Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Finding the Mainline

My parents left the mainline for a self-proclaiming bible believing evangelical church when I was 7. The next 11 years of my life were challenging and I tried to fit in there and never could. I always thought something was wrong with me and even tried as an adult to fit in there again.

In evangelicalism it is difficult to be a deep thinker and flourish there. I always asked too many question and the one size fits all theology didn't work for me. Also, volunteering for an independent film festival and taking in documentaries that shattered my sheltered worldview. This caused me to finally have enough of that church and the despair finally had me wanting to become a "none". I was so disillusioned, that agnosticism seemed more reasonable than continuing the charade any longer.

We were invited by our neighbors to attend  their sons wedding at the Catholic parish they attend. I loved the liturgy of the mass and realized my old church no longer worked for me and it was time to move on. Now that I am more familiar with the "high" church service, I have come to love the Hymns, Eucharist and passing of the peace. Also, learning the church calendar has helped make the year more meaningful.

From there we attended Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, Baptist and non denominational churches to find a new home. We ended up finding a new church home in the ELCA Lutheran denomination and are very happy there.

If I hadn't attended the wedding mass, I wouldn't have considered reaching out and trying different more traditional denominations. I think there are many like me who fall through the cracks of Evangelicalism and become "nones".

There is an oasis in the post-evangelicalism desert where reasonable people are and questions are allowed. Also, you can have a church experience where people of both political views can coexist civilly and there are no hard feelings after a discussion is over. You can join a church  that still sings hymns and uses hymnals instead of power point projectors.

After being in my new church for over a year I have enjoyed the frequent brunches and laid back atmosphere. I have found a church home where we are welcome to think for ourselves. I guess they trust that we will find the truth even if we chase an intellectual lead in a different direction.

The mainline needs an advocate since they are countercultural in today's society.  Their immunity to the marketing techniques of big business can be a relief to wary traveler that wants to escape the rat race on the weekend. If you are as tired as I was was of the Evangelical circus give the mianline a try.

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