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When I was 5 years old, my minister's name was Pastor Luthro, and the church was named Trinity Lutheran Church. When the pastor left and a new one arrived, I could not figure out why they didn't re-name the church.
A common expression in the church I attended when younger is it was the house of the Lord. I always wondered where he was when we were "visiting his house", and I believed he was behind this door in the front of the chapel (housing the organ machinery) and our pastor was there in front to prevent us from going up and disturbing Him.
When I was little, I went to a church with a loft for the choir. I didn't know that stairs led up to the loft. I was convinced they led to a rollercoaster that took you to Heaven to see God.
I used to go to CCD (Sunday School). We would sit in the church area at the beginning of it with the teachers and the priest. My friends and I would sit in the front row because we liked not having to look over people's heads, also because we felt special. (But that's not the point.) Well, the priest would stand up front and usually talk to everyone. One day I raised my hand and asked him "Where is the real Jesus?" He responded, "What?" I then said "Well, in our church, we have a fake Jesus. Where is the REAL Jesus hanging up?" He still didn't understand, got angry and ignored me.
As you can see, I was refering to in the front of churches there are the big crosses with Jesus on it (Where the priest talks and stuff). I wanted to know in what church was the real Jesus hanging up in. I had a few more thoughts about this concept. One of them being it would smell bad in that church because he would be really old and have not taken a shower in a while (not to mention, he'd be dead).
Kids are funny.
i used to believe that the lines said by the priest will turn one to a priest. so i cried every time i saw my dad mumbled the priest's lines during mass because i thought that will turn him into a priest and then he'll leave us forever.
I believed going in front the church meant I was going to be married. Thus, when my mom brought our whole family up to light the advent wreath, I screamed, "I DONT WANT TO GET MARRIED" and ran off.
In my hometown, we had one Jewish temple. I was riding my bike around town one day when a dog started chasing me. I rode home as fast as I could and told my dad about it. He asked me where the dog was, and I told him it was by the Sherriff's station (which was over 2 miles away). I later learned that just because there's a big star on the front of a building doesn't make it a police station.
my grandfather told me that protestants historically wore the color orange - so one day when I was wearing an orange shirt - I told my parents that I was just like the prostitutes.
I used to believe that Jesus lived in the tower of the church
When I was in elementary school, I went to a Catholic school where we took "going to church" very seriously. Our church was right down the road so it made it easy for us to walk there as a class almost every week. Our teachers always told us the basics on how to conduct ourselves during a mass. I was always afraid on doing something wrong so I'd do everything that the priest would do. If he'd raise his arms, I'd raise mine. It wasnt until the end of the second grade that one of my friends standing next to me poked my arm to ask what i was doing. She explained to me that i didnt have to copy everything he does, and I remember feeling really horrible after, b/c I was worried that if the priest saw me doing that, that he might've thought i was making fun of him. In reality for as long as i had been going, I didnt know.
By second grade I had learned about the chosen people, the Jews of biblical times. I had never heard the term in a contemporary context so when a little girl my age, a neighbor of my grandmother, told me she was a Jew, I remember being absolutely amazed and delighted. I had assumed they no longer existed, as if in another era they had mysteriously become extinct like dinosaurs.
When I was a kid we all went to a very conservative independent baptist church. We were taught that people of other faiths: catholics, methodists, etc., were wicked and ultimately bound for hell. It was around this same time (i was 6 or 7) we were told the story of Sodom & Gomorah. How they were wicked and engaged in all kinds of immoral sexual acts. Since the term 'wicked' was also applied to other churches, I remember every sunday we would pass this large methodist church on the way home and i would strain my eyes trying to make out the forms of people engaging in a mass orgy through the church widows and thinking how much I'd like to get in there and have a good look! I don't know why but for some reason I was also sure there would be trapeze artist preforming in there as well.
I used to believe that when you were at church handing offerings in the little tray, the pastor would then take the money outside and throw it up in the air so God could catch it.
At my church, there's a life-size statue of Jesus on the cross, hanging on one of the walls. For years I thought that was Jesus Himself, the actual body, watching my every move!
When we were at a church meeting and they would talk about 'satellite schools' I thought that 'satellite schools' were schools where you learn how to operate a satellite dish.
In the church I used to go to, there was this huge crucifix above the altar with a pretty realistic-looking dead Jesus model on it. I used to believe this model Jesus was actually Jesus' body and we were the luckiest church in the world because we had the real Jesus.
I used to believe that the donation money went to the pastor and he would put it in a little red envelope and then secretly he would give it to a dove and then God would get it.
In church (we're Catholic) there's this part where the priest says, 'Lift up your heart' and we reply with, 'We lift them up to the Lord.' As I kid I'd always stand up on my toes and stick my chest out, trying to lift up my heart.
When I very briefly went to Sunday school at the age of about six or seven, they used to have a collection plate passed around. I asked what the money was for.
"Well, it might be for..." Mum thought about it. "It might be for mending the church roof."
I didn't say any more about it, but I was convinced that I knew now what was going on. After the service, the organist would melt down the pennies with the steam from the organ pipes (!) and cover the leaks in the roof with the hot metal. Even though I know better now, it's still a persistent image.
In Romans 3:15 it says "[sinners'] feet are quick to shed blood". I assumed that this meant that if I had been sinful lately and I cut myself, I would bleed more than if I had a clean soul. That was a long time ago, and I'm 26 years old now, but I've never really got rid of the superstition. When I got a sunburn in Florida five years ago my instinctive reaction was that it was divine punishment since I'm usually pretty resistant to sunburn.