sent in by MJ

Where to begin...I'll start with what the word "Christian" meant to me
"Christ-like". I'd like to say that I was trying my hardest to be
Christ-like everyday since I was 8. I wanted to grow up and be in the
ministry. When I was 15 er so my church's pastor had an affair. I was a
little angry by the hypocrisy, but I knew that all 'sin' and who was I to
judge anyway. I watched that church split in half. Then a year later it
split again. Well shortly after that I found a different church in
Urbana to go to. I hoped that I would never experience that type of pain
again. After all, who was I to put a human on a pedestal?

I began to love that new church. After graduating from high-school
and when I was going to college I became a leader at that church's youth
group. I was the leader of the drama team there. It was then I started to
see the politics involved behind the scenes. I was a strong believer
that church was a place that people could come to fellowship together and
support each other. After a while, I knew that in order for me to reach
my "calling" I needed to go away to a school in Ohio. The plans were
that after I completed my schooling I was to come back a start a
discipleship training program at my home church.

So, off I went to Ohio. I went to a discipleship training school. To
those who don't know, it's schooling that is supposed to help you get
closer to God and get you prepared to be in the ministry (youth pastor,
children's pastor, pastor, women's pastor, music pastor, i.e.). I loved
it. Then, the person that I looked up to the most, the director of the
school's wife had an affair w/ a 16 year-old boy (he was the worship
leader of the youth group). She was pregnant. The boy was the father. Over
the summer, between school year's I got a call from the church's pastor
saying that the director and his wife were not going to be back for my
2nd year. They said he was going to be a senior pastor elsewhere. I
went back the second year only to find out half-way through the school
year, after we couldn't get a refund or even transfer, what happened the
first year I was there. The only reason that the church told us was
because the 16 year-old got full custody of the new baby and was bringing
it to church w/ him. The church rejects people who sin but yet if
someone of significance of the church gets caught up in it, then the church
tries to cover it up.

You would think that after my 2nd big disappointment that I would run
far, far, far away. I didn't. I don't like to quit. That's not in my
nature. Well I came back to the church in Urbana. Remember I left for
Ohio, so I could come back and start a new ministry at that church. That
didn't happen. The church in Urbana decided to overlook me, a girl, and
give it to a guy. He wasn't qualified and had no idea what this ministry
was about. I just kept my mouth shut but inside I was livid. I thought
how could this guy who's only form of exercise is running over people
on a daily basis get this job. Oh, maybe cause there was a glass
ceiling. The closest that a woman could get to being a leader of a ministry is
if they are the pastor's wife!

I still stayed loyal. I went back to being a youth leader at Urbana's
youth group. I felt like I was making a difference. All of a sudden, a
bunch of teens who were gay and lesbian and bisexual started coming to
the youth group. Not very many of the youth leader's were understanding
and loving. I was the only one being Christ-like. I loved those teens.
I was the only one there that understood that no matter what your
sexual orientation, what you looked like, how much money you had, how
popular at school you were, how talented you were it didn't matter. Everyone
there had the right to be there and to be treated the same. (perfect
world). I was was in charge of the drama team again. In my final year, it
included but was not limited to a lesbian, a girl that was having sex
w/ her boyfriend, a guy that did drugs, i.e. I included them. I loved
those guys. I didn't care that they weren't perfect. I didn't care that
they were involved in 'sin'. They were teens that just needed someone to
look up to. They needed a place to belong. The youth pastor found out
about the type of people that were involved in the drama team. He knew
their names, but now he knew of their 'sin'. He called me into his
office and told me that since the teens involved in the drama team were
sinners, that there was something wrong with me. He said that my fruit was
bad, and since the fruit was bad I was bad. He kicked me off of the
leadership team. My crime, letting teens who weren't perfect in the eyes
of the church be involved in something that made them happy. I was so
hurt. I thought that I was being Christ-like. Hell, I was being a
role-model. I accepted everyone no matter who they were and what they did.

Well, that was the straw that broke the camels back. I stopped going to
church. I know that church is not my salvation. It never was and never
will be. That's what Jesus was for. I didn't stop loving God at that
point. I stopped going to church. When I stopped going, that's when the
majority of my friends stopped hanging out w/ me. They assumed I wasn't
'saved' anymore. I lost hope. They stopped believing in me, I stopped
believing. When I started 'sinning' they started judging me. I refuse to
believe that the follower's of Jesus-Christ will ever prove to me that
there is something out there that is loving, just, merciful, etc. If
the Christ followers aren't loving, merciful, etc. why would their God
be? If I were trying to follow a god, I would try to portray the
character and nature of that god. Not do the exact opposite. I believe that the
Christian God can't exist if His people can't even get Him right.

State IL
How old were you when you became a Christian? 8
How old were you when you ceased being a Christian? 25ish
Why did you become a Christian? I loved the fact that someone could
forgive me
Why did you de-convert? I hated the fact that when I 'failed, sinned,
back-slide' (whatever you call it) the Christians never forgave.
reed dot melinda at gmail dot com

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