It’s taken me over 10 years to finally understand WHY I love online bible studies so much. Because it feels SAFE. I can watch, listen, read, and journal from the safety of my own home and remain anonymous. I do not have to participate or share any more than I feel absolutely comfortable doing. That’s also why I tend to invite atheists, agnostics and baby believers to them also. Because it’s so much safer than participating in person. The digging deep aspect is excellent also.
This week, I was watching the Intro or Week One of Create in Me when the leader mentioned that as a leader in church, she had prayed for people at times from a place of a sinful heart leaving people (and their sin or baggage) uncovered and unprotected. That bothered her and she had been convicted by that. Y’all, you have NO IDEA how thankful I was to hear a church leader openly admit to that AND apologize for it. Apparently, I’ve been waiting on that for the past 10 years and didn’t even realize it.
As a strong agnostic who did NOT believe in Jesus or Christianity and did not intend to be deceived into believing such nonsense, I was shocked to encounter Jesus. And within 3-4 years of that encounter, I began taking my children to church because “it was the right thing to do”. Most Christians love their church more than they love God. Or they confuse the two to be one in the same, and it’s not. I will not mention the name of the church, but they claim to be A Lighthouse to the Nations. Ummm…. that’s a great mission but let me tell you my story because my kids and my family were corrupted there.
While my teens were away at youth camp, their female youth leader and her husband made out sexually with one another in the presence of the kids. As they were deeply tonguing each other and rubbing each other, the high school kids were saying “get a room” to which the youth leaders replied “this is what happens when you separate married people” because the leaders were newlyweds and were staying in different buildings with the teens. Then at worship one night, from the worship stage, the leader of the entire camp told the audience “if you are here with your spouse tonight, kiss your spouse and don’t make it a peck either. Show these kids what they are in for when they get married”. As you can imagine, 5-6 of the youth group kids started texting their parents and friends and making comments on social media about how perverted this camp – and their leaders – were. I sent a letter via fax to the youth camp itself and requested a meeting with the youth leader personally. She refused to meet with me and the senior pastor met with me himself where he apologized for the youth leader’s behavior, meanwhile justifying it by saying she was just doing what the other leaders were doing yada yada yada. As a parent, I work really hard to teach my kids that they should NOT eat Tide Pods just because everyone else is doing it. So that excuse really didn’t fly with me. THEN the youth group leader removed my son from the praise and worship band because he had told his parents what had happened at church and what happens at church stays at church. Y’all, that is not church. That is a CULT that divides families. Some time later, a teenage girl was crying up front upset that she had been sexually assaulted and was going to be going to court the next morning and wanted prayer. The same youth leader told the teenaged girl that her problem was unforgiveness and that she just really needed to forgive the person who assaulted her (who was an adult who ended up pleading guilty to child sexual assault and went to prison for 6 years and is now a registered sex offender). It’s been 10 years and that girl is still fearful of getting involved with a youth or young adult group because she felt so beat up by her youth leader. The next church I went to told people that “you enter a church the way you left the prior one and you need to reach out and make it right with your prior church before coming in.” These religious groups stick together y’all. And it’s scary. So, for years I’ve avoided really planting roots within a church congregation and I flee – fast and hard – at the very first sign that a church is unsafe.
I do NOT; however, flee from God. Which is exactly why I participate in Online Bible Studies and is why I decided to participate in Create In Me. And it’s been exactly what I needed. Even just hearing the leader apologize, softened me a bit and allowed me to experience some healing that I guess I’ve needed for a very long time without even realizing it.
I’m really looking forward to doing this study and have no doubt that I will benefit from it. God knows my heart and thank God He does because he’s ever so patient with me while I battle life and everything it throws at you.
Social media hugs to all. Have a GREAT day. #CreateInMe