The Journey----back

 Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm a rebel at heart. I've always been that way. Don't believe me? Well my family could tell you some stories. And admittedly, more often than not, my way was far from the best way to accomplish anything. Being somewhat hard headed about many things, I had to learn the hard way. And guess what, I’m still a little hard headed, but learning that in all things----there is a lesson to be learned.

These days I feel the rebel rising up in my chest, burning and inching its way forward again after all these years. It dances inside my head, humming a tune and giving the world the well known finger. However, this time I’m not alone. My husband and I are now the rebel rousers, bucking the authority so to speak. As a family we’ve decided that we will no longer attend Church. It’s not a decision that we came to quickly or lightly. Truth is we got hurt, again. Imagine that, getting hurt by godly people. Reminds me of Beth Moore’s book, When godly people do ungodly things. But like I said before there’s always lessons to be learned.

Memories of my life in church came to me like shadows casting themselves on walls. Clips from a movie, if you will, staring me. Like most people in the South, I grew up in the church. It is a small church in a small community that my mother and her siblings grew up in. I sang in the choir, taught children’s Sunday school and was the Sunday school recorder. You know, giving the report of how many attended, how much was collected. I was quickly immersing myself in church duties. I remember Homecoming celebrations, which brought people out in droves who normally didn't attend church. Shopping for that perfect Easter outfit, Sunday School conventions where we attended other churches such as this one. Our church congregation was small, filled with mostly family, and if we had a piano player on a particular Sunday it was considered a blessing. Otherwise we just used our hands and feet as instruments. Our church choir was small but our voices rang through the church as if we were the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. My grandfather was the head Deacon and worked tirelessly to make sure that the church served the community. There were times when we'd only have 5-10 people in the congregation, but that never deterred anyone from praising God, it never mattered to the "old saints" how many people were there.

Yet, even then I was different.......I was the rebel. It was me who asked questions like, “why do we have to wear dresses and pantyhose to church, Jesus doesn’t care how we come.” Dare I buck the authority and put on a pair of jeans. We’ll not in my mama’s house, and I tried. I'd watch the pastors as they sweated, hollered, about the goodness of God, about the dangers of hell, and how Jesus was the way. People would stand up and shout out of excitement, they'd wave white handkerchiefs, and nod their heads while saying amen amen, preach preacher. It was all alien to me. I'd just let my mind wonder....wonder why when someone sung a song it was more of a was their platform and they were Whitney Houston. I wondered why everyone "acted" up in church like they were holy, and had no compassion, empathy, or love for anyone else. For all the latest gossip all you had to do was go to church. But it wasn’t gossip as long as they put, “Bless her heart, she needs Jesus” at the end of everything. I wondered why some of the churches I went too were like walking down the runway and I was the model on display so they could converse back and forth about what I was wearing. I've seen those who came to church dressed in their best taken in back rooms and given "more appropriate" clothing to wear. And they never returned.

Once I was 18, I left the church. I had grown tiered, weary of it all. If I could have, or rather had enough nerve I would have risen up out of that pew and shouted screamed to the tops of my lung. “You have created traditions of men that are killing us, and driving us away from the very arms that you want us to run to.”

If you read my last post, you understand my view. I’m tiered of the clicks, the complacency, the worship wars, the lies, and people’s need to keep the traditions of man. When I read Acts there are no similarities to what the church has become now. And no, we are not forsaking the assembling of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will gather in worship, we will pray and we will continue to pursue Christ with a passion. We just refuse to do it man’s way. We’ll go and visit at times with others also, but don’t look for us in the pews doing the “church” thing. Were gonna do it God’s way.


Linda Allen August 24, 2010 at 4:38 PM  

Evette, I want to thank you for saying what ive been saying to myself and my family for years now. But kept thinking we must attend a church. Until, I got hit in the face with all the hypocrites in the churches, Pastors committing adultry, pastors molesting young girls and boys, pastor ignoring those that needed his prayers and concern verses social gathering with friends for his own satisfaction. This isnt Godly to me. So, no, I havent been to church for sometime now, but I could repeat almost word for word what u have posted. I grew up in church as u did, with being told I would go to Hell, all the yelling and jumping up and down and scaring me half to death. Im glad that you have posted what I have felt for sometime. Godly people are going to help others in need whether it be a neighor, a friend or family. You dont have to know them to help if they need your help. so Amen to you girl.

Evette August 24, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

I often wonder if God looks down and is just heart broken over has happened with His Bride. Churches now are corporations, gunning for money to pay for the grand new buildings they have built and can't pay for. They're trying to find new ways to draw people with gadgets. Sadly the church is little more than a social club. It grieves me, because that's not what church was ever intended to be. He doesn't dwell in buildings but dwells in those who are His. There's no relationship just religion.

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