From the Desk of Mr. Zissman

The musings of an over-stimulated mind

Goodbye Yellowbrick Road

with 2 comments

Wow, another blog entry so soon? I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. But I have much to share about Churchgate 2009 and things have taken a turn from the worse. Allow me to explain…

As I said, I skipped church tonight since my mother had requested a private meeting with the Pastor and, once there, several things were discussed that really broke my heart. As I’ve mentioned before, I find myself “tuning out” a lot of times in regards to the lessons and sermons preached by my Pastor. It has nothing to do with him personally, but I can only hear about gay marriage, abortion and how the King James translation is the only true translation so many times. The problem is that I want to LEARN, I want to explore the depths of Jesus and really dig nose first into the scripture.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:2

See, this is how I feel. I want solid food, meat. I want to study the Hebrew and Greek, learn more about 1st century Jewish culture and lessons and teachings. I can only hear “Gay marriage is wrong!” so many times. Yes, I won’t be marrying a guy anytime soon, nor will I be getting an abortion. Now what? Teach me! Educate me, help me learn.

Because of this, I won’t lie, I sort of “tune out” when the lessons fall into the repetitive nature of The Big 3 (Abortion, homosexuality, King James only) and I check my Facebook, blog or text people because I’m honestly not paying attention. When the lesson does go towards something that is new and interesting, I shove the phone back in my pocket and pay attention. So because of this, a member of my church saw me do this constantly and was curious what I was doing, so they did a Google search on my name and found several of my social media websites. Well, they were simply horrified about the content of my tweets, blog posts and such, and made several copies of several pages of this information. Keep in mind; this is all being done behind my back.

Now the “dirt” on me is given to the Pastor. The Pastor decides to not call me because “he wanted my Mom involved” (NOTE: I’m damn near 30 years old, for crying out loud!) and that’s why he went to her instead. The Pastor also pointed out my exceptions with the repetitive nature of some of his lessons, and with a completely straight face asks my mother “Does Stephen really have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

…?

Now keep in mind, I have attended this church since I was 12-13. I’ve taught in Vacation Bible School, do the weekly slide show, attempted to start-up an eNewsletter that no one bothered to sign up for, I teach Sunday school and often give more on services then the Pastor’s own family! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sound like a Holier Than Thou, as I’m merely flesh and blood and have a lot of self improving to do. But one glance at my track record will show why such a question is ridiculous.

By this point, I’ve gone beyond angry and just feel hurt, violated and betrayed. Am I perfect? Hardly. Do I sometimes make off-color jokes and run R-rated language? Yep. But how I act on Twitter, or Facebook is NOT how I act in church. And when I teach the kids on Sunday it’s never anything controversial or too out there, in fact, I take great strides to make sure what I teach is in line with what the church believes. Regardless, it’s become clear to me that the proverbial writing is on the wall. I will work on a resignation letter this week and quit my church (again!) and shall attend this Sunday at my grandparent’s church. I’m not happy with this decision, but I feel the odds are against me and it would be an uphill battle that I cannot win. So I will walk away and hope for the best.

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Written by MrZissman

11/18/2009 at 10:52 PM

2 Responses

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  1. The Lord works in mysterious ways and I have a feeling He’s working here.

    The fact that he would ask about if you had a personal relationship with Jesus puts steam out of my ears. That’s ridiculous. They want to go on with superficial stuff online, but the Lord states that your words & actions don’t matter because He sees into the hearts of men. I also think it’s pretty sad that I know more about the depth & intimacy of your faith than your small church family. And they have 8 years on me! I remember a whole month’s worth of conversations where you were brainstorming ways to help the church financially and membership-wise. I know about all the worries of dwindling attendance and fears of the church going under. I prayed those prayers with you. Let them drag your name in the mud. There’s one Being above all of us who knows the truth, who knows the hypocrisy of someone afraid of being found on the internet using the internet to gather dirt for character assassination, who knows the intentions of people’s hearts. And I do not fear that Being in this situation.

    What’s even more upsetting: if this is what they would say knowing it would get back to you, what have they said when they knew it wouldn’t?

    I take this as a blessing in disguise and you have my full support in leaving them for good. If you don’t, I’ll have some sassing to do!

    Hilary Marie

    11/18/2009 at 11:27 PM

  2. I understand your frustration with your church,but keep in mind the church is made up of people…hurting, broken people.
    As for your pastor’s questioning your relationship..he has every right. Only you know where you stand with God. Attending church and being an active participant does not mean you have a true relationship with God no more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.
    Also, how you act outside of church is very important. Sometimes we are the only Bible the world reads. We are very much judged by the world once we have made the statement, “I am a Christian.”
    I think it is wonderful you want to explore and learn and dig deeper! DO IT! If that means “quitting” your current church, go for it. I say all of this with love and if there is anything I can do to help please let me know.

    Bonnie

    11/23/2009 at 6:24 PM


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