Mar 30, 2023·edited Mar 30, 2023Liked by Judy Wu Dominick

I so very much feel this. I have only attended 2 churches as an adult (I turn 50 next week). I am a spiritual director. I used to work for a local denominational office. I am ordained. Much of my family are pastors. And I haven't been in Sunday morning church service in 3 years. I don't want to leave church, but I am having a hard time finding a place where I can actually be. I am committed to try because of my kids. But I am also reluctant to get into the wrong place because of my kids.

I don't feel particularly far from God. I think my spiritual life is relatively healthy. But I feel far from church community because I just don't really trust that the church communities around me. I have friends that are pastors that I love and trust. But I want to be in a community that isn't 40 minutes away.

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I'm with you one hundred percent, Adam, especially the part about the kids. It's weird to have such a wasteland feel when there's the appearance of excess (a church on every corner, a hundred denominations to choose from, resources galore, etc). I'm slowly working through the complex layers of this reality.

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Me too. Me too.

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Mar 10Liked by Judy Wu Dominick

You said (regarding churches) that the "religious systems produce a lot of piety and surface-level niceness that pass for godliness, as well as cliquishness that passes for 'Christian fellowship, but they don’t necessarily form very Christlike people or communities." I can really relate to this. Where is the grace? Confession of sin? Teaching on repentance and grace from God and toward each other? The fellowship that 1 John talks about - centering around walking in the light and our need for Jesus? Taking up our cross and following Christ? Expecting hardship and suffering together because it is a privilege to suffer for Christ (instead we have nonsense that says suffering means you are doing something wrong. Yikes...Job's miserable comforters - some of the first "health-and-wealth" preachers)? Instead, Americans have formed many social clubs with a churchy veneer, I'm afraid. The real deal is not easy (and I am certainly a hypocrite and sinful...I need Jesus).

Interesting also that you mentioned the parable of the wheat and the tares. I have thought a lot about that passage lately. It's interesting that the reason Jesus gives for not uprooting the tares earlier is that this action might hurt the wheat. How fascinating that God wants the tares and wheat to grow together until the harvest. Makes me think of Romans 5 - suffering producing perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame. The harvest will be a great day. Come soon, Jesus!

Thank you for this article.

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You’ve expressed what I haven’t yet found words for. I’m with you in these very big and deep emotions on this topic. But I think you know that—as it’s what connected us in the first place. 😌 Whenever I read what you’ve written, I just want to thank you. You’re a generous writer and I recognize that can’t be easy.

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Mar 31, 2023Liked by Judy Wu Dominick

This sounds like the beginning of a story of myself that is happening right now.

You’re an amazing writer!

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