I can only imagine...

sent in by anonymous

If I hear the song I can only imagine one more time, I'm going to be physically ill. Has anyone ever heard of the artist Mercy Me? I personally can't stand him. And of course I hate the song I can only imagine. Well, this is my story. I was raised in church. I got baptized early on. Well, 17 or so. Then I turned 21 and got into partying and did that for a long time. Till about say 28-29. I was just getting too old to be in the clubs with the early 20's bunch. They were starting to laugh. Saying things like "he's the Hulk Hogan of the club scene". Meaning I didn't know when to hang it up. That my time in the clubs had long since passed. And they were right. You're only in your early 20's once. As that bunch of clowns will soon find out when THEY'RE the ones being laughed at for being "too old".

Right before turning 30, I decided to give church another try. So I did. I had returned to being a christian. Things went okay for awhile. But then as I got to know more people, they started to really push the envelope. They knew good and damn well that I had been a party animal for a long time. I had struggles. Instead of helping me, they badgered me. If I missed a social on a Friday or Saturday night, they automatically assumed I had fallen back in with my old crowd. Well, I was getting discouraged to say the least. My friend who I had known from the party scene who first got me involved in church kept on saying "give it more time". Then, finally, enough was enough.

I had a tendancy to listen to him a little more because he knew where I came from seeing as how we had been in the club and bar scene together. But, as time went on he was getting more and more like them. He was getting very ill with me as time went on because I was not "progressing" like he had been. For instance, at the point he had been at that church for 9 months, he had done this, this , this and this. I had been there 9 months and still did the bare minimum. That seemed to irritate him to no end. I did not know how much plainer I could make it to him and to that so called "Sunday School Group" that I was NOT going to commit to that church UNLESS they backed down a little on their commitment policy.

When you become a member you commit that your church is by all means number one. Period. To the point that if your family is in any kind of trouble and you are by their side, if your church calls you, you are to leave their side AT ONCE. Church is at the top. NOTHING supercedes it. IF your job tells you to go out of town on business and you will be gone on Sunday morning, tell them no. Get fired, fine. But church WILL NOT be over ridden. Well, I was not about to sign anything to that effect. I told my friend that while my job runs Monday-Friday and I am free on the weekends, I can't promise that they'll never send me out of town. His reply, "not good enough". He claims he has actually told his employer no a couple of times because it would put him out of town during what would normally be service time. Now, I don't know whether or not this is true. He's pretty high up at his company, so maybe he's got enough pull to say no to them and live to see another day.

I on the other hand do not have that kind of pull. If I were to tell my employer no, guess what. Bam! I no longer work there! Well, just recently came the final straw. My now former Sunday School teacher basically called me out for attempting to "hook up with" a non christian. Number one, I was not trying to "hook up with" this awful awful person! This girl is a friend of mine. Yes, I think she is cute. I would not mind if she was my girlfriend. But I wasn't trying to hook up with her. She gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek because I had recently had a family dispute with my parents. Comforting. That's all she was doing. But, because she has a tattoo, that is BAD! Kiss on the cheek, BAD! Hugging someone you're not married to, BAD! And guess what. Church. Done. Over. Pack it up and go home. I had had enough.

Initially my plan was to move on to another church. But, I was so fed up, I just said forget it. And so ends my second stint as a christian. If a girl who is a friend of mine can't even embrace me when I need it out of fear I might get a little aroused, then what's the point? So what if we're not married. We are close friends. Isn't that what God would want? His creatures to comfort one another? She was not trying to arouse me. She was comforting me. But, we can't be doing that! Plus, during the time I was at that church, this same Sunday School Teacher chastised others IN THE CLASS for hugging! You must hug from the sides ONLY! Face to face initiates arousal! As an added bonus, I'll never have to hear the song I can only imagine by mercy me again. That seemed to be the theme song for that church.
Well, thanks for everything. I hope to hear more and more stories of people breaking away. It's about damn time.

State: Alabama
Country: USA
Became a Christian: Ages 10-22 then again from 29-30
Ceased being a Christian: stopped at 22 then stopped again at age 30
Labels before: What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you?
Labels now: What labels, if any would you apply to yourself now?
Why I joined: Raised in church
Why I left: At 22 because I just didn't want to do it anymore At 30 because of all the crap being shoved down my throat from people like Mercy Me and a crazy Sunday School teacher.

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