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Old 12-06-2005, 11:10 PM   #46
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Originally posted by stammer476

They sound wonderful. What I wouldn't give for some nuns! (Never thought I'd write those words )

But from someone who's in the thick of this right now, I can say that our volunteers are stretched to max, and I'm still a little unsure of how our Christmas services are going to work. Between family coming into town, increased expectations from spouses/children, special traditions, and other holiday things, we just don't have near the available staff that we would on any other Sunday of the year. We're short on musicians, we can't get enough people to set up, and don't even get me started on childcare. And this is just for Christmas Eve!

All I'm asking is that we take a walk in other people's shoes for a minute. The reality of this situation for these churches is not as smiple (or evil ) as we'd like to make it.
I just figured Christmas (and Easter) for Christians is kinda like the holiday season for retail workers. It's their busy time and everyone knows that and doesn't schedule vacation then.

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Old 12-06-2005, 11:49 PM   #47
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Sorry, Aaron, didn't mean to offend you. You can disregard my statements b/c they're kind of loaded - based on one particular mega-church that no one here probably knows or cares about. It's more of a personal thing that effected a lot of people I know and has left a sour taste on both sides so we never ignore a chance to hurl one at 'em!

Also, this megachurch tends to say that it's one thing, but then if you challenged these people with some theological issue, they either don't know what you're talking about, or give an answer opposite of what is defined by the denomination they insist so fervently they're part of. Of course, we all differ slightly and change over time - just this week I completely changed my ideas on the Lord's Supper and realized I'd been wrong for 21 years - but if you continuously attach yourself and your church to a particular denomination b/c it's popular or looks good or whatever and then preach the opposite, the credibility factor goes downhill pretty fast in my book.

I criticize the particular church I have in mind because out of all the people I know that have gone there, no one has actually gone there for more than a year. See, to me, a church is as much about building a close community in order to build each other up as well as hold each other accountable, and all the people know that have tried this mega-church just aren't getting that. Also, the pastor is an amazing and inspirational public speaker, but his sermons are just stories and testimonials. There's nothing there that challenges me, nothing that has any real theological value, nothing I can take away and say "huh, I never though about it that way before...". It's basically like a "small group" of 1000 people.

I say all of this pretty much churchless myself, because our Rev. recently left to take a position overseeing a new seminary program, and he was really everything I believed in. His sermons were so thoughtful and challenging....I remember one time he was really going out on a limb with this concept he'd concocted in his head and I remember thinking "I would bet my life that this man has it right". I've never felt even close to that at any of the larger more progressive/contemporary churches I've attended.

But it really boils down to personal preference. I'm very introverted and look at things from a very practical, intellectual approach. Teaching through testimonials and praise songs moves millions of people to tears but does nothing for me. On the other hand, I read a piece by Jonathan Edwards and suddenly feel like my entire life and my existence is worthwhile after all, but others find it boring and useless. I've tried to change how I feel, but the reality is that I can't. We all worship different ways and I've found I can't get what I need from a megachurch.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:25 AM   #48
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I wouldn't worry too much about it. I think for a good chunk of the world, Christmas Day is a secular holiday. Just from observation and remembrance from my churchgoing days, Christmas Eve was always the religious part of it before the glut of Christmas Day and I still get a little spiritually nostalgic on Christmas Eve, but don't feel a thing on Christmas Day (except a pleasant mix of generosity and greed). Seems to me for the casually religious, Christmas Day is not that big a religious event.
Christians can be proud they have the cool holiday (said with no sarcasm whatsoever).

That being said, I think Christmas in general is a great holiday for the religious and secular both, for the churches and for the retail world, the one time in the year that even the coldest of us can feel guilted (or swept up in the spirit) to think of our fellow man before we forget about him on 12/26. I love Christmas and its fantasy for a few weeks that life is different than we know it is, which may actually be one definition of faith.

Besides Christmas is the secondary Christian holiday. It just gets all the PR.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:07 AM   #49
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Originally posted by stammer476

All I'm asking is that we take a walk in other people's shoes for a minute. The reality of this situation for these churches is not as smiple (or evil ) as we'd like to make it.
Well what a novel concept that would be for FYM, wouldn't it? But maybe that's more difficult to do than it is to make assumptions/jump to conclusions and to try to jump on that which can make you "right" in your viewpoints and arguments (I'm not directing that at you stammer)

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