Friday, July 22, 2011

Homeless

When I was young, our family was broken by divorce by the time I was thirteen. Anyone who has seen this happen will understand when I say that our family was broken long before the divorce actually happened - but it was made official when I hit the teen years. That was the first time I felt that I had 'lost' my home. After that, there wasn't any place that felt like home. The parent with whom my siblings and I lived made repeated nuances to wanting us to grow up and move out. So how can anyone feel the comfort of home with that hanging over your head? I did left before highschool had ended - I graduated, but in absentia. When your own parent is holding the door open and waving you through, you tend to join into the desire to get out quickly. So, that was losing two 'homes' in less than four years.

This pattern recently repeated itself in a different way. For the first time in over a decade, our family is no longer associated to a 'home' church. If anyone has been a visitor of my original blog you'll remember that this separation from that church has been coming for about 2 years now. My husband and I were simply growing away from some of the teaching that the leadership stood strongly on. Everything from what we were learning about family integration to church governance no longer matched up with what the majority of the church members obviously stood for - we rescinded our membership. I say it was obvious that others disagreed with us because no one else wanted to pursue change even when they stated they agreed change was needed.

Did you catch that? Even though the majority of members in this church stated they knew change was necessary to bring the church into alignment with scripture, they did not want to do the work to cause the change. How do christians come to the point of being so apathetic? There is a great article here to discuss that situation, however I wanted to talk about losing my church family.

It hurts.

People who have shown interest in our family and stated a 'love' for us have essentially waved goodbye and turned away from us. This may sound harsh when we were the ones who felt that we needed to resign our membership. However, once we made the difficult decision to do this we took labourous steps to ensure that we did not offend anyone or disparage the church for having different beliefs than us - our letter of resignation stated this:

'The annulment of our membership is a decision based on our respect and appreciation for the remaining members' and how they wish to direct the church now and in the future. It is our hope that we will still be welcomed as adherents throughout the year and that the relationships we have garnered will continue. We look forward to many years of attending and visiting, albeit on a less consistent schedule.'

It took several drafts to choose the words that expressed our love for the people while stating our reason for leaving. When we handed the letter in, we were told that we were not welcome to return even for visiting. That just blew us away. Not welcome!

Even when we came to accept this odd response from the leadership, we did not know how to take the reaction from those who called us friends. They still attend the church and have never even addressed the way in which we were treated. Does this mean that they are in agreement and also do not welcome us as visitors?

They say not. They say it is an aberration of God's house. They still have not said anything within the church circle.

Don't rock the boat. Don't upset the person in the next pew. Live in hypocrisy.

It is the Lord and the word He shows me that has kept my heart from turning completely to stone:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 7

Even David went through this:

For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:

But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

Psalm 55

2 comments:

Mrs. Parunak said...

So sad. Our Lord said that people would know we were His by our love one for another. I think Satan loves to drive wedges between God's people and destroy this love that is the hallmark of our faith. I'm praying for you and your family.

shirley said...

Hi,

I am a visitor to your blog from America. I understand your need to leave, we too left behind our friends and began fellowship with whomever the Lord brings into our home. It is painful and we too have received the cold shoulder from those we still love and consider our brothers and sisters.
We trust Jesus to be our full Portion and He does meet our needs as we follow Him.
Blessings to you