A Church Home At Long Last

We have been wandering in the Wilderness for four years. Moving out of range of a good church was the worst decision we ever made. We left The Church of the Resurrection and weren’t willing to sacrifice to stay closer. We tried to hack it at unfriendly churches, shallow churches, churches with bad theology, or all the above combined. We got to go on a grand tour of what is wrong with churches today.

Being liturgical, sacramental and whole-Bible in the Kuyper/Van Til/Jordan and Leithart way limits your choices. For the first time in our Christian lives we experienced the total despair of essentially giving up and not going anywhere for almost six or seven months. And I didn’t miss it. I didn’t miss the clueless worship, lack of Bible, historical ignorance, Great Commission absence or lack of community. If your church has no community, then staying home on Sunday isn’t much different from going on Sunday morning except for the lack of driving and going through the motions in a service that grates on you from beginning to end as people ignore you on the way in and the way out. I can’t justify not going – I know the commandment and I know I was not keeping it, but I didn’t see any way to keep it and stay sane.

And then, sort of out of the blue and not painlessly, God allowed us to move. This move is life-changing in many ways, but the best of them is that we get to go to a church that gets it. Last night we went to The Church of the Ascension (AMiA) in Arlington. A place with people who talked our ears off after the service – some old friends and some new. We almost had to tear ourselves away to go home. A place with clergy committed to evangelism, discipleship, the sacraments, the liturgy, and to sound theology in a Reformed via the 39 Articles way. During the entire service I was thinking, “this is it, this is where we belong.” It is almost too good to be true and I am grateful in ways that I can’t fully express for this long period of trial to seemingly be over. There will be challenges no doubt, but it will be worth the fight.

It’s hard out there in American churches if you have any sort of convictions beyond “I want a rocking praise band and programs for the kids.” I don’t know how people do it in much of the country. My suspicion is that they give up like we were and stay home. Read a book, mow the lawn, watch football, do anything. What are they missing? A goofy guy with a goatee trying to be relevant? Not much of a loss. I hope that in the few decades I may have left on the earth, people everywhere will at least have one good local option that is robustly Protestant, sacramental, liturgical and Bible-saturated. I guess that would be some form or revival, and it would be welcome.

8 thoughts on “A Church Home At Long Last

  1. Having spent three and a half years in a church that I did not fit in at all, I can feel your pain. I am very happy for you.

  2. “For the first time in our Christian lives we experienced the total despair of essentially giving up and not going anywhere for almost six or seven months. And I didn’t miss it. I didn’t miss the clueless worship, lack of Bible, historical ignorance, Great Commission absence or lack of community. If your church has no community, then staying home on Sunday isn’t much different from going on Sunday morning except for the lack of driving and going through the motions in a service that grates on you from beginning to end as people ignore you on the way in and the way out. I can’t justify not going – I know the commandment and I know I was not keeping it, but I didn’t see any way to keep it and stay sane.”

    That summarises very beautifully my experience in the town in which I live. There comes a time at which you have to accept that it is just a drain of patience and energy and strength going to these non-churches; a drain that you cannot sustain. Thank you for sharing that. It is something that Christians cannot say.

    If we find ourselves in this situation, and very many do, the thing to do is to recognise it, and realise that we need regular prayer and bible-reading times; even if just once a week, on Sunday night, for a few minutes. Unless we have something, we will drift away. It need not be onerous.

    The other thing someone in this position must remember is not to despair, just because they *cannot* do what they know they ought to do, want to do, but just cannot do and stay sane.

    The commmandment was made for man, not man for the commandment. I have often wondered if there was some way to link up people who truly believe and have given their lives to Christ, but cannot stomach the non-churches any more.

    Well done to have found another church, tho.

    1. Thanks for adding your experience Roger. If I didn’t have kids, I might have given up some time ago. The obligation to pass the faith on to them makes it imperative that we go somewhere. That said, God has been kind to us in providing us with a great church now. We drive a ways to get there, but it is worth it.

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