Pearls and Dreams
My church is participating in a church wide "40 Days of Purpose" with Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life.
I've read it twice before. I've gotten a lot out of it ... including and not limited to ... God made me because he loved me and regardless of where I see myself ... HE sees me on the same playing field as the rest of his Creation.
This last week, was about being involved in the church. Protecting the nature of your church. Being non judgmental and realizing that if you have 10 Christians in a room, you'll have 14 different opinions on any given doctrinal issue... and that cannot be a reason to divide the church.
I am married to someone who ... for lack of better terms ... is the most judgemental and critical person I have ever met when it comes to religious things. He insists that you read King James Version (and not the NEW KJV). That you MUST believe as he does on end times (my church does not... I could care less).
Wednesday night, taking a church leadership class with my pastor teaching he mentioned that some people in the church take issue with his saying "The main thing is to keep the MAIN THING the main thing" and that some people really really get upset with him when he says that. He told the class that there are those in the church who disagree with him over translation, end times and changes in how things are done. I wanted to crawl under the desk, knowing he was talking directly about my husband ...he'd even quoted my husband word for word. I also knew, that no one else in the room knew it was Don that he was talking about but he and I, so crawling under a desk would tell more than he was telling ... he was trying to make a point. I realized how much he respected me at that point, that he felt safe enough in MY relationship with him, that he could use my husband as an example without fear of offending me. (he was right, I was not offended, just once again, embarrassed that here I am one of his biggest cheer leaders when it comes to accepting those who don't agree with me ... and finding unity in what we do agree on and agreeing to disagree on what we don't ... but I'm married to his staunchest critic and most judgmental member, who decided that he wasn't about to go to a church anymore where they obviously didn't know as much about God's word as he did ... he refused to go to Sunday Schools or Bible study classes because "I'm not going to sit there and be taught by someone who knows less than I do" well, he'd say that even when the pastor was the teacher ... HELLO?? Sorry, when you're 49 and you've spent less than half your life in church, and spent most of your life saying what churches are doing wrong and reading the Bible with the sole purpose of proving someone's doctrine wrong ... when you give no one grace or mercy but yourself ... how can you claim to know more than someone in the ministry for 20 years and active in church since early childhood ... with a doctorate degree ... and 20 years experience pastoring a church??????) ARGH!!!!!!
So, we're reading Purpose Driven Life, and it's talking about NOT doing or saying the things above. That we have to protect our church, we have to realize that not everyone will agree ... and that we have to agree on the majors and agree to disagree on the minors and let our Unity be strong and not torn apart by judgement and immaturity.
I keep reading this wondering how my husband can be reading the same book I am and still justify his actions & words. Tonight, in small group, he asked the group to forgive him ... that he had to stop tearing apart the body of Christ and look for common ground with them. He asked them to pray for him as he repented ...
He said that his pride and fear keep him paralysed and non participatory ...it's easier to judge than to be hurt again and he doesn't want to keep running and keep tearing apart the body but wants to participate ...
I don't know ..the whole small group was in tears and happy and prayed with him and all I could think of was ...this will last ... until the pastor says something that he disagrees with. Then I'm going to be right back in the place of fighting over what my place of worship is doing that isn't wrong that he percieves as wrong.
We'll see ... if he refuses to go to church on Sunday, then I'm not going to be able to believe a word of this, you have no idea how many times I've seen him 'repentant' only to see him throw it in my face later ... he's broken all my trust in him ... he's destroyed my love for him ... calling me names, cheating on me, and tearing me down ... the only reason I'm with him still is because I was too scared to leave. I don't have the heart to get my hopes up again ... only to have him call me a name or question my motives or to tell me that the church doesn't really know me or they wouldn't be letting me do what I do ... or to be insulted because I've been complemented.
Yes, I believe God could be working in him, I'm just too raw and too scared to believe it till I actually SEE the fruit this time.