Not Another Modesty Blog

I have convictions about clothes. I have lines and standards and preferences.

But.

I’m going to go out on a limb and admit that, in my mind, there isn’t a good answer to the clothing issue. I won’t call it the modesty issue, because we’ve warped the idea of modesty in our minds to mean “how much skin girls show with their clothes” which is absolutely unbiblical and narrowminded. I’ll get to that presently. My introduction is, however, that nobody wins everything and everybody loses a little. All the time.

As many have said – men lust even after women covered in fabric from head to toe. Lust will happen. No matter what’s going on, if a guy is lusting and obsessing over sex, it really doesn’t matter what a girl is wearing. Guys lose. But, at the same time, many guys do seem to be relieved and helped by certain modes of dress. Then there’s this pressure that builds up for girls to monitor their outfits like hawks, stay out of swimming pools, and convince themselves that they must be responsible for someone else’s sin. Girls lose.

Everybody loses. Somebody is going to lose no matter what is happening, what you’re wearing, or what you say, every single day. You just can’t help it. A good example is my husband, who claims to be feminist and is big on empowering people. Even he, when he read a specifically sex/body-themed article by a female blogger, confessed that the graphic wording made him uncomfortable and gave him mental pictures that he didn’t want. He didn’t bash the article; it was on an important topic and one that many people needed to read. And we discussed how the author had made the choice that anyone’s discomfort (what some might choose to call stumbling) was worth it, in order to reach the people who desperately needed to hear her perspective.

So we talked about it, ate dinner, and got over it.

Here are some things I think we might need to start teaching our boys to do:

1. Accept and Appreciate the Beauty of the Female Body.

[do you ever wonder if we’ve created this obsession with lust in our boys by constantly telling them that they have a lust obsession…?]

I personally think human bodies are beautiful. Pretty much every Renaissance painter agrees with me. Artists in general have a marvelous, gracious way of looking at the human body. Painters, sculpters, actors, and dancers learn to separate the human body, and even human sexuality, from an actual sex act, or lustful, greedy thoughts. They have to do this in order to further in their craft! If a dancer gawked and obsessed about sex every time he or she saw the human form, insanity would soon follow. Similarly, if these artists were too reserved or prudish about physicality and sexuality, they wouldn’t be able to tell their stories properly. They wouldn’t be able to achieve artistic distance and build beautiful things.

Maybe artists are special, and maybe this is an unfair thing to expect of everyone. But I still think it’s possible to introduce beauty, softness, & loveliness to boys, when it comes to girls – without encouraging them to become sex fanatics. Cultivate an appreciation of beauty, and God’s masterful creation. This, of course, would be taught along with the concepts of bodily autonomy, agency, and personal responsibility. Yes, girls are beautiful. No, you do not get to touch them without their consent. Yes, certain parts of her body are special and privileged – just as parts of your body are. So hands off and don’t stare.

But it’s ok to notice her body. It’s ok to think she’s beautiful. It’s ok to admire her, think about her. Just remember that she is not yours. Having sex with her in your mind, jealously seething over her, that’s lust – and that’s not a good place to be. Jesus said it’s better to get rid of your eye altogether than to consistently allow it to pull you into sin and the objectification of others.

2. Honestly, Learn to Get Over It.

This might seem selfish or stupid, but it’s been my experience with life that every single person needs to learn to generally “get over” stuff. If I’m a highly visual woman, every attractive shirtless guy at the pool is going to be eye candy for me, and has the potential to be a distraction. But you know? You just move on with your life. Like I explained earlier, everybody loses. I am going to lose sometimes. I am going to be made uncomfortable, I am going to wander into a mental no-zone, and -as long as nobody is touching me or infringing on me actively- it’s 100% my issue to deal with.

And you know what? Learning to get over stuff helps you do it better, easier. Constantly thinking, “oh my gosh, if he would JUST put on a shirt and stop reminding me of how hot he is, then I’d be fine” puts the responsibility on someone who is just adhering to a normal social more. Choosing to notice beauty, accept that it’s not mine, and look away – that puts responsibility squarely on my own shoulders. I’m a big girl. I can deal with it.

And next time, or the next time, maybe it won’t be a problem at all. Maybe “getting over it” can help me learn to accept that beautiful things exist without requiring gawking.

Now. Onto the actual issue at hand.

Clothes? Clothes are the red herring of the modesty issue. Actual modesty is so much harder than clothes. 

There are a few Scripture passages that deal with the issue of modesty. I would like to present and discuss them.

[What’s interesting is that the typical ‘modesty’ blog written to young girls doesn’t have an appropriate Bible verse to pull from, that actually espouses the message it puts forth….] 

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion (Proverbs 11:22).

This verse speaks to the conduct of women: be wise, be discreet. Even a beautiful woman (even a well-covered woman) whose attitude is wrong is like a pig flaunting jewelry.

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful (1 Peter 3:1-5).

Again, these verses speak to appropriate, modest behavior. What are we as women to pursue, to exhibit? Purity. Reverence. A “gentle and quiet spirit” – one confident in the love of God. And yes, it’s true, this passage does speak to clothing. It says that if you rely on your hair, your jewelry, or your clothing for your beauty, you’re drawing from a dry well. Braided hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothes in this passage denote wealth, power, and social position. Don’t let those things define you. Don’t be the woman who is remembered for her flaunting her status. We are to flaunt the grace and goodness of God!

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”–but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

We have great freedom, but not everything is good for us, and we’re not meant to be mastered by things. Our bodies, bottom line, are meant to reflect God’s holiness and his artistic, masterful creation. God loves our bodies, created them, wants them, and doesn’t want them abused. That means a lot of things to a lot of people. Girls abuse their bodies by hiding in frumpy clothes out of shame, by cutting themselves, by trying to get attention from the wrong people. Men abuse bodies when they encourage those behaviors. Sometimes honoring your body is going to relate to what you’re wearing. But you know what? Not always. And the bottom line always needs to be honor and respect. Those words are not innately connected with the word “bikini.”

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God (1 Timothy 2:8-10).

This verse again echoes the clothing exhortation, that a woman’s outward finery not be used as a crutch in lieu of  spiritual qualities. This word “modest” in verse 9 implies the prevention of a shameful act; reverence, awareness of consequences for actions; restraint. Extensive commentary on this verse can be found here.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God (Titus 2:3-5).

Again, women are encouraged to be virtuous, self-controlled, productive, kind, and peacemaking. Nowhere in these verses is there language about the appropriate amount of skin to show at a waterpark, or that girls are held responsible for anyone’s lust but their own.

If we’re going to talk about modesty being a “heart issue” – let’s actually talk about heart issues. Let’s talk about actual immodesty: attention hogs, tactless remarks, rudeness, and obscenity. Selfishness is immodesty. Gossip is immodesty.

Immodesty is about drawing attention to yourself when you should be loving others and reflecting Christ.

Let’s talk about that.

(this is now part of the Modesty Synchroblog!)

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Revisiting the Fairy-Tale

I have noticed that the ideal, the pinnacle, of romance is supposed to culminate in a “fairy-tale wedding.” Googling that phrase produces a head-spinning amount of results. Ask any wedding planner, and they know the phrase well. That idyllic scene isn’t always achieved, of course. But it’s the stereotypical dream of every young girl, right? She finds her prince charming and then, at the perfect time, it all comes together for this so-called “fairy-tale wedding.” I suppose we use that term because many fairy-tales end with “happily ever after.” One of my favourite fairy-tales is a Cinderella-type story by the Brothers Grimm entitled The True Bride. There’s a garden, and long walks, and a lime tree, and abandonment, and disguise, and mystique, and deception. Another interesting one is Rapunzel, which features theft, parental abuse, illicit sex (leading to an illegitimate pregnancy), a violent maiming, lots of wandering in the wilderness, and a tearful, miraculous reunion. Other fairy-tales feature geese, cows, and wizards. Many feature lying and deception and trickery. Dragons. Blood. Surprises. Death. There’s a good-against-evil, or a little-vs-big, or a poor-vs-rich struggle. They’re often full of normal people, poor people, who stumble into circumstances well beyond their depth and must use cleverness or goodness to come out on top. In light of most fairy-tales, it is interesting that we use the term “fairy-tale wedding.” Weddings, you see, normally aren’t featured in fairy-tales. In fairy-tales, people have adventures, learn things about themselves, slay giants, fall in love – and then – only then – is a wedding implied. Not by a description of the gown or the cake, but by one tiny phrase: “and they all lived happily ever after.”

They lived.  happily.

ever after.

The ever after part? That’s a choice. That’s a choice I made when I said in front of witnesses, “until death gives us over to God.” That’s a choice I make every day when I follow, love, honor, and respect him.

The happily part? That’s a choice too. “happily” takes a lot of work and a lot of choosing to see good in places that seem dark and sad sometimes. Like when the giant is at the door, when you’re in the belly of the wolf, when your dress is in tatters.

In all honesty, a stereotypical “fairy-tale wedding” – the pristine white cake, bride’s tiara, 10-foot long train, harp music, flowers everywhere, not a hitch or a glitch – looks nothing like a fairy-tale.   But the wedding can be the beginning of a fairy-tale, if we let it, I suppose. After all, a marriage is an adventure. A marriage is a perfect example of normalcy shattered by the supernatural. A marriage is a couple of rag-tag adventurers who get whisked into new territory, with every turn challenging who they are and who they THOUGHT they were. Marriage is full of choices to either stand and fight or run and hide. Marriage makes you choose sides and choose teams against bigger foes; marriage makes you realize you can’t do it alone. Marriage is like a beanstalk and a path through the woods and an abandoned cottage, the rose garden of an ancient castle, or a royal ball. It can seem mundane, until you’re forced to make a choice that determines your destiny (and the destiny of others).

[My wedding wasn’t like a fairy-tale, but my marriage might be. Just working every day, little by little, on the choices. On the “happily” and on the “ever after.”]

What Has Fear to do with Faith? Part 2: The “Other” / God’s Breath

I said a while back that I was intending to write a series of posts on the subject of Fear. I still have those intentions. I have a draft saved on Tribalism, as we speak, but first I want to spin off that and talk briefly about

“other.”

We tend to fear the “other,” and that has no place in the Christian faith.

Fear, in the Christian faith, has to do with recognition of the bigness, holiness, and awe-inspiring presence of an all-powerful CreatorGod. “Fear of the LORD” is complex. It’s more than reverence, but still based in love, sometimes terror; not always safe, but always good. It’s too much for a blog post.

But that’s not the fear of man. That’s not the fear of “other” – to which we are so often prone.

::Term Definition: the “other” is something foreign. It’s something we didn’t grow up with, something that makes us uncomfortable, something different from the mainstream, powerful, or normal.::

Can I be a nerd, and talk about yoga real fast?

First off, I’ve been practicing yoga for 3-4 years. I’ve practiced it studios, gyms, my home, and even in an academic setting, so I feel I have a bit of “cred” in this area.

Ask any practitioner (or yogi), what is yoga about? and you’ll probably get a slightly different answer each time. It’s about a lot of things, and there are a thousand different components, branches, traditions, schools. Yoga is big. It’s about the body. It’s about the mind. It’s about the spirit. It’s about the connectivity of it all, about how we relate to each other, about how we view and treat ourselves, about how we view God and the spiritual realm. In my own practice, it’s been about recognizing that I can’t compartmentalize parts of myself. I’m one thing, and every part of me connects and has value. For me, it’s been a way of remembering common, shared humanity – about the importance of respect and peace. For me, it’s been a way to settle, cast off distractions, and give more of myself to God.

But yoga means so many things to so many people – and people of all different sorts of religions practice yoga. My first yoga instructor told us that yoga isn’t a religion: it’s a lifestyle that can help channel and strengthen your religion. Yes, there are highly spiritual aspects that focus on meditation, openings in the heart, mind, and body, and the idea of “nirvana” or oneness with the world and with the divine. But that is going to, by its very nature, mean something different to every person. And to a Christian yogi, there is nothing heretical about opening oneself up to meditate on, and commune with, God.

Unfortunately for western Christians, yoga is eastern. Yoga sprung from a non-Christian culture. Yoga is “other.” And western Christian leaders are absolutely terrified of such things.

E.W. Jackson, currently running for Virginia’s Lt. Governer, has stated that meditation/yoga is:

“about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. . . . The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. . . . [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to, but no one can be a child of God without making a decision to surrender to him. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself.”

Popular Christian leader Mark Driscoll straight up claims that,

“yoga is demonic.”

“yoga is Hinduism.”

“it’s absolute paganism.”

“if you just sign up for a little yoga class, you’re signing up for a little demon class.”

(::that thing you smell? fear.::)

Needless for any responsible, self-possessed yogi to say, these men obviously know nothing about yoga. These men doubtless desire to protect their followers from evil, from temptation, and from wrong influences. However, from this noble desire has sprung the reality: they teach their followers to fear “other” in hate and ignorance. Because they fear something, and because for whatever reason they have not taken the time to learn about something, they teach others to continue in that same fear and ignorance.

Can yoga be abused? Anything can be abused.

Can the eastern roots of Hinduism, and its connection to yoga, be distracting or unhealthy for a Christian yogi? Of course. Practicing certain elements or lifestyles of yoga (of the thousands, and thousands of variations) would not be appropriate, helpful, or necessary for a Christian.

Like anything in this life, we look for truth and goodness through the revealed nature of Christ.

But, you know what can be found in the practice, lifestyle, and mindset of yoga?

Do you know what the eightfold path of Raja (or Royal) Yoga includes?

Abstaining from earthly distractions. Non-harming. Truth. Non-stealing. Chastity. Non-greed.

Purity. Study of Scriptures. Surrender to God.

The physical practice of steady pose, posture, and seat.

Control of vital energy; awareness of one’s breath.

Concentration of the mind. Meditation.

Did you know that? That doesn’t sound too “other” after all, does it?

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward (Mark 9:38-41).

*

Excepting C.S. Lewis’s portrayal of Aslan, I cannot think of any Christian teacher, author, or leader (in popular, layman’s culture anyway) highlighting the beauty and importance of God’s breath. In the Creation narrative, the world may have come into existence through God’s voice and his words – but man was created through his breath. Jesus breathed on his disciples to impart his spirit. In fact, the Hebrew word ruach means both breath and spirit – thus linking the life forces of our bodies and our souls in a mysterious and majestic way.

God created body; God created breath. He is not a god of Gnosticism – which despises the physical elements of life. God made us from ruach and earth, and I think we forget that in our pursuit of the spiritual. But it’s all connected.

That’s why the yoga mindset, the yoga lifestyle, could be such a powerful tool in a Christian’s life. Because the only base requirement to practice yoga is to breathe. It always comes back to the breath (as, again, any yogi will tell you). Physical poses? They work with your breath. Meditation? Work with your breath. Awareness and control of breath is the centerpoint of yoga, and it’s a brilliant and beautiful metaphor of the ruach.

::see what fear can crush, can kill? fear stops breath. fear stops life. don’t let it.::

Identity

Who am I?

I’m a gentile woman, born outside the ancient covenant Yahweh made with the Hebrew nation. As an outsider, I was opposed by God’s people for thousands of years. As a woman, I was silenced by countless governments, countless societies.

But glory be, for God wanted me too. Glory be, for God put on skin and walked among us. God came down and said that the Hebrews got it wrong, that his covenant people had fallen so far from his Good Intent for humanity. God said,

“No, I want the Samaritan. I want the gentile” (John 4:1-26; 3:16).

God said,

“No, I want the weak ones whose voices have been silenced. I want the children. I want the women. I want the leper” (Matthew 19:14; Mark 16:1-10; Luke 17:11-14).

God came down and honored his mother. God came down and pitied the sick, wept with the grieving. God came down and his heart broke for Jerusalem, the city that was supposed to be a light…the city that stoned its prophets, exploited its widows, rejected the embrace of LORD, and had become buried under ashen regulations and heartless sacrifices.

God said,

ENOUGH.

God loved, and healed, and refused to capitulate to the “religion” of his people. God was arrested, convicted, and killed. God took upon the sins of his children – all of his children, from every corner of the world, and died. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit did something amazing and God the Son came back to life in a New Body, a Resurrection Kind of Body, a body that can pass through walls, and he said, “Peace, be with you.”

God taught some more, healed some more, loved some more.

Then God said, go, and tell this good news.

Not old news.

Not animal blood, levitical law, the death penalty, and the yawning mouth of Sheol.

{good news.}

That Christ’s blood has been spilled, and that is enough.

That every letter of the old law was to point to loving God, and loving our neighbor. That the separation from Jew and Gentile created by the old law has been broken, and God is drawing ALL MEN to himself now.

That Sheol cannot defeat the Resurrection. That Christ overcomes, and God is stronger than death.

Before his ascension, Christ didn’t say, “Go, and make Jews of all nations.”

Thank God, no. Thank God, God was turning the page.

“Go and make disciples,” he said. (Teach them the words I have taught you. As you were my disciples, teach to them what you learned from me.)

“Baptize them,” he said. (Don’t cut them, like your fathers and forefathers. This new covenant requires no more blood, no more flesh. I have paid that in full. This covenant is a washing and a cleansing. This covenant is about making new. This covenant is burying the old man under the floodwaters, and raising the new man full of my breath and my spirit)

God did those things!
God said those things!

In that kind of God, I find my identity.

(washed, loved, renewed, worth dying for)

What a mighty, mighty God I serve.

I Don’t Believe You

“But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26).

I think every church I’ve ever attended for any considerable length of time has made the claim (through a pastor, leader, or pamphlet):

“remember, the church is not a building.”

I would venture to say that it’s possible every single church has had that phrase uttered inside its walls, at some point or another. We are reminded that the church is a gathering of believers. We are reminded that the church is where Christ’s hands and feet are moving. We are reminded that the church cannot be contained. We are reminded, mostly, “the church is not a building.” And for my my whole life, I believed those people who said that. I nodded and agreed. For my whole life, I met with other believers in a contemporary, western church-building, my family tithed, and I was actively involved in church events and volunteering. And as I did those things, I heard hundreds and hundreds of times,

“remember, the church is not a building.”

But here’s the thing.

I don’t believe you anymore.

Let me straightaway clarify: I know perfectly well that the church is not a building. But I no longer believe that you believe that, when you say that to me. I don’t believe it anymore, because my life circumstances have changed. Because now I’m on the “outside,” even after always being told there was no “outside.”

Only a year ago I re-located back home after graduating college, where I’d been for two years. During my college time I visited churches regularly, but never settled down and claimed a church as “mine.” I had no car. I had no plans of staying in the area. I welcomed times of worship, prayer, scripture, meditation, and post-sermon conversations with friends. But I put down no roots; I did not seek a long-term church family – other than the one that formed naturally around me through my community of schoolmates and teachers.

When I moved back home, I came back to an awkward situation. I had never intended to come back permanently to the church I had been attending before moving to school. I felt a peace about attending there for a season while I attended community college and worked at the restaurant, in large part because I was an active volunteer. That was a situation of being blessed and of being a blessing, but I never planned to stay there. In fact, since my family moved states when I was almost twelve, I have never felt “at home” in a church I’ve attended consistently.

At least, not a church that was considered a “real” church.

Over the years I’ve participated in many things that were church, for me. I’ve met weekly, sometimes daily, with a strong and uplifting peer group of theatre students, where the concept of drama was absolutely second to concepts of Christ, fellowship, worship, and love.

I participated in a longstanding bible study, a gathering of friends and acquaintances, that was saturated in the Scripture and committed to constant prayer.

During those years, where the “regular” church I attended felt distant and the small home gatherings felt like church, I wondered so many things about biblical church. About how the first Christians really worked, and about how Christ told us to interact with each other. I read a book about home churches. I examined the modern standard of tithing 10% as an accepted rule in church. I thought about how people always said, “church is not a building” and how the Bible says “do not give up gathering with other believers” and many other things.

When I came home from school, it took my David and me some time to figure out where we stood about church, and what exactly we were going to do about it. We visited a few churches. I went sometimes with my family to one or the other church service. {And my, were my parents concerned.}

After a little while, we came together with some local young people in similar life situations (transitional, seeking, hungry, sometimes jaded, sometimes eager, sometimes doubting) and made a community. This community meets once a week, prays with and for each other, often eats together, worships when we can get our few instrumentalists organized on music, and participates in the Lord’s Supper every so often. We don’t have a building – just our respective living rooms. We don’t have a pastor – we take turns sharing what the Lord is teaching us, or sometimes we meet to pray and open ourselves to the spirit without a message prepared beforehand. Sometimes we dedicate nights to checking in with each other, or interceding for difficult situations.

That’s my church right now, mostly. Those are the believers I meet with, mostly. Not exclusively, by any means. But you get the idea.

And even when people know about this group, even when my parents found out we were starting this group, there’s that obvious hesitation. You see, we didn’t (and don’t) call it “church” amongst ourselves. We have given the group a name, Vessel, and refer to it as such. I often refer to it as a “small group” and some call it a “Bible study.” And so many people then proceed to ask,

“Oh, well, where do you go to church right now?”

Innocently, to be sure. But it’s there – the acknowledgment that something we call “small groups” are on a lower spiritual notch than something we call “church.”

Because those words are all about a shared jargon, really. I call it a “small group” to people because we’re not a 501c3 and we meet in apartment living rooms and there’s no pastor and no collection of offering. When we heard the word “church,” today in modern America, we picture: steeple, pews, hear a sermon, say “good morning!” or “peace be with you!” to a lot of people we don’t know and then pile our family back into the car and go home.

The thing is, that’s never seemed, nor felt, much like Church to me. This is Church:

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:14-16).

” They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people” (Acts 2:42-47).

No church is perfect, no matter what kind. Big or small, living room or pristine chapel. But I believe it’s about being a body with Christ as the head, with all members giving and loving and learning to work together and know the will of God.

But many would count me among the “nones” – among the mass exodus of young millennials who are leaving the church. Many would look at my life and urge me to attend a more recognizable sort of church, and they worry for my pride and rebellion.

Thankfully, not everyone thinks that. Thankfully, I am in good company. I know this, and am grateful for it.

What about you? When you say,
“the church is not a building,”
do you truly believe that?