Blog 1421 – 08.11.2019
My Sabbath And Lord’s Day Place Of Worship
Quite a few years ago now the pastor of the church that I attended while attending Bible College studying to be a pastor myself used to pass out “Don’t Attend Saint Mattress” cards to the college students who attended Sunday morning worship services when they could make it out of bed. I grew up in a Christian religious tradition that equated regular church attendance with righteousness and therefore by osmosis I cultivated and developed a strong if somewhat strained sense of what I thought was right and wrong.
Just this morning I heard a young worker say, “I think my brother is a little bit gay, but who am I to judge.” I remarked, “ Isn’t that like being a little bit pregnant? I happen to believe that neither being gay, being pregnant, nor choosing to end a pregnancy is wrong. Judge for yourself. But then I think most of our judgments are a misunderstand of the true nature of God and our own.
These religious people that I grew up with, and was one of them, believed what I now think to be so many errors fostered on the world by the writers of the Bible, mere men no holier nor less free from error in whole or in part than the rest of us “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Because of such dogma people who believe it, I think, are often if counterintuitively picking on themselves and others, judging and condemning as that is the picture of God that they have been taught to see, as judge, jury, warden, and executioner-in-chief. I no longer believe that any of us ever comes short of the glory of God (No matter what the Book says) for while we are very mankind, we are also, as Jesus, also very divine. Namaste – I bow to the divinity in you and in myself.
In the many years that I was a faithful church worship service and Sunday school class attender, I sung many church songs, and heard thousands of sermons and Bible stories. Most, if not all of, the Bible stories and songs we sang I still remember for I did a great deal of Bible reading on my own and I have always loved to sing, still do, but most if not all of the sermons that I heard even the ones that I wrote and delivered myself I have forgotten. Since discarding my Christian faith and shunning all orthodox organized religious gatherings and places of worship, (I did walk through several old and beautiful cathedrals in Ravenna, Italy when I was on a work assignment there some years ago but felt no particular urge to pray nor to put my money in the offering box) I find I have a lot more free time on Saturdays and Sundays to contemplate the nature of God, and of man and woman kind. Men, women and all that exists is but a reflection of all that is divine, to me.
For quite a few years now my regular place of worship on the sabbath day (Saturday) and the Lord’s day (Sunday) is, no, not Saint Mattress but usually the nearest movie theater, unless I have to work or have other pressing things to attend to. I am the god of my life and my god neither judges or condemns anyone for worshipping where, when, and however they choose. For my god is a god of love and understanding not judgement and condemnation. I remember most of the sermons (movies), the ones I stay awake through anyway. But sometimes a good nap in a climate controlled dark room is quite a heavenly experience in itself. Try it yourself, in a movie theater or in your bedroom at Saint Mattress, one can sometimes find a very refreshing and very invigorating religious experience there too, the pastor’s cards not withstanding.
Your friend, fellow traveler,
Worshipping or not after the dictates of my own heart, as I think everyone should,
Note: Today’s picture is of The Chattanooga Tivoli Theater. When I was a lad it was the premier movie palace in my home town. It’s plush red carpets in the lobby, up the stairs to the full sized balcony, and down the aisles and all the ceiling and wall carvings rival even those magnificent cathedrals I saw in Ravenna, Italy. And there have been many memorable services worshipping the gods and goddesses of the silver screen. Do enjoy the church, temple, or movie theater of your choice and frequent it as often as you like – God is in everyone, is everything, and is everywhere, or so it says in that Book where one of those sometime wise guys wrote, “God is all in all.”
I Believe In You