fill ‘er up, check the oil, wipe the windows, save your soul?

Reading a recent column by the religion editor in the Charlotte Observer caused me to utter a “hmmph” response. Describing the large number of requests he receives from area newcomers looking for just the right church to attend that would fit their “requirements” I realized just how much “faith institutions” have changed. Statements about expecting a specific dress code for church attendance, day care facilities, music program, social gatherings, family programming, convenient service times, whether bibles are carried by all attendees, integrated congregations, social-action agenda, and of course ‘location-location-location’ caused me to just shake my head. Especially by one person not wanting a church “that is about ‘absolutes’ and being ‘saved’”.

(Jesus H. Christ, they don’t want a church, they need to join the YMCA! But wait, the lead story of the “Carolina Living” section sharing the front page with the religion article was subtitled- “At the Harris YMCA, nearly 26,000 members exercise mind, body and soul” So who needs a church?)

It crossed my mind that churches have gone through the same change as gas stations. Decades ago it was all about the ‘automobile’. You were on the road to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Full service gas stations with mechanics able to repair just about anything were available everywhere. (except on Sundays when most were closed as I recall) If you were lucky they had a Tom’s or Lance cracker dispenser and a Coke machine. But now, walk into the “food mart” at any gas station and you can find almost enough supplies to provision your entire vacation. However, good luck finding someone to check your radiator or wiper-blades. The automobile used to be the “soul” of any trip but now that has shifted to being the driver and care must be taken to service his every need along the way. If the car does happen to break down you can always call AAA for last rites.

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About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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2 Responses to fill ‘er up, check the oil, wipe the windows, save your soul?

  1. cat_wrangler says:

    (smiles and snickers) Humans are such silly creatures. We cluster up in herds with the notion of ‘safety in numbers’ and perhaps that illusion does hold some water. Then we go and make rules and create bureaucracies and in every case I’ve seen, the organization eventually exists for it’s own existence. I may be a feather-wearing, garden variety Pagan, but my Campbellite upbringing (old fashioned Church of Christ, yes indeed) causes me to snort with a momentary sense of pure disgust when humans keep trying to recreate their bureaucracies. Faith is not always a matter of comfort. Bah.
    Your posts are always a very lucid and sensible flash in my days (once I finally log in and slog through my weird ass conspiracy stuff and other perverse things). Have a spiritually uplifting day/week/month/year..or, just get on WinMx and try to download some Happy Goodman Family, Florida Boys, or Edwin Hawkins Singers (my personal fave as far as Christian music goes), and maybe go to the neighbors and slay one of ’em out, kind of like Benny Hinn…Brother Subtlecynic does a mass healing! The lame walk and the dog talks! Hey, I’ll stand up and shout in tongues for you!

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