Welp, I should've leaned harder on this, because today's sermon was... something else.

I was the closest I've ever been to getting up and walking out in the middle of a sermon, and honestly, the more I think about it, the more angry I get at myself for *not* doing just that. Social pressure is a helluva thing.

I hope your Sunday morning was better than mine, friends. Gonna take our oldest to see Captain Marvel now; trusting that'll cleanse the palate.

@mattlaff Sorry to hear that. Mine was (thankfully) the opposite today but I reached the point of nearly walking out when I was on my last legs at my old church.

@levi Thanks. Unfortunately, I don't think there will ever be any "last legs" at this church. It's where my wife grew up, most of her family also attends, and our girls go to the attached elementary school, so we're pretty well stuck.

We're both pretty fed up with the conservative culture, but I think the best we can do at this point is using the nonsense as a jumping off point for discussion with our girls. Not ideal, just playing the hand we've got.

@mattlaff ah got it. That's smart what you're doing then. And we did something similar at our old place - even giving myself the permission to disagree with the pastor was a big helpful step for my wife and me (but admittedly was hard for my friends/family there to accept). And that got us through for a long time.


@levi We're doing our best, but as I'm sure you know, some days it's harder than others to believe we're doing enough. One day at a time, man.

@mattlaff I am preparing myself to enter what I'm afraid will be similar circumstances. Some things I've thought about relate to what has been mentioned: getting used to expressing disagreement using non-violent communication (really want to take a class in this). There may be appreciative and affirming voices currently laying low out of fear. What if we could influence? Inspire and encourage others Maybe that's idealistic. I don't know. I'm scared, too.

@laurel_ann I love your angle of thinking about non-violent communication; feels like the kind of skill-sharpening I'm going to need in the coming weeks/months/years.

Here's hoping we really can influence. I have trouble with it, but it's probably best if we allow ourselves to be idealistic at times, hm? :)

@mattlaff Yes! I'm in -- Let's embrace a little idealism, choose to believe we are not the only ones in our communities who wish some things were different, and, when we feel we can't/shouldn't leave, be the change.

@levi @mattlaff I’ve tried to communicate to my community that if we can’t healthily disagree in church then where can we? Leaning on understandings of unity and Jesus’ example that our faith is not an intellectual ascent but a lived experience and of service and community to each other.

@andyenochs @mattlaff for sure! for me personally, it became an issue of fundamentally disagreeing on how to read/use the bible.

tough to disagree on that at a church that was founded out of a fundamentalist movement. it felt like that was the ONE thing I couldn't disagree on and still be a part of the community.

@andyenochs @levi Amen. I've long thought this, and it makes me sad how infrequently I've seen it lived out in churches. We've really dropped the ball on that, I'm afraid.

@mattlaff next time you’ll summon the courage to walk. I will too. This I believe.

@emkem Thanks. I'm struggling to convince myself of that right now, so I appreciate that. We'll do it, yet.

@mattlaff i slept in and made myself a nice breakfast. - it has been my experience that this is far superior to church. also i totaly get the post"why did i sit through that" feeling - i would encourage you to put social pressure back on people.

@brooksie To clarify, I didn't even necessarily mean active pressure as much as perceived. I wish I'd even walked out under a pretense (bathroom, drink, whatever), but I'll admit that even at 36, I struggle to not worry about what people will think. It's definitely a significant weakness of mine.

I'm jealous of your routine, though. Sleeping in and having a good breakfast sounds like such an amazing Sunday morning :)

@mattlaff I can empathize with your stuckness. For me, I tried to make the evangelical thing work for about 10 years after I stopped really identifying as evangelical, and have wanted to walk out of services a few times. I’ve basically just tuned the whole thing out and focused on the social for the past three. But it was killing my spirit so I’m in the process of finding a church where I can stop hiding my faith and start living it. May Christ give you a way to grow there or a path to move on.

@slross I identify with so much of your experience. Generally in church, I either ignore/amend the theology and focus on the social aspect. I still love participating in worship (at least when I'm part of literally making the music), and general fellowship with others is good for my soul, but goodness, Sundays like today really stretch thin my willingness to "get along to get by", as it were.

I don't have much optimism for my own situation, but I really hope you find the church you need.

@mattlaff Maybe you can find another church more in line with where you are now and attend a Wednesday service from time to time? For example, one of the ELCA churches I’ve been checking out has a monthly contemplative prayer service. Or get involved with some sort of social justice ministry which draws more like-minded individuals. But I encourage you to try to find something like that, because it’s really hard to wander in the wilderness alone (from my experience).

@slross That's not a bad idea. Our church is actually LCMS (sigh), so Sunday's sermon, while considerably more intense than usual, isn't out of step with the denomination at large. There are some ELCA churches around, so I might have to take your suggestion and see if any have an alternative service I'd like to attend now and then. Thanks for putting the idea in my brain; you're too right about wandering alone in the wilderness.

@mattlaff also, Richard Rohr’s daily meditation for today seemed on topic: cac.org/the-container-and-the-. You’re probably in the “bored and limited by the typical Sunday church agenda” camp that he describes.

@slross That sounds about right. I'm sure that's indicative of why I enjoy Rohr's writing so much; he's so good at elucidating what frustrates me about church/religion while nudging me in a healthier direction.

@mattlaff I had the exact same experience sad to say. I was with my wife and could tell she wanted to hear it out, but once again I left church with a very clear message... “You and your thoughts/beliefs are not welcome here in their current state...”

I hope you enjoyed the movie with your oldest. Hard not to check out of life when the MCU is On screen!

Any resources that suggest places of worship that are welcoming and not filled with ignorance for US MSA’s/Cities??

@Bookout_jay It's so sad how many people relate to this experience. If I had great resources, I'd pass them along, sorry!

Captain Marvel was awesome. Definitely a welcome reprieve from "real life" today. And I love that we'refinally getting such amazing female heroes on-screen. Really makes this fan of movies and dad of three girls happy :)

@mattlaff That was every Sunday for me and my family for many years. We knew it all along but until it was the right time we stayed. Circumstances in our life eventually changed and we felt it was time to take a leap as they say. My experience, if worth anything, suggests remaining open to the right timing and looking for clear signs that a break is the best option. It wasn’t easy but incredibly liberating. Best to you!

@Thomas Excellent advice, thanks. Honestly, it's difficult to envision a scenario that allows us to move on, but you never know. I do my best to focus on my relationships there, and I'm hoping I'll get chances to work for change from within.

It really does help to keep hearing stories about people dealing with similar issues, though, so thanks again!

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