Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who am I and Why Do I Hate K-Mart?

Over at Set Free there was a recent post about this topic and it is incredibly well written, I would recommend reading it before continuing with this post.

I have been thinking along this line for a couple weeks now. When I left MFC (my former church) I immediately quit dressing up for church. I always hated dressing up anyways. That just isn't who I am. But I did it because that was required at my church. As I stated in my first post I have started over in my beliefs in Christ. I am taking nothing that I have learned in the past couple decades about God from here forward. I learned before MFC that God loved me enough to send Jesus, his son, to die for me. So I am building from that foundation. For a bit of back ground MFC is a Word of Faith church, read that as a prosperity church... also, read that as a charismatic church.

I have begun to notice that I seem to have a whole lot more questions than answers. Which makes me think, "have I ever really paid any attention to what I believe or why I believe those things?" And I don't think I have. For years, I bought the company line - hook, line, and sinker. Someone recently told me about how years ago Former Pastor told the congregation to not shop at K-Mart because the clothes were not good enough. I guess everyone should only shop at Jos. A. Banks or Harold's or Saks. I don't remember this "sermon" as it happened while I was still a child, but that explains why I felt like I was doing something wrong when I bought my Christmas tree from there a couple years ago. Subconsciously, I believed that K-Mart was taboo. On a side note: To all of the K-Mart exec's reading this blog, I am sorry for that, and I have come to realize that I can change things I have a K-Mart not too far away. I will give you guys a second chance. Now I feel bad for thinking about how terrible it was for Sears to have been bought out by you.

This one example has helped me to see just how deeply my entire life was impacted by MFC, not just my religious beliefs. So maybe while some people can just sort the good from the bad, I am left standing here considering myself fortunate that I am not just walking away from God altogether. And believe me when I say the thought has crossed my mind several times. I feel great empathy for those who like me grew up in a church that was abusive like mine and choose to walk away from God. I believe Jesus put things pretty plain about his view of this in Matthew 18:2-6.
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

8 comments:

Maureen said...

re-Barr, I have been away from MFC since April. For a long time I thought I was going crazy too. Was it just me? Why did I start to dread church? Why did everyone else seem so content with it? My reasons for leaving weren't like yours. My church was a very conservative assembly. I left because I was spiritually squashed.

But the wonderful thing is that once you peel yourself away from the building, and its requirements, you begin to get a much clearer understanding of what our relationship with God looks like. It looks like FREEDOM. To be who you are, and know that you can be in relationship with Him without a pastor or elder getting in the way and telling you what to believe and do from behind a pulpit. And then you can learn how incredibly far away from the original model our "assembling together" has come. And you can start to understand the "rest" that we can have in the grace of God.

Bless you on your journey.
If you visit my blog, start from the beginning (July) to see my story.

Set Free said...

Re-Barr,
I have read all of your posts thus far and you have had so many of the same thoughts and questions I have had. I look forward to reading more. You will find that blogging really helps you process things and figure things out as you go. Since I started writing out my experiences and reading comments from other people, it has helped me to realize it wasn't "just me."

I got a new Bible too and started over. I got a different translation from what we used to read in our former church. I am taking the Bible for what it says and trying to forget all of the things that were added to it by others.

re-Barr said...

Maureen,
Speaking of dreading church, I had gotten to where I was downright hating it. Same things, over and over and over. Towards the end it was lifting me up about as much as watching the local news. Life changing sermons those were... just not like the pastor was hoping for.

I agree it does feel like freedom. Even in the midst of my inner turmoil, within just a few days I was beginning to feel like a weight was lifting off of my shoulders. And another of my questions that I have been pondering here lately has been about the "assembling together" which I don't know if that was because of the whole you gotta be at church EVERY time the doors are open policy of MFC or if it is finally starting to get into Bible studies and seeing how much I am learning and stretching myself in that environment. I am looking forward to seeing where my journey leads me.

July, got it. I will check it out.

re-Barr said...

Set Free,
I agree that I think this will be a great help in sorting things out. I sometimes have trouble talking about my questions, which may be because of MFC, but then again it may just be me not wanting to sound foolish. This format on the other hand, allows me the opportunity to sit and type it out, say it out, realize that isn't what I meant to say, retype it, and continue saying and editing until I really can formulate my thoughts.

Yes my new Bible is also a new translation for me. MFC promoted the use of KJV almost exclusively (occasional use of the amplified was ok). So this NIV with the single column and paragraph structure is just a total revolution for me. And I don't feel like I am back in high school reading Shakespeare.

pilgrim said...

Cousin, forsooth, thou hath chosen wisely. Relieveth I have beeneth for thou, and knowest not you are in a rock of refuge now? Continue on in the journey that is not of your youth and believeth in the One that rescueth thou. :) :) I loveth your bloggeth.

pilgrim said...

by the way, this is Tammy, not pilgrim...oops

searching said...

re-Barr,
I came across your blog today and it is so similar to my former church. I have seemed to somehow manage to keep the very few things that I learned there that were right and toss everything else in the garbage.
The one thing that I do know is that the love of God is so much greater and so much farther reaching than I was ever taught at MFC. That 90% of what I was taught that was wrong is not wrong according to the Bible and 90% of what I was taught was alright is not alright!
I do know that God is faithful and He is our shepherd and He will lead us into all truth now that we have come out of the fog of control and deception.
God bless you!

re-Barr said...

Forsooth young Tammy, thy comment hast madest me to think I shouldst read Pilgrim's Progress.

Searching,
I know what you mean about the 90%. I got so frustrated seeing how much of it was wrong that I decided that it would be best to just start over. If God reveals something in scripture to me that was taught at MFC then I will walk in the light of it.
btw, I have been looking around at your blog and you are correct in how the similarities are uncanny. Disturbing, how so many churches seem to be hurting people so.