I was reading a blog that I have recently found called "What Really Matters" and the last post really hit home with me. The reality of what thousands of people have experienced all over the country from controlling and manipulative pastors who are out to make a name for themselves and live like "the lifestyles of the rich and famous" without any regard for who they destroy on their so called "path to prosperity" is such an atrocity. Multitudes have come away from these churches having to pick up the pieces of their spiritual lives. Others have not only had spiritual abuses to deal with but have had physical abuses as well.
In the wake of the last twenty years of my life I find myself asking a lot of questions. In the end I wonder, where do I go from here? I also wonder if there are others asking themselves the same question.
When I visit a new church, I find myself listening to the pastor preach and I wonder... Can I trust this man? Does he live what he preaches? Does he use people for his own selfish gain and then toss them away? I he a practiced liar? Does he even know what honor is? Does he demand honor and respect that he hasn't earned? Does his family laugh at me ? Is he a monster in disguise? Does he pick out the parts of the Bible he likes and build doctrines around them and ignore the parts that he doesn't want to live by? Does everyone in ministry have ulterior motives?
I wonder about the people I meet. Do they stab everyone in the back? Is there anyone who doesn't sleep with people they are not married to? Are they all liars when it is convenient for them? Do they all think that they are above the laws of the land and that the rules don't apply to them? Is anyone ethical in business?
I guess I have been in a church where the leadership and everyone that follows the teaching closely are so totally consumed with their lives, their desires, their confessions, their blessings, their vision, and what they can get from God that I wonder if everyone is that way.
Do I ever want another pastor? Will I ever call a man "Pastor" again? DEFINITELY NOT!!
Will I ever join another church? Do I NEED a church covering??? NO! What did the church covering I had get me??? What did it get others that went there? The answer to these last two questions is not a pretty one.
Will worship ever be the same for me? I'm getting there. Do I believe that prayer can change things? Some yes, some I am not sure. When will I sift through all the false teaching I have listened to for years? I am not sure. Do I believe that I ever really know someone?? Maybe not.
In the Bible, Paul wrote, " follow me as I follow Christ". Is there a leader like that today? I don't know that I believe there is.
I do know that God is faithful and He loves me so much that He sent His son to die for me. He understands everything about me and He knows that I love Him with all that I am. He is not pushing me to find a church, commit to a ministry, or place myself under a man .... it was a man that put all that pressure on me in the first place and not God. It was a man that demanded that from me. A man who wanted my time, a man who wanted my devotion, a man who wanted my loyalty, a man who wanted my money, a man who wanted my trust, a man who demanded my honor, a man who wanted my service to him and what he wanted to build, a man who wanted to build an empire for himself. I will never again allow myself to be deceived by a man or fall into the trap of serving a man.
I don't know where I go from here, but I do know exactly where I am. I am returning to my first love. I am completely trusting in and leaning on my Heavenly Father and being led by the voice of my Shepherd. I am where He is there to comfort me and guide me. I am where no matter of how much of a failure I feel like He is there to tell me that I am chosen by Him and He chose me knowing full well every choice and mistake I would make in my lifetime. He is there to tell me I am not a failure but a joint heir with His son. I am where no matter how much of a burden it seems I have He is there to tell me that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He is always there telling me that He is proud of me. I am where I know that He will never leave me of forsake me.
No, I can't answer all the questions right now and I don't have to. I know that some will be answered and more will arise. It doesn't really matter where I go from here because wherever that path leads I will go with Him and for now that is enough for me.
A Reflector of His Bountifulness
4 years ago