Church Without Bars
by Jonas Weaver
The title makes no sense, I know. But that’s okay. The dilemma for me is really quite simple: I know what I want in a church (or think I do) and I have yet to find it. Basically, it comes down to a desire for tradition, but a willingness to accept unknowing. And, as it currently stands, my ability to journey in and out of various other denominations and churches is inherently limited. Mainly because I can’t drive yet (it’s rather humorous in a sadistic way) and because my parents won’t let me (or, would rather not go with me on my journey to every weird church in town).
Spiritually I need rigor, I see that in myself. Yet, I am too critical for my own good. Whichever one prefers. I also desire progress. I’m not picky how one gets close to God, just that one does. I don’t want rigid I want livelihood. And since, like Chesterton, I find progress to only be tenable once one has a dogma I need a church that has dogma and isn’t wishy washy. But any church that says there is a) a right method to worship God and it must only be done that way and that b) one must have all the correct beliefs on trivialities, is a church which I find to be intolerable. Are there some things which are the right belief and some things which are not? Absolutely. Are there things which one, as a Christian, must believe? Sure. But, to be quite frank, the fundamental beliefs for all Christians can be summed up in the Nicene Creed and the words of Jesus (paraphrased), “Love God; Love people.” Simple as that.
So what do I need in a church? Openness to the fact that theology is a journey. That all of us are on that journey in pursuit of truth. Is there one way to achieve this truth? Other than by looking to Jesus and looking to the bible, no. All of this to say, simply, that I don’t really know what I want in a church just that it needs to have certain traits.