More Changes, Part 1

I almost decided not to post this one to my public blog, but it’s about a fairly large change in my life so this seems like the right place for it.

I’ve decided to take a break from church. In the past eight months or so there’s been an almost complete turnover in ministry leaders and staff, and the goals and methods and priorities of the new folks don’t really resonate with what I thought this little fellowship was supposed to be about. This is becoming more and more the case as time goes on — and they seem to be even more uncomfortable with me than I am with them.

Silver and gold have I none, and such as I have seems to be of no value to these new leaders. They’ve made that painfully clear in a multitude of ways that bear pretty much no resemblance to Christian love.

Sorry if I sound bitter. Maybe I am, a little. I’ll get over it.

For a long time I kept going to church anyway; partly because I felt loyal to Pastor Bill and really enjoyed his sermons, partly because I do still have friends there that I will miss visiting with every week, partly because Luke and Elizabeth enjoyed attending the Children’s Church and have friends of their own there, but mostly because I could not for the life of me figure out why these people do not like me. Unfinished lessons have a way of following you around from one situation to the next until you learn them, so I really wanted to know what the problem was before I moved on.

I don’t drink, smoke, gamble (unless the occasional game of bunco counts), sleep around or use drugs. I have mostly broken the profanity habit I picked up during my marriage. I am kind and friendly to people. I am not competitive or malicious or dishonest. I was very willing and eager to offer my time and energy to the various ministries until the people running them put all that effort into making me feel so unwelcome there. But such relentless alienation has to have SOME reason behind it, and I was determined to stick it out until I’d unraveled the mystery.

Which I finally have.

But that’s another post.

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Categories: Christianity, Family, Friends, kids, Life | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “More Changes, Part 1

  1. Jennifer

    Wow…now you have me completely curious. Whats going On? I had no idea you felt like this.

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  2. Jera

    Deb, the same sort of thing happened to both me and my sister. I was asked to leave a church after I privately queried the Pastor about ‘prayer languages’ and where they appeared in the Bible.

    My sister was shunned (officially) by her church when she refused to break off her friendship with someone who left their church because she disagreed with their teachings. Juli ended up leaving the church a short time later after all of her friends that were at that church abandoned her because they were ordered to do so by the church leaders.

    As you say, it’s hardly a Christian attitude to run someone off just because they don’t believe identically to you. Makes you wonder about some of the modern churches.

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  3. Pastor Bill

    First Jera nobody kicks anybody out of Back Country for thinking differently so please keep us out of that Box. When I look back and reflect all I can say at this point is progress on many fronts has been made. People as I always say are complicated creatures but I was always open to conversation about the struggles we all face with each other. I believe I have always listened as much as I talked and to the best of my knowledge never told someone how they should think or tried to force my opinion on anyone. Maybe sometimes I let things run free to much, but I do not know another way to be true to Freedom. I will miss you but then you already know that and without question Luke and Liz, my heart is heavy and I have no more to say.

    Love
    Pastor

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  4. uncle vaughn

    Love to you Deb.
    Just the other day.i read in the Urantia book , of how as we progress in our eternal existence , learning to work together is necessary. In these times where we have not yet moved out of the denominational reality, it often difficult. The present embryonic state of Christianity has far to go before the mature embracing of The Gospel Of Jesus, which is about the fatherhood of
    God and the brotherhood of man supplants/replaces, the many other things that should be eliminated, such as the gospel of Paul,which is the ancient Methraic belief inherited from Judaism. As one learns more and more of the truths in the bible and in the truths in the Urantia book, and of course can act on them, one can have more and more of a HEAVENLY existence here and now, not having to wait until the first of the Mansion Worlds. Your pain/suffering causes you growth, but until we know how to cope with whatever, or prevent whatever the problem is, we have room for growth.
    The devine beings, angels,etc, all have to be able to work well together, and God, the loving parent, allows them to stumble, as in the Lucifer Rebellion, for examble. There is much info. about the fact that we live in the realm of time and space and also about the eternal existence full of adventure and uncertainity, especially at first, about how to be. Again explor the urantia book websites to look up topics,that concern you, type in key words.
    You have that book i accidentally left there, to look at if it is easier to read than the computer, so that is an option, too, but the topical search is most healpful. If you had honored my trip after i mentioned it to you, by checking it out, or checking it out more, you might by now, have a wealth of knowledge, and wisdom, about what it is about, to be an effective religionist, even more than you are already, but because we commicate at such a limited level, i do not know even if you have looked at it.
    Love , and as Jesus used to often say,”Peace be upon you.”

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  5. Jera

    Sorry, Pastor Bill – I wasn’t intending to imply anything about your church. Just was saying that I could empathize because I went through something similar. My apologies.

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  6. Debora

    Jennifer — I was kind of hoping things would eventually resolve on their own, so I didn’t want to aggravate the situation by grousing about it. I’ll blog a little more on the subject later this week, but I’m trying to keep the details to a minimum, out of respect for Pastor Bill and the Fellowship he is trying hard to create.

    Jera — I’ve come to realize that there are serious flaws built into the very structure of organized religion. Many churches are just mind-control cults, no doubt about it. But Pastor Bill is right; people don’t get kicked out of Back Country for having their own opinions and viewpoints. Good thing too, or there wouldn’t be anyone left there by now! 😉

    Vaughn — I am absolutely SURROUNDED by “effective religionists.” I’d rather just be a simple follower of the very simple teachings of Jesus Christ. :^)

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  7. I know I don’t know you, or your situation, and maybe that will make my thoughts relevent, or maybe not… I was just thinking that if you feel the need to search out another church (and based on what you said, I would probably feel the same), then you should. But I wouldn’t give up on church as a rule. The Bible says that we are not to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together”. It’s important for you, and for your children, to get out and fellowship with other Believers, to be taught by a Pastor. There are plenty of churches out there that have people that wont shun you or treat you badly, for whatever reason. I hope that you’re able to resolve things at your current church, but if not, that you would search out a new church where you’re able to grow and feel Christ’s love. God bless!

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  8. Debora

    I don’t plan to forsake assembling together with other believers, but from now I think I’ll stick to garden clubs and such. I can commune with God just as well in a garden or at home with my kids — better even, lately.

    I’ll be adding a few more posts on this subject over the next week or so. My disenchantment isn’t with God AT ALL; it’s with people who talk the Jesus talk but walk a totally different walk.

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  9. The crappy thing is that people are people no matter where they gather. Wherever you find them, you’ll find beauty and ugliness, love and hate. It’s unfortunate this happened, Deb. I wish I could say it’s a rarity.

    It isn’t.

    Like Jera, I’ve suffered my share of Christian drama. But I’ve also enjoyed more than my fair share of grace and wonder.

    You and yours are in my prayers, Deb. I know you’ll find the right place for you.

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  10. Debora

    Thanks, Aron. I do too. :^)

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