Monday, April 07, 2008

An Un-Testimony - How a girl became happy not to be in church

[HT: C. Michael Patton]

Below is the un-testimony of a girl who be came an un-believer. You might say from being a Church-ian to being Un-Churched. It is a sad story worthy of our tears. This is the story of a girl who struggled with lesbian attraction. Her church background would have been irrelevant. I think this is what happens when people are hounded by the Law but no Gospel. How do you think we should respond to her? She could be listening, what would you say to her?


“I realized at an early age that something was very wrong with the Baptist church I went to. It was pretty bad when a eight year old child can tell a place is corrupt.

My first of many churches was in north Alabama, a very horrid and dim place where half the population cannot read or write. At the early age of four I was taught that homosexuality was wrong, and if you were you would go straight to hell. In fact, you would go straight to hell for lots of things it seemed.

If you read anything by Darwin, you were doomed.

If you talked back to your husband, then I hope you enjoy fire.

If you think about sex you are a dirty whore and you will go to hell.

The place was really more like a cult then anything. The people were brainwashed into believing that everything they did was evil.

Luckily we moved from there, not long after we found out that a small religious faction that had developed in the town was over throwing the pastor because his daughter was a lesbian.

We moved to Montgomery when I was ten, which was when the big topic of the 10 commandments being in the capitol building was being disputed, and I think that was the real start of my fall from faith. Not from the big deal that society was making out of religion, but from the new church that I had become a part of making such a huge deal.. I remember my preacher saying loudly at the top of his lungs one Sunday morning as I sat in the pew hanging on his every word, that the only reason that the people were protesting was because they were dirty, filthy atheist homosexuals. I thought to myself “Why would they care though? It’s not hurting anyone if it is or is not in there.”

As I grew older I began to learn new things about myself that worried me: I liked girls. I had always grown up learning that if I did like girls, I would go to hell and god wouldn’t love me anymore because I was an abomination. I struggled with the issue for a year before coming out to my best friend. She said she did not agree, but swore to never tell anyone. I felt better finally letting someone know that I am a lesbian. That Wednesday I went to church like I always had since I was eleven, and I walked over to the preacher who was a friend of mine and said “Hello.” and he would not speak to me. He looked through me like I was not even there.

I walked over to my best friend and sat down beside her, still hurt. To my surprise she got up, and everyone in my youth group followed her. I left, and went home crying. The next Sunday the preacher told us about the evils of homosexuality, and how no matter what you did you were no longer a child of god, but of Satan. My mother, being sympathetic looked over to me and offered to take me home. I shook my head refusing and stayed through the whole service. At the end I was close to tears, but I was filled with a new understanding. Something that I had never knew was in me before. Something that the people of the church could not see because they were blinded by their stupid convictions.

God failed. Not God himself, because he does not exist; he was just an idea started by some people who needed hope for something. But the idea of God failed. In the start God was made to give people hope and a reason to live a good life of humility and purity. But soon, those same people changed it. They turned it into something ugly and hateful, damning whatever they did not like, or fixing the words to make whatever they wanted it to say.

I went home and cried for three hours that day, and my mother thought I was sad because of what had happened at church. But I wasn’t. I was crying tears of joy, For the first time in my life I felt free. I felt like I was my own person, I felt free of burden or depression.

It has been four years since that day, and I can happily say that I have not stepped foot in a church since.

This is my fall from god I suppose, there is nothing remarkable about it. And there is nothing heart breaking about it. But it feels good to get it out in the open.”

“I realized at an early age that something was very wrong with the Baptist church I went to. It was pretty bad when a eight year old child can tell a place is corrupt.

My first of many churches was in north Alabama, a very horrid and dim place where half the population cannot read or write. At the early age of four I was taught that homosexuality was wrong, and if you were you would go straight to hell. In fact, you would go straight to hell for lots of things it seemed.

If you read anything by Darwin, you were doomed.

If you talked back to your husband, then I hope you enjoy fire.

If you think about sex you are a dirty whore and you will go to hell.

The place was really more like a cult then anything. The people were brainwashed into believing that everything they did was evil.

Luckily we moved from there, not long after we found out that a small religious faction that had developed in the town was over throwing the pastor because his daughter was a lesbian.

We moved to Montgomery when I was ten, which was when the big topic of the 10 commandments being in the capitol building was being disputed, and I think that was the real start of my fall from faith. Not from the big deal that society was making out of religion, but from the new church that I had become a part of making such a huge deal.. I remember my preacher saying loudly at the top of his lungs one Sunday morning as I sat in the pew hanging on his every word, that the only reason that the people were protesting was because they were dirty, filthy atheist homosexuals. I thought to myself “Why would they care though? It’s not hurting anyone if it is or is not in there.”

As I grew older I began to learn new things about myself that worried me: I liked girls. I had always grown up learning that if I did like girls, I would go to hell and god wouldn’t love me anymore because I was an abomination. I struggled with the issue for a year before coming out to my best friend. She said she did not agree, but swore to never tell anyone. I felt better finally letting someone know that I am a lesbian. That Wednesday I went to church like I always had since I was eleven, and I walked over to the preacher who was a friend of mine and said “Hello.” and he would not speak to me. He looked through me like I was not even there.

I walked over to my best friend and sat down beside her, still hurt. To my surprise she got up, and everyone in my youth group followed her. I left, and went home crying. The next Sunday the preacher told us about the evils of homosexuality, and how no matter what you did you were no longer a child of god, but of Satan. My mother, being sympathetic looked over to me and offered to take me home. I shook my head refusing and stayed through the whole service. At the end I was close to tears, but I was filled with a new understanding. Something that I had never knew was in me before. Something that the people of the church could not see because they were blinded by their stupid convictions.

God failed. Not God himself, because he does not exist; he was just an idea started by some people who needed hope for something. But the idea of God failed. In the start God was made to give people hope and a reason to live a good life of humility and purity. But soon, those same people changed it. They turned it into something ugly and hateful, damning whatever they did not like, or fixing the words to make whatever they wanted it to say.

I went home and cried for three hours that day, and my mother thought I was sad because of what had happened at church. But I wasn’t. I was crying tears of joy, For the first time in my life I felt free. I felt like I was my own person, I felt free of burden or depression.

It has been four years since that day, and I can happily say that I have not stepped foot in a church since.

This is my fall from god I suppose, there is nothing remarkable about it. And there is nothing heart breaking about it. But it feels good to get it out in the open.”

10 comments:

Doorman-Priest said...

It makes you want to cry and then hit someone.

I feel like that most of the time.

Jim Pierce said...

"God failed. Not God himself, because he does not exist; he was just an idea started by some people who needed hope for something. But the idea of God failed. In the start God was made to give people hope and a reason to live a good life of humility and purity."

When I left my pentecostal church, resigned from the ministry (I was an ordained United Pentecostal Pastor) and later became an atheist for 18 years I refused to recognize why I did what I did.

It really had little to do with the lack of gospel being preached and all the law being slammed around. Sure that was part of the problem, but not the reasons why I did what I did.

The above quote is what stands out for me because I truly believe this girl is talking about herself. I, too, believed God failed. I believed He failed me and I was angry at God. I literally hated God! I felt He let me down because I discovered His word contained contradictions (at least in my mind at the time). I felt He abandoned me because the church I was part of split in two as the pastor was ran out of the church while the liberals took it over. I never felt (notice that word?) that I was the christian I was supposed to be or even the one I wanted to be, and I blamed God for that, too.

The day I walked away from God and Christianity I remember feeling so liberated! I remember feeling ecstatic! Yes, Satan is all too happy to help us feel like we are in control and that we have liberated ourselves from the yoke of God! So, I can see in this girl's words that she abolutely hates God with all that is in her being, because she believes that God abandoned her. It would be hard to pick that out of her words unless at one time you too hated God so deeply for "screwing you over".

What would I say to this girl? You are kicking and punching God in the face and feel good about it for now. But, one day sin is going to way so heavily upon your heart that you will not be able to find enough of life on this planet to deliver you from the pain. In the night when you are laying in bed and alone with your thoughts, when you are the most terrified about your sins, the Holy Spirit is going to whisper His sweet words of deliverance into your ears. At that moment you will be given strength to recieve the gift of life and you can have the true deliverance you so deeply want but have never found. Your anger at God will evaporate and your knees will bend out of joy as you kneel before God in glorious praise and thanks for His marvelous grace and mercy He extended to you. These are the things that happened to me just about 18 months ago. I can't even write this without tears of joy welling up in my eyes.

God will get all the glory!

L P Cruz said...

D.P.

Well, I feel that way too. I feel like picking up chairs and smashing them on the floor or throwing them accross the room. I usually feel this way after also after hearing a preaching by tele-evangelist on TV.

I guess that is mild compared to strapping your self with a bomb and blowing everyone to pieces, no?

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Jim P.

Wow, bro. I so appreciate your telling your story.

We got something in common I was ordained in a Penty denom too -- AOG was just one of them.

The church does screw people up. Another fine mess we got people into, and God got the blame for it, no?

It is the kindness/mercy of God that leads people to repentance. I think in church, she was being made to dress, but she got no where to go.

LPC

Steve Newell said...

It sounds to me that this individual only heard the Law and not the Gospel. We all need to hear the Law. But if we do not hear the Gospel, there is not hope.

Also, it appears that sin is defined as what "bad people do" not what we do on an ongoing basis.

L P Cruz said...

Yes Steve,

It is quite so sad, but we know this story is not un-typical, no?

I want to tell her that she did not get the real score on Christianity, the Law was just half the story.

She got toasted by the Law, where as the Gospel sets her free, the forgiveness is also the very thing that ignites change.

LPC

J. K. Jones said...

I was raised in a small-town Southern-Baptist church. Was the church a little backward? Yeah. Was the pastor a fundamentalist? Yeah. Did he preach law and gospel? Yes, thank God.

I became a Christian because of a sermon on Romans 1:18-32. I heard the sermon when I was seven years old. There are many things in that passage that a seven-year-old in a small town in 1976 did not understand, but there was one thing I did understand. Amoung those who God gave up to “vile passions” were people who were “disobedient to parents.” I can assure you that a seven-year-old can understand that. I knew I was condemned under the law. I knew I had no chance.

But then the pastor turned over to Romans 3:21-31. He preached of a way out for me, a way to be delivered from the consequences of my sins. If I believed in Jesus then what He did on the cross would pay for my sins. God would not be mad at me anymore. I could be God’s friend because “a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” It was so simple, even a seven-year-old could understand it. I have to remind myself of that simplicity since I sin often.

Most people just flat don’t read all of the passage from Romans 1. They don’t read about “covetousness, maliciousness … envy, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness … Backbitters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things … Undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…” I find myself in that list very easily.

How would I talk to this person? Let’s say it’s on a blog. I would spend some time reading their blog. Really reading, not just skimming.

I would look for a place where they had made some particularly biting comments about God or His existence. I would begin a discussion of the proofs for God’s existence and how He can be known with absolute certainty.

I know what’s going to happen when I do this. I will be the subject of severe invectives pronouncing me uneducated, bigoted, backward or worse. The next step is the key.

I will explain very clearly how much of a sinner I am. I will flatly state that the only hope I have is Christ dying for me. I will offer the good news of the gospel as one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.

I’ll keep at it. I won’t loose my cool. I’ll try my best to show the love of Christ. I’ll keep coming back every once in a while. I’ll let them know I am praying for them, especially if they blog on personal loss.

How would all of this proceed if we met in person? Then I would be listening instead of reading. I would be spending time with him when possible and just talking. I would look for a chance to begin a discussion like the one above.

I have a high-school friend who is now a self-avowed atheist. He brags about how his son is a homosexual and how that is okay. When he asks my opinion, I am straight-forward. It’s not right. I let him know of God’s offer of love and friendship. I make sure he does not feel looked down upon.

I make sure that I look him in the eye, no matter how far back into my shoes my toes curl because of what he says. I look him in the eye and tell him how Christ can bring him to God. If this gets difficult, I just think about all of the things I have done wrong in the last week or so. It brings the necessary humility.

Sorry for the long ramble, but this scenario hits close to home.

JK

L P Cruz said...

JK

Never apologize for a long post, please. I am as much interested in people's thinking as much as I want them to be interested in mine, bro.

This is what I want to read. You are absolutely right how you will be treated when you come on to them. Apparently this testimony was written in a web site called www.ex-christians.net. I tried finding her there or for some clue where I could reach her but I had no luck.

And btw, this is not isolated as if this can only happen in a Baptist church. One testimony happened to a Pentecostal too. In fact, this can happen in a Lutheran church as well.

I weep for her, semper accusat, the Law always accuses. But the Gospel answers what the Law demands. Blessings to our Lord, for taking the fall for us.

I do hope one day she might encounter someone who will explain to her the Gospel more fully.

Good words, we are one on this one.

LPC

WayneDawg said...

I think it was Spurgeon who said that the Law will only take the sinner to the cross at Calvery and no further.

I dont know if any of us can say that she never heard the Gospel. It may be that her mind was closed to hearing it when it was preached to her. I don't know.

But, this is a sad story indeed.

When I witness to a homosexual, I do use the Law. But, and please hear me carefully, I never focus on their homosexuality; I focus on their sins as a whole. Never one sin over another.

When the Law is presented correctly (1 Tim 1:7-9) and the sinner is shown that all their sins are an offense against God, not just one particular sin, then the good news of the Gospel will make sense to the person........which should lead them running to the Savior for what He did to deliver us from God's wrath.

Does that make sense?

L P Cruz said...

Wayne,

It sure makes sense. We should focus on the sinfulness of ourselves and not just one sin. Because Jesus' forgiveness is not just one sin but against the very nature of the sinfulness we have.

Makes sense to me, absolutely besides the homosexual I am also certain is aware of the actualities of it, they may suppress and psych up but I believe deep down Law is accusing that already. We sin because we are sinners, we do not sin and then become a sinner, but the reverse.

We sin in word, thought and deed. This is sometimes hard for our modern cultured populace hard to understand.

LPC