Thursday, May 04, 2006


I hope you don't come here for consistency.

I've been reading the Bible a lot lately.

X recently posted on The Da Vinci Code and National Geographic shows on the origins of The Good Book. I believe in what's called Biblical inerrancy, that the Bible is the true and accurate (error-free) Word of God. Anywho... that's not really the topic here, although I do find it interesting, and it did get me to thinkin' about history, and what we base things on in Christian religions.

So, I'm reading the book of Acts, all about the first-century "church."

DH and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching these days about church, what it should be, what it is, what we want in a church we'd attend. You see, we are church-searching for the first time since our marriage, and my first time in adulthood. He's attended two churches in his life, ours and his parents', and though I've attended many more than that, they've all been the same "type" of church (I would say denomination, but it's non-denominational... franchise might almost be the right word. Each church I've attended has been one of many Calvary Chapels, all aligned under the leadership of the first Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California and it's founder and head-pastor, Chuck Smith, but this is minutiae you can skip, hence the parentheses.) So, it's a big challenge for us to find a new place, especially in a small community, where we already know all there is to know about half the churchs in the area. That is to say, we are looking with little enthusiasm, and less success--at least within a reasonable distance from home.

So, here I am, currently churchless, reading about the activities and adventures, if you will, of the first believers in Jesus Christ. That was an exciting time! I mean, you've got miracles going on left and right, there's even a transportation in there, as well as the ubiquitous lame, blind, and sick healings, raising people from the dead, and not to mention exorcisms. Imagine the movie this would make!

But most interesting to me, at the moment, is the verve of the believers. These people are, to put it mildly, ecstatic about what is going on in their lives and what Christ did on their behalf, and what that means about God and life and death. Their enthusiasm is so great that their numbers grow by the thousands on a daily basis. I'm thinkin' MySpace and the iPod have nothing on first century Christian Evangelism. Christianity was spreading like wildfire.

Today? Not so much. Why is that? What has changed? It's certainly not God, nor is what Jesus Christ did any less revolutionary or life-changing--at least it shouldn't be. And yet, my husband, a fine, upstanding Christian man has about 10 times more enthusiasm to convert PC users to the Mac than he does to tell someone about the Man who saved his soul. Me? I'm much more likely to spread the good word of Breastfeeding and Babywearing than I am to share The Good News. Does this mean we're bad Christians? Ha! I'm coming to understand there's no good ones. There's merely a bunch of sinners (bad folks) saved (rescued from death and all manner of unpleasantness in life and after) by Grace (ooh, the U2 song... so good!)

What I mean to say is, I don't think this means I need to strive to be better, and go out there and beat all my friends and neighbors upside the head with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If I had the excitement of the first-century church, I wouldn't need to strive, I would be bubbling over with it, I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut, I'd be challenging authority and breaking chains, heck, I'd be healing the sick and raising the dead.

So what's missing that leaves me shy about my "secret identity" as a Christian?

I'm on the hunt for the answer. I'll keep you posted.

I've just run out of time... I have more to say on this subject, so I hope you'll forgive me the next time I do.