All I wanted was to be part of a welcoming, warm, loving congregation. I wanted to go to Church on Sunday listen to a warm and fuzzy sermon to feed my loving little soul, fellowship a little and go home.
A Bible Study once a week, would be nice and of course a themed Women’s group once a month. The carry in dinner, games, and a sweet message would tie it all together, and I would have no responsibilities outside of a dish of my choosing to add to the buffet dinner.
I lived in my 1950s “Father Knows Best” world for a year or two, not realizing to what I had pledged my allegiance.
Then I learned that my ‘safe’ spiritual nest was a fraud! The deception was akin to any cult experience you want to use as an example. I wish to express my sincere apology for my general disdain for “anyone who could be taken in by a cult” now I understand how easily it can be accomplished.
If I trust the people who invite me to join, I believe what I am told. I do not question their words partly because
- I so desperately want this safe haven, and
- What I am being told is twisted to make sense.
Whispers and comments or tales do come to me, but…. The pastor could not possibly be doing what he is accused of. My head argues…”Look at him, so personable, affectionate, charming and kind. The rest of the world is wrong! The church is growing; therefore the others out there are jealous of the growth. You know how small towns are.”
Wait a minute! That doesn’t sound right. Then I start to question some board actions and decisions.
Before I could analyze the answers I received and research to form new questions, I had a medical emergency which kept me away from home for 4 months in a rehab center. During that time, a church member I knew would never leave the church, left! She left 30 years of Church family friendships, and I began to sense that something was very wrong. After hearing her side of the experience, there was no doubt the accusations from the community were accurate. I had to face the truth and deal with it; I had fallen for the story and into the trap of defending the evil that was now so apparent.
Then God began to move, and the scales were removed from my eyes. He clearly asked me to take the lead in revealing the underbelly of the church, I knew I must, but I did not want to “go to Nineveh”.
As soon as I accepted the assignment, everything fell into place. God also clearly told me, “Gather the men to take the lead, and here are the names of the ones I have chosen.” People appeared who were also called by God to join the effort to restore order in the Church family. God’s intent was to form an accountability group of men who could approach the Pastor, present him with documentation of his non-biblical actions over the years and bring him to repentance. As we moved toward that goal, the scriptural way to cleanse and strengthen the church, it became clear our part of God’s plan, was to shine light into the well kept darkness, reveal it and God would take care of the repentance by knocking out the enabling support system and allowing the Pastor to “hit bottom” where he would either call out to God, or be turned over to his own devices.
It is frightening and hard to confront evil unless you know God is leading and will protect you. It is also such an awesome privilege to be called on by God to take part in the fight for the saving of souls. To watch God work in his world with his children is a gift. One of the miracles we all look for, but seldom see unless we are willing to say, “Yes Lord” when called to action by our savior, Jesus Christ.
Carole J.Boyd June 25th , 2017
Future posts will reveal the results of the action taken, how to recognize when light needs to be shined, how to accept the price you will pay for shining or not shining the light when called upon by God to act on the faith you claim.