Friday, February 20, 2015

A Missing Jesus

My parents started attending the neighborhood church because, like many parents in the 1950s, they believed their children  needed some sort of religious foundation. They had both walked away from their Christian Science upbringings, and loosely  self-identified as Protestants.

They moved to Terra Linda (a subsection of San Rafael, CA) in the mid-50s, just before my sister's birth. Still post-WWII, the suburban community lay in its infancy when my parents made a $1,000 down-payment on their then newly built house. Around that time, the residents established a community church. Soon afterward, that church affiliated with a liberal branch of the Presbyterian denomination and named itself Christ Presbyterian Church.

As a young teen, I participated actively in Christ Presbyterian's Youth Group, and sometimes drove my power wheelchair to Sunday morning services. At around the same time that I went through confirmation classes to become a member, the Lord brought Christians into my life who taught me the Biblical Gospel. Not long after my conversion experience, He made it painfully evident that Christ Presbyterian neither believed God's Word nor understood Jesus. I left.

If you asked me what Christ Presbyterian believed back then, I'd say that they mostly promoted social reform. Even my mom, a life-long Democrat with an abiding contempt for Ronald Regan, felt that the church emphasized politics more than it should have (thus the reason I took myself to church in  my power chair). I remember very little preaching about any of the foundational doctrines...except the sermon about it not mattering whether Christ rose from the dead literally or figuratively. I left on Easter Sunday, 1975 because of that sermon.

Today, I explored the church's website. They have a woman pastor now who blogs about some vague spirituality, but rarely mentions either the Bible or Jesus. In two places, the website "proudly" (their word) proclaims support of LGBTQ members, including ordination and same sex marriage. Their mission work has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with proclaiming the Gospel, but instead focuses on humanitarian aid.

I found no doctrinal statement.

Granted, I didn't seriously expect to find that my childhood church had miraculously come to repentance. I just wondered how it talks about the Lord. Part of me thinks I should listen to some of "Pastor" Linda's sermons, but I pretty much already know they won't center around Christ.

When a church abandons doctrine, it has nothing to offer. I grieve that this church, which gave me my first Bible at the end of third grade Sunday School, shows such little concern for Scripture. I pray that evangelical churches, as they begin to minimize doctrine in favor of "social justice" won't make the same mistake.
My eyes shed streams of tears,
    because people do not keep your law. ~~Psalm 119:136

1 comment:

  1. The falling away that the Apostle Paul warned us about is in full swing, isn't it


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