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When A Church Sends You Running for Cover

 

Church Faith

photo credit: Leonard John Matthews via photopin cc

When A Church Sends You Running for Cover

Many people who are raised in the Church, end up wandering astray. We are filled with the stories we don’t understand. Threatened with hell and damnation for our unavoidable sin, why would anyone want to stay for that. We go to church to please our parents, fighting to keep our eyes open, and our minds shut.

With all the pretentious and better-than-though mockery, we turn up noses on our appearances. No longer does it only matter that you are there, it also matters what you wear. Your mind wanders on this man, they call Christ, if he loved the least of these, why not these that follow him. Starting to question the need for the Church, where is this faith when the world is full of pain and hurt.

Just as many do, I began to make excuses. Whether I stayed out late, or just didn’t feel like going. I would rather sleep in than go to Church. Beginning to think that all these scriptures were meant for the real sinners, not me. I quit, quit going to church, quit praying, quit believing.

The world was my oyster, I had my Sunday mornings free. I woke up to headaches and hangovers and not preachers or Bible thumper. My life was mine to live, no one was going to tell me what I could or could not do. The new-found freedom was the beginning of my fall. I wrecked myself into my apocalypse of spirit where no Church could reach.

There were days that I was such a wreck, my friends abandoned me or so I thought. Little did I realize the path I was taking was simply one they chose not to follow. I was alone and broken and pretended that I loved every moment of it. No one could reach me as I spiraled into my oblivion, or so I had thought.

One day there was a knock on my door, gentle but persistent the knock became louder. Bleary-eyed I answered, abruptly opening the door where they had to step back. Two older women, one white one black stood upon my stoop and asked if I had a minute. We talked a bit and I was curt and rude, leaving them on the porch abruptly as I could.

After they left, I opened my door a crack to make sure they were gone. Between my feet fell what was paper that was stuck in the door jamb, a copy of The Watchtower it was from my newest of friends. They returned regularly to check on me as they were concerned for my soul. Initially I avoided them and would pretend I was not even home.

Slowly, my resistance began to weaken as they would talk to me more and more. They talked about being loved for who I was not for who people wanted me to be. They saw right through my sick charade and knew that the ‘I am Catholic’ was just a ploy of deceit. By the end I would wait for them to come down my drive and I would go outside to greet them openly.

Shortly afterward, I met my now bride who slowly saved my wretched soul. We started dating and after about three weeks, she asked me to go to back to church. Hesitantly I went, and have been back ever since, twelve years later I am now the Christian at Church I used to resent.

I grew slowly in my faith and treaded lightly during the first years of my spiritual walk. I was still sure that lighting would strike me one day in Church for the sins of my past.  Our path became more steady as we grew closer to each other.

Over time my calloused heart began to soften and the scriptures began to make sense.  There were moments when I was brought to my knees in humble realization that not only the Church but God has been there all along.  Even in the times I felt alone and weary the Father I left so many years ago was waiting.

Over the past couple of years I have given up fighting and trying to control my life as my own.  Allowing myself to be sculpted as a blacksmith would his iron, shaped and sharpened.  My faith has grown as I learn to let go in hopes of one day being in fact the christian man I once disdained.

Now it’s your turn: Have you had your faith shaken by the church enough to walk away, have you made it back.

About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

  • I didn’t have a very good understanding of grace and forgiveness as a child growing up in the church. I always though I was going to get zapped unless I “got right with God.” It was a radio program and a book that cleared this up for me.