sent in by Ray
Was born and raised a catholic. Went to catholic school. Did the entire sacraments thing. But everything still felt false and hollow. A Baptist friend shared the gospel to me and I ended up being born again via a Bible study in our office back in 1986. I then joined a full gospel church. For 10 years, I was a hardcore fundie. I became music leader in our church, attended seminars, symposiums, held Bible studies, joined outreaches, left Chick tracts everywhere, I was on fire, as fundies would say. Then the cracks in the foundation started. The old Armenian-Calvinism controversy. That created a big division in our office Bible study. Whereas before, everyone attended the bible study, conservative protestants started shying away from it after that. It was painful for me because naively, I’ve always believed we were one family. Well, months later, the bible study ceased altogether. “Work of the devil,” my fundie friends would explain.
And then, the church. Our music leader (I was just a guitarist then), who was married with one kid, was caught having an affair with one of our church’s woman pastors. After being caught, one would suppose that they would repent and wear sackcloth and ashes and stuff but no, the two insisted that it was the will of God! The shocking thing was they enjoyed the support of quite a number of church members! And so there was grumbling and weeping and gnashing of teeth in the church, not in the repentant sense, but in the divisive atmosphere that prevailed. Don’t ask me what happened because I left the church after that.
I joined another church. Same controversies and immoral episodes. Our pastor wanted to bed a stunning, young woman member who however, had the hots for the church bassist, so she slept with him instead, which ticked our pastor off immensely. Then there was the youth leader who tried to rape the woman who took care of the parsonage. She escaped when she locked herself in the bathroom. Then there were the elders who insisted on having their way against the pastor. To get even, the pastor expelled all of them from the church. I know, the fundies would say “there ain’t no perfect church brother.” Well, all these goings-on are not simply being imperfect, this is the twilight zone, man! Oh, I forgot, work of the devil, right?
I turned to a close friend, also a pastor of another church, for advice. I had to focus solely on the Lord, he told me. Run the race brother. Don’t bother with the other runners who are screwing or killing each other. This is a personal thing. It’s a relationship, remember? So what if a Christian brother or sister gets waylaid along the way? To hell with them! Keep your eyes on the savior. That’s the way to do it. Years later, that same pastor friend was screwing a stewardess while his wife was sick in a hospital, boasting that what he was doing was the will of God since his wife was already dying anyway! And yes, he had some degree of support from other members of the church as well. That did it. I haven’t been to church since, and I’m not planning on going back. Hell, the church is more immoral than a brothel!
So the church stinks. But how about the big guy upstairs? The church may let you down but he won’t, right? After all, he’s perfect, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and omnimaximus to the nth degree, correct? Well, while all these things were happening in the church, that was what I did. I tried to really know this guy upstairs by reading his “certified, true, dependable, inerrant (there’s that word)” word – the Bible. But as I went deeper into the Bible, the more contradictions I found. And then there were the OT stories of divinely sanctioned rape, pillage, murder, genocide and what have you. But you know what really got into me? The book of Job.
Here’s my “loving” father in heaven making a bet with satan after a little enticement from the devil. My omnipotent father making a bet? My all-powerful god, a pushover? So he “allows” the devil (does this make satan his caporegime?) to slaughter all of Job’s family, servants, livestock, everyone and everything. God just loves to mow everything down, doesn’t he? He just loves an immense dose of bloodshed. And so here’s Job asking, just asking, the eternal question why? Comes now an arrogant god, with a who-are-you-to-question-me stance. “Did you create the universe Job? No? Well I did. So shut up!” What a loving father. So Job backs down, didn’t curse god. God wins bet. God replaces everything Job lost two maybe three-fold. That easy huh? He butchers Job’s family and then gives him a new one? He kills all his friends and then replaces them with new ones? Is it that simple? What are they, candy bars? And if indeed he is all-knowing, why did he have to subject Job to such torture if he already knew the outcome? Kind of a sadist, isn’t he? Or what, he simply wants to “in your face” satan at the expense of his devoted servant Job? If that’s the kind of father I have in heaven, I’d rather be an orphan.
Conclusion? You can’t trust the church. You can’t trust the bible. There is no biblical god. The whole thing is the biggest most effective brainwashing scheme ever devised by man. That’s just what it is – a man-made means to control. And I refuse to be controlled. Not anymore.
Was: Catholic, Full Gospel
reyv at gmx dot net