glad to see you Sunday and hope your work might bring you to a nearby pew soon. Take care, Ivy.

    • thumpme said

      Thank you. I’ll be back in a pew Sunday. I’m just not sure where. Probably somewhere in the South but I’m headed back to Colorado. I’m taking suggestions…

  6. marg said

    If you are ever in Royce City, TX, you should check out The Quest. I got to experience it a few months ago and it is definitely nothing like I’d ever experienced before.

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