This is another cut and paste from a few years back. As time passes, I tend to change some of my thoughts and feelings. However, the core issues of this entry are still a part of who I am even though my anger has subsided.
For five years (maybe six) I have been a bit angry. It wasn’t a constant state of anger, mind you but more like the kind you get when you have a splinter that won’t vacate its new home. I had not quite put my finger on the exact reason but I knew I was perturbed. At what and with whom, you ask? Answer: The Methodist Church.
Before I go on let me expound on something. I am not picking on the Methodist Church on purpose. I was born into that faith and it was the only one I knew for twenty-something years of my life. Had I grown up in a different denomination or creed, I might be pointing a finger at a different entity. Furthermore, not all Methodist Churches are necessary like the ones I attended (but likely they are). What is more probable is that Methodist Churches did not start out the way they currently are and at one point were on the right path.
Back to why I am mad. Well, I didn’t know the answer for a while. Since changing over to a Bible Church and reading tons of Christian fiction and non-fiction, I just knew that my old church was doing something wrong. The sermons weren’t right, the teaching lacked, there was too much PC instead of JC. But what was it exactly…these examples are rather vague. Aha! I finally realized the main problem, the one thing, the most important missing piece. It is Salvation! You see, I can get over minor doctrinal details, service format changes, and politics if I am in a church that truly recognizes Christ. Not just as a figure head, a prophet, or a good example but as their personal Lord and Savior, the Son of God, and the only way to eternal life.
The Methodist Church teaches this salvation jargon but more as a side note or memorized liturgical response. As a sixth grader I chanted in unison with forty other kids the necessary words but to me they held no meaning. I was just excited that I would now officially be a part of the church…a member. I was never sat down and taught what salvation was and how to obtain it. In fact the very mention of “being saved” usually meant that you were from another faith. That phrase used to irritate me because “who are you to assume you know the mind of God? How can you be sure that God has accepted you and not me? If anything, your presumptuous attitude is what is going to keep you out of heaven.”
This mindset towards the ‘saved ones’ was very incorrect but the only reason I came to know otherwise was through my own personal explorations. I was so hungry for truth and purpose that I was reading anything I could get my hands on. I was reading Psycho Cybernetics, books on using your mind and inner powers, books on Eastern Religion, and even Christian books. Any book that smacked of having answers on the topic of eternity, spirituality, and purpose was a potential target for my thirst. The danger in this journey is that I very easily could have ended up in the wrong camp. Fortunately God knew my heart and that my true desire was to find Him. That is why he led me to the two books that finally laid everything out clearly to me.
So my big fuss, irritation, and disdain had some substance. I was not trying to be elitist and thumb my nose at the childhood church I had always loved. I was pissed that ‘they” had not taught me how to get to heaven, how to obtain Salvation. It boils down to this…had I relied on that church to ensure me a place in heaven; I would have been sorely mistaken and eternally tortured in the pits of hell. No big deal, right?
Well, I am not going to harbor this anger anymore. That is not what God would want. However, this is the reason that I do not attend my family’s church and the reason that I will not go back. My children will have the benefit of at least knowing about Salvation. It will be up to them if they accept Christ or not BUT they will at least have the tools to do so.