Disclaimer: My goal in this post is not to offend anyone. This is just my opinion. So if you read this and you’re offended, read it again. If you’re still offended, quit reading it. It’s not good to read things that make you angry.
My opinion on the weirdness of church is coming from a background that involved growing up in a cult that told its members how to discipline their children (spanking was encouraged and expected) and whether or not it was okay for women to wear makeup. (It was and then it was not and then it was again, and while the cult is still in existence, I’m no longer a member and have no idea whether makeup is still the mark of a harlot. Personally, I think being paid for sex is the mark of a harlot, but what do I know?)
We haven’t been back to our regular church since The Great Kid’s Church Fiasco of 2012 where I actually wished women had testicles so that I could kick The Beast’s teacher in them and then follow that up by throat punching her sanctimonious children.
I’m violent today. I think it’s probably hunger.
Or maybe I’m just violent. I don’t know.
I did speak with the director of the children’s program and told her what had happened with The Beast and how upset it made me and that I wanted to physically harm a fellow church member. The director was very kind and apologetic and told me that if we decided to return to church, they would make sure that The Beast didn’t go back into her class.
Most likely they’re concerned I’ll kick the teacher in the she-testicles and throat punch her children.
We’ve been visiting another church with some of our friends in the meantime, and it has made me realize how bizarre it would be to be someone who is coming into a church for the first time.
A while back we visited a church that was great, had great programs, great people, great music. But the pastor did this thing with his hands when he was speaking. He would look at his hands and then move them in a way that made it look like he was massaging a large globe. It drove me bonkers and we couldn’t go back to that church.
Yes, I realize that’s a petty reason not to go to a church, but if you’re there every Sunday, you should be able to look at the pastor without thinking about him molesting decorative office furniture.
So, back to the church we’ve been visiting. First of all, this church, like every other church on the planet, makes us greet one another. This truly drives me nuts, as I’ve mentioned previously. I don’t think it serves any purpose other than to spread germs. It’s forced and fake and I hate it hate it hate it hate it. I never know what to say. Do I just say hello or do I actually introduce myself if I don’t know them? And if it’s someone I already know, why do I need to shake their hand in church? I probably already said hello to them in the lobby before church.
Does your church do communion? We did not do communion growing up, and the first time I did communion after leaving the cult, I was kind of thrown by it. It’s just kind of weird if you’re not used to it.
At our regular church, the ushers pass around trays of wafers and juice, so you pick up a wafer and a small thimble of juice and do communion in your seat. I was used to this.
This past Sunday was communion Sunday at the church we’ve been visiting. And when it came time for communion, the pastor broke a loaf of bread in half. I thought to myself, what the jack is he doing with the bread? Is he going to pass it around and have everybody take a bite?
Then he uncovered a chalice of juice. Was he going to pass the juice chalice around and have everyone take a sip out of it? It is more likely that Satan would fly out of Hell on a unicorn, repent and join in the hymn singing than I would ever drink out of a chalice that a bunch of strangers have touched to their lips.
I was kind of relieved when the pastor invited everyone who wanted to take communion to walk to the front of the church so that the pastor could hand you a piece of bread to dip in the juice.
After the initial feeling of relief, the horror set in, because while I wasn’t going to be drinking from a germ-infested chalice, I was going to be eating bread that was being broken off and handed to me by the pastor of the church. You know, that guy that all the people in the church want to shake hands with. So I immediately started assessing how likely it was that the pastor washed his hands right before the church service started.
Somehow, I do not think that is what God wants me to reflect on during communion. The whole way to the front of the church, I was saying to myself, “It’s like I’m letting every single person in this building lick my bread before I eat it.”
I realize that at our regular church it’s very likely that other people are touching the wafers on the plate, but at this church I knew that one man who had touched a lot of hands that morning was manhandling my bread.
And that’s when I decided that church is kind of weird. Each church has traditions and practices and ideas, and I’m not saying that one is right and the others are wrong, but if I were some random person on the street walking into a church for the first time, I’d probably be more than a little weirded out by some of it.
Another possibility in all of this is that church is totally normal and I’m actually bringing the weirdness to the equation.
Maybe I’ll start my own church called the Hypochondriac’s Church of God. The members of my church will never be forced to touch each other, and our communion wafers will come individually wrapped.
You can come if you want.
Just wash your hands first.