corner view: front doors

Author: angiem, 03 16th, 2010

We had recently been invited to attend the baptism of the baby of one of our closest friends in the Orthodox Church. Having been raised a Protestant, I had rarely set foot within an Orthodox Church, let alone attend a baptism. Throughout the traditional Orthodox liturgy, I found myself transfixed by the golden icons of a suffering Christ adorning the wall separating the nave from the Sanctuary, and the bejeweled Beautiful Gates leading to it. I couldn’t help but wonder why it is that humans have such a need to explain God and the way to the eternal, when, in my opinion, it’s really a matter of manifesting God’s love daily that determines our immortal soul’s residence.

By the way, I am not picking on any particular faith. Also, I find religious rituals to be beautiful and comforting, serving whatever purpose they were designed for. I just don’t believe that anyone’s got the grasp on God and Christ as they all seem to think they do.

When I go to my parents’ church, the choir’s singing brings me to tears without fail. As soon as they open their mouths in song, I get chills and heaven is within my reach. When the sermon starts, however, it is just a rehash of the things I have grown up hearing. The majority of it is ego stroking, pointless, repetition. My eyes glaze over and I find myself checking the time.

Now if this doesn’t depress everyone, I don’t know what will. This post was really supposed to be about my front door (that up there is not my front door), and not about my issues with organized religion. But I guess it had to be said, because lately I find so much hypocrisy when I open those front doors of a church.  Any church.  And I wish it weren’t so.

For more, and much happier, front door posts, visit Jane at #mce_temp_url# and check out her right side bar.

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51 Responses to “corner view: front doors”

  1. Anne Marie Says:

    That is your front door? Oh, I wish I had a front door like that!

    On religion: you touch on so many things that has been on my mind lately…

    … and yes, I do too believe that the best way to manifesting God’s love daily is by the small and big things we do from day to day. How we treat people around us. Small acts of kindness.

  2. Kathy Says:

    Beautiful door!

  3. julie Says:

    Hey Angie
    Yes i’m not too good with organised religion.. yet I never fail to feel moved when i attend a Greek Church… i would say they are the most beautiful I have ever attended and you feel a sense of belonging … part of a community.. strange.. as I neither attend church regularly nor am I Greek.. I must say though I have a fascination with religious icons and art… maybe it is the mystery… Have a great day Angie.. xx Julie

  4. Ötli Says:

    I’m agnostic ;) but… I have emotions when I see some religious expressions… It’s a perfect door ! and, “your’s”.

  5. la ninja Says:

    ay caramba, “the religion” issue.
    I could easily scrap dogmas of any kind without even looking back too but, then again, the beauty they have brought us in every art form wouldn’t be there… long discussion, indeed.

    good door, though :)

  6. Lisa notes... Says:

    What a beautiful door. My religious heritage is one that almost intentionally stresses “plain”, so when I see ornate religious architecture or art, it moves me, too.

    Hope you’re able to work through the many faults of organized religion and instead end up with your own relationship with God. Sometimes our churches are our greatest hindrances, which is not how it is supposed to be, but how we sinners mess things up. Let Him straighten it out for you; only He can.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

  7. French Fancy Says:

    I do not follow any faith but when I hear a perfect choir singing some litany or choral work, well my heart fills with bursting emotion.

    Very occasionally when channel hopping I come across one of the religious channels - now if that isn’t the quickest way to turn someone off religion then I don’t know what is.

  8. Corinne Says:

    I’m having the same problem, it feels. I feel fever spiritual, I feel like I have my own relationship with God, but can’t find a church that meshes with my beliefs and yet doesn’t compromise a few of my non religious beliefs… if that makes sense.
    And church music? Tears, always.

  9. Mary Moon Says:

    A woman came to my door the other day offering to save my soul, I suppose, with a pamphlet and the news of her brand of god. I refused the pamphlet and told her that I am not religious at all. She said, “Okay,” and went on her way and that was that.
    I’m done with it all. And it feels fine. Not just fine- wonderful! I can worship without boundaries.

  10. Janna Qualman Says:

    ” I couldn’t help but wonder why it is that humans have such a need to explain God and the way to the eternal, when, in my opinion, it’s really a matter of manifesting God’s love daily that determines our immortal soul’s residence.”

    Yes. Yes! I feel the same way.

    There is so much judgment between one church and the next, it’s frustrating.

  11. Claudia Medeiros Says:

    Gorgeous door !

    I feel God daily through the wind, the sounds of nature, my heart, when my daughter smiles, friends, good actions… God is inside us and everwhere no matter our religion is :)
    Great post !

    Have a beautiful day :D

  12. Evangeline Says:

    “I just don’t believe that anyone’s got the grasp on God and Christ as they all seem to think they do.”

    Amen to that!

  13. mrsbear Says:

    I personally don’t attend church, while I try to worship in my own way, I have a deep seeded distrust of organized religion. My earliest impressions probably have a lot to do with it. Although I’m sure later impressions have done little to help. Although, I’ll admit, walking in to an empty church always fills me with a sense of peace and awe. That is a lovely door up there though, I wouldn’t mind having that grace the front of my house. Although it might look a little out of place.

  14. cabrizette Says:

    Who is that god behind the door ????
    Have a good day ; )

  15. Sabine Says:

    No, it’s not a depressing post, just some very valid thoughts. In my opinion there is a big difference between spirituality and organized religion - the latter being mainly about power, influence, egos and dominance over people. BUT the door is beautiful!

  16. cathi Says:

    Love the door! Regarding religion: as a very wise person once said ” Kindess is my religion.” That is how I live my life and how I have raised my kids. My oldest and his wife are religious in the sense that they go to church every week and are very involved with the people in the church but they have many frustrations as well. My youngest is spiritual yet not religious, as I am also. Have a beautiful day, Angie! xxoo :)

  17. SJ Says:

    Choir singing makes me tear up every single time.

  18. Juliette Says:

    lovely door!
    we haven’t found our church niche yet here, but one thing I try to keep in mind, regarding the hypocrisy issue, is that there are imperfect humans in there, worshiping a perfect God, so I’m just thankful that perfect God offers forgiveness. it helps me…

    sermons however….ha ha! i won’t go there now! =P

    happy corner view!

  19. cate Says:

    keep that connection with what makes your heart sing and brings you to tears.

    beautiful front door!

    (thank you for the comment on my snail rolls… and shhh! the answer is yes)

  20. Jeanne Says:

    Interesting responses Angie. I am catholic and have struggled with many of the things you have said especially that glazed over look when you know the sermon is not going to be remotely interesting. I can’t tell you how delighted I am when I actually hear something that makes me sit up and take notice. I love old churches with beautiful stained glass windows and surrounding art and architecture that takes you to a higher level. This is particularly necessary when the sermon leaves something to be desired. The music, the incense the traditions and splendor of the old churches is what I enjoy. The newer churches leave me cold, I cringe when I walk in them. I have considered attending other services in other faiths Someday I will find the right place for me…

    Now I take it the door above is not yours….where it is from? Look forward to seeing your door someday!
    Thanks for your comments on my post…always nice to hear from you:)
    Jeanne

  21. juanita de la vega Says:

    Loved your post! And the door. Interesting topic, and honest explanation about your feelings.
    Agree with you. There is too much hypocrisy.
    PS your post is not depressing, but helps to reflect.
    Have a nice day

  22. Joyce Says:

    A beautiful door! I enjoyed your post today, it did go hand in hand with “door” you shared with us a walk into the door of your heart and what it feels. xo

  23. belle de ville Says:

    I agree about the sermons, but the music is so beautiful.

  24. Deborah Says:

    I could never believe that the Loving God who created this little blue planet for us and place upon it fruit to supply our needs and sustain our bodies, and then went beyond our needs and said, here is a Pomegranate to awaken your senses, oh, and a kiwi to delight you, I could never believe that THAT God would give us only one way to Him. Just sayin….
    **blows kisses** Deb

  25. Kori Says:

    I have a lot of ideas about God and church, but I won’t go into them-I will, however, say that I love that door.

  26. daan Says:

    well the door is very special and the photo beautiful!

  27. audrey Says:

    hi Angie, what a lovely post! it rings of beauty and love for God, so much so (in me little opinion) that all the ‘non positive’ stuff that goes on in the name of God just seems to get under your skin… i totally get that.

    gorgeous door! beautiful boy!

    hugs to you love!

  28. Francesca Says:

    I never experienced religion that way, although I was brought up catholic in Italy. The church was a door to be opened if one wanted. But as I was brought up in a country rich with church bells and towers, domes and paintings and music, and I totally agree with ninja’s comment.

  29. Cherry B Says:

    Ahhh interesting. I like how you describe your take on several things within the church, even if you don’t love all parts of it.

  30. Nancy C Says:

    “it’s really a matter of manifesting God’s love daily”

    Couldn’t agree more.

  31. Jenna Says:

    A beautiful door to, I’m sure, a beautiful church.
    (btw, I’m enjoying reading your blog)

  32. elizabeth Says:

    I find your front door post very refreshing — and inviting! I’m with you on the organized religion — moving further and further away from it into a greater and deeper sense of spirituality! New doors opening, I guess you could say. The photo is wonderful, by the way!

  33. Victoria @ Hibiscus Bloem Says:

    Church doors and church choirs are both delightful.

  34. Allegra Smith Says:

    My front door is always open to the truth, friendship, mutual respect and sharing with an open heart and an open hand.

    Organized religion is the rehashing of the same old, same old. I believe in the goodness of the Universe when a seed sprouts and holds within the promises of life. Hell and damnation repeated ad nauseam are neither good for people nor for seeds.

  35. Mwa Says:

    I watched a programme about a Buddhist temple in Belgium yesterday. Somehow I thought they would be different. The programme saved me the trip. I know what you mean. Truly deeply religious people who don’t feel the need to evangelise can sometimes really touch me, though.

  36. Ange Says:

    Yup - you just summed up my sentiments exactly!

  37. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    fabulous door photo .
    and I appreciate that you are honest and still graceful.

  38. Cindy L. Says:

    Ah, you are such a kindred spirit. In recent years, I have struggled long and hard with organized religion. My extended family is a mixed bag of Protestant and Catholic, and while I was raised Protestant, my son always attended Catholic schools (long story…) I think of myself as a pilgrim, a spiritual explorer, often drawing from various practices and seeing beauty as a path to God. Ritual, as you point out, can be beautiful if there is real meaning in it. I don’t think you have to be a member of a particular faith to practice/believe what works for you. And lord knows, organized religion history has stirred more hatred than love between people. That makes me saddest of all …

  39. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita Says:

    Well, you do raise some interesting points. I have to say that I have often sported the glazed-over look, but I do find comfort in faith and believing. But I have to say, I surely would not feel that way if I felt the church was being judgmental, or superior, or unwelcoming in anyway. Maybe I’ve been lucky in my experience, but even though I am not regular in my attendance, I have always felt welcomed and part of the community when I do go. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Diane Says:

    Your front door is beautiful. I guess that’s why it should be a personal relationship with God, because it is different for everyone. YOur post reminded me of a book, God is closer than you think. It speaks of maybe 7 different ways that most people connect to or feel God… nature, music, helping others, etc. :O)

  41. She Writes Says:

    I remain fascinated with all religious rituals.

  42. Bunny Says:

    Angie Gorgeous front door whomever it belongs to is lucky! Religion is a tough one, can be beautiful when done right but so often is not. I just try to teach my children open mindedness , kindness, faith, love , spirituality and peace. I hope it works.
    BTW, I happen to see your kind comment about me on BonBon Rose’s blog, you are so sweet..when I come over here I am in AWE of you and the brilliant words that flow from your brain onto your blog…when I stop by I feel way out of my league, but always always always inspired!
    xoxo
    Bunny

  43. kenza Says:

    Oh lovely! And thanks for your visit.

  44. Ava Says:

    I admire how fearless you are in admitting your struggles. I know you get a lot of flack from readers of yours that you know in your real life. You inspire me.

  45. Maia Says:

    Once again, thank you for this post.I am a person of faith in that I believe in higher powers, but I also believe that to think we can know them so intimately is vanity or ignorance or both. I believe that to deny another person’s faith as “false” is a crime against faith. I also find great comfort and peace in the ritual, but much of the sermon seems presumptuous, fatuous and misguided to me. I was raised somewhere between Buddhist and Agnostic, with a history of Catholicism in my ancestry. I often feel like very few people share my personal view of faith.

  46. Holly L Says:

    I have tried going to church for the first time as an adult this last year…hubby won’t go he has really definite issues with organized religion. I have some too, but not quite like hubby. Right now I am on the fence.

  47. Mmm Says:

    I so relate to so much here…espcailyl the sermonizing. I often go to an Anglicna church at xmas adn a cathoci at Easter but reast of time when I go its a non denom type church but I miss some of the ’seriousness’ of the others then yet love the casualness of it all too. anyway, jst to say, i know what you mean, esocailyl this bit, for altleh churches:

    “I just don’t believe that anyone’s got the grasp on God and Christ as they all seem to think they do.”
    that is particularly found with people who claim their interpretation of scripture in the most accurate, as if they know God the best. Tired of that. Pride.

  48. Kari Says:

    lovely door. Religion is a tricky thing and very sensitive to many people for many different reasons.
    I’ve never associated church with a building or organized religion (which I’m so thankful for) but instead, people. human beings who at the very core are just people, looking to do good, feel good about themselves and relate to each other and a higher being, God.

  49. Kirie Says:

    Angie, that’s a beautiful photo.

    Funny thing about doors–all of them potentially belong to you, in a manner of speaking. I think when you walk through a door into a space, whether it’s yours or not, you affect it, even in the tiniest way of just having been there. And, of course more obviously, that space affects you, too. Because of that, the door becomes yours, in a way. The more times you go through, the more you are affected by being there.

    Same with churches. I’ve been to so many churches–some have inspired me, some I’ve found stultifying. I think that my jaded feeling about religion as a kid actually led me to a more “smorgasbord” approach to religion, and now as an adult I find, as Claudia Medeiros said in one of your comments, that the door to my church is in the wind and the skies and my heart now. I find God in so many places–perhaps because I have passed through so many church doors!

    Beautiful post, Angie–and not depressing! Just real, like you.

    Love,
    Kirie

  50. Grey Lemon Says:

    Great front door! opening on rich reflexions about spirituality.

  51. joanne Says:

    I love that too, how the door opened to your thoughts…front doors and all doors can lead to so much.
    Its a wonderful photograph and shows a childlike wonder which is a great reminder of how to approach all of life …

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