I’m not really a church-going kind of guy. In fact I haven’t intentionally gone to church since probably some time in the late ’80s. When I was a kid my mom made us go to Sunday School. Possibly just to get us out of the house on a Sunday. I remember walking up the street in my uncomfortable shiny black plastic church shoes. I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it because I got to spend time with other people my age in a good environment.
After leaving the parent’s house and striking out on my own I had no interest in going to church. In fact, having dealt with major depression I was convinced that there could not be a god because if he existed, he would not allow someone to be as lonely, depressed and suicidal as I was.
As an intelligent person, I still have trouble believing that there is a God or even Life after Death. In fact, I would prefer that there was no life after death. When I die I want it all to be over permanently. I don’t want to live on forever even if it was an idealistic “Heaven”. I don’t want to be reincarnated either. The end.
There’s more to church than religion though. There is community and fellowship. Something that I lack very badly. I was raised Lutheran. The primary reason I am considering going to church again is to be around white people. In a city that is 90% mexican, a Lutheran church is bound to be mostly white because mexicans are mostly Catholic.
Perhaps I sound racist but I’ve said it before, I don’t hate other races. I just want to be around my own people every once in a while. White people are few and far between in San Antonio. I just want to feel like I belong somewhere instead of being a constant outsider.
Religion has gotten a bad rap lately but in moderation, it can be a good thing. Religion can be good when it is not taken too seriously or pushed on other people. That’s one thing I like about Lutherans. They don’t force their beliefs on others.
Religion can be beneficial. It teaches a lot of overall good stuff when you look at the big picture. Don’t take it too literally though because the Bible was written by man and frequently edited over the centuries to suit the needs of the ruling class. Still, the premise has moral value.
There’s a church nearby that seems to suit my needs after looking at their website. They even have groups that do some things that I am interested in. They have services around 9:30 on Sundays that will still give me plenty of time to head over to my mom’s house for lunch afterwards.
If I can talk myself into it, I might go this Sunday and check it out. Nothing to lose. Everything to gain.
I attended service this Sunday morning. It was pretty much as expected. I found that I desperately needed my reading glasses. I almost took them with me but assumed that since old people go to church that the fonts in the handout and hymnal would be much larger. Wrong. Next time bring them!
Otherwise it was good. I was among people like myself as I expected. I felt like I belonged. The service was a little different than what I remembered from my old church. Perhaps a bit too much. I have recently been watching Joel Osteen broadcasts on TV. That guy can teach a good lesson! We can’t expect everyone to be broadcast quality. The sermon was basic and from the book. Meh, but that wasn’t really the primary reason I am thinking about joining a church. It’s more for the fellowship.
I didn’t partake of the fellowship on this visit mostly because I didn’t know anyone and also because I didn’t want to make any commitments yet. My natural invisibility served me well. Nobody noticed that I was new or even there. The pastor had a clue I think when we shook hands as I walked out the door. Surely he knows everyone.
I learned a lot about the church during my first anonymous visit. I’ll probably go back again eventually.