True Power

True Power

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Pain of Christianity: My Story Dorothy Guyton Part 2

THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG READ:
I have said many times that a person must have a vision and a goal. I may have said some kind of 'happy go lucky' kind of quote or spark of wisdom like 'never give up and never give out." I remember drill sergeants screaming "Don't quit on your body and it will not quit on you" as they pushed you to do your 80th pushup.

The truth of the matter is you can get beat up on the way to greatness or success. You can be pushed so hard by people you would believe would be cheering for you until it not only knocks the wind out of you, but you’re fighting spirit as well.

I have been stung by comments from people and wondered what "I" was doing that warranted such a comment. I have had prophesied over me that I needed 'a humble spirit thus sayth the Lord.' This was after I was the only person to answer, strictly out of pity, the pleas and beggings of the prophet for people to come forth for prayer.

My latest gut punch was when a woman interrupted a conversation I was having and said I needed a covering and needed to stop jumping from church to church. How do you respond to a statement like that? What is a COVERING? And as far I know I have only been the member of one church, which I no longer attend, but visit other churches from time to time.

Maybe some more back story is needed. I am from a very small town where you are born into a church. You go there because everyone else in your family goes there. Your pastor is selected by whoever asks and you say yes so you will not hurt his feelings. People find it difficult to finish high school and will not attend any Bible teaching that requires a book, pencil, and paper. With this said, these are some wonderful, loving, devout Christians who have lived religious tradition and consider it some kind of voodoo to introduce anything new. Needless to say, the religious atmosphere is rigid and hell is the destination of those who want anything more or different. You must "WAIT UNTIL THE PASTOR DIES" because the anointed can not be removed. The Baptist are very Baptist and women are not allowed in the pulpit because they are unclean (I have heard because she has a period) and every other denomination holds very close to their tenants.

Some may assume from the above paragraph that I may have a problem with humility and they would also be mistaken. When I believed I was not being fed enough to enable me to have a closer personal relationship with God, I went to college to learn more. I did not make it an issue with my church or try to teach them all of the new wonderful revelations I was learning. Just the opposite occurred. The more invisible I tried to make my biblical studies, the more comments were being made. I heard "the Holy Spirit tells you all you need to know and man can tell you things and make you sound smart but God does not have to send you to school. People try to learn psychology and philosophy but all you need is God's word." It was more than clear that book smarts was not acceptable when it can to religion in my area.

There were many Sunday's after church that I would cry and ask my family was I doing something to warrant the comments. My family became protective of me trying to shield my=e from assaults as I tried to remain a faithful Christian and remain in the church for fellowship purposes. Good Christians wait out the devil, as pastors are prone to say when Christians are having difficulties within the church. I would become nauseous before attending church and began anointing myself with oil and having my family to pray before we entered the church doors. My children finally gave me an ultimatum, they could no longer bear to see me be under assault for no reason and they could no longer watch this unfold month after month. If the Lord told me to stay that was fine, but I was scarring them. WOW! What do you do with that?

After much fasting, prayer and tears, I finally felt peace within myself that five years was enough. I spoke to a Christian counselor who after hearing my story actually told me I was dealing with a person with a dangerous personality disorder where no matter what I did I was going to be a target of aggression. Even with this counseling, it was painful to leave my family church.

I have been searching for another home church that valued Bible study community service, and women. I was so traumatized from leaving my first church that I never wanted to get into that situation again. Needless to say, the search goes on and you are not considered a Christian or a good Christian if you are not in the pews every Sunday. People shun you; you must be a rebellious person who stirs up trouble wherever you go. I am a Christian with a SCARLET LETTER.

Now, do I believe I am the Christian people say I am or the Christian God says I am?

Paul said whether anyone believed him or not, he knew the calling God had given him (to preach to the Gentiles) and did not need anyone else's approval. He did not remain in the 'church' to prove he was a Christian, he went about his work and answered to God becoming one of the most prolific evangelists of the Bible. Jesus himself would be asked by the priests if he was the son of the devil. David, the anointed one of God, was chased for years by King Saul whose only intent was killing David. Jezebel put a hit out on the prophet Elijah.

If you are a fan of facebook, there is story after story of disenfranchised Christians for one reason or another was left with no other option than to leave the church. There are many who tell you that you must be in a church or else you are a renegade Christian. Martin Luther broke from the Catholic Church as did many other founders of denominations most are sitting under till this day. Persecution goes hand in hand for those truly seeking God.

Acts 5:41 "The apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." the apostles had been arrested for preaching to the people in the temple court. In my case I was not teaching the gospel. But I was saying in a meeting that our community and children were being lost and the church would have to make a change and become involved because they were the ones who had the people's ear. Many in the meeting agreed going into more discussion on the subject with agreement from the chairperson who was a pastor. After the meeting I asked the pastor to ask his congregation, with strong encouragement, to attend a unity event meant to try to draw the community and churches together. The pastor began to explain the people were too poor and not concerned with anything and I said that has been the response from every one but could he really try to sell this as important to his congregation. "Enter pastor’s wife stage right with the comment I need a covering and to stop jumping from church to church."

I immediately became repentant and apologized for any offense. She said she just had to tell me what the Bible says.

I had a restless night of conversation with God; of soul searching. My family as usual prayed for me and became angry with others as I told them not to be. I got admonished as usual "when was I going to learn to stop throwing pearls in front of swine." I happen to be the vice president of the organization relaying the sentiments of all of the members, not my own (even though I thoroughly believe the
same).

What does one do when they are witnessing the death of their community, state, nation? Martin Luther King gave his life for his vision that was tinged with religious values. All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Many great ministers said they wanted to quit and throw in the towel. They say people covet what they now have but would not have survived the torment and trials they endured.

I want to throw myself a pity party, but I know I have nothing to be pitied for. God directed me to more education so "I" could have a closer relationship with him. And we know the Scripture says to those much is given much is expected or what you were given will be taken. I guard the gifting God have given me and I will not allow the three or four voices of opposition to stop me from encouraging and ministering to the needs of the greater number that have sought me out for counsel or a prayer. I will not say I love my brother or sister and watch them be misled if they ask me a question and if their soul is in danger I speak up gently in love planting a seed without demand, judgment, contempt, indignation, self righteousness or pride, because I represent Jesus and I will not be a stumbling block or have blood on my hands.

We have pretty much reinstituted the law again after we have been freed from it by Jesus. We tell each other you must do this or that in this way to be stamped publicly as a Christian. A deviation in the approach is not tolerated, we have found the one way God has approved and it must be adhered to: the Baptist way is the only way, the Methodist way is the only way, the Church of Christ way is the only way etc. and we are the only one's going to heaven. It is the outward that we must judge to know your Christianity by even though we were never intended to be the judge and the heart is what is judged by God. Anyone going against the established group is suspect. Join the church, be silent, be observant, and learn the people and the flow of operation before you try to put in your two cents. No new member instruction or doctrinal teaching; just follow what the rest are doing. If you catch on good, if not, it's your fault.

I feel at times I am living in a mad mad mad world and then I remember the Bible said this is the way it was going to be. Then you begin to question yourself; "I can't be the only sane one so something is wrong with me and they are all right?" Again take it to God, listen to Him, trust in Him and His word, hold firm to His word, live your gifted life in Him.

I guess you have guessed it is one of those days in which I need to be encouraged, a day I pray for my heart not to become hardened or bitter. Romans 13 begins under the heading of Submission to the Authorities we are told "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities..." and goes on to say God knows who is in charge and no one is in charge he has not placed there and to pay your taxes, respect, even honor. Then 13: "Owe no man anything, but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law."

So in those hard times that bring you to tears; those unjust times when you were not deserving of the punishment for the crime you did not commit, when being misunderstood leaves you wounded, when you realize no one knows your heart: YOU OWE NO ONE ANYTHING MORE THAN TO LOVE THEM, and you can survive without them giving you their stamp of approval. It is God who we worship, serve, and seek to please.

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This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
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