Tuesday, August 25, 2009




by Tommy C. Prince

I happened upon a local church service on TV Sunday morning and was immediately sickened by what I saw.  The typical “elite” praise singers were up front, holding onto individual microphones looking up as if they are seeking the face of God, when, in my experience (twenty years of playing drums in five different churches), I found most are really seeking their own praise and glory.  The real reason they close their eyes when they look up is that the stage lights will fry your retina if you stare at them too long.  But they try to project that they are focused on singing to God.  In the background was the typical un-robed choir rocking back and forth, and each one was trying to out-sing the person next to him.  I couldn’t even leave the TV on long enough to check out the "praise band."


Watching this dog-and-pony-show helped me clarify one of the biggest reasons I don’t go to church any more.  There is no place for me in today’s church as I am now emotionally wounded from my 19-year-old daughter being killed 3 years ago.  I am not the same person I was.  Inside of me, I carry around a broken heart and a damaged soul.  How does talking about America-being-a-Christian-nation and God-blessing-America address my pain?  How does the way the music is being presented minister to my soul?  How does hearing about the "consumer" benefits of being a Christian help my woundedness before God?  How does a sermon on “sin management” have anything to do with what I am going through?


The good news is I still consider myself a disciple of Christ.  The bad news is the religious people think I am "at risk," as if whether or not I go to church has anything to do with the depth of my relationship with God Himself.   In a sense, I am "at risk" in that I am working through cleaning up a spiritual-train-wreck and will most likely come out the other side questioning ninety percent of what the church teaches.  

Taking ownership of my faith before God has been a liberating—but lonely—experience.


No church that I know of is teaching what I consider to be a dominant theme of the Gospel of Jesus:


“In this world you will have trouble.”


“You must lose your life to save it.”


“Blessed are those who mourn.”


“Consider it all joy when you have trials of many kinds.”


“Blessed is the person who perseveres under trials and trouble.”


“The Son of  Man must suffer many things.  Follow Me.”


“But be not troubled for I have overcome the world.”



These truths are soothing to my battered soul for they resonate with what I am living.  There is something wrong with the church-as-we-know-it-today when there is no place for the emotionally wounded to go and feel at home.

"No Vacancy" - http://www.neon-das.com/flashi16.jpg 

Written 8/25/09 - "No Room in the Inn" for the Emotionally Wounded - Tommy C. Prince


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