As I sat on my front porch the other night, where I do a lot of my thinking, I was pondering all this hoopla about foods being “organic”. From what I read, these are foods produced using methods that do not involve modern man-made synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
I was sipping a cup of kick-ass coffee, but thinking about the contents threw me for a loop. Instead of just drinking a cup of coffee made from fresh, home roasted coffee beans that came from somewhere in Central America (that being organic) and adding just a touch of natural sugar, I also had to add a man-made creamer loaded with artificial flavors and numerous other crap chemicals I cannot pronounce.
The core content of the coffee my body understands, and accepts, but the flavor is just that… coffee. I added a bit of natural sugar to bring out the coffee goodness. However, I still needed to make it taste better to suit my liking. I added a bunch of extras to make my coffee just the way I like it.
I think we approach “church” the same way I approach (as I am sure many others do to) making coffee. We generally want to please ourselves to get the coffee just right for our liking.
There is nothing wrong with adding some natural sugar. In other words, there is nothing wrong with speaking a different language and having different customs. I see this all the time. The way different people approach Christ can come in different forms. One person might like to be surrounded by nature, or another might like singing old hymns. Another person might like researching and reciting old creeds, or sitting around a band jamming to some music. All of this is their natural sugar. So there is no way I can say my way of approaching Christ is the right, or even best. I dare not. We all dissolve into the coffee as natural sugars, we just come from different sugar cane plants.
However, the institutional church has stepped beyond just “natural sugars”. The “church” has become loaded with artificial flavors, and numerous chemicals we cannot pronounce, which harm the Body.
Over the last couple years before I left the building, I spent many Sundays in agony of a critically-ill system called “church”, and when I stopped acting like a “sheeple” to the system, following a bunch of man-made traditions, I could finally see Christ (or the people who make up the Body) sitting next to me. The creamer in the coffee clouded up the mug I was sitting in. The creamer ingredients included the passive audience, the modern pastor, the pulpit, the programs, the rules, the regulations, the hierarchy, the tithing, and I could go on and on with many other harmful chemicals.
This is where I and the system parted ways. I felt terrible inside to the point of weeping all the time at how far the “church” has moved from pure coffee and some natural sugar.
It is the Body of Christ (Christ being the coffee) that I seek. I also seek the people (the natural sugars), not the system (the man-made creamer).
What body part am I as a follower of Christ? A few people think I am the asshole trying to cleanse the man-made impurities we all seem to want to shove in our bodies.
I am ok with that, it is a dirty job but someone has to be that part 🙂