I went to church today…

Holy Week at Santhome Basilica, Chennai (HDR)

Holy Week at Santhome Basilica, Chennai (HDR) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a while since I walked into a church, today I broke that streak.  My ability to write this blog rules out any indication that I was struck by lightning for walking in those doors.  I also regret to inform my Christian friends eager for me to be born again that that didn’t happen either.  I did enjoy the service very much though and as with any occasion when the person in the pulpit is actually well-educated in scripture in a non-dogmatic way, I learned something and was impressed with his perspective.  The service focused around Paul’s letter to the Philippians and how it was a testament to the importance of prayer.  The pastor wove the necessity of prayer into how it can affect our relationships with other people.  I don’t know if the folks were listening, but he pretty much blasted the notion of self-serving prayer and crisis hotline prayers – this was a very good message!   Naturally, I went on with my day and was looking forward to everyone going to sleep so that I could take the time to read the entire Letter of Paul to the Philippians just so that I could get the complete context – yes, I will always be skeptical of another person’s method of scriptural exegesis.  It is a very short epistle and I will have to admit it is one of Paul’s better writings.  I read it in its entirety in both the KJV and the NIV and was happy to see the pastor didn’t spin it out of context.  This was a nice discovery because my kids really enjoyed the youth activity that was going on while the “big people were in the big room”.

So why did I go to church?’

Well, to be honest my kids need more stuff to do and they have some really good friends that go there and my wife and I figured it would be a good thing for them.  Mind you my wife is about as secular as it gets so if she is telling me we should go to a church, it has to be divine intervention.  The kids had a blast and want to go back so we will.

What happened to me converting to Judaism?

I can’t go through a conversion because I refuse to go into anything halfway.  This means a conversion to really be legit, I would need to go Orthodox.  That kind of thing affects more than just me, it affects the entire family.  And while I thoroughly enjoy Torah study, I do not believe any writings of man to be infallible and I still found a lot of value in the New Testament and it is really hard not to admire the character of Jesus.

So am I a Christian?

If being a Christian means that I revere the character of Jesus, respect his teachings above all others, and believe that by following his example is the manner in which a person can live a moral life – than the answer would be yes.

If being a Christian means that I believe Jesus is God and should be worshiped, and that faith in his death and resurrection will wipe away all my sins and that is all I need to go to heaven – than the answer is no.

My mind is full of ideas for more posts – this may be a busy week here at The Quest so stay tuned.

7 thoughts on “I went to church today…

  1. Funny thing…I think that’s the church we went to in Chennai (not attending service, just looking at) when we were there. Pretty amazing building huh? I wonder how many orphans that would feed. There are only 80 million roaming the streets of India. 😦

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    • The picture is one I found online, so its public domain. I did not post a picture or the name of the church because I am not sure my blog is the kind of advertisement the church probably wants (and I didn’t ask them permission, lol)

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  2. Im not going to lie, when your wife told me that you guys were going to come to church, I was doing the happy dance. When I told the kids, they were too. Reading this, once again, I’m dancing.
    I knew you would go home and analyze the message. I’m glad you did. I have always grown up in churches that suggest that we don’t just take the pastors word for it, but to read the Bible and study it for ourselves. I must admit that I rarely do go home and dive into a deep study. But I often read the surrounding verses to see if it is contextual.
    I knew you wouldn’t be “converting”, but I’m glad that God spoke to you.
    You have to admit, the pastor is pretty funny too. Lol.

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    • Hi Valencia. Thanks for reading and commenting. We all enjoyed it and we plan on going back. For the record – yes, the pastor is funny. It’s always better when you can laugh a little instead of dose off 🙂

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  3. I admire the way you kept your wits still about you, still on a quest for light, wanting the truth. So many people have other agendas now, such as self-promotion and money-making etc. You are a gem, and I pray you never lose your sincerity in the tangles of it all…

    I’m eager to read your next discovery…this is like reading the journal of Christopher Columbus sailing the “ocean blue” in 1492, but a spiritual journey…

    Thank you for writing it down! This will be a wonderful treasure for your children some day!

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    • Thank you Olive for the comment. I’ve never thought of this blog in the context of being a treasure for my kids, I suppose when they are older it very well may be. I am so glad you are enjoying the “journal”.

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