I was travelling Sunday and visited a protestant church. Part of the same denomination I belonged to before I converted. It’s a beautiful place. Full of welcoming people and great stonework.
The basic form of the service was like a Mass. But the specifics were, well, different.
The Trinity was “Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.” The person leading the service cheerfully said “God dwells in you.” Everyone replied “And also in you.”
Anything difficult was softened (Jesus was never called Lord) or just removed (the Creed was left out entirely). All of it, including a very heartfelt message, made it clear that I was welcome just as I was. I didn’t need to do anything in response.
The church had changed to reach me where I was. So much so that it was just a welcome message. It had nothing else to offer.
I could be a part of it. Without getting rid of anything that comes between me and God, or between me and other people. Without anyone ever calling me out on my B.S. Without ever getting any closer to God.
Without ever changing.
Then I remembered one of the reasons I left.
I know me. I need to change. And I can't do it on my own.
I need the Church’s help.