The Christian Noob (n00b)

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

rants: disorganized faith

Understanding religion as a group of doctrines and their inner interactions (in other words, a system), we can see its need to have and follow a pre-established order of events or other form of hierarchy. It’s important for the individual to understand what’s expected from him/her as a follower or participant.

Said the latter, we go to church on Sunday (or other day depending on the secondary doctrines adopted by a given denomination). We talk and greet strangers as if we were old-time friends, shake their hands, share a warm hug and even become friends with some of these other congregants. We follow the same sequence (guideline, order) of events week after week. We drink from the Cup of Salvation (non-fermented grape juice) and take a piece of the Bread of Life on a predetermined day of the month (usually the first Sunday of the month). We know what to do on cue — whether to be quiet, bow our heads in prayer (or simply pray), cheer, applaud, stand, sit, sing, give the fruit of our labor (tithe, offering or donation) and/or any other ritual — including serving and other forms of fellowship. These actions keep us from straying.

Some church/groups don’t quite function this way. There’s a pastor who directs traffic, but many details are overlooked. There’s no guiding party like a synod and rules are created on-the-fly.

Now and then, to everyone’s shock and surprise, a handful of these disorganized churches manage to get everything right. So is the case of LifeChurch.tv, which publishes and maintains YouVersion — maybe the best free and portable Bible study software for various platforms and with access to several versions and translations of the text.

Some groups of Christians don’t follow any order and practice their faith as a random group of events without rhyme or reason. These usually are those Christians who don’t see a need in going to church and who undoubtedly need some structure (guideline) to understand what it means to be Christian. After all, being secular and calling oneself a Christian doesn’t quite make us Christians.

At the same time, we should keep in mind that some independent churches/groups break or have broken the mold of instability and received that extra blessing to self-sustain.

All these discrepancies and differences leave our faith system as a random series of events at best — at times, very different from one Christian church to another making our religion multiples rather than one. Of course, the question here’s what’s right and what’s not.

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