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December 11, 2011

 

"What's your favorite Christmas song?"

 

My wife is in charge of Sunday school at our Assemblies of God church. She has a new helper with the kids, which is nice, because I used to do it, and I hated every blasted minute of it, but it was still better than the lousy sermons from my father in-law.

 

I happened to be upstairs today with the kids because my daughter was starting to get fussy and needed a nap, and I was getting ready to take her home. The helper was talking about Christmas songs, and she asked the kids, who are all under twelve years old, "What's your favorite Christmas song?"

 

Of course, one of the kids immediately responded, "Jingle Bells!" because no kid under twelve understands that this is a fun winter song and not a depressing Christmas song.

 

So, like any good mind-numbed fundagelical woman, the helper says, "Well, that song doesn't have Jesus in it. Let's try singing a new version with Jesus in it!"

 

My ears were nearly bleeding when this woman, who doesn't have an ounce of musical talent and is absolutely tone deaf, tried to come up with new words to the tune of "Jingle Bells" that included Jesus somehow. She kept trying for at least five minutes. I wanted to take a pair of scissors and jam them into my ears to see how far in they'd have to go before the sound would stop, but at the same time I couldn't leave because it was like being unable to turn away from a traffic accident.

 

Those poor, poor children. I don't know if they'll ever be able to lead normal lives now.

 

 

Elsewhere in the church...

 

Also today, instead of the sermon by my father in-law, we had a guest speaker from India who has spoken at our church several times in the past. You see, great, great miracles are happening in India, dontchaknow. It's just too bad that none of you will ever travel there to see them actually happen. Really, it's a shame that you'll never, ever get there to see these awesome miracles for yourself, so let this guy from India tell you all about them, and you'll just have to trust him when he tells you they're not exaggerations, or just made up entirely. He was also speaking at one point about how he got his airplane seat miraculously upgraded to first class as if it equaled the parting of the Red Sea or something.

 

Where was I? Oh, that's right. In the lead-up to the sermon, we had a "word from the Lord" from a woman that only shows up when this liar, er, I mean, evangelist from India comes to speak. It was just the usual "blah-blah-blah don't look at your circumstances look at me because I am God yadda yadda yadda I am eternal blah blah blah I knew you before I created the world etc., etc., etc., ..."

 

To give you a further sense of this woman's credibility, she once wrote a song which she claimed she was given by God (this woman doesn't have a poetic or musical bone in her body), and gave it to my nephew, who is the worship leader at our church, and told him he had to sing it. She told him that If he didn't sing this song during the worship, that bad, bad things would happen at the church. Sensibly, my nephew* threw away the song, especially since he knows this woman only shows up a couple of times a year when the Indian liar, er, I mean, evangelist shows up, so he doubted there would be any follow-up.

 

Well he was wrong. For over a year this batshit insane bitch has pestered my nephew that he not only still needs to sing the stupid song, but that she wants the original paper she wrote it down on returned to her. You see, apparently she only wrote down one copy, and I guess God doesn't like her enough to give her the inspired words again.

 

What a blessing I received today! Hallelujah!

 

 

 

*My nephew really is very sensible and very bright. I could actually see him deconverting one day, because he seems awfully skeptical of a lot of the things that other people at the church get all excited about. All I'd have to do is get him thinking about it all a bit, pose a question here, give a skeptical comment there, and I think he'd be on his way...

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*My nephew really is very sensible and very bright. I could actually see him deconverting one day, because he seems awfully skeptical of a lot of the things that other people at the church get all excited about. All I'd have to do is get him thinking about it all a bit, pose a question here, give a skeptical comment there, and I think he'd be on his way...

 

nike-just-do-it.jpg

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*My nephew really is very sensible and very bright. I could actually see him deconverting one day, because he seems awfully skeptical of a lot of the things that other people at the church get all excited about. All I'd have to do is get him thinking about it all a bit, pose a question here, give a skeptical comment there, and I think he'd be on his way...

 

JUST DO IT

NIKE SWOOSH

 

Ha!

 

The really scary part is that my nephew has told me that I'm one of the few people at the church that he actually enjoys talking to. If he only knew. If he only knew...

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Oh, that's right. In the lead-up to the sermon, we had a "word from the Lord" from a woman that only shows up when this liar, er, I mean, evangelist from India comes to speak. It was just the usual "blah-blah-blah don't look at your circumstances look at me because I am God yadda yadda yadda I am eternal blah blah blah I knew you before I created the world etc., etc., etc., ..."

ahh, those prophetic crazy ladies...

What are the reactions in your church for these situations? Do people buy into that god is really speaking through that woman?

 

At our church, I remember that almost everyone was embarrassed and we were just looking at each other thinking: "someone please shut that deluded woman up!"

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Oh, that's right. In the lead-up to the sermon, we had a "word from the Lord" from a woman that only shows up when this liar, er, I mean, evangelist from India comes to speak. It was just the usual "blah-blah-blah don't look at your circumstances look at me because I am God yadda yadda yadda I am eternal blah blah blah I knew you before I created the world etc., etc., etc., ..."

ahh, those prophetic crazy ladies...

What are the reactions in your church for these situations? Do people buy into that god is really speaking through that woman?

 

At our church, I remember that almost everyone was embarrassed and we were just looking at each other thinking: "someone please shut that deluded woman up!"

Unfortunately, I think most of the people at my church actually believe it. I think the thought process is that even if someone is crazy, then God can still use them to deliver his word. They all say "Amen" and "Praise God" like they believe what she's saying. It's quite sad, really.

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So, like any good mind-numbed fundagelical woman, the helper says, "Well, that song doesn't have Jesus in it. Let's try singing a new version with Jesus in it!"

 

My ears were nearly bleeding when this woman, who doesn't have an ounce of musical talent and is absolutely tone deaf, tried to come up with new words to the tune of "Jingle Bells" that included Jesus somehow. She kept trying for at least five minutes. I wanted to take a pair of scissors and jam them into my ears to see how far in they'd have to go before the sound would stop, but at the same time I couldn't leave because it was like being unable to turn away from a traffic accident.

 

Those poor, poor children. I don't know if they'll ever be able to lead normal lives now.

 

Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves all the way.

 

Oh what fun

It is to be saved

when Jesus comes to sa - ave!

 

Dashing through hea - ven

I'm so very ex-cit-ed

Over the clouds we float

laughing all the way

bell ring out for joy

for Jesus saves today

Oh

 

Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves

Jesus all the way

 

:lol:

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Trapped, I don't want to seem ungrateful (Who am I kidding? I'm evil.), but I see you go on here about an experience you had and your interpetation of that experience seems geared towards making you feel better about yourself.

 

But you don't need to go about validating yourself in this manner. I know. I used to do the same thing. And then I looked "inward" (it's more like side-ways) and I saw the source. It's there for me to tap into anytime I choose to do it. It's a place beyond the need for validation. It's a place without judgement. It's a place of calm acceptance and creativity springs forth from it because the imagination is not stifled by judgement.

 

Go. Now. And have the courage to see it for yourself. It's right there with you. Yes, it's right there.

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I really enjoyed reading your post, Trapped.

 

Seriously, you just distracted me and entertained me so much, I actually forgot that 1. It is morning and 2. I just woke up and 3. I was up all night cleaning the Fucking house because 4. we have an inspection today and 5. I was also finishing off two assignments last night that are due today and 6. I've had, oh, 3 hours sleep. And before my first cigarette of the day, and before I finished my cuppa. Now THAT's impressive.

 

P.S. I'm not sure if I sound sarcastic here, if so I apologise, I don't do mornings and I'm still waking up. Great post, mate. Excellent post. That's what I'm trying to say. Excellent post. Fuck brain, start working, I have shit to do!

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December 11, 2011

 

In the lead-up to the sermon, we had a "word from the Lord" from a woman that only shows up when this liar, er, I mean, evangelist from India comes to speak. It was just the usual "blah-blah-blah don't look at your circumstances look at me because I am God yadda yadda yadda I am eternal blah blah blah I knew you before I created the world etc., etc., etc., ..."

 

What a blessing I received today! Hallelujah!

Jezzzzuuuuussss, That post you wrote was hilarious!GONZ9729CustomImage1541245.gif!!

 

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Jesus' balls, Jesus' balls,

Swinging all the way

Jesus needs a booty call, be it straight or gay-ay!

 

Dashing through the bar,

with a holy beer in hand,

Lookin' for some love

From a woman or a man.

 

Jesus doesn't care;

He just wants to fire his load

When he finds some willing flesh

It's time to hit the road.

 

Oh, Jesus' balls, Jesus' balls, etc.

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My wife is in charge of Sunday school at our Assemblies of God church. She has a new helper with the kids, which is nice, because I used to do it, and I hated every blasted minute of it, but it was still better than the lousy sermons from my father in-law.

And how scary is that? Ack!

So, like any good mind-numbed fundagelical woman, the helper says, "Well, that song doesn't have Jesus in it. Let's try singing a new version with Jesus in it!"

 

My ears were nearly bleeding when this woman, who doesn't have an ounce of musical talent and is absolutely tone deaf, tried to come up with new words to the tune of "Jingle Bells" that included Jesus somehow. She kept trying for at least five minutes. I wanted to take a pair of scissors and jam them into my ears to see how far in they'd have to go before the sound would stop, but at the same time I couldn't leave because it was like being unable to turn away from a traffic accident.

LOL!!! The awful thing about fundy music is that it doesn't matter if it sucks. As long as Jesus is in there somewhere, it's just another Hallelujah moment!

You see, great, great miracles are happening in India, dontchaknow. It's just too bad that none of you will ever travel there to see them actually happen.

Yup, they always happen in the next room or a continent away. I have a friend who was an evangelist in (a country in) Africa (can't remember which country). She said that she saw all these "miracles" but once the adrenalin or hypnosis of the moment wore off, so did the healing. This led her to question her beliefs and eventually leave them.

 

The crazy prophetess--it's so true that fundies listen anyway just in case God is choosing to draw a straight line with a crooked stick. Frightening, really!

 

Thanks Trapped! I hope your nephew comes around in his thinking. May the force be with you!

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[May the force be with you!

The "force" is right here. It's right here!

 

How can explain this?

 

We each have this sense that we are alone in our own minds. So we have this sort of island experience. So there's all these islands out there, but one moon hangs above all of them. The feeling of isolation is an illusion.

 

How else can explain it?

 

Ah. The difference between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence is simply the ability to think. Wisdom is knowing what to think about. Don't examine your intelligence. Examine your wisdom. When you can look at your own wisdom, you're there.

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[May the force be with you!

The "force" is right here. It's right here!

 

How can explain this?

 

We each have this sense that we are alone in our own minds. So we have this sort of island experience. So there's all these islands out there, but one moon hangs above all of them. The feeling of isolation is an illusion.

 

How else can explain it?

 

Ah. The difference between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence is simply the ability to think. Wisdom is knowing what to think about. Don't examine your intelligence. Examine your wisdom. When you can look at your own wisdom, you're there.

 

In whom reside all beings, and who resides in all beings by virtue of his being the giver of grace to all- I am that soul of the universe, the Supreme being, I am that Soul of the Universe the Supreme being. (excerpt from Amritabindu Upanishad)

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  • 2 weeks later...

December 22, 2011

 

It's All Your Fault That We're Not All Getting Blessed!

 

Okay, this is actually going back to Sunday night. Our church had its annual "Workers' Dinner," which is held at the church to honor those that volunteer, such as the Sunday school teachers, the ushers, and the worship team, and is a chance for the pastor to share his "vision" for the upcoming year. It may be worth noting that none of the pastor's "visions" for the church have ever come to pass, and things are pretty much the same from year to year.

 

During his speech (or rather, his sermon) after the meal, my father in-law said that since he used to be in construction, he has always had frequent dreams about construction projects. He also said that when he would do renovations, he would often find a portion of a house in which the boards were rotten, and they would need to be replaced. This led him to his point, which was that he has been dreaming that he has been renovating houses, and keeps finding one board that is rotten.

 

This can only mean one thing: WARNING! WARNING! THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP! I REPEAT, THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP! GOD CAN'T BLESS US BECAUSE WE ARE NOT IN SPIRITUAL UNITY!

 

For those of you not familiar with fundamentalist thinking, here is an explanation. You see, God wants to bless all of us. He also wants to perform miracles. He sits in heaven watching us, just waiting for the chance to turn every church into the next Toronto Blessing or Pensacola (Brownsville) Outpouring, so that he can show the world what a mighty and powerful god he is. However, even if every person in a church is completely holy, prays daily, and does everything according to the pastor's, er, I mean, God's will, if there's just one person in the body that doesn't agree one hundred percent with all of the church doctrine, if there's just one person in the congregation that watches porn or drinks beer occasionally, then all bets are off. Because of that one person, there can be no mighty move of God, and he just sits in heaven shaking his head at the church in consternation instead of actually letting people be blessed or get healed, and he mutters to himself about how we humans just never give him a chance to prove how awesome he is.

 

This phenomenon is known as "sin in the camp." It goes back to the Old Testament, when the Hebrews were in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. When someone in the camp sinned, it caused problems for everyone until that sin was found and rooted out, and then God's blessings would be restored. It is a superstition that is quite prevalent in fundamentalist churches, whether they be Baptist or Assemblies of God. Whenever things don't go well for a church, "sin in the camp" will be offered as an excuse to try to scare everyone into being better Christians.

 

So it seems that my father in-law now believes that we're not receiving a major outpouring of God's amazing love because there is one rotten board in the church. I suppose now he is just waiting for that one person to come forward and confess, so that God can finally bless the church the way he wants to, but just can't right now because of the sin in the camp.

 

I feel sorry for God, that he is so weak that he cannot use an entire church because of one person, and that no one who is begging God for a blessing or healing will receive it until everyone else in the church is absolutely perfect and entirely in God's will, just like our pastor.

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What a nice little guilt trip. Time to turn the tables and find some dirt on father-in-law and annoymously get it out there, show everyone where the "sin in the camp" is really coming from. Surely old daddy-in-law has some unsatisfied former customers? Perhaps a few short cuts were taken? You know hypocritical they are at the top. Time to do some digging so that God can bless the church firedevil.gif

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December 22, 2011

 

It's All Your Fault That We're Not All Getting Blessed!

 

Okay, this is actually going back to Sunday night. Our church had its annual "Workers' Dinner," which is held at the church to honor those that volunteer, such as the Sunday school teachers, the ushers, and the worship team, and is a chance for the pastor to share his "vision" for the upcoming year. It may be worth noting that none of the pastor's "visions" for the church have ever come to pass, and things are pretty much the same from year to year.

 

During his speech (or rather, his sermon) after the meal, my father in-law said that since he used to be in construction, he has always had frequent dreams about construction projects. He also said that when he would do renovations, he would often find a portion of a house in which the boards were rotten, and they would need to be replaced. This led him to his point, which was that he has been dreaming that he has been renovating houses, and keeps finding one board that is rotten.

 

This can only mean one thing: WARNING! WARNING! THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP! I REPEAT, THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP! GOD CAN'T BLESS US BECAUSE WE ARE NOT IN SPIRITUAL UNITY!

 

For those of you not familiar with fundamentalist thinking, here is an explanation. You see, God wants to bless all of us. He also wants to perform miracles. He sits in heaven watching us, just waiting for the chance to turn every church into the next Toronto Blessing or Pensacola (Brownsville) Outpouring, so that he can show the world what a mighty and powerful god he is. However, even if every person in a church is completely holy, prays daily, and does everything according to the pastor's, er, I mean, God's will, if there's just one person in the body that doesn't agree one hundred percent with all of the church doctrine, if there's just one person in the congregation that watches porn or drinks beer occasionally, then all bets are off. Because of that one person, there can be no mighty move of God, and he just sits in heaven shaking his head at the church in consternation instead of actually letting people be blessed or get healed, and he mutters to himself about how we humans just never give him a chance to prove how awesome he is.

 

This phenomenon is known as "sin in the camp." It goes back to the Old Testament, when the Hebrews were in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. When someone in the camp sinned, it caused problems for everyone until that sin was found and rooted out, and then God's blessings would be restored. It is a superstition that is quite prevalent in fundamentalist churches, whether they be Baptist or Assemblies of God. Whenever things don't go well for a church, "sin in the camp" will be offered as an excuse to try to scare everyone into being better Christians.

 

So it seems that my father in-law now believes that we're not receiving a major outpouring of God's amazing love because there is one rotten board in the church. I suppose now he is just waiting for that one person to come forward and confess, so that God can finally bless the church the way he wants to, but just can't right now because of the sin in the camp.

 

I feel sorry for God, that he is so weak that he cannot use an entire church because of one person, and that no one who is begging God for a blessing or healing will receive it until everyone else in the church is absolutely perfect and entirely in God's will, just like our pastor.

 

This is why I put headphones in and browse the internet on my phone during sermons now. Pastors like to make it sound like they're singling you out when really they are talking about something broad that could apply to anyone. Sucks that you can't just leave the church and see if "blessings" come their way all of a sudden. Sounds like you're pretty much stuck there. Wish you could be more free. Now I see why your name is Trapped though!

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What a nice little guilt trip. Time to turn the tables and find some dirt on father-in-law and annoymously get it out there, show everyone where the "sin in the camp" is really coming from. Surely old daddy-in-law has some unsatisfied former customers? Perhaps a few short cuts were taken? You know hypocritical they are at the top. Time to do some digging so that God can bless the church firedevil.gif

As much as I disagree with my father in-law's beliefs, I have to say that he has really profited very little from being a pastor. Although he has been an Assemblies of God pastor for over 50 years, it's only been in the last ten that he has received any kind of salary or housing allowance from a church. Prior to that, he had to work full time (in construction, mostly) in order to support himself, so for him the church really is a labor of love. The only reason he makes any money now is because he can't work construction at the age of 81. The financials for the church are also entirely public, and all money is accounted for. While it would be possible for a member of my family to take advantage of the church, no one has yet done so. Also, as much as I disagree with my father in-law, I will also say that he walks the walk for what he says, so he's not hypocritical at all, at least as far as I can tell after knowing him for fifteen years or so. That doesn't make him less wrong, just not hypocritical.

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Interesting...

 

Not that I think my wife is anywhere near deconverting, but some interesting stuff came up last night.

 

I may have mentioned elsewhere that my father in-law has a tendency to get suckered in by people that come to the church in various ways. Every time a new person comes to the church, my father in-law thinks that this person will somehow do great things at our church, and starts parroting everything they say and believe. In one case, a person nearly convinced my father in-law to legally change the name of the church. It is because of incidents like this that both my wife and I think that it may be time for my father in-law to retire.

 

The latest issue has to do with the pastor of another church who has been coming to our church. When I say "pastor of another church," what I really mean is that the guy has a congregation of less than twenty people that meets on Sunday nights, which is why the guy has been coming on Sunday mornings. This guy has been talking as if our two churches will be merging, and my father in-law doesn't seem to do or say anything to deny this. The big problem is, this guy is a total egotistical asshole* that just wants a bigger congregation, and is building up my father in-law to take advantage of him by stealing his church. My father in-law also gave my nephew (the worship leader) several CDs that this other pastor is using for his worship services, and told him, "You should learn these songs." Naturally, my nephew is furious about this, and is threatening to resign if my father in-law insists on going down this path.

 

So, some of the background aside (and there's a lot more to it, trust me), my wife said to me last night: "With all of the time that my father spends in prayer and reading the Bible, why doesn't God give him discernment?"

 

I didn't give any real answer, except maybe to acknowledge that it was a good question.

 

 

 

*To give you an idea of what this guy is about: when he first started coming to our church, he grabbed a microphone from the stage (supposedly with permission from one of the ushers, who should have no say in the matter) and started "singing in the spirit." After the service was over, he came to me in the sound booth and asked if we recorded the service, because he wanted to get a CD of it. He was very disappointed when I informed him that we only record the pastor's sermon, and not the rest of the service. The asshole only wanted to hear himself singing in the spirit.

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This can only mean one thing: WARNING! WARNING! THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP! I REPEAT, THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP! GOD CAN'T BLESS US BECAUSE WE ARE NOT IN SPIRITUAL UNITY!

This is so a page out of my book! This truly demonstrates how psychologically and emotionally abusive these types of churches are. Argh!

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So, some of the background aside (and there's a lot more to it, trust me), my wife said to me last night: "With all of the time that my father spends in prayer and reading the Bible, why doesn't God give him discernment?"

 

I didn't give any real answer, except maybe to acknowledge that it was a good question.

I think that was the best possible answer that you gave. It hopefully poises her on the verge of thinking a little more critically about what she believes. She will probably find herself wandering into cognitive dissonance soon, because she is starting to notice things aren't adding up.

 

At least we hope!

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I think that was the best possible answer that you gave. It hopefully poises her on the verge of thinking a little more critically about what she believes. She will probably find herself wandering into cognitive dissonance soon, because she is starting to notice things aren't adding up.

 

At least we hope!

It was really the only answer I could give at that moment. I wasn't ready to get into an all-out discussion about my lack of belief at the time, and she was just venting more than anything else, so I let her vent. She also asked at one point, "If my dad retires, where will we go to church?" I only replied, "I don't know."

 

Personally, I would like to think that this will be the last church I ever attend. When my father in-law is no longer pastor, I am not being dragged to another church, nor will I be dragged to the same church with some random pastor that has taken over. That's where I'm drawing the line and taking my stand, no matter the consequences. I'll just have to get myself ready mentally for when that time comes.

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January 1, 2012

 

And This Year's Theme Is...

 

My father in-law has decided — um, I mean, the Lord has led my father in-law to declare that 2012 will be a year of preparation. Preparation for what? Well, what else would the church prepare for? Of course he's talking about THE RAPTURE and THE TRIBULATION. Get ready, because we're sure that this time it's for real. No, really, this time we mean it. My father in-law can feel it. The signs are all right there for anyone who cares to see them.

 

And, with what can only be called miraculous timing to coincide with this year's theme, President Obama has just made an announcement that the United States is going to join The New World Order, according to my father in-law. Funny, even after checking Fox News, WorldNetDaily, and doing a Google search for "Obama new world order," there seems to be no mention of this. There aren't even any recent hits from any fundagelical news sources on the subject. I guess God revealed it to my father in-law before the story has actually been released. I'm sure we'll see that news come out any day now. Any day now, I'm sure. I'll be looking for it, because I'm sure it will come out really, really soon.

 

I tell you what, it sure is taking a long time for that New World Order to get their act together. We were supposedly awfully close when the United Nations was started. We were supposed to be closer still when the Soviet Union collapsed. And then, we were supposed to be super, duper close when the European Union was formed. And when Bill Clinton was elected, we were supposedly super, super, duper close to joining The New World Order. And now, with Obama at the helm for three years, I'm not sure why the New World Order hasn't already absorbed the entire United States. I've been hearing that it's going to be "any day now" ever since I got saved a quarter century ago. Maybe we're already part of it, and no one noticed.

 

My father in-law actually tried to bring this up again at lunch after church, and I started to say, "Oh, please..." but then we got interrupted by the waitress, and my father in-law neglected to try to bring it up again. I think he might have realized that my reaction to his "news" would be a bit confrontational.

 

Happy New Year from The New World Order!

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January 1, 2012

 

And This Year's Theme Is...

 

My father in-law has decided — um, I mean, the Lord has led my father in-law to declare that 2012 will be a year of preparation. Preparation for what? Well, what else would the church prepare for? Of course he's talking about THE RAPTURE and THE TRIBULATION. Get ready, because we're sure that this time it's for real. No, really, this time we mean it. My father in-law can feel it. The signs are all right there for anyone who cares to see them.

 

Happy New Year from The New World Order!

Happy New Year Trapped! I love this thread! I really do! I appreciate you keeping us up on the lastest in your church - it just shows me why I stoppped going 3 years ago.

 

As I was reading, it really hit me how some of you guys here at EX-c are still so 'Trapped' by believing relatives and such. Some of you have to continue the facade to save your marriges and families from falling apart. I have none of this in my life. I just have all believing friends, but nothing that 'forces; me to go to church every Sunday, etc..... You guys are really the 'hero's. Shows me how much you want to hang on to family 'unity'. Good people - you are! I'm not sure I could do it.......................

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