churched giveaway

To be entered in the churched giveaway, please leave a comment below. Anything will be accepted, but it might be fun hearing your thoughts on how your experiences of attending church have impacted the faith you have today. I will randomly draw a name on Wednesday morning and post the winner in a new blog post then!

churched is a collection of stories that detail an American boy’s experiences growing up in a culture where men weren’t allowed let their hair grow to touch their ears (“an abomination!”), women wouldn’t have been caught dead in a pair of pants (unless swimming), and the pastor couldn’t preach a sermon without a healthy dose of hellfire and brimstone. Matthew grapples with the absurdity of a Sunday School Barbie burning, the passionate annual boxing match between the pastor and Satan, and the holiness of being baptized a fifth time–while growing into a young man who, amidst the chaotic mess of religion, falls in love with Jesus.

I’ve enjoyed the chats I’ve had with Matthew Paul Turner (visit his website / order the book here). The conversations are always open and challenging. We might not agree on some things, but we do share a passion for Jesus Christ. Be sure to check out his site and his prior books as well!

And the winner is….Tommy Parke! Sorry for the delay (wasn’t too bad of a day while wife was away, I must say). No excuses! I’ll contact ya Tommy to get ya the book!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-10-15 02:18:47 UTC

  1. Wow this sounds familiar, maybe not to those extremes but definitely similar. I didn’t really get it until I was much older and quit listening to lots of the ultra conservative who missed telling folks about Christ’s love and concentrated on what people look like. Sounds like a good read.

  2. i came to love Jesus in spite of my church upbringing, as well. i guess we’re all in good company. ; ) and it’s not all about legalism vs. love, either. it’s just learning the whole story about God – not only His hatred of sin (the legalistic church) and not only His love and mercy (the prosperity gospel church), but how the two fit together so perfectly in God, and Christ, and can fit together in us (in increasing measure) when we are full of His Holy Spirit.

  3. I grew up in legalism.  As far as I feel I’ve come, it still rears it’s ugly head now and then and that bothers me.  I also have a son that is 22 and from the time he could talk told me “I hate church”.  Where is he now?  He just recently joined a small group but still hates church.  And his reasons are many and some are excuses and some are real. 

  4. Wow…all the things you mentioned above brought back memories!  Shan and I were just talking about how when he was growing up he parted his hair in the middle one Sunday.  A deacon went and got his dad out of the service and told him that Shan’s new part in his hair was a sign of rebellion!  HA.  Unfortunatly he made Shan go to the bathroom at church and change his hair back.  I am so thankful God has changed us soooo much.  He has done a huge work in us.  I am thankful that we still fell head over heals for Jesus even though we both had many rough moments growing up in church.

  5. i really didnt experience any of these things growing up in my church but i would love to have a chance to win a copy so i can hear about all the crazy stuff that i seemed to miss out on! lol! thanks!

    blessings ~ christi

  6. I grew up as a PK. So, I’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly of church politics. I think (thankfully and probably as a result of the way I was raised) instead of turning me away from God, it has shown me how much we all desperately need Jesus.

  7. So I found you through Matt’s profile, and because you asked, I’ll tell my story of how my childhood church experience lead to my Faith today.  Growing up, age 12, our family started attending a strict Baptist church here in Jacksonville, Fl.  When I say “our family” I literally mean, our entire family, aunts, uncles, gramps, cousins, etc.  For six years I attended several revivals, tent meetings, camps including traveling to the mountains several times with hundreds of people and seeing hundreds of those people get saved!  I watched Preachers preach and run up and down aisles praising him.  There were even days when our service didn’t end until 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  It was an experience of a lifetime, to say the least. 

    …I also had long hair, didn’t wear make-up, wore dresses to my ankles and was even contemplating home schooling.  Now, I’m not saying this is a horrible thing.  I just felt the restrictions on life were taking over the real meaning of what we are really here for.  To serve God, and to bring others to him.  To date, I’m non-denominational, Christian, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Him—due to my upbringing.  🙂

  8. I grew up in rural VA in a Southern Baptist church while attending a Christian school from kindergarten all the way until college, so I’ve seen my fair share of “narrow” living.

    I find it funny how much we worry about being “not of the world” rather than realizing that there are people who are dying with the knowledge of Jesus’ saving power.

    When you love Jesus and constantly get to know Him, you worry less about what other people are “not” doing but what we should be doing, making disciples.

  9. I certainly didn’t learn about grace through growing up in the church.  Thankfully I was a rotten PK (Pastor’s Kid) and learning things the hard way opened the door to grace for me!

  10. Don’t give it to Tommy Parke, Gabe!!! I deserve it much more. Um, plus, we’re cousins. so…. yeah, I’ll be waiting for the book to arrive in the mail. Hehehe.

    No, seriously. When I was a kid and we were missionaries with BBF, we had churches refuse to support us because my mom wore pants. And God forbid that we would listen to music that had a beat to it, or go to church without a tie on, or our knees properly covered by a polyester skirt. Ugh. I hate what legalism does to the gospel. And I started wondering why, when legalists always said they wanted to focus on God’s hatred of sin, they were always up in arms about hair length, skirt length, musical preferences, and other “sins” that Jesus didn’t spend any time focusing on. I finally realized that so many people use legalism as a way of feeling they somehow deserve salvation. I guess it’s a heck of a lot easier to focus on outward appearance rather than what’s in your heart. It just bugs me like crazy that legalism totally distracts us from a true relationship with God, and what he’s called us to do. I think satan must be gleeful when people spend all of their time arguing over whether it’s sinful to listen to Celine Dion, rather than focusing on becoming more like Christ, and sharing the gospel with people who are lost.

  11. I’ve often wondered how my legalistic bringing-up has affected me. I’ve learned so much by getting away from the “rules” that I grew up with and focusing on GRACE.

  12. I came to Christ as a teen and was a part of a very legalistic congregation.  I was probably considered a trouble maker because I would ask why we did certain things the way we did…I even asked for the Bible verses to back it up.  The good thing that came out of it is that I really searched the Scriptures for answers and my faith became very well grounded.  I am also much more compassionate, grace-filled and merciful than I would have been otherwise.

    Can’t wait for Jim Tressels testimony…He was my neighbor in our growing up years.

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