Michael Spencer on God ruining church

I’ve long been an avid reader of Internet Monk. Michael’s take on things often leaves me pondering what he has said for several hours after I’ve read his blog. Recently I read a post of his that mentioned Allelon (UPDATE: you can find Michael’s post here). I browsed on over to the site and took a look around. It’s definitely getting added to my bookmarks, even having spent only a relatively short time there I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the missional conversation.

Anyway, I read an article written by Michael for Allelon, and wow – I feel really encouraged by it. I will quote a single paragraph from it, and encourage you to take a detour and read the entire thing, you won’t be wasting your time.

And then there are those of us who, because God has ruined our shopping trip by showing us the good and the not so good in all these stores, are trying to shop in the whole mall and get back home. When God ruined everything for us by showing us the value and the limitations of all the stores, he didn’t give us the gift of feeling great about never really having a “home” of our own.

Do you know that feeling? Denise and I were tearfully talking about it today. It’s grown and grown over our lives. We’ve been Baptist and we are Baptist, but we can’t go all the way with Baptists. We’ve been Calvinists and Presbyterian, but we can’t go all the way. We love the Anglican and Episcopal churches, with their wonderful worship and liturgy. We find ourselves in Catholic churches a couple of times a year, and we’re deeply drawn by what we see, hear and experience, but we can’t go all the way and buy into it. Not with any of them.

Okay, so I quoted two paragraphs. Regardless, those of you who have been reading my blog for a year or two know that Mandy and I often feel this way. We truly feel like we don’t belong within any single church, yet we can’t let go of Jesus. The first paragraph really resonates with me when it says that God never gave us the gift of feeling good about not having a home. It’s so true. It really hurts sometimes. I doubt there will ever be a church (as in denomination) that is a perfect fit for Mandy and I. Sometimes I find myself wishing to just fit into a denomination perfectly just so I can have a place to call home. Yet I can’t, I just can’t go all the way with any denomination. They all have good, and they all have bad. I think it will even be difficult to find a local church that is completely a good fit. But just know that there are others out there who know this feeling is huge encouragement. To know that I walk this road and that others are here to – it is uplifting.

I may not be able to buy into any of these denominations. But I know that I can still love God and serve Him. I’m also beginning to realize that there are plenty of others out there that feel very much like I do. So I raise my glass to the heavens and thank God for small favors and articles written by those who understand.


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