Recently, an old friend from church came into town and we had lunch. It was good to see him and talk about how much things have changed. This guy used to, basically, take over our Sunday school class and teach it (which always annoyed the crap out of me) but now it seems that he, too, has taken the first few steps on a road away from faith and I wish him luck, whatever that means. One of the things he seemed to be having trouble reconciling was that he had such good memories in the church. I had them, too. In fact, I've been really nostalgic about them today. Probably because my brother, who is a minister, posted about how he's getting ready for church camp, and I started thinking about all my summers at Falls Creek Baptist church camp in Davis, OK.
I stopped being a Christian because I, simply, couldn't make the square peg that is the Bible fit into the round hole that is my conscience and logic. And after years of trying, desperately, to do so, gave it up as a bad job. That being said, there is a large part of me that really wishes that I could believe like I did in high school, before I had seen or thought anything that challenged my faith. I would love to go back to church camp and relive the passion, the emotion, the week long attempt to get a summer girlfriend (come on, we all know this is one of, if not the main reason for teenage boys to go to church camp). Sometimes, I even miss church itself. Not the sermons or the music or the classes so much, just the hanging out really, and the idea that we were all part of some great purpose handed down by god. It was a lot of fun and it would be ridiculous to act like it didn't shape me. That's not to say that its improbable that I would've turned out just as good without it, I probably would have.
There is a summer camp for Humanists with several locations in the U.S. but while, I'm sure its fun, I doubt its the same kind of fun because it wouldn't be the kind of thing that would pull on your emotions the way church camp does.
Maybe Quiet Company should just make it a priority to try and play Cornerstone every year so I can get my nostalgia fix. When we were there last year, it was really obvious how weird a lot of it seemed to Tommy, who has always been a non-believer, but to me there was such a familiarity. Maybe there's just something in my personality that tends to enjoy a certain level of mysticism. I don't know.
Of course, its unfair to look backward through those rose colored glasses of nostalgia. Things like that were never really as good as we would like to remember. I don't miss the guilt or the shame that is often exploited in the hopes of conversions, and I don't miss all the guys with their guitars who don't know how to play, yet, seem to always have the instrument handy. One time, I was playing this kids guitar at church camp and he stopped me and said, "Taylor, I only want Christian music played on my guitar." I said, OK, but come on, I wasn't even singing anything. Is the D chord more christian than the A chord? Has the G made a profession of faith whereas the F# lives in sin? Ridiculous.
Anyway, weird guitar kids aside, I kind of miss church camp.