I was in church it seemed for the whole week-end. On Saturday it was to go to a funeral of a family friend and on Sunday for the baptism of my niece. There I saw all my old friends that I only see in church for ceremonies such as these, weddings, baptism and such. I realized that for most of us this was the extent of our church life, or participation in religion. We were really not practitioners of any faith, but kept up some religious rights out of some distant need.
The funeral had all of what was supposed to be said at a funeral. People said prayers to God robotically and said amen when ordered by the minister and even half heartedly sang hymns, but most were not God-fearing people. I realized that we had come out of a sense of it was right thing to do for the dead. That it was the right thing to do even if we did not truly understand why.The need seemed to stem from an intuitive instinct, or a distant teaching that it was what one did when a person dies and you want to be respectful of that person. We had come to share and support the grieving family, but I do not think that we came because of our faith in God’s teachings or the salvation of the deceased soul.
The minister preached to us this day about more than the funeral service, because he said that this was the only chance he got anymore to see so many of us in church and he knew that this could be the only chance to reach us again until the next funeral, so the funeral took a lot longer than usual.
It did not seem to matter to the minister that the young man was not a Christian and said that God did not expect us to be perfect just reasonably good and that he was sure that this young man met those qualifications and so was in the arms of God. I smiled to myself and wondered to what standard the minister held himself? Did he walk-in the way of the Lord or was he just reasonably good as well?
The eulogy did nothing to reaffirm the young mans good deeds or life as one with God or having religion in his life and it all made me wonder why we were here having this Christian burial right for an obvious non believer and why was the church participating in this lie?
The baptism was in a catholic church. Now the mother’s family are practicing catholic’s though I do not think the mother is active in the church. The father is protestant but not a practicing Christian of any church, but yet they still felt the need to baptize their child. The priest went through the rituals and the asking of the parents grandparents and god parents to take vows to bring up the child according to the church teachings and they all lied and said they would. The priest knew it was a lie but gave his blessing anyway.
Does this mean that the church is its rituals and that this is how people relate to the church? As a place to go at certain occasions and to otherwise forget. Has the rights given by the church become more important than actually becoming the christian and following Gods teachings? I think I understand the layman’s needs and why we do it, but why does the church allow this hypocrisy and lend its credibility to this farce. Is it the money that is generated by the charging for the administering of these rights?
I am guilty of these things myself, but it has bothered me since childhood how I could wake up saying the lords prayer in the middle of a nightmare and it would make everything all right and make me feel safe, but with the light of day the lord was forgotten and not called upon until the next nightmare.
I guess I will never know the answer, but what I do know is that the whole business of the religious rights with no religious beliefs is wierd and the way the church allows it to happen a little irresponsible. I guess I seek explanation of how the church sees this dilemma and how this helps with the churches main goal. I think that if you are not an active member of the church you should not be given the right to have these religious rights performed for you and you be allowed to lie your way through them. I think this practice diminishes the teachings of the church and in doing so diminishes the power and glory of God.