There is a movement, and I hesitate to call it that, in which a number of outcasts/rejects/(you know who you are) are gathering together to learn about the Creator, to find out Who He really is... I have encountered these people in a number of places, none of them being what you would call a "church".
Recently, I was at a gathering place with a number of recovering addicts, and the discussion ranged from rebuilding cars to rude jokes to praising the things that God has done in their midst. I thought at the time that it was probably a lot like the sounds heard among gatherings of the disciples, at times.
Discussions in the meetings, recently, have been about "unity" and the fellowship. The majority of people attending the recovery meetings report having felt like they "never quite fit", in any given group of others. It's not to say that they believe themselves to be unique--oldtimers warn about that, knowing that "terminal uniqueness" can be a symptom of impending relapse--but rather that outside of recovering groups, among the "normies", things weren't the same. Is this due to shared outward experiences, common only to those who have lived the desperate life of addiction? Or is it from an INward change, that comes as a result of the transformation that comes from having been so far down, and then instantly finding themselves standing in a position of grace, where everything is new, and as much as is physically possible, the slate has been wiped clean? I remembered the phrase "Whom has been forgiven much, LOVES much". I'm not sure where that is from, but it certainly pertains to this phenomenon.
When I began to get a grip on recovery, it was very much like what I had always thought being "reborn" would be like. I learned that there were a lot of foundational truths that I had been taught that were wrong. And the birthing process has been a LOT of UN-learning and RE-learning. It was as if the thing that happened when I was 5 or so, in a little Baptist church had been false.
That's another discussion, though.
So, am I the only person who finds that the spirituality found in groups of recovering addicts and alcoholics is hands-down a more freeing and accepting kind of thing than in the so-called "church"? I thank God that I stuck around long enough with the folks in recovery to come to believe that God wasn't exactly Who He was depicted to be.
I suppose I've rambled long enough. Better go fix some dinner for the boys.