It is funny, for those who have followed my musings, other blogs, let’s be honest my whole writing career I have made a living off of being the progressive voice, the one always for inclusion. This weekend the family had to come to a hard decision, we will admit that we originally felt the pangs of just saying to hell (stronger words came out of my mouth, with tears) with God‘s fan club after yet another time of being ripped asunder.
I will be the first to admit that I enjoy pushing the envelope, why? Simple, because my understanding of the Gospel of the Living Cosmic Christ, is a story of a man, backed by his family, unwilling to bend on living out the love of God.
I surrendered my discernment with the UCC because of them deciding the differently abled were not welcome within our local congregation.
Surrendered my lay ministry in the ELCIC because of the local church spiritually and emotionally abusing my children.
We thought about returning to Anglicanism, but the parish of my baptism made it quite clear that children were not allowed to come to Christ.
The more evangelical sects question our family life, which quite frankly is none of their business.
Yet it was this past weekend within a congregation I had made the mistake of akin to a Franciscan Community simply because I like to see the best in people, and never give up for the simple reason that I truly believe that faith is not simply an individual enterprise, or a community participation, but both-and, a truly interdependent enterprise. So without the church then there can be no faith.
What brought me to the brink of this crisis, my family even, simple the charismatic-non-denominational/LBC that deemed it necessary to spread lies, see it came as a shock. A note that I had been deleted from their facebook group, usually thinking its a glitch but then noting that my wife had been deleted as well. Wife took it upon herself to contact the pastor, and this is where true character of people shine through. We were kicked off, because of me, wifey guilty by proxy, and why do you ask was I kicked off?
Simple, I had made the error of following other members leads and advertising their home based businesses (for me though it was spiritual direction which I had posted in other group pages), inviting church members through the page out to our home bible study (which was posted in other group pages, and was done at the behest of some friends in the church asking us to), and the mistake of asking if anyone during this season was interested in a contemplative service and if so who needed to be contacted within the church to make it happen. Oh, and at the behest of friends, contacting the church office to have the bible study ran in the bulletin (which has happened at multiple churches before, and many churches still advertise for us). For these transgressions we were deleted, and I was to be presented with a formal letter from the board to desist or else.
The pastor claimed that the board had contacted me on numerous occassions and I was “blatantly” ignoring their wishes. The kicker? Yep, you are right, at no point no one had contacted me, explained anything, the mysterious board of this church is hard to fasten down because there names are not public, and there is no easy way to contact the church. After almost eight months of attending the amount of words the pastor has actually spoken to my family can be counted on less than two hands, and that is including the time on a women’s spiritual retreat when she judgmentally told my wife that she had no relationship with Jesus.
The reason these simple postings of invitation, and query where creating a stir? Simple, according to them I am not a leader in the church, as such have no authority to teach, and by posting on the social media (Facebook) page of the church I was trying to ascertain the church endorsement of these activities. The funny thing is they would rather find a way to cause a family harm, distress, and drive them away…rather than simply on the first post of “offense“ simply responding saying “Hey Ty anything like this needs to go through the board, this is who you contact“ or even taking the post down, and private messaging a person.
But they would rather abuse their power of the inner sanctum, and pretend they are the ones who know all, the sad part at this point in the journey, we are now simply done with this protestant pissing match of authority. Jesus called us to make disciples, to make disciples is to gather together, grow together, learn together, to have the open house and open arms that Christ taught us to have (that St. Francis of Assisi and many have restored the church to in times).
But the response was to simply remain silent, for none of this would have come to light if my wife had not contacted the pastor, an admin on the page to get this plot of lies exposed. The sad part is that after wife informed the pastor that whatever she was selling was b.s. and not to worry because our family would never be back to this nest of vipers, the pastor tried to add her as a friend on Facebook, ballsy or sad irony you decide.
So the spiritual pilgrimage of our family continues, we are simply looking for a spiritual home where the spiritual gifts of all of us from my little 5 year old princess, to my almost 7 year old preacher, my wife and me can be utilized in building God`s Reign here on earth to transform this world into the Imageo Dei.
So we have moved back from our stance on we are done with church, to rather we are done with Protestant churches, the politics and one up man ship, fear of power loss, money loving is just too much to take.
I had made a phone call to a local catholic parish to inquire about Children`s church at the parish, they had undertaken a discernment process to see if the church desired to have the children separate from their families during service, and if so what form should it take. I had done as my wife has asked me to do each time we chat with a new church, our son is blessed with Cerebral Palsy, and we wanted to make sure there was no issue, the lovely secretary at St. Mark`s simply responded, `why would that be an issue.` I explained that many churches we have attended had an issue with the differently abled, her reply was simple “all are welcome here, except those that want to make others unwelcome for we are all God`s children“ the response is something I held to this weekend during the prayerful discernment for it was simply such a community answer.
So now, we are praying for where God is guiding us within either a Roman Catholic Parish or Othodox. We are a wounded family, but it is in the wounds that we experience the resurrection with our Lord Christ. Our pilgrimage is taking a Sabbath for us to cleanse our spirits, but we know there is a community out there that will embrace us…trust in God, this Advent season is one of peace, hope, faith, joy, and love…for we await the miraculous birth of a wee babe that will transform the world again.
So here we await… the miracle to be birthed anew.
- Liberal Protestants and the Occupy movement’s critique of inequality: a cultural gap? (mobilizingideas.wordpress.com)
- Who Pastors Growing Churches? (presbyterian.typepad.com)
- How to Care for Your Local Church Pastor (shepherdthesheep.com)
- What if I can’t hear Christ ? (brothersofchrist.wordpress.com)
- Warning To Pastors About The Corrupt Church / A General Address (lynleahz.com)
- Our Righteousness in Christ (missiontopapua.wordpress.com)
- The difficulties and privileges of a Pastor’s wife (atwistedcrownofthorns.com)
- Priest Grateful to Pope for Catholic Ordinariate (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
- Towards a Modest Manifesto for Pastors: a draft (cruciality.wordpress.com)
- Every Man Ministries & Kenny Luck Announce New Yearly Content for Local Church Men’s Ministries (prweb.com)