2.25.2014

My Love/Hate Relationship With Christians and The Church!

be careful with your words
James 3:5 

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Before I start this let me state for the record that I LOVE the "church" (ekklesia - The Body) and in saying that have a deep love for the Brethren who walk and live according to the Word and in whom I see the fruit and the love of the Spirit!

I am somewhat jaded when it comes to the Church and Church life and will attempt to humbly explain it in this post. My experiences with Christians (flawed human beings at best) have not always been positive ones.

In my teens I was accused by a woman in my Church of being a drug dealer although up until that point I had never even tried any drugs in my life. I believe looking back this was to keep me away from her impressionable daughter because the reputation that proceeded me before giving my life to God in those years was far worse than the truth actually was.

I saw a leader in the Church as a gossip, a liar and a hypocrite.

Previous to this I was sexually molested by a man, a leader in another Church that I had attended since a young child. I was groomed and molested. very frequently and every time he had opportunity. Again a leader in the Church doing things that I knew were wrong yet felt powerless to do anything about.

When I did finally get up the courage to come forward to Christians that I trusted I was told "he would never do that." It is the stigma of growing up in a small community where your church leaders are also business leaders and can lie and hide the truth of their sins.

I was told about 4 years ago that he was accused of this once again and how many more victims are there YET I kept quiet because no one would listen!

I left the Church for many years choosing to lead a rebellious, sin filled life BECAUSE of these two incidents in my life.It has made me even more aware of how my choices in what I say and what I do, especially to young people, can positively or negatively impact them.

I will not go into details about my journey, at least not at this juncture, but will say that during what I call my wilderness years I still carried and read my Bible. It is funny that God always had His hand on my life even when I was making bad choices.

I came back to God several years ago. I cannot give an exact time or date but I just started living different, being different, thinking different and being very aware of my fruit and my life as well as the choices I was making.

I am more gentle. I rely on my God and have a faith that is strong and sustains me.

I was afflicted several years ago with a Social Anxiety Disorder and didnt leave my home very often except to work. I do not know what caused it or how it came to be and have previously written about it.

I am happy to say I am getting better.

I have always attended "church." Depending on your definition of Church! I define it as brethren getting together to worship and to discuss. To pray for one another and to lift one another up. This can be either in person, on the phone or online.

I know some will disagree with me but in my times dealing with SAD sometimes online fellowship was all I had. I know others (many others) in the same boat and they are on their journey in life and we need to encourage any fellowship and not be putting people down for the way they decide to fellowship.

I am now able to attend a larger church although I have to admit that I feel quite lost in the large amount of people that go there. Sometimes I feel my SAD kick back in and i have to refocus but I do enjoy the teaching.

So, that is part of my journey. I share openly but don't go into details about things at this point unless I have to with people I know in my life.

Do not be one of those Christians who sits in the pew on Sunday and then gossips about others during the week and be careful what you say about a young person as it could affect their life for years to come. Words are powerful. Use them wisely.

***Just for the record I have forgiven the two people who did this to me in the past and do NOT blame them for all of my poor choices in my life. They may have been catalysts for some but in the end I am ultimately responsible for any poor choices I made.

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