I grew up in church.
And it’s a miracle that I still attend.
Now, hear me clearly. I know of a lot of churches from one coast to the other that are led by pastors who love God, and are committed to living lives pleasing to Him as best as they know how. They are imperfect, but they want to represent Him well. They love their spouses and care for their children. They are faithful – to God, to the people they serve, to their families. They teach from the Word of God. They preach truth – whether it is encouraging or convicting, popular or unpopular, in season or out of season. To the best of their abilities, they strive to be 1 Timothy type of leaders.
I know many churches like this.
But, the one I grew up in? Was not.
I will not go into detail about all that I experienced, but I will say that a significant number of 2 generations that grew up in that church, want nothing to do with Jesus, or His church.
That it unfortunate and infuriating.
I can remember a conversation that I had years ago with a childhood friend from that church. By then, I had moved away, met young people who sincerely loved Jesus, and desired to please Him. I had seen a different example and was inspired and encouraged. He, however, had not.
“So, what do you do when you aren’t with the “holy rollers”?
“You know, when you aren’t at that school (seminary) and not in Texas with them, what do you do for fun, how do you release?”
My heart broke as I flashed back to the hypocrisy, the blatant evil, deceit, the entitlement, ignoring and enabling. I recalled the pact a couple of them made to never go back to church once they reached a certain age. A pact that they kept. And as far as I know, still hold to this day.
“What we saw in “church”? That wasn’t right. What we grew up with? That’s not God. That’s not who He is.”
Sadly, his last words to me were,
“Yeah, well, God and I have an understanding. He leaves me alone, and I leave him alone.”
Over 15 years later, that conversation still haunts me.
Sadly today, I find myself having similar conversations, reading similar comments. More and more.
And I still say, “What we are seeing? What people are doing, saying, “in His name”? Don’t be deceived.
That’s. Not. God.
More to come…