Church Sometimes is Vexing! I’m Vexed!

I went to church again last week.  Church keeps popping up.  I feel like it’s almost becoming a habit.   It’s not that I think church is necessary.  I don’t.  However, I do think that the charismatic churches that we have here in SA can be highly entertaining.  I hadn’t been to one in a couple of years and a friend asked me to go with him.  So, I went.  One sees the sick being healed and there is prophecy and there is praise and worship, which I always enjoy; especially when I recognise the songs. They’re songs at the charismatic churches, rather than hymns.  Although they did sing the chorus of How Great Thou Art, which I always really appreciate because it’s the hymn The Mrs and Daddy and I used to sing when we prayed together in their bedroom.  It was one of Daddy’s favourite hymns.

There was a beautiful presence of The Holy Spirit in the church.  It felt beautiful.  I prayed in tongues, which I haven’t been inspired to do in years.  The Pastor was Afrikaans, so he kept breaking into speaking Afrikaans, but I didn’t mind.  In my favourite Anglican church in Wattville, Ekurhuleni, The Church of the Resurrection, they preach in isiZulu and Sesotho and at least three other of the eleven official languages, as well as English and I don’t mind not understanding at all.  In fact, I prefer it.

At this charismatic church I wished the pastor had stayed speaking in Afrikaans, especially when he said that we should pray for the situation in Gaza.  We should pray for the Jewish people in Jerusalem, he said, because we know that Jesus lived in Jerusalem and Jesus was Jewish, so we should pray for the victory of the Jewish people over the Palestinian people.

You know if it hadn’t been for the peace of God, which was so much upon me, I might have screamed.  WTF?

What was he thinking?  It’s not a soccer match. It’s a long, complex and bitter, and terrible war.  I’m assuming that The Holy Spirit had left his being by then because it’s impossible, is it not, that The Holy Spirit would allow him to make such shallow, ignorant political pronouncements to a church full of a few hundred people.  The Palestinian people deserve death and oppression because Jesus was Jewish?  Really? We should pray for their demise?

How about we pray for peace?  Is he actually encouraging that we be racist and divisive with the direction of our prayers? Is he suggesting that a church full of hundreds of mainly Afrikaans people who barely know, and probably don’t care where Palestine is and who have absolutely no interest in the nature or origin of the fight between Palestine and Israel take a political position on the matter because Jesus was Jewish?

How about we pray for wisdom.  How about we pray for leaders who are willing to talk to one another and find compromise.  How about we pray for all the innocents on both sides who are caught up in the conflict.    How about we pray for human rights and human dignity and freedom and justice and the right to national sovereignty and self-determination?  How about Palestine being recognised as a Sovreign State by the United Nations/United States?  Why would we not pray for that?  No!  This idiot Pastor wants us to pray for Israel’s victory over Palestine because Jesus was Jewish.  Does it get stupider?

Tell us Pastor, please tell us for real –  Is that what Jesus would do?  What Would Jesus Do?

This is why I prefer not to understand what they say, because this is what they do.  They lull you into a sense of comfort with their healing the sick and their praise and worship and their prophecy and their prayer and their compassion; and once they think that you’ve been adequately lobotomised with religion and religious rhetoric they slap in some asinine political contamination which only serves to piss one off thoroughly.  No wonder Karl Marx called religion ‘the opium of the people’.  It spoiled my whole experience of being in church. After that I just wanted to leave.

Many years ago in the church that I regularly attended when I was a serious holy roller the pastor prayed for George W Bush to be successful in his crusade (he used the word ‘crusade’) against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  On that occasion I just got up and walked out of the church.  I was so incensed.  Why would we do that?  Why would we pray for George W Bush?  Was it because he had told the world that he was a Christian?  He probably lied.  What the hell kind of Christian is that uninformed, dumb ass, deceitful, dishonest, greedy, warmongering ‘shrub’ sonofabitch?  The Pastor wanted me to pray for that? I was disgusted.

Why do they bring their politics into the church, anyway?  Especially such shallow, ill informed, ignorant politics.  Stupid politics.  We don’t come to church to hear their dubious views on how to right the world.  They may know a lot about religion and indoctrination, but clearly they know very little about the world.  They claim they are in this world not of this world, so they should shut up about this world and keep their decrees and edicts focused on the world that they are of.

Needless to say I won’t be going back to church for a while.   Let me just hang with God on my own.  I like to hang with God because He doesn’t say moronic things and He makes me laugh when some Pastor has pissed me off, (which happens), and He reminds me that it’s not about the idiot Pastor, it’s about Him and His relationship with me, one-on-one.

God agrees with me that this Pastor is a twit, but He says I should forgive him his trespass.


About Tselane Tambo

I share myself in these desultory ramblings. It’s my thoughts and memories; some anecdotes and opinions. It’s an accidental autobiography. When you’ve meandered through these pages you’ll be within reach of a little piece of me. Thank you for dropping by.
This entry was posted in Nocturnal Ramblings of a Mind Unplugged. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Church Sometimes is Vexing! I’m Vexed!

  1. thembsie says:

    I would be pissed too.

  2. Nhlekza says:

    Man, you’ve got issues. I’m not in support of the pastors and their views, but bra, you’re an openly profane Christian. How does God feel about that? And how can you love God and not love church? Cause if you love the church, you should refrain from publicising your frustrations on a pastor by slandering the whole church.

    You should approach the pastor on things you disagree with, so that if he’s wrong, he stops spreading propaganda and that will edify the church.

    • Oh, grow up, child. God is not the church. Get that? The church is not God. Free your mind, or don’t. I don’t actually care.

      Now, if you have something interesting to say in response to the article, I’ll be interested. an ‘openly profane christian’? LOL! Shocking! God has never heard a profanity, shit, I’ll bet he’s squirming up there in heaven. LOL! Profanity! Blasphemy! OMG! LOL! Judge not least you be judged little one.

  3. kobus says:

    God bless you girl , I am n afrikaans speaking man but believe me you speak the truth. I am also a christian, but church, I don’t know. These days its more of a social club, it is not about God any more.Gods church is unfortuanatly ran by umans, with their uman laws. The only guide you need is the bible, if you can read your bible, you will be on the right you said why not pray for peace. Wish more people would think like you. The christian church has caused more damage to this earth than any other could ever do . God bless you again

  4. Nhlekza says:

    Yo look, you’re missing the point. You claimed to be a lover od God. I didn’t. A God who speaks so heavily about the power of the tongue and how it will be burnt by fire from hell because of its corruption.

    “…the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
    The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6

    So pardon me for judging.

    Nevertheless, I don’t see it as doing you or anyone any good to criticise the church wheras your frustration is with few individuals from a couple of churches. We know churches are messed up out there but not as a fault of the institution of church itself. And the solution is not to stop attending the church.

    What your article is doing is discouraging people from going to church altogether. There are a lot of great churches out there, and only so because they preach the word, nothing subjective and not the weird propaganda you experienced.

    Go find a church elsewhere, for your ministry to grow in character and fruit. Jesus gave his blood for the church. The least you can try initially is to give two hours on a Sunday. We can’t give up on church because it’s troubled. That is not the character of God.

    The church is only as effective as its members, and if passionate people like yourself abandon it, we shouldn’t wonder why some congregations are the way they are. The church needs you as much as you need it to carry out the mission of God as effectively as possible.

    • Ok,well, as you choose. I’m not responsible for ‘the church’. I don’t even know what that means. Which church claims to be ‘the church’. I’m not a member.

      I am a believer in freedom of thought. Freedom of expression. Freedom of opinion, even about your precious church. Do you think people are discouraged from going to church because of that? I don’t. I think that the thing that drives people to go to church and abdicate their ‘freedoms’ is much stronger than my frustrations, which are many, about ‘the church’. So, I shall continue to say what I want until there is no God to protect my right to do so. I have no doubt there are preachers or pastors who will continue to influence people to what I consider to be evil right wing ways of thinking and teach them to hate people of other faiths and to disrespect other religions and to ‘pray’ for one side in a war without giving them any understanding of the situation and without giving them enough knowledge to develop their own informed opinions.

      I learned a long time ago that not all the things that people tell one are true. Not everything that is said from the pulpit is true. The most dangerous, stupid and evil thing that ‘the church’ teaches people is to stop thinking and submit to whatever they’re told. That is how evils like ‘apartheid’ were able to find justification in the minds of people. That’s because people didn’t think. Do you not think that the greatest insult to God would be to be unchallenging of stupid evil ‘men’? The church is run by ‘men’. Do you believe that these men are above ignorance and greed and manipulation? Not if you look at the older churches. Look at the Catholic church, where I grew up. It’s a scandalous institution with a shameful history. Remember the selling of alms? Remember the inquisitions? Remember the crusades? The murderous Borgia’s, the Medici’s of the 15th and 16th centuries. These ancient families produced Popes who were guilty of all kinds of corruption, murder, theft, etc. Do you think any of that has stopped? I don’t. I think it’s the legacy of ‘the church’ and it continues. Much evil has been perpetrated over the centuries in the name of ‘the church’; in the name of religion. None of it has to do with God. All of it has to do with the greed of men and power and control.

      I don’t know why others attend church. I don’t know if other people have a consciousness beyond the feel good of church and the care for their communities, brainwashing of their children all the better to control them.

      I shall continue to say what I want to say. Many will disagree with me. Others will agree with me. I enjoy the discourse. However, I will not be responsible for protecting ‘the church’ or compromising my beliefs in it’s honour. It’s honour has little to do with me.

      Yes, I love God. God loves me. That’s all that I need. However, I enjoy the process of church and I enjoy the singing of hymns and I enjoy the presence of The Holy Spirit in some churches. I have seen too much and read to much to be blindly manipulated by men. For that I thank God.

      • kobus says:

        I could not have said it beter , it is as if you took the words right out of my mind, who were the main peanuts behind apartheid, the NG church, I say no more

      • Nhlekza says:

        I agree. Ignorant and proud fools have done dispicable things in the name of Christianity.

        All I am saying is that the fact that people have desecrated the name of the church, which is the body of Christ, should not deter us from loving the body of Christ.

        We are, as believers, are the body of Christ, as the bible would teach us. As such, the concern for the sanctity of the church institution is a much a concern for our own sanctity, don’t you think?

  5. Tebogo Tleane says:

    If you turn and face what you believe, you will be very surprised, and that is a guarantee .

  6. Rose Morrow says:

    For me, it’s important to separate the Church from the Faith. The Church is the vehicle that trundles the Faith of Jesus Christ through the ages. Sometimes it is a well oiled, sleek, stable vehicle and at others very unroadworthy. The fact that it keeps going despite our (Christians) every attempt to stop it in its tracks is clear evidence that it is indeed the Holy Spirit at the wheel, keeping it on the road to eternity in spite of the well meaning and not so well meaning Christians who are trying their best to drive it over the edge of a precipice…. Fact is if it hadn’t trundled on through the more than two thousand years bearing the precious gift of Faith, you and I would know nothing about Jesus. I like the story of the monk who was travelling on a train and was confronted by a young man ranting and raving about the fact that he wanted no part of the church because it was filled with hypocrites…. “don’t worry”, said the Monk, “there is always room for one more”! That said I do think the church (meaning the people generally and more specifically the men and woman of the cloth) is too often its own worst enemy… it is true, non Christians have through the centuries tried to sink the Church of Jesus Christ but they have been overwhelmingly upstaged only by the Christians themselves! The Church survives in spite of itself and not because of itself – it survives because God wills it and not through any act of man! My advice – if a pastor upsets you find another worship community where the pastor or priest doesn’t jerk your chain so severely that you leave the building ready to run down the street screaming obscenities and stabbing people!!

  7. Nhlekza says:

    Thank you Rose for those very true sentiments. God bless you with increase to you in wisdom and power.The church is Jesus’s only institution and vehicle and body for the redemtion of people’s souls.

    • Rose Morrow (nee Howell) says:

      Thanks Nhlekza – God bless you too – ja we have to work around the imperfections of the Church because it is made up of frail human beings who most times think they are invincible but are sadly misguided – we are all frail and subject to temptation and weakness, even, or perhaps especially, those in leadership positions in the Church… If God waited for the perfect human being to put in leadership, He would wait forever! Thus God chooses whom He pleases and not necessarily who pleases Him. Thing is we all have to get in there and work to make the Church a reflection of Jesus Himself… if we want a Church that reflects love and care then we better be loving and caring – if we want a Church that reflects integrity and decency, then we, the members, had better have integrity and be decent human beings – basically the members have to be what they want their Church to be because the Church is the people and not the building.

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