Sunday, June 7, 2020

Well, That Didn't Go So Well...

I went to church today.
On the up side, all the doors and windows were open, something I had been promoting for years.
Why pay AC bills when a cool breeze can waft through the church for free?
The pastor had told me that he didn't mind the AC bill because of all the thousands I had saved the church with the new heating system I had installed.
But these were open because Covid!
We walked into the church, a small building, former union hall, and proceeded to the row of seats that we normally occupy.
That row had each end of it capped with barricade tape as did the row opposite the main aisle from it, and every other row behind it.
Seated in the row behind where we would have sat was my friend Rob.
I sat next to Rob.
My wife sat next to me.
The pastor, or as everyone else refers to him, "Pastor", asked me whether I had asked Rob's permission to sit next to him.
I told him that Rob was my friend, neither of us was sick, and it never occurred to me that I should ask his permission to sit next to him.
Rob and I talked a bit about a video he had recently seen about a missionary to China who was relating that there were believers there who told him that they wished they could have church like Americans.
The missionary replied that they should never want that.
Those believers had walked hours to sit on a bare floor and have church.
Americans wouldn't go if the AC was broke and the chairs not soft enough.
I did not take Rob's point to be that I should be content that at least we were having church, limits or not.
But I told him that Americans will allow the state to tell them when and how they can have church and the Chinese won't. And I had a problem with that.

After the service started and we sang a couple songs, Rob got up and I assumed he went to the bathroom as he left his phone and keys next to his seat.
It was a little later that I realized his keys and phone (bible app) were gone, and I could hear him singing behind me. I can take a hint.

The sermon was very good, and I got a few thoughts out of it I intend to pursue.

Then the announcement was made that the Facebook version of the service was over and that we would be taking prayer requests so that they might not go public on the internet.
Heaven forbid.
I had been complaining that the online services had no room in comments for prayer requests or praise reports. They were discouraged out of privacy concerns. I still don't get that.

When the service was over, I told Scherie I would meet her in the car and went through the small crowd that was talking to each other without masks.

Rob came out to the car and as I spoke with him, I let him know how stupid the whole affair was.
Hypocritical, even. Other issues I had with the behavior of the church and it's bowing to the state got my ire up as we talked and I apologized telling him it might be best if we stopped talking.

When the state tells the churches how they can have church, it's a form of persecution.
When the church complies, it's being complicit in it's own persecution.

When Scherie came to the car, I opened the door and let her in and as I was returning to my side of the car, I saw that Rob was still sitting in his Jeep.
I went over and told him once again that I was sorry for blowing up in front of him and that I thought he was one of the better guys I've known in my life, but I just can't do church that way.

So that's it.
I came home and placed a post on FB that said:
Is anybody doing church in the Ypsi area the way God intends and not the state?
I got some harsh words back in comments  from some of the women who attend my former church.
One telling me that I was rude. Another said that if I had a problem, I should talk to the "Pastor" and the board (which I had). I did not want to wash laundry on FB and told them so.

So, that's life on the home front.

I wonder what God has next.

7 comments:

  1. I appreciate your maturity in not airing issues on Facebook.

    It sounds like, step-by-step, what you need to do is becoming clearer.

    This may be more than you want to bite off, but have you ever considered that you might be being called to proclaim for the Lord?

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  2. Thank you.
    Actually, I think we all are. :)
    I had a long talk with my best friend today. A former pastor and missionary.
    And Force Recon, a man of substance.
    We are in agreement about a few things concerning the church and I hope to congeal them into a post soon.

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  3. Sounds as if attending this service was not an uplifting experience.

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  4. Do what your heart and soul tell you to do. The Church belongs to God, He lets us use it. Which is the reason for that whole 'wherever two or more of you' saying.

    But, really, you can be a Church of One as long as the other person with you is God. Sometimes being solo can't be helped.

    As to the Pastor, Priest, Reverend, Minister or whatever the head of the church is called, he's just there to help be a conduit for God. If he's not conduit-ing God, then he's conduit-ing someone else.

    Go with what you feel right.

    We here in America are supposed to be blessed by not having our religion controlled by the Government. It's about time the Government remembered that whole separation thing and that our rights come from God, not from the State.

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  5. I've pointed out before-
    Predominately black Churches invite political leaders to address their congregations. Any question these are "vote for this guy" invitations? Yet these Churches do it with impunity, knowing there will be NO tax-exemption ramifications because of their actions.
    White Churches?
    I can't help think it's mostly about the money, and fear of losing it.

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