were we like that?

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I recently went to a wedding at a church I used to go to. Katie and I kept remarking that it was like a class reunion, so-and-so got fatter, what’s-his-face went bald and so on, and so forth. It’s been several years since we’ve been back and it was really weird to see all the faces from the past.

What struck me about the conversations that I had were how overly aggressive the people were. They asked questions in rapid fire mode. "What have you done for the Lord lately?" "What church are you going to?" "Does your ministry move in the prophetic?" "We’re selling everything and moving several states away to follow the prophetic leading of the Lord… Do you still have the same old job here in town? Oh, hmmm, that's nice I guess."

They shook their head slowly with a sad little frown when they found out that we were no longer with the same denomination. They freaked out when someone would point out that I had a tattoo. Someone made a joke about a local bar, and there were looks of shock and horror when I said that I had been there and it wasn’t really that bad.

I’m sure they’re having prayer meetings about it right now.


Sara said...

Funny! I can imagine it quite clearly. :) Take heart, you are right where you should be. God's been using you powerfully at Hope! (Or so my parents frequently say).

jimmy said...

Thanks Sara, and congratulations to you and Ben on your upcoming addition! This changes everything! You guys are going to be great parents!!

ben said...

You know what's funny/sad to me about that crowd?

I invited every single person that I could think of from SR to come to our wedding two years ago and nobody even responded to our invitations...Yet I hear from mom that everybody was full of questions about how I was, what I was doing, whether I was in ministry and why I wasn't at the wedding to celebrate with them...Keep in mind Linds and I DID NOT receive an invitation, not even a phone call...tisk, tisk...

I'm so glad that I'm not a part of that crowd anymore, in fact, I thank the God that they perjure and proclaim in the same breath that I'm not "one of them."

Rant done. I wish Macy all the best.

Jeff said...

been there...doing that.
freedom really freaks people out. especially those who think they are free but are not.

Hidden Valley Girl said...

Jimmy - The same questions fire away every time I visit too. Seems like people are so caught up in their own self - righteousness that they can't love others that don't meet up to their standards of "righteous, christian" living. Oh well, at least we know that we are REAL and true to ourselves. I'm so glad that I am fully aware that I need to take care of #1 before I start worrying about what other people are/ aren't doing for the Lord. (I thought that was God's job to judge accordingly my acts of righteousness - I don't know, I could be wrong, the bible could be wrong too, I guess . . . )
Thank you Lord for the freedom to love you right where I'm at in my life; and that you think I'm lovely . . . even in my weakness!!!

P.S. BEN - We were'nt invited to the wedding either . . . How long have I/we known them; only about 23 years!! I would have gone to your wedding too, if I was invited . . . ;) - I love ya man!!

ben said...

Oh man, Nikki, I know! I'm sorry about that, I totally lost track of you and Chris, probably like you did with me until this whole blog thing started up! I promise to invite you when we renew our vows in 20 years or so;)

Jarred D said...

sounds like the wedding was the place to be. i heard all about it. sadly we too were not invited. lol. not sure why though. i mean the whole family was at my wedding. and yes they seemed interested also when in my goings on in the past when i visited the same church. not just that family, but the whole church (well the lifers anyway). most of the time i am frustrated like most of you who know of this church, by their seemingly judgmental stance. most of the time i have to give most of the attendees the benefit of the doubt. i mean sure they are adults and everything, so they make their own bed in life, but sadly in this church you behave how your told. while some of leadership, present and of the past vigorously denounces, these acts that have been mentioned by alumni (for lack of a better word)often times, openly or not openly engage in the same behavior. and this do as i say not as i do mentality does not work with children, nor does it work with church goers. not to mention how this church in particular is set up, placig its leadership on such a pedestal, that it makes sense that members would strive to be like them and close to them. so its important for me to remember that we all learn lessons on Gods time, and i also realize how easy it is for me to turn that judgmental spirit/ attitude around on them. this i do not want to do. thats why i do like most of you and keep a safe distance from that place, and try to stay grounded in lessons God gives me. bye the way Ben your my brother. we've been that iron sharpening iron for eachother over the years. we've walked poor neighborhoods together in ministry. worked together. laughed, and cried together. i'd fight for you. where was my freakin invite dude? and yes i am a little bitter. jarred d

ben said...

Oh boy...Now I'm in trouble! You know I love you Jared! I suck at keeping in touch with old friends, let alone keeping an address book up to date!
Can I bribe you with a Godfather status for my firstborn son?

Jarred D said...

no bribe will be necasarry, you know its all love. besides this might sound weird but i praise God for the time allowed to some of us, to step away from everything that was santa rosa, and get our bearings. and then to add to the blessing, he re-aqquainted many close friends from that time who lost touch...jarred d

joel said...

You know what's sad, I'm not even apart of this "affronted" crew and yet it seems all too similar to mine and, i'm sure, many other's experiences with church and moving. there definitely needs to be a change in perception -- and especially those damn questions. maybe 'how's life?' or, 'are you a newcastle or bud kinda guy?' you know, the basics.

nice blog, by the way.

Brandon said...

it's fun dealing with pharisee's isn't it. "what have you done for the lord lately" . you've got to be kidding me.

it's the unfortunate religion that too many christians have gotten caught up in... too many extra rules beyond jesus' grace and mercy so people can feel extra holy. it's all a bunch of crap, bondage really.

jeff was right when he said freedom freaks people out.. i do think it freaks the older generations out a way more. i'm sure you blew it off man, and rightly so. i'm glad you're in that bar, that's where jesus would be if he were on this earth. that's where the people that need him are.

one of these days we'll hook up. until then...

Jenny Jorg said...

Wow, yeah I've heard a lot of stories about that church from Mary. Ay yi yi, I don't even know what I would do! I've always been in contemporary churches a lot like Hope Chapel.

But you know what would have been funny? If you would have said this instead (after they commented about the bar) "Oh yeah well I don't need to go to bars." They would probably all nod and think that you had kept your nose clean. Then state "I have my own flask right here." Then promptly whip out a flask filled with apple juice and down it. Maybe next time. :)

Anonymous said...

ahem - Ben, I didn't get an invitation to your wedding (tsk-tsk) and yeah - I was probably getting drunk in a dingy bar after I got all of my prophetic tattoos - so I might not haver made it anyways-LOL...erik.niewald

Anonymous said...

Who can bear the arrows of a friend
Words can not describe the pain They carry
Wounds deep
Now heaped upon the pile
That covers the breath of a friend
Staying because that's where the Lord has led
Yet enduring the pain of the past And remembering the sincere ones Who I count as my brothers
Yes you young, idealistic and hopefull we were
Even though the pain tears at my heart
There is Love for you, not scorn Enduring love
The heart wrenching at this time And at every thought of those whom I counted as my closest
Not knowing what my unchanged sentiment is.
No matter what is said, written or thought
I will always have undying Love for you.
You are my Brothers
And I hope that I am yours no matter where the Lord leads me.

not so up on the blog thing like to speak if your mooved to
my digits are in the book, as always


ps Ben I was upset that I didn't get an invite but I said well maybe he wanted a small wedding. oh well still love ya!