Church in holey boots

Luckily, I had black socks. This made the separation of upper and sole in my Doc Martens more or less unnoticeable; my black dress shoes, as so much else, are cooling their heels (heh heh heh) in Kalamazoo. I showered, shaved, dressed nicely, and accompanied Baptist Keith and his friend (in real life, they have the same given name) to the church.

Bethel Murfreesboro is an Every Nation church. EN is an offshoot of the defunct Maranatha Campus Ministries, which, indeed, was accused of cult-like behavior: most of these problems arose from abuse of an idea called discipleship, which is far too involved to explain here. Some interesting points are made at this discussion board. I can only note:
  1. Religious fervor, or, even better, belief itself is often cult-like, as any number of quotes from the New Testament, if not of Christ Himself, may illustrate,
  2. Religion without belief is hollow,
  3. I agree with the poster on the board above who noted that EN is fulfilling a genuine need for fellowship and belief; society is better off reforming the denomination's dysfunction, and
  4. If I want religious authority, I know where to find it.
I really enjoyed the service, actually, which is remarkable given my social discomfort with large groups of new people and my terminal embarrassment at finding my slacker butt in an Evangelical, born-again church. The music was pretty outstanding, and I thought one number was particularly moving. (Though a judicious selection from Bob Dylan's overt, evangelical albums might have added some kick.)

They had about six people doing vocals. You couldn't call it a choir. No, that word evokes Gregorian chant and Protestant hymns; these were modern vocalists, standing in front of a modern band, cordless mikes in hand, laying down modern vocals. It was very pretty, very moving, and the minister, or rather, pastor, made a good sermon.

After, the three of us repaired to a Chinese restaurant for the lunch buffet (they even had sushi). It was only $5.25, and I am very happy about that, as it will be my only restaurant meal from my second day in Nashville until at least the 19th of this month.

(At this point I must note that Internet Explorer crashed and killed a lot of this post, which is annoying, but, oh well.)