The Experience Christian Community, a new Christian organization hoping to provide an alternative to traditional organized religion, will hold its first service at 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 7, at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro.
The service will feature the first in a series of sermons apologizing for aspects of traditional Christianity that have alienated people from religion.
“I started realizing how many people had been hurt by a traditional church,” the group’s founder and lead pastor Corey Trimble said. “There’s a lot of people, especially in this town, who will never step foot in a traditional church. Not because they don’t want to know Jesus Christ, but because of how the money is being spent, and the big building, and the suits and all those things that shouldn’t be the predominate focus. One of the slogans we’ve been using is ?if you hate religion, we do too.’”
Scheduled sermons for the group include apologies for Christian hypocrisy, judgmentalism, how Christians have treated homosexuals, how boring Christians have become, and for Christians not showing enough love. These apologies are based on the top reasons given for why people don’t go to church, based on a study conducted by the Barna Research Group, the information gathering arm of a larger Christian organization.
“We’ve called ourself Christians,” said Trimble, “but Christ was never hypocritical, He was never judgmental, and He loved others regardless of what they thought of Him, and we haven’t been following his example.”
Trimble said the response to the new group has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have not heard anything negative yet. We’ve handed out close to 500 handouts, literally handing them out, face-to-face. The first flier says ?we apologize for being such hypocrites.’”
Beyond simply apologizing for things Christians have done in the past, the group will take a proactive approach to their faith.
“Community service is going to be the biggest thing. We’re going to take 10 percent of everything that comes into the church and give it back to the community; feeding the homeless, or doing a canned food drive, or giving a donation to the Salvation Army, or starting a literacy program. We plan on adopting the Franklin Heights community. We’re going to teach that community service is a mandatory walk with Christ.”
For more information on the church, visit experiencecc. com.