A Lament Over The Thoroughly Modern (and completely uninquisitive) Church

Only answers from the front

Or queries insincere at best.

Declarations need (want) to blunt

Honest, open, wandering quests

for truth – questions.


Only answers from the front:

Outlined charts and sermons, lest

The holy hunger that we want (need)

To fill disturb our Sunday rest.


Answers from you

And from the pew.

How will we ever

Learn anything new?

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9 Responses to A Lament Over The Thoroughly Modern (and completely uninquisitive) Church

  1. Sister says:

    Did you write this in your brown journal during church today?

  2. Joel says:

    Is it that we need to learn new things, or learn old things that are new to us?

    I have been toying with the idea that if God is infinite, we can teach over the same concept perpetually and never one come to a comprehensive understanding; that is, we will always learn something new. A church could, in theory, teach on the Trinity for a decade and learn something new with every lesson (not advising a church does that…).

    It would seem that we in the modern church and even postmodern church are deathly afraid of the infinite. The modern hides this fear by bringing up mundane and repeatable lessons. The postmodern church hides their fear of the infinite by creating new theology that they admit will be old and out of date within the next few years, at which point they can create something new all over again; but the pattern remains the same.

    It seems what we need is to relearn the old faith.

    Speaking anecdotally, when I committed this past year to spend everyday for 6 months reading 1 chapter from one of the Church Fathers, I grew more than I ever had before. I mean that in both an intellectual and spiritual sense (I see the both as related) – if our churches were to commit to such a challenge, I can only imagine the outcome.

    • In answer to your question: the latter. But I think it might have been rhetorical.
      Yes, yes, the old is absolutely crucial. I’ve been reading some of the church fathers as well (Ignatius and Polycarp, among others). And the depth of their musings, and their undimmed devotion to the Gospel is a foreign tongue compared to the church world I generally find (and that’s a critique upon myself as much as any other). I just need less dogged, thoughtless certainty from those who attempt to teach, and more exploration, depth, and honesty.

  3. W3irdo says:

    I agree on some points. The average church member only comes to the main service and only on Sundays. And you’re absolutely right. They get a prepared speech that lasts x amount of time and quite often seems to be message #42 in the cycling stack. With the casseroles in the oven at home and people meeting others at certain restaurants at certain times, it’s like the pastor is expected to make the point and make it by 12:00 (or whatever time the church typically lets out). It kills me to hear my pastor say things like, “I know it’s getting late. I won’t keep you much longer.” Why does it matter how long we’re there? Aren’t we there to listen to the Spirit and seek His face? But we don’t spend time in church listening. There can’t be any “down time” when we just sit and wait on the Lord.

    Now, one thing I’ll say about my church is that our pastor will really try to listen to the Spirit’s leading as to if and when to begin his sermons. Sometimes we’ll sing four songs and then he’ll go up to preach. Sometimes we’ll do 5 songs, and then he’ll tell everyone to just wait on the Lord for a few more minutes. Of course our song leader usually jumps in and starts singing after 30 seconds of that, but we sometimes will spend an extra 30 minutes singing and praying over people’s needs.

    The other thing I thought about the “only answers” is that sermons have no interaction, and the typical person does not learn well by simply listening to someone talk. While the “preaching” method is good sometimes, a good teacher will involve the class in the learning. It’s hard to listen to someone talk for 10 minutes straight, much less 25-45 minutes. I often zone out without realizing it and only walk away with a few of the main points. It would help if people could ask questions sometimes so that there could be more clear understanding. My pastor uses the King Jimmy version and speaks very quickly so I know many people get lost in his words sometimes.

    So what’s your plan to change this?

  4. Kelly says:

    I just want to say how thoroughly encouraged I am at the future of Christianity (the real kind that I thought was almost extinct) by reading this poem, by reading your blog. 🙂 It makes me smile and gives me hope for my children who are rising up just behind you. 🙂 Press on!

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