Tag Archives: christianity

Today’s Word is… CHURCH

[Editor’s Note: a throwback…for context.  It’s funny looking at things you wrote years ago and seeing how much you’ve (not) changed…anyway…enjoy]

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So usually my Sundays go like this, I hop up out the bed; turn my swag on, feed Brady, go for a run, come back, shower, breakfast (you should eat before you work out…look I don’t need that now).  Over breakfast, I’ll check emails and messages, and when I check in with people, its usually the same…

“I’m about to go to church”

Or…

“I’m about to hop on this Madden”

It’s pretty much split between the gender lines, women are do it for the Christ, men ain’t gon do it.  I consider myself a God fearing man, I read the Bible occasionally, I’ve come a ways since I told you my struggles with faith well over a year ago.  Yet I still don’t make it to church, I mean I have my excuses

1. Hello i clearly said I ran in the morning, Jesus be a recovery.
2. I’m a Christian in a conservative catholic town, and if I go into the city on a Sunday morning its probably for my favorite Jazz brunch.
3. Fantasy football.

In this year of our lord 2014, They stream sermons, I know preachers with podcasts, my heathenism is inexcusable.  Nor is it for most men. Studies show 31% of men don’t attend church, like ever compared about 59% of women who attend at least one service a week or going by my contacts 87%.  They too probably have their reasons

1. Work
2. Don’t wanna be hypocrites (my favorite #cmonson excuse, the club full of hypocrites too)
3. They weren’t raised that way
4. Fantasy Football

But wait, none of those reasons are male centered, women work out, play fantasy football and lord do they love some brunch, so what makes them more able to go to church while men chill.  You’d think the large number of women would be enough to compel men to go, find God’s match for you (c) Christian Mingle.  I would say women are more likely to go to church because

1. More apt to submission (no hotep)…to Gods will
2. Safe community
3. Support system

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There’s a vulnerability to church that not a lot of men accept.  You work under someone’s else’s supervision all week, to pay other people.  To add to it you are to spend another day sacrificing your free time under yet another dominion.  You can’t not work, you can’t not pay your bills, skipping church, there’s no immediate consequence.  Religion breeds accountability that men and women both struggle with, men all the more stubborn.  Most of us start off in the church with our families, some of us go back with families of our own, its that middle period that most men just don’t bother.  However it’s perhaps the most important time.

Men lack camaderie and support in their 20s-30s.  We lack humility.  Not to say this can’t be found outside of church but its also somewhere to start.  I could lie and say I’ll be there Sunday (most likely I’ll be eating waffles and writing next weeks post…God ain’t thru with me yet…yes I’m going just use that copout after I wrote this whole post).  I will say the primary reason men aren’t in church is that men aren’t in church.  Too often the men we see in church are broken or exploitative and we don’t want to associate ourselves with either.  We rather cultivate our own relationship with God alone, where no one else can see.  And really, there’s nothing wrong with that.  It would be nice if everyone could convene and worship together but whether its in the tabernacle or at my kitchen table, the message is still being delivered.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FAITH

Perhaps the most personal/emo post I’ll ever write, but I must warn you:

I know religion is a touchy subject…apologies if I offend

My grandfather is an ordained minister, my grandmother was raised in the south with deep Christian roots, they raised my father to be a strong, God-fearing man.  My mother was also a devout Christian and she and my father raised us the same.  Over time, our church attending waned, to the point that I honestly don’t remember the last time I attended a church service (actually I do but it was so long ago it’s better to say I don’t remember).  My personal relationship with God is…different.  I believe in God, yet my faith isn’t what it was.  I feel my analytic side hinders my spiritual growth, I question, I doubt, yet I’m humble enough to know I do not fully understand.  I understand the purpose of church and religion, I respect its role especially in creating the moral fabric of a family.  However, I simply lack that connection that others have, I wish I could say I had a deep personal and spiritual connection with God but I do not.  I honestly envy those that do, I used to feel that way, what happened? We were so close before…

As a child I had a deep connection with God, I prayed every night, attended bible camps at the park, never even so much said a curse word.  It made me feel secure, no matter what happened I knew he was there.  Things got rocky, divorce, my older brother leaves with my father, who then proceeds to have two more sons, I’m suddenly the man of the house.  I told you before, about my growing identity crisis trying to balance being book smart and street smart, I’m more lost and confused as ever, but He was there.  I pushed through.

High school, rough but I made it through, the hood even rougher same results.  I’m an adult now and for the first time I’m introduced to debt,  I have no idea how to pay for school, take care of myself. Socially I’m losing friends and girlfriends I’m feeling dark feelings I never experienced before, I reach out to Him, I no longer feel that same security.  I feel more alone than ever, but I accept the adversity but things continue to pile on.  Forced to take a break from school, can’t find any employment, my mother is diagnosed with cancer, she can’t take care of me she needs someone to care for her.  I have to be the man again.  I need help, I need guidance, I reach out to Him, I no longer feel the security.  She passes, and now I feel anger towards him, I understand that everything happens for a reason but I struggle to find any justification.  Time passes, I try to re-establish relationship,  I pray, I read, it doesn’t feel the same.

So here I am.  I’m not as cynical as I may have been 2-3 years ago but I’m not as blindly secure as I once was.  I think in a way it’s what works for me, I look at someone like “Miss” who has an admirable personal relationship with enormous faith and that’s great, but then I look at others who never set foot in a church outside of a wedding/funeral and they have their own faith.  Even writing this post I feel much better about myself and my faith .  Maybe I’m simply too strong willed, inquisitive and emotional to ever have the connection “Miss” or other family members have? Maybe I still have have some work to do? He knows, I don’t, I guess that’s just his plan…or is it?

-Stan-

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