Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Letter to the Congregation...

So lately I have been struggling to get to church on Sunday's.  No, it's not a question of faith it is a question of what the church expects of its congregation.  I have been a Christian for 15 years and I have always been an active participant in bible studies and women's ministries but I am not really looked upon for that, what I am looked upon is as someone whose husband does not go to church with them.  

My husband believes in God, believes that Jesus died for us...what he does not believe in is organized religion.  I actually agree with him, however, I do enjoy being part of a church. 

About two years ago I returned to the church where I was originally saved.  It was a wonderful church but they had started to have a policy of what I called "Forced Servitude" and so I left.  I feel that if you are going to serve in the church using your spiritual gifts then you should serve as you feel led - not forced with a contract, attendance sheets and people calling and harassing you over the phone or via e-mail.  It all got to be too much for me and so I left and attended another church - actually, I ended up having gone to two other churches before not going to church for over a year and now have returned to my original one.  

I love the church, I really do.  I love a lot of the people that I have met there.  But at the end of the day, it is still a game of church politics and unless you jump through the fiery hoops that the leaders tell you to, apparently you are not Christian enough.

My husband does not attend church with me.  My older son attends church with his girlfriend and her family.  My younger son wants to be home with his dad so ultimately my home is divided on Sunday mornings and there are times where there are arguments - and who can go and worship God after saying ugly things while on the way to church?

I am a single woman in the church's eyes and therefore, not good enough to hold certain positions.  I will never be asked to be on the women's ministry team - because I don't have a spouse with me (clearly that makes me not Christian enough).  I have been looked over for positions in other ministries for people with less experience and less enthusiasm.  No one tells me that the reason is because I don't have a spouse in church with me but when you are continually passed over you start to look at the facts. 

My spouse's walk with the Lord does not change MY walk.  My husband has always been supportive of my faith and my participation at church.  When I don't go, he asks me why and encourages me to go!  But no one sees that!  What they see is a single person, sitting alone in the sanctuary surrounded by couples and families.  

Do not judge that person sitting alone - their faith can be greater than yours and your spouse's put together!  The church seems to frown on the "single" people and not know what to do with them!  I pray that the Lord uses me where I can do the most good! 

It's the people with blinders on that refuse to let that happen...


FishHawk said...

I hear what you are saying all too painfully clear. For when our Heavenly Father first kindled a flame in my heart, He warned me that the hardness of far too many hearts was exceedingly great. It did not take long for me to better understand that He was talking more about those who openly profess to be His than those who do not.

Would starting your own church at home be an option that your husband would want to participate in? After all, our Heavenly Father established His church in the name of His only begotten Son to serve as a gathering place for the members of His family by faith, and it grieves Him deeply that it has become so institutionalized--be assured.

Lavender Darwin said...

Have you discussed this with the elders, to have them approach your husband together with you on this issue?