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A Granddaughter’s Question

A Friend’s Comment

A Wedding Reception or A Buffet?

Harry Potter, Blue Jays...

I Choose You

Namaste and Luke 7

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The Red Pill Versus The Blue Pill

Rivers of Living Water

Was Jesus A Shaman?

Stepping Out of The Boat...

What Is A “1”?

The Other Choice

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14 Mindfulness Trainings

Native Indian 10 Commandments

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Just 5 Words

Did I Drink The Kool Aid?

A Letter To Friends

Clearing Up Misconceptions

What Is The Mark?

A Mindless Void

A Spiritual Moron

Words In Red - Literal?

I Dreamed A Dream

Be Ye Perfect

Where Do You Get Your Concept of God?

What in Hell Is Going On?

What If I Have It All Wrong


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A Granddaughter’s Question, A Friend’s Comment, A Wedding Reception or a Buffet, and Harry Potter, Blue Jays, a Newsletter from New Mexico, September 9, 2009, and the Number 524

Part 2 - A Friend’s Comment

Welcome to part two of our 4 part series. In this part we are going to focus in on a comment that a friend made to me during a conversation a few weeks ago. He stated that he seemed to be at the point where he really didn’t want to go to church anymore. It seems that after attending church services, his life seemed to be more chaotic and more problems seemed to emerge in his life. Staying home was definitely an option he was considering.”

I want to get this part out of the way immediately. I know what some people would say to my friend. They would suggest that this is an attack of the enemy trying to get him to quit going to church. Bluntly, I am so tired of people blaming everything on the devil. I am amazed at how much interest “Satan” takes in our individual lives, how present Satan is in peoples’ lives while an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God seems to be off somewhere else.

As radical as this will sound to some, maybe this isn’t an attack at all. Perhaps my friend’s soul/spirit is crying out for something more.  Dare I suggest that this is a thousand times more likely to be a wake-up call from God than it is some attack by the “enemy?” It may be wise for my friend to consider that God and/or his spirit/soul is trying to awaken him to the fact that it is time for some major changes to take place in his spiritual journey/walk. His soul is crying out for “something more” and deep down he knows that there is more.

He isn’t alone by the way. According to a Barna poll…


"TREND: Significant increase in out-of-church Christianity"

A nationwide survey conducted by the USA based Barna Research Group indicates that the number of unchurched adults in America continues to grow by nearly a million people annually.

Interestingly, many of these unchurched people are spiritually active. One out of every five reads the Bible in a typical week; six out of ten pray to God each week; and nearly one million unchurched adults tithe their income - that is, donate at least 10% of their annual household revenue to non-profit entities.

The religious media play a part in their spiritual life, too, with four out of ten absorbing Christian content through television, radio, magazines or faith-based websites during a typical month.

In addition, one-quarter of them have conversations with one or more friends who held them accountable for carrying out their faith principles.

Having studied church attendance patterns for more than twenty years, researcher George Barna suggests that the consistent resistance to church life in recent years is indicative of a historic shift in the nation's spiritual vision.

"A large and growing number of Americans who avoid congregational contact are not rejecting Christianity as much as they are shifting how they interact with God and people in a strategic effort to have a more fulfilling spiritual life. This suggests that we are on the precipice of a new era of spiritual experience and expression."

Barna expects the percentage of adults who are unchurched to grow during the coming decade. "However, the emergence of a national body of spiritual leaders who are assisting unchurched people in their quest for spiritual depth through means and relationships that are outside the usual institutional vehicles is significant.

We anticipate substantial growth in the number of people who are not connected to a congregational church but who are committed to God and to their faith."

If I may offer a suggestion as to why this is happening, it would be that a lot of adults are asking the same question my granddaughter asked. They want to experience the mystical, the miraculous and the magical. They want a more fulfilling spiritual life. They want to go on a spiritual adventure or quest and seek the deeper things of the spirit and after a lot of years of “church-hopping” they have discovered that it doesn’t matter which pew you are sitting in… the system is the system and after a few months or a few years you realize that the church you are now in isn’t much different than the church you left.

A lot of Christians are realizing that their lives aren’t really much different than their “pagan” friends and co-workers when you get past the superficial things and start looking at character and quality of life. In fact, what is really disturbing is that some of their “pagan” acquaintances exhibit more “Christ-like” qualities than they and other “believers” do. And if they do a little research and study, they are shocked to find that some of those “pagans” even seem to experience some mystical and miraculous things in their lives. There is “magick” in their lives which of course could be written off as demonic except it seems to produce love and joy and peace.

{Please don’t write me that this is all a distraction by the enemy to keep people from being “saved.” You are entitled to that opinion but I let that one go long ago. If that makes me deceived or a heretic, so be it.}

Going to back to a George Barna poll we read…

"These are people who are less interested in attending church than in being the church," he explained. "We found that there is a significant distinction in the minds of many people between the local church - with a small ‘c’ - and the universal Church - with a capital ‘C’. Revolutionaries tend to be more focused on being the Church, capital C, whether they participate in a congregational church or not."

"A common misconception about revolutionaries," he continued, "is that they are disengaging from God when they leave a local church. We found that while some people leave the local church and fall away from God altogether, there is a much larger segment of Americans who are currently leaving churches precisely because they want more of God in their life but cannot get what they need from a local church. They have decided to get serious about their faith by piecing together a more robust faith experience. Instead of going to church, they have chosen to be the Church, in a way that harkens back to the Church detailed in the Book of Acts."

To some it would be a sad day when someone, i.e. my friend, feels like he doesn’t want to go to church anymore. I, on the other hand, see the possibility that this could be a wonderful season of transition and transformation in my friend’s life. As we read above, people are leaving the church because “THEY WANT MORE OF GOD IN THEIR LIFE BUT CANNOT GET WHAT THEY NEED FROM A LOCAL CHURCH.”

What an amazing statement that is!

Sticking my neck out, I will go so far as to say that many Christians are going to find that to experience more of God is not only going to require them to get out of the current church system but rethink a lot of fundamental doctrines that they have been “immersed” in over the years. I am not suggesting that they need to turn their back on Christianity but I am suggesting that their version of Christianity needs to be redefined and they truly might be amazed at what their new version will look like. 

And that leads us to wedding receptions and buffets.

Part 3 - A Wedding Reception or a Buffet

Part 4 - Harry Potter & Blue Jays...

Part 1 - A Granddaughter’s Question

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