Most who know me know I that am not normally an outwardly vocal person with regards to religion. So this post may come as a shock to some. I believe everyone is entitled to believe the way they so choose and not be looked at or treated differently in any way. There are people in the world who profess to be Christians and are in church every Sunday morning, every Sunday night and every other time in between just as I was as a child growing up. Growing up in the pentecostal church was nearly an everyday of the week service for hours. We usually drove 30 miles one to church and the treaturous Wyoming blizzards on top of that! We were told if we whore pants to church we would go to hell. This terrified me as a child. As I grew into adulthood realizing this made absolutely no sense! I could not understand why God would send me to hell for only trying to stay warm on my way to church.
As a child I was taught to read the scripture, and memorize it. We were also expected to sit straight up in church and be as quiet as a church mouse. And when we weren’t we knew we would get a pinch right then plus what was yet to come upon arriving home. Strange enough though, I don’t ever remember being taught that it’s ok to miss a day of church now and then, especially if you are out feeding the hungry and helping the poor or anyone in need for that matter. But let me tell you I sure could memorize that scripture, and in fact, a true story. I won a contest for memorizing more scripture than anyone else. I share all of this based solely on my own experiences and nothing else. In all of my 48 years on this earth I have been done wrong by more people sitting in church every Sunday than those that don’t. Don’t get me wrong I attend church and have nothing against anyone else who does. I do believe we should come together in fellowship. However, I also believe church is more than a building with a steeple and wooden pews. I believe it is more about lending a hand to someone in need and not expecting anything in return. Its caring about people (even complete strangers). Not spreading rumors and false accusations, and apologizing when you know down deep in your heart you were wrong and what you did and truly hurt someone.
I called a church out of state this past week to ask for assistance with food to help with someone in need. He had pennies in his pocket and hadn’t had anything to eat in three days. I asked the lady who answered the phone to please hold for a moment while I looked up the address for this individual. Would you believe she replied “no I don’t have time” and abruptly hung up on me. I called back to try further explain and plead my case to her, that this individual hasn’t eaten for three days and is truly hungry. I’m nw begging for someone at a “church” to please listen and help. She then said, well we put food out on the curb in the morning and once its gone there is nothing we can do. This individual was out of state not anywhere in Ohio, trust me if he had been, I would have personally delivered food to him. I was speechless. And for those who know me that’s saying a lot!
I grew up in Wyoming just 10 miles south of I-80. I’ll never forget my Father getting off work from 3rd shift from a chemical plant and hour from home. Upon driving home & traveling down I-80 he picked up a man with one leg on crutches, hitchhiking across country trying to get from Seattle to somewhere out east to be with family, because his wife had recently passed away. I’ll never forget my Father bringing that man home (a complete stranger) to sit down at our table and eat Thanksgiving dinner with us. After we were finished eating my Father drove him about 30 miles down the road and stayed with him ( allowing him to sit in the truck and stay warm) until he was able to find a ride with a truck driver headed East. This experience has had a profound effect on my life and it is the reason I care about unconditionally about people. My Father taught us to care about people (even strangers). I thank my Father for teaching and showing me that you don’t have to be sitting on a pew to be serving God and doing what’s right.
I would say to those who sit In church and judge others, spread rumors and false accusations, all while professing to be a Christian. The Ninth Commandment reads as follows – THOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR! I I would be more than happy to clarify the meaning of this and the ther commamdments for those folks who just don’t get it. (means you should not lie (tell an untruth) in such a way that it will hurt someone else.) I’m baffled as to how people can sit in multiple church services a throughout a week and completely miss the message!
I think if everyone lived by the the 10 ten commandments and golden rule. The world I believe would a much different place.