My father is Church of Christ, so is my grandfather. Growing up we had to go to both Mom’s church (Catholic) and Dad’s church. Well actually, we wanted to go to Mom’s church, but were pretty well forced to go to my father’s one too. If we wanted to do some Youth Activity that was going on at my mom’s church, nope we couldn’t do it; but at dad’s church he was just fine with it. If we wanted to accept Communion in the Catholic church, we weren’t old enough until we reached 18; if we wanted to be baptized in his church, we were ready at 10. He set the rules, and basically they were if we wanted to participate in his church, then more power to us; if we wanted to participate in my mother’s church, we were damned to hell and therefore he wasn’t going to let us have anything to do with it.
We visited Memphis this past weekend. Since next week is Father’s Day, we thought we’d go to church with my grandfather to help him celebrate. My husband and I went with my mom, dad, and grandfather. Now, I’ve pretty well been discontent with my father’s church for a pretty long time, so I take everything that they say with a grain of salt. No point getting worked up over something that I know I can’t change, and since I want to show my support for my grandfather, I go. However, my DH isn’t so forgiving. Him and my dad nearly got in to an argument over the last sermon. I agree with my husband on this.
What was the sermon? Well, about indifference in Christians. According to the perfect preacher, there are three kinds of people: Those who believe in God fervently and follow all the preacher’s steps in showing their support to Him, those who oppose his (preacher’s) views on God, and those who believe his (preacher’s) views but don’t totally embrace it. To follow all the steps, you had to be involved in EVERYTHING. I, on the other hand, believe that God gave us all a set of tools that we were good at. I might be good at one thing while another might be good at another thing. I believe in using our skills to the best of our ability, and focusing on what we are good at, or have a passion for. Dear preacher did not. And it wasn’t so much what he said that ticked us off, it was how arrogantly he said it. How arrogantly he said that if we didn’t do everything he said, then we were going to Hell. I think that’s the buzz phrase in that church. Seems to me every time we go there, they seem to be telling another set of things that would damn us to Hell, like he was the gatekeeper at Heaven.
It is hard for me to understand why my grandfather would want to go to a church like this. Yes, I realize that he sleeps through most of the sermon. But still… I understand why my dad goes there. It just fits him. That church shaped him into who he is now. It shaped him in to the person that thinks that he is the only one right, and everyone else is wrong. His way or the high way. That’s how it was growing up. A steady string of threats to us. Do this or else… do that or else. But I like my husband haven’t figured out why my grandfather. I love my grandfather to death, but I can’t accept his religion. I might go and sit in silence, being indifferent, out of respect for him, but I can’t embrace that church’s teachings.