Friday, September 21, 2007

mbc reply

7:19 AM Posted by: M., 4 comments

A while back, I posted about a church I went to in Virginia when I was Christian and how I was disgusted by their extraordinarily exhorbitantly expensive video game rooms and such. The post can be found HERE.

Well, I just received an email from the Student Ministries there who found the post. I thought I would post his reply. I appreciate his respectful tone, although I maintain my disagreement with the church's expenditures and such. I think it is good for me to put it here because it isn't fair that I can just rant and not let people speak their opinion against mine.

Here is the pastor's email...

I ran across your blog about your experience @ our church. I'd love to speak with you about your experience and what we might learn to avoid others having similar experiences and to offer you a verbal, personal apology. The Bible says "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." (Proverbs 15:22)If you really would like to have a sincere dialogue, please call me as I would love the opportunity to speak with you, each of us having an open mind, as to what we might learn from one another.

I realize, as an atheist it appears, you clearly disagree with:
a) our beliefs - God, Jesus, The Bible
b) how you experienced (unfriendliness) and interpreted our means of sharing our faithand we are constantly reminded how we do not do justice to the God we serve, as sinful people (1 John 4:11 - "since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.")

But I can assure you that when it comes to our youth center our goal is to do the same as when:

a) I was a kid in youth group and board games were the means of building community amongst participants before and after service

b) our students served in Peru and Mexico for weeks this summer to impoverished children where balloons and puppets met the need for fostering social interaction) when Jesus himself walked the earth 2,000 ago, meeting people's physical and emotional needs in order to ultimately address their spiritual need for Him. (Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us)

So while I can see where you might disagree with what we believe, how we stumble in living it out as sinful people, and how we choose to do run our programs to further our faith and share our beliefs, I hope you can understand and even respect our desires.

Give me a call if you really would like to explain further your experience. Thanks again. I appreciate your honesty and candor.

That was pretty nice. I am going to reply to him thanking him for his respect and candor--although I think he slightly missed my point.
For one:

I was an honest, sincerely believing Christian when I went to his church and at the time I had no real problem with Christian beliefs or the proclaimed beliefs of his church

Also, my problem was necessarily that games were used to attract and distract children--but that seemingly tens of thousands of dollars were spent on video games. Also, he cites board games used at church when he was a kid--I think that is a good idea! Board games usually are cheaper and they involve a lot more interaction between kids--

And also, I think it is nice the kids go on mission trips, but I have to say personally, that I dont think Christian youth should be ministering to people in other countries. I support like eye-opening trips to the third world for kids to learn and absorb and do more relief work, but I disagree with having kids conduct VBS or other christian teaching or outreach. (I have been on over a 1/2 dozen of those things and so I am very familiar with what tends to go on at them)

On the whole, I am grateful for the church pastor's reply. I think it is really nice that he thought I was worth taking the little time to talk to, and his attitude is a lot more open and sincere than I expected.

I think I will change the title of my old post--not the post, but the title was pretty harsh.

see you later!!



exapologist said...

Meeting children's "sociological needs" in Peru and Mexico with "balloons and puppets"? Bravo, sir.

becky said...

I have that problem too with churches. One of the things I do not understand is how come in other countries where people put their lives at stake to go to church but in America we have to WOW the consumer.



Maria said...

The thing that rubs me the wrong way in this response is the quickness (is that a word?) of this pastor to cite sinfulness as a reason that his youth ministry isn't perfect. I don't know that this particular pastor is doing it, and, I am sick and tired of christian people writing off misses as the result of sin and then not doing anything about it. Isn't resisting sin what all these churches are preaching?

日月神教-任我行 said...