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thoughts and feels and thoughts and feels
lucypevensie
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A Brief Defense of Organized Religion

Organized religion: ideally, a community of believers and family to hold each other up when they need to be held. One of the most central functions of organized religion is to practice a liturgy. I once read the liturgy described as a sort of leveler: "Lift up your hearts - we lift them up to the Lord"... there is no choice about it: you lift up your heart whether your heart feels like being lifted or not. And that is it... that is the point. It takes the subjectivity out of the practice of your faith. You will worship no matter how you're feeling at the moment, whether you're mad at God or tired or whiny or you just don't feel like it. People are counting on you. People are expecting you. And if you're ashamed of what the churchladies think of you... what must God think of you?

Comments

Oo, I like that. Succinct, yet... well-written. Lovely. :)

I find it screamingly ironic that you should comment this link to this post. ;) Thanks!

Yes, I hesitated before I sent the message, but then I sent it anyway. :D

::giggles self silly::

This is even less appropriate:

My soul is worth £30265. For peace of mind, 28% of people have a purer soul than me.

http://www.wewantyoursoul.com

I found and read a really good Draco/Harry fic last night, too. It's really interesting, especially if you like the innerworkings of magic, although I kind of got lost sometimes.

Good points. But as important as it is to find a community where you will regularly go to worship, it's important to find the right community. I can become easily jaded to a worshipping experience if I force myself to go into a community that does not inspire me or uplift me. I happen to be in that sort of a situation right now. My father is a minister at a Congregational church (we live right next door to it), and it just so happens that the Congregational denomination in general does not inspire or uplift me, much less this particular church. I can't exactly try other church's in town, because it's a very small town and it would reflect poorly on my father. So I'm just waiting till I move out next year to find that right community. I really do think it's important not to force yourself into going somewhere you don't want to be, and I'm not talking about on a given Sunday, I'm talking about a place you don't want to be at all. It's so important to your own spiritual life to go to a place of worship that feeds into that, not makes you want to turn from it.

As Eddie Izzard says: This is all true.

One must at least give a church a shot (I'm sure you have done this... heh, I'm sure you haven't had much choice in the matter. I have followed my dad through a few that I really couldn't handle... though oddly, there have been as many that I was surprised to like as I was astonished to find I disliked.) And one must be wary of becoming a sort of church connoiseur (Lewis has a bit to say about that. Yes, him again.) But one must also seek spiritual nourishment. In the meantime, I suppose, one does the best one can by oneself.

Oh certainly. My church is FULL of church connoisseurs, people who come only because they've sampled preachers all over and find my father to be the most eloquent or intellectual, etc., that sort of thing. And yes, I've certainly given this church a shot. I attended almost every Sunday for about 7 years, and I'm pretty sure now that it's not working for me. It's just that the spirit is completely dead in my church (I come from a very affluent town, so the people who attend are very wealthy and often jaded and not at all spiritual). It's stifling, and I found myself equating God with the dread that I felt as condenscending eyes perused my clothing or hair or facial expressions. It was only when I realized that this was happening, and I stopped attending church services that I found within myself a spiritual side, and it's really only been this past year since I could honestly say that I believe in God, or at least tend more towards believing in God. I don't intend to remain churchless forever, but it's important to realize that if the church itself is draining all the life out of your spirituality, you need to stop going before it kills that part of you.