Tag Archives: religion

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… PRAY

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I’m not the most religious person as much as I’m spiritual.  I say prayers of gratitude, prayers for forgiveness, prayers for others, but seldom prayers for myself. Philippeans 2.3 says Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  I’ve been unemployed, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been depressed, yet and still I just don’t pray for myself.  And to be perfrctly honest, I don’t like to.

Maybe I don’t feel worthy? All the perils of the world, does He really need to bother with my life.  Perhaps its not that  I don’t feel worthy as much as I always feel I got this.  That He would never give me anything I can’t handle.  I would always joke God has a spam folder, filled with nonsensical prayers like passing a test, sports victories, R Kelly’s Gospel album and anything Eddie Long has to say.  I would think I’m inbox worthy, I just want health and satisfaction, that’s slight work.

Maybe I don’t like feeling smallPrayer is humbling.  Theres a cognitive dissonance in knowing that there is a power much greater than my own action and to my first point, feeling like “I got this”.  There’s also the fact its easier to pray for others because its easier to see themselves as needing it than looking in the mirror and accepting that you yourself need that same compassion. 

Maybe I don’t want to be disappointeda little over 5 years ago, I left my mother and prayed that she would recover.  She would pass the next morning and days later I would sit in a church and listen to how she’s somewhere far better than here.  Why pray for good health when this world is only temporary anyway (like literally 100 years tops, climate change is a myth tho)

In spite of this I don’t feel its selfish to pray for self.  We all need love, compassion, peace.  I had a discussion with a friend and she made the point that Spirituality starts with self – if you yourself cannot humble yourself to God, you cannot really help others in the truest sense. Having compassion for yourself allows you to extend compassion to others.  I’m blessed to be in a better position than others but that doesn’t exempt me from needing guidance and serenity that I hope for others.  So, maybe I should work on that.

#LettucePrey.

-Stan-

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Filed under Religion, Simply Stan