Two days in a row Paul was pulled into a discussion with 2 different people about choosing a church. The first was a co-worker who happens to attend an LCMS church we tried attending. Due to their practices we have chosen not to return. The person he was talking with asked if we had any luck finding another church. This led to a discussion about what we are looking for. What Paul noticed was that the criteria we have for finding a church is very different than the person he spoke with. We are very concerned about what is preached, practiced and confessed by the congregation. The other person was more concerned about finding people his own age and believed that the practice wasn't as important. Since he confessed something different than what the church teaches he is also not as concerned about what they believe.
The conversation today was with an acquaintance over lunch. She asked us about where we attend and what religion we are. We always get these looks when we answer this question. The woman said she wasn't non-denom even though she attends one, but she attends her church because it has a wonderful youth group. She said that this was more important to her.
When did church become about activities? I cannot understand why anyone would want to attend a church when they do not agree with the teachings. Over and over again we have spoken with people who say that it doesn't really matter what the church teaches but it does matter what kind of activity, youth group, "insert a program here" is offered. When did this become the criteria for choosing a church? Both of the people Paul talked with mentioned that the church was too judgmental. What it boiled down to was that it is not the church's place to apply the Law. It's more important how you feel, about being included, and having a good time. It's about inclusiveness. It makes it difficult to talk about this subject when you seem to be speaking different languages.