First off, thank you for this site!
Back on June 7, 1980, I was born again, I was saved. I had not been exposed to religion when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s by my parents, so being exposed to Jesus through a Christian rock scene held every Saturday at a local evangelical Pentecostal church was some pretty mind-blowing stuff.
I spent five and a half years (June 7, 1980 - January 1, 1986) at that church. The typical church routine was:
Sunday morning Bible class
Sunday morning church service
Sunday evening church service
Monday through Friday mornings prayer at the church
Tuesday evenings Bible studies with your respective Bible study group
Wednesday evening church service
Thursday evening choir practice
Saturday noon getting together with others from the church for door-to-door witnessing
Saturday evening Christian rock concert scene (the Potter's House)
Of course, when there was the semi-annual revival, then there would be church services morning and evening Sunday through Friday.
Now, let me see here, … Oh, yes! I was in my early 20s when I got saved and started going to this church here in Colorado Springs. I was also coming to terms with me being gay (just as God made me!). I remember one sister from the church telling me that her husband couldn't stand me because he suspected that I was gay. I remember one close associate of the pastor's calling me a "sodomite" (really, in the 20th century?). I tried to date a girl for a short time and, of course, the pastor had to warn her that people suspected that I might be gay. Finally, I remember one summer night when a pastor stated, word for word, that "God hates homosexuals more than he hates child molesters!" What was the congregation's response to this gospel message? Loud applause and cheers!
I had witnessed other cruelties and insults from the pulpit there.
The preachers kept complaining about Christians from other churches, condemning their "greasy grace", their "sloppy salvation", and how no other churches could be as "on fire for the Lord" as they were
Ministers who had attended seminaries really were graduates from "cemetaries"
Gossiping about a congregant who was dealing with her own neurosis, complaining that she should locked up in a mental facility in Pueblo (even though she did not gossip, did not hurt anyone, would feed the hungry, and was devoted to that church and that pastor)
Well, as time went by, I learned that God does not hate me, just his followers do. I learned that I am a good person, a worthwhile person. I could do better!