Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Membership....YIKES!

As many of you know, we have been trying a new Church for a while. I have been in love with the church so far and really feel like I am home. This last Sunday the Pastor brought up in the announcements about the next church business meeting and that they would be voting in any new members.....he gave a look our way and smiled and said "this is a hint to any of you that have been attending and may want to join our church family for good." Inside I have to say I freaked a little. I LOVE this church and so far, everyone in it. They are very mission minded, accept and love the children, and feel like they are teaching what I would like to learn. The thought of membership scares me.
Growing up any time I went to church is was with grandparents or other friends. My family was open to the idea of church, but never felt the urge to go. When I was 19, Curtis and I joined a church that was of a completely different faith than we were raised with (he has some family in the religion, but not a lot). We were Baptized and went to church to learn. Whenever I had questions about things, this church seemed to have the right answers...I was happy.
After my 3rd miscarriage, a few of our older church members came to our home (after I had just left the Hospital) and came by to 'see us'. They explained to my hubby that there were many wonderful women in the church that would be willing and "ABLE" to have children for him and maybe he should consider other women as his wife. YES, THEY SAID IT IN FRONT OF ME!
My hubby hit the roof. I had about died during this last miscarriage and here they are telling him to find another breeder cow to have babies with. ( as you can tell I harbor no hard feelings..hehe)
Hubby asked them to leave and told them to never come back and that we would not belong to a faith that preached leaving a spouse for something like that.
It took years to get our names removed from their 'books' and being told that once we left we would rot in hell for the rest of our lives because we had denied the only true church there ever was.
Years past...I still had a yearning to learn about the Lord and began attending Church with my grandparents. After about a year, Hubby and I were re baptized into the Baptist faith. Hunter had come home and was dedicated to the Lord....we were on the right track! We began going to church and were once again excited to find people with like minded thinking...we thought. One day while talking to the Associate Pastors wife, she commented how she would love to have more children but could not because hubby had been fixed. Me, being me, said something to the effect of "Hey, Haiti has a lot of children, why not look there?" The reply stunned me... "WHY would I want to adopt from Haiti, aren't all the kids...BLACK?" (imagine a screwed up face to go along with this remark) My jaw fell to the floor....realizing what she had said and to whom, she began to back track and apologize that she really didn't mean it that way and that she was a Christian woman and only human. I was angry...livid.
After much apologizing from the church I still didn't feel like my kids would be welcome there so we left. I could not get over the thought of what had been said to me in front of my young son.
A couple of years passed and I watched this church slowly destruct due to embezzlement, infidelity by the Assoc. Pastor and lies to the congregation....so much for a wonderful group of Christians.

I Have had long talks about religion with Dr. Bernard, how I have felt lost and burned by people who call themselves Christians, I am afraid to commit to a Church out of fear that I will once again be led astray by holier than thou people who live in the flesh and not the word. I am young in my faith and want so much to learn, but to learn the right things. I have felt harsh words directed my way, other peoples way, my children's way, by people who profess to be living in Gods word. It makes it very hard for me to want to commit to a church family.

This church has not given me ANY reason to think it will be the same, the people are wonderful, kind and have not said or done one thing that makes me think otherwise....it is just MY fear.

THOUGHTS???

3 comments:

The Williamson Clan said...

Oh yeah...I've got thoughts. :) Lets start with your former experiences with churches. (where *do* you find these churches???? hee hee) I'm sorry you and Curtis had to go through that.
Everyone walking around on this earth are sinners. "Not one is good" says the Bible. It's ONLY by God's forgiving grace that we can even go to Him. The only good that is in us comes from Christ.
I grew up in an Assembly of God church. Married and became youth pastors at a Southern Baptist church. Moved back to Oregon and attended a Foursquare church...then back to AG...another romp with the Baptists....and now we are at Household of Faith, which is independent.
In all the churches we've ever attended I've never 100% agreed with all the doctrine. Not even the one we are in now. But I love the hearts of the people where we are and the focus they have on family. That, to me, is more important than their views on predestination vs. my views.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, ALWAYS use the Bible as your guide. If the church you are attending teaches God's Word and love you, then you are on the right track! Don't ever sit and listen to a teaching and take it at face value. Always try to dig deeper and check those references with your Bible...then you'll know if they are teaching God's Word. And pray. Pray that God would guide you and give you discernment on what you are learning. He alone knows your heart and He is the one that has continued to draw you near to Him, even after so many have done a great job at pushing you away. Keep it up, girl!
Love ya,
Jana

Julie said...

I agree with your other commenter. In the Bible the Berean Christians were acknowledged as "noble-minded" because they carefully examined the Scriptures to make sure Paul was telling them the truth.

Humans will never live up to our expectations, not even Christians. Maybe even particularly Christians. It is not because they are less ethical and moral... it is because we expect too much from them. But humans are not your "high priest." They do not mediate between you and God, Christ does.

And, in all my years, I have never once found a church whose doctrine I agreed with 100% of the time.

Amy said...

Same here. Every church I've been in has things I like and things I don't but they have always stuck to the Word. That's the most important thing. I tried to find one that had the same traits you mention, mission-minded, accepting of our family, and good teaching. Those were the big ones, the minor dislikes I can deal with. If you're not ready to commit now, can you wait until a future date to become a member? The last church we were in didn't ever require membership, you just show up and participate, I liked that, but I know all churches do it differently. I don't know about you but I think God lives in my gut, because when I go with my gut it turns out right.

Sheesh, I didn't know that story about the breeder cow offer...ick.

Love,
Amy