November 22, 2009

The Way

NOTE: I just wanted to reemphasize the heart with which this note was written. A few people have expressed that this was "judgmental" or "condemnatory" in a blanket fashion. I do not intend to say that ALL the people who attend The Way are displeasing to God. Absolutely not. I am sure there are many sincere people in the church. My main point of contention with The Way is the overall image/impression the church gives you and leaves you with. The poem is strong because it is imagery expressing a simple truth. It is meant to be strong and carry across the taste that the church left in my heart. Allow me some poetic license if it is not scattered throughout with disclaimers to the sincere people at the church.I do not apologize for my sentiments regarding The Way. I still feel absolutely burdened that the evangelical church in America return to the Biblical standard of simple discipleship, not people pleasing, not loud worship sets. The gospel. Unadultered, undecorated. Jesus' words. Straight and to the point, regardless of who gets offended at the more difficult passages. That is the concern that drove this note and the poem contained in it.


So I know there are people who attend The Way who are absolutely sincere. And I know that there are some crazy good sermons preached there sometimes.But when I went with Christina last night we just felt heart broken. I believe the church is in full process of selling out to materialism and selfishness and pretty much everything the early churches of Corinth, etc, were not. The Way is just blaringly obvious.

First off, you walk in and all you see are designer clothes and pretty face. It is essentially a giant Hollister or Abercrombie ad. I felt out of place even though I looked pretty decently nice for church. Everyone was just SO pretty. It looked and felt like we were on a parade.

Then the worship music was so loud you could feel it penetrate your insides and everyone was up jumping and waving their hands. The louder the music, the more vivacious was the crowd.

The sermon was pretty good but it seemed to contradictory to talk about being sold out for Christ when everyone else looked sold out to self and appearance.

Then the band got up again and sang, "I Surrrender All." Very quietly, very gently. I stood up. Barely anyone else in the auditorium did. Then the band switched to a rock anthem with Christian lyrics and everyone was up jumping and swaying. When the chorus came around, it was the loudest ever and there were hardly any hands that WEREN'T up in the air waving around. Emotion driven. That is what the church has become. And we wonder why we lose so many young people to the world...the church is becoming like the world.

Anyway, the rest of what I thought is expressed in my poem.:

I surrender all
Softly rains down from the
Rafters with black boxes suspended
High above the distracted crowd.
No one hears the gentle claims
To Jesus’ blood and
All that is clean.

The little squares of light
From those things
That tie us to everyone but God,
A instant text,
A reply back.
She’s in the know
That Jack and Jill broke up
But does she know she’s
Hurting the God of all that
Breaking His heart?

I alone stand in a room
Filled with hundreds.
It’s not a church,
It’s a warehouse
Storing little idols,
Little rulers of all their own.
Coach, Chanel, and others
Dot their bodies like
Expensive billboards
Eulogizing what they care about.

These little idols
Alive in their pursuits
But dead in their souls.
The show.
The parade.
Jesus would not approve.
My heart.
Jesus would not be welcome here.

The band changes to a rock anthem,
Oh, wait, a rock anthem
With Christian words.
And suddenly, the dead idols
Are up, up on their teetering stilettos
And Italian leather shoes.
Up and writhing
Back in forth, reminiscent
Of a downtown club.
Dancing for Jesus?
Or dancing for self?

The beat that pulses from the drummer’s hands
Through the black boxes
Shakes my blood vessels.
I can literally feel
The vibrations go through me.
At the chorus,
The dead idols really come alive.
They raise their hands and
Rock their tight, gym-sculpted bodies.
Raising their hands to Jesus?
Or raising their hands to the band?
Jesus would not approve.

The music finally ends
And so do the softly falling tears
That do not cross my cheeks
Because the preacher preached
Or the singer sang.
They drop because
God is not here.

Now I know why I feel alone,
She says.
Because all these Christians
Look just like THEM.
Just like the world.
Just like the people that are
Out and out headed for fire.
Just like the people
That sleep around
And lie
And commit adultery.
If we lined them up,
There would be no difference between the
Dead idols and the dead souls.
Jesus would not approve.

We rush through the door
Past the kissing couples
And skinny jean legs.
The coifed men
And skanky girls.
The girl with her underwear
As her outerwear.
The boy with the medical muscles
And spray-on tan.
The boy with the earrings, tats and
Oh wait, that’s a pastor.

Jesus is crying.
Where has My church gone?
From the upstairs
To the downtown?
From the go by 2s
To go by Fifth Ave.?
From the you are My temple
To you are a playground?
From the cross
To the grave?
Jesus would not approve.

What can I do?
Who can I send?
Send me, Lord, send me.
I am not afraid to have
Their icy glares turned from
The socially unacceptable girl
3 seats over
To the equally infuriating one
Jumping from her seat
And taking over the pastor’s
Stand up there on that plastic stage.
I’ll tell them!
Hellfire and brimstone
Like John Wesley loved.
I’ll tell them!
Send me, Lord, send me.

Let me help save the dead idols
Before the smoke suffocates.
Before the fire comes.
I see it at the door!
Quick, where is the fire alarm?
The man sees my distress and says
We had it removed.
The noise irritates people.

Oh no.
No,Jesus would not approve…

1 comment:

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