Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Excerpts from my list of Post-WOF do's and don'ts

During my post-Word of Faith church-search, I have devised a handy list of do's and don'ts to guide myself through churchy waters:

1) I don't do awesome.

Awesome is an overworked word in the Christian lexicon.

It gets tossed around quite bit, e.g., we have an awesome church...the worship time was awesome...awesome youth group. You get the idea.

With that in mind, I have sworn off all things awesome, since that's usually a sign that the object in question is not awesome.

The awesome comes from the word awe. Awe is defined as "an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime." I have a hard time seeing myself feel that way about the youth group.

2) I don't do 'vision.'

At our old Word of Faith church, we started each year writing our "Vision list" (also called a to-do-list). The pastor was renowned for his teaching on vision (even though nobody had heard of him). He would exhort us to raise our sights regarding our vision on essential spiritual issues: more money, bigger house. What lowered my enthusiasm about 'vision' was how our vision list was mostly comprised of suggestions that came from the pastor or his family.

Once I got out of the WOF, I realized how much talk there was amongst Christians about vision, such as "finding your place in your pastor's vision." Huh? Why, does he wear glasses?

Right, I'm sure Jesus will be quizzing me about how well I executed my pastor's vision in heaven, or ask for my tithing record and did I appropriately shun offended ex-church members.

3) I don't listen to 'life coaches.'

I don't know if they dress like high school football coaches but it just sounds cheesy.

4) Partial Contemporary Christian music ban

There is a worship song about being free to dance that sounds like U2's Where The Streets Have No Name. I am free of being required to like to contemporary Christian music just because I am a Christian. In some quarters it appears mandatory, no matter how atrocious the music is. Whoo!! Freedom!!

It's not that I absolutely don't accept 'contemporary' worship anymore. But for my vantage point contemporary worship looks a lot like karaoke and I can do karaoke at home. And when I do, I can karaoke to songs I actually like.

Incidentally, am I the only one who is burnt out on the Jesus-love-song format?

Also, when does singing along with a band magically become worship? Didn't I do that when I saw U2 or R.E.M.? Well, I was singing then but I wasn't longing and straining like I was at church.

Hope I'm not sounding too abrasive here but if I'm free to dance, I'm also free to ask questions. Who knows, I could eventually come around and decide that awesome is pretty awesome after all. But I am free to ask questions, something you cannot do in a controlling church environment.


  1. You are absolutely right about the vision list containing things from the W family's lists. Sad! We should have known were supposed to be ourselves and not try to be just like them. If we had only known what they really were.....

  2. I don't do "God told me" any more either!

  3. Ooo, good one. I knew that I had left something off my list.

  4. I thought of a couple of more that I don't do anymore....

    I don't do "let's just walk in love" while overlooking mistreatment of myself or others.

    I don't do "man of God" anymore. The only man of God in our lives is Jesus.

  5. Oh, yeah. Very good. I don't do "man of God" anymore, either.
    I won't spout off "just walk in love" to anyone anymore. I will, however say "Let's walk in integrity and stand up for what's right." It doesn't give people a Holy Ghost chill, but living a holy life isn't exactly sensational, either.

    -Mrs. G.W.

  6. Anybody Can Be Cool-- But Awesome Takes Practice (Devotionals for Teens)by Lorraine Peterson

  7. Did you give up using following the so-called "Romans Road" - that infamous Romans 10:9? This verse is misused and abused by the WoF. It is written for Christians who are already JUSTIFIED!!! Salvation in Romans 10:9 is the salvation over the power of sin and NOT eternal life as the WoF teaches!!! How can a person be "justified" but remain unsaved until he/she confesses with the mouth?