Sunday, October 16, 2005

I Make A Motion

OK, fasten your seat belts. You're about to see my mean, evil, selfish side. If you don't want to read all of this then jump to the last paragraph because it's the most important.

“I make a motion that my name and my family’s names be removed from the rolls of the church.” A quick second, a quick vote and I am no longer a church member!

I’m the only person I know of who made the motion to have him self voted out of the church. I know the Bible condemns pride but I’m proud of this action.

Somewhere I heard or read that Ghandi said “if I ever met a Christian I would become a Chrisitan”. I don’t know if he actually said this but I understand the statement. There is a great canyon between the example of Jesus and the actions of church members.

I had been pastor of the church for five years and it has been one continuous conflict. For example, one evening I was listening to an argument in a committee meeting and I was confused by what was being said. I questioned a person near me and learned that the “discussion” had turned to some fight that had occurred twenty years earlier! I don’t know where in hell they got their definition of forgiveness but it must have been from hell because it surely wasn’t from heaven.

My father, whom I highly respected, died and on the return trip from the funeral I thought about the times we spent together when I was young. It was on this trip that I decided I was wasting my time with the church. I was attempting the impossible. I had children in their early teens and wanted to spend more time with them. I resigned as pastor.

Even though I was no longer pastor I was still a member but did not attend because a clean break is best in these situations. A few weeks later the church called a new pastor. Shortly after I heard there was talk that the politics was evolving and one thread included me returning as pastor. It was at this point that I became a little angry and decided enough was enough. I attended a Sunday evening service and made the motion. I prefaced the motion with “I’m tired of the fighting. If you want to fight then feel free but I want no part of it.”

I've told you about one experience . I pastored for twenty years and have other horror stories that explain why I arrived at the point I did on that Sunday night.I don’t believe the Bible is truth but I believe the Bible contains truth. Truth on a printed page is dead and lifeless. For truth to be alive it must be embodied in a person. I can’t tell you about love and forgiveness. I have to show them to you by living them -- and I can do that without being a church member. I don’t regret that I haven’t been a church member for the last twenty years. I feel better about myself and more secure in my relationship with the Divine than I ever did while pastoring. My frustration was with church members and not the Truth. That’s an important distinction!


Blogger Unknown said...

Many others out there share your view (including me)...

10/16/2005 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I have had a similar experience with my meditation group! I was completely taken aback by the behaviour there.

10/17/2005 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

I'm truly impressed.

10/17/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger utenzi said...

Regarding your post: I Make a Motion

It sounds like you were very grounded and aware of your own priorities even then. Picking your family over the infighting of your (former) congregation must have been a difficult decision--burning bridges often is even if it's a mild fire.

10/25/2005 09:39:00 AM  

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