Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here Comes the Bride

Aww yeeeuhh that's right. You saw the title of this post and now you wanna know all the juicy secrets about the numerous females in my life. And let me assure you, there are numerous. Unfortunately for you, that's not what this post is about. Of course not, because Nate always writes about Christiany things and a post about girls would just make him out to be a douchebaggy loser who creeps on girls. That, my friend, is an incorrect assumption. But a correct assumption is that this post is about something Christiany. I apologize. And as much as I wish my bride could be this dimepiece:I actually have something important to say about her:No, that's not my Chinese school. It's my church! I know she ain't much to look at, but I still love her. But yeah, in the Bible the church is referred to as God's Bride. It's also called God's Body, and I was planning on making the title of this post something having to do with my body (maybe something like, Thoughts About My Body), but I didn't think that would be very tasteful. Anyways, I go to a church in San Francisco called First Chinese Baptist Church. Chinatown represent!
And let me start off by saying this: I love my church. But I have problems with it. And that's what I need to talk about. Writing about Fcbc is one of the reasons I wanted to make this blog. Doing something about Fcbc, however, is something that I need to do more than write about. But that's something that will take more work...
So the thing I love about Fcbc is the people. This is my family. Yes, we have cliques. Yes, we say mean things. Yes, I still avoid some people. But this is where God put me. But the thing that worries me about Fcbc is that no one is being challenged. Fcbc is a comfortable church that would never call anyone out or make someone rethink their faith. We love saying things like "read your Bible" and "spend time with God," but after almost 4 years of Sundays, I don't remember one single time that I left church changed. I don't remember any sermons. I don't remember ever feeling convicted to do anything for the sake of the gospel. As I'm learning more and more about who Jesus is from my own experiences and resources, I'm beginning to see that Jesus was not a comfortable person to be around. When I'm at church, I hear a message, but instead of hitting me hard like the Rock:the messages are more like Golddust:hahaha. Freakin hurt.
But for you non wwf kids, what I mean is that the messages at Fcbc are all so blah. There's nothing to wrestle with, nothing that convicts, challenges, or offends. I love our pastors, but I'm tired of all the sugar-coating. It makes everyone numb to what is supposed to be a transformative Word.
I'm not sure what I would think of Fcbc if I was visiting for the first time. I remember one service, (what I think was) a homeless guy came in and sat down. First of all, that kinda stuff NEVER happens at our church. But it did this one time. And I don't wanna assume things, but the lady sitting next to him (a very solid church member) stood up and moved... !!! Like wtf, right? I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of the gospel. Our youth service was cancelled and has now joined forces with our young adult/college service. I think it's because numbers were too low... Again, I don't wanna assume things, but I'm not so sure if our church is very open to newcomers. They just make us too... uncomfortable.
I am afraid that my friends at Fcbc, especially those who are younger, will get used to this idea of Christianity as something that can coexist easily with every other aspect of life and that will never challenge the way they live or think or act. I am afraid that Fcbc is giving off a false image of who God is, that he doesn't challenge us to live to a much higher standard. I do not see very much passion at Fcbc. And I don't think it's because there are no passionate people, but it's the fact that we're not seeing God move in our church because we won't take any risks for him.
Well, I'm afraid this post is getting into the realm of a complaining session rather than anything constructive. So, this is post is mainly for those of you to attend Fcbc. Please, I would love to hear from you. Agree? Disagree? I think you can leave a comment regardless of whether you have an account or not... And for those of you nonFcbc-ers who may be reading this, if you have something to say, please say it. I apologize if this was an annoying rant and if you found any of it offensive. But it's how I feel. Yee.
Lastly, I don't want to make it seem like I'm above any of this. My failings as a Christian far outweigh the failings of this church. But as God is transforming me, I expect the rest of the Body be transformed as well. I want to make a difference at Fcbc. Not sure how, but I want to. I'm not gonna leave, since this is my family. Dysfunctional, but still my family. That is all.


Alexander said...

yeah nate, ive been struggling a lot with the same things in both newstart and fcbc, eventhough i havnt been to the latter all that long.
i agree that the Church in general kind rebuilt the curtain between the world and God that Jesus tore in half when he was crucified.
but i feel like i expect too much out of my sundays. I think the reason why i dont get much out of the service/sermons is becuase im not doing as much as I could for God during the rest of the week when the Church should be just as alive as it is on sundays.

Jeremy Cheung said...

hi nate. i dont have much authority on this topic, but i remember when i went to your church a time or two. i actually enjoyed it because it was a new side of christianity that i didnt really experience before, something different from a standard catholic mass. it just wasnt my cup of tea. But yes, if you think change needs to happen then you should start that change. giver an interesting sermon or something that challenges or questions your church.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you're feeling, because sometimes I feel the need to be challenged as well. But honestly, what can be done? If we were always taught this way from the church and it's been this way for years, what change could be brought about that would help challenge the youth? Right now, the only thing I could think of is to find a motive to challenge ourselves in our own lives, rather than relying on the church to provide that motive and ambition for us.

shannon said...

hey nate. i got your facebook comment and instead of reading the "stuff christians like" guy's blogs, i find myself reading your blog. :)
re: this entry, i agree that i haven't been challenged very often at fcbc, but part of it is my own attitude. i know the pastors issue challenges at the end of their sermons, but how often do i think they apply to me?
another thing i can do is attend the monthly prayer meetings. i've always wanted to go but haven't had the courage to go by myself. so dumb! how can i complain if i'm not even praying for the church? so that's it, i will go to this month's meeting. jan 25. thanks for the kick in the butt.

Lazy Punk said...

wow. Good job. I completely agree with you 100%. First of all, I truly know what you mean about the whole clique thing. I have firsthand experience in that, and the loneliness you feel when you're not in one.
Also, in coming to college, I have come to learn a lot about my faith. Before, i barely went to church. And when I did, I mostly went for the few people I knew. And also, because it was SAFE. I could go there, and it would be so comfortable to be in the same routine they follow every week. I didn't have to do anything, I could just go and mind my own business. Heck, I didn't even have to worry about the sermons making me feel bad or anything, because they always seemed to out in through one ear and out the other.

But in coming to college, and finding a christian fellowship, I have come to redefine the term Christianity, and to also redefine my faith. We, as Christians, were never meant to stay inside the church. We were meant to get out into the world, take a few risks, and help someone else. We were meant to go out into not-very-safe places to glorify God. I'm not just talking about missionaries, or even physical locations. It could also be places within your heart. Opening yourself up, confessing to things you've kept hidden away, doing things you've never done before, or were too scared to do before. We were meant to challenge ourselves, to use the gifts God gave us.

I feel like FCBC has forgotten this. I hope that they may remember this. Although I am nowhere near being where I want to be, and knowing I have a long long ways to go and a lot more to improve on, I'm hoping to help out in any way I can. If you have any ideas on how i/we can help, please let me know.