October 09, 2009

How I Regained My Faith in the Local Church

First, let's talk about how I lost it. A couple of years ago, I was sitting in the pews at The Orchard, a wonderful church community in Aurora, IL, where they played the following 2-minute video that opened my eyes to the average person's expectations of who a "Christian" is.



But, that's not me, and I hated that I might be perceived like that. Someone who uses the Bible to compare themselves to others, rather than to compare humanity as a whole to the perfect righteousness of a loving God. A person who thinks that scientists have a vested interest in deception, and therefore, will ignore any and all evidence they come across that points to a Creator. A person who believes that "freedom" means letting poor people be free to get sick and die.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, at Grace Church in Shorewood, IL, I participated in one of the coolest Sunday morning church gatherings I've ever been involved in. We got together. Sang some prayers and praises to God. And then, were directed to go drive over to the local Aldi to go and buy groceries to distribute in a underprivileged housing community in nearby Joliet.



I was proud to be a Christian that day, and to be a part of something so beautiful. And I am now more optimistic than ever of what the collective local church can do for the world.

4 comments:

The Great I'm Not said...

Wonderful.

rob said...

why did this give you faith in the local church. What was it about those opinions that made you lose faith in it?

Eric Olsen said...

Rob, this recent experience gave me confidence in the local church's power to rise above the stereotype of what a "Christian" is, through tangible demonstrations of love.

i guess a more accurate description of my recent transformation was that I used to merely be a critic of why the church sucked, now i'm optimistic about what the church can do.

Kara said...

Eric, I am so glad you are going to a church that is involved in work like this. Unfortunately, a lot of churches don't emphasize the many parts of the Bible that talk about caring for the poor. This is a great way to start to learn about, or at least get some exposure to, the struggles of people that live in or near your community.