Praise Jebus (My first time in church)

by - July 06, 2014

I always thought I'd buy a boyfriend on eBay one day but I ended up getting one for free off Tinder. Bargain! You have to trawl through a lot more crap on Tinder but it's amazing what people will do for free things.  I never thought I'd end up getting serious with a devout Christian. And I definitely never thought I'd go to church with him to see how the other side lives. Especially not after waking at 2am for the World Cup. I was scared I'd fall asleep and embarrass him by snoring or farting.

I've never been to church except for wedding ceremonies. The closest I get to church otherwise is my love of Sister Act 1. Most days I spend worshipping two things - my food and my cat. So when he invited me to church I did not know what to expect. Church was full of surprises.

I did not expect the first thing I'd hear at church would be a well-meaning older man telling me, "It's at capacity in there but you can try your luck - you're pretty enough to sit on someone's lap." That was pretty hilarious.

I didn't expect the decor to be modern and expensive. Custom neon lit signs, custom white stadium speakers to match the custom-fit white blinds,  and - because it was an international conference, not a regular sermon - there was a full TV production crew working. I always thought going to church would be a more humbling and sombre experience. For this TV broadcast, they put on a real, professionally run show. I thought church would be run by volunteers, ones who wouldn't really know what they were doing but it seems religion is an organised business.

Despite the commercial aspect of it, the people were great and the sense of community was nice. Everyone was welcoming and friendly, and not afraid to hug and kiss a stranger hello. Everyone also assumed I was Christian and visiting from another church. Sorry, folks, you welcomed an agnostic sinner into your midst.

My impression is that going to church is like going to a very, very, extremely literal book club where instead of analysing one new book a month, you analyse different parts of the same book every week. I don't know if everyone believes everything in the bible actually happened or if it's more like an epic fable full of moral lessons, but I figure if people get something positive from these studies and from the sense of community and social interaction at church then it is a good thing.

I'll go to church every now and then to spend time with my free Tinder boyfriend but I won't join in with the Amens or Praise the Lords because lying to a God, even one I don't believe in, seems wrong.

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