Monday, July 27, 2015

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans review

The Church has been a rather finicky topic for so many of us in the last few decades. As children, we grow up with church being required due to our parents making us attend. We went to Sunday School, Sunday service, some of us Sunday nights, and Wednesday evenings for youth group or Wednesday service (depending on your denomination). I consistently hear from family, friends, and acquaintances that they simply "I believe in God, just not organized religion or going to church."

I think Rachel Held Evans brings across points that are quite common to many of us with the Church. There are so many churches that have turned church into a rock concert, or just churches that want everyone to appear perfect.

I think too that a lot of us, myself included, are simply afraid of the criticism of going to a church regularly, having our secrets splayed out for the world (ummm, the congregation) to see, and fear being judged for it. It always feels like being in church means you should already be perfect and not have any sins on display to cause harsh criticism. Which is why I found Rachel's chapter, Dirty Laundry, amazing. I finished Brennan Manning's classic book "The Ragamuffin Gospel" a few days ago and this fell right in line. In her book, she mentions how more people feel the way we SHOULD feel in church, in AA. Why? Everyone freely admits that they are a sinner and have messed up. Specifically, "So why do our churches feel more like country clubs than AA?" People in AA confess their sins, ask for help, and show fear. All things that seem not allowable in most churches unless you are Catholic and sitting in a confessional. Later on in this same chapter, she says "The truth is, we think church is for people living in the "after" picture. We think church is for taking spiritual Instagrams and putting on our best performances. We think church is for the healthy, even though Jesus told us time and again he came to minister to the sick. We think church is for the good people, not resurrected people. ...So we fake it." And I personally feel like this chapter, this is a big part of what is pulling people away from church and away from Christ. This idea that in order to be a part of fellowship, we must be the after picture. 

For me personally, as a single Mother, who is part Caucasian, part Native American, Spaniard, and Mexican, I feel like I don't have a place. Most churches that align with the doctrine I was brought up believing, are predominantly white. I don't speak Spanish so even though I look more like those individuals, I don't fit in because of the language barrier.

This book is a modern day Ragamuffin Gospel to me. There were so many times I found myself shaking my head in agreement, taking some kind of note on something, or understood or agreed with personally.

I saw a few other reviewers on Amazon state that they didn't agree with it and hated the book. I also noticed that these individuals tended to appear older than I think the under 45 demographic this book seems to be targeted towards.

If you've grown up never doubting, and always feeling like you absolutely had your place in the church, then this book may not be for you. But if you've found yourself on the verge of an anxiety attack just by the idea of walking in the sanctuary, or shaking your head in disagreement by the way minorities (persons of color, LGBTQ, females, et cetera) are treated in the church, then this is the book for you.

(I apologize for any errors that may be present in this review, I wrote most of it on a bluetooth keyboard when my computer died!)

I selected this book to review from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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