So looks like my Patrons got to my facebook just in time to catch front row seats to the shit hitting the fan. My God, this week has sucked!
I thought my church was different.
I thought my church was more compassionate and understanding.
I thought that we would still be able to salvage a few friendships after I left.
So Jenn (my wife) and I went to AZ for a few weeks to decompress immediately following our last Sunday at church. Where we were in AZ there was no cell reception and no internet access. I was flooded with messages and questions from church members, but I couldn’t really address them yet. Eventually it came time to come home.
We arrived back home Monday.
It doesn’t surprise me that people are upset with me, what surprises me is how people from church are treating my wife.
- Some ladies unfriended my wife on facebook
- Some ladies wouldn’t return her calls
- One lady said she wasn’t sure if she could be friends with Jenn because Jenn might spiritually influence her in a negative way
- One lady said she wasn’t sure “on how to move forward”
- The lead elder called my wife to tell her what a horrible person she is
- Nearly every lady that called my wife only did so BECAUSE I HAD TO FUCKING BEG THEM, and not one of those conversations ended well.
Jenn had 3 people from church contact her. One was “Reese”, who already knew about me. One was a friend who recently had cancer. One was an older lady.
3 FUCKING FRIENDS, and my wife is an innocent bystander in all of this. She did nothing wrong, she had no control over what was happening to me.
Now there have been a quite of number of Christians who have been trying to stay in contact, but these were mostly people not involved in our church.
Finally I had enough with how my wife was being treated, and so I posted this on Facebook.
Disciple: “Lord, how often shall I forgive my brother who sins against me in one day? 7 times in one day?”
Jesus: “Truly I tell you, not 7 times, but 70 x 7”
Disciple: “But what if it’s not my brother, but my sister. And what if she’s married to my ex-pastor?”
Jesus: “Oh, well in that case you should probably never speak to her again.”
– Things Jesus never said
Seriously, I get the fact that many of you are upset with me but taking it out on my wife is unacceptable (and unbiblical). She didn’t do anything, none of this is her fault. The church had an opportunity to reach out to a lady who is hurting, her husband lost his faith, the father of her children lost his job, and she has had no control over this. Some of you have reached out, and you are greatly appreciated, but we’ve received greater care from non-Christians than from Christians…which hurts.
Thank you to our friends, whether you were a part of New Life or not, who have seen us hurting and offered friendship. You have rescued us from despair.
If you’re thinking “You really shouldn’t be doing this on Facebook”, well I wish I didn’t have to.
Holy Shitballs. Well that was a lightning rod. Instantly I became a person you either hated or loved. Perhaps some of you Patrons can fill in the gaps for the rest of the readers, in terms of what happened.
People saw it as passive aggressive, which it might be. But I wanted to address the whole church. I don’t want to go down quietly. I don’t want this to be another, “What happened to Pastor John” moment where everything is hush hush and swept under the rug. I’m not interested in protecting the church, I’m interested in the church seeing itself for what it is…distinctly human and not divine.
There are good people in the church and there are good people outside the church. There are bad people in the church and there are bad people outside the church. Apparently believing God doesn’t affect whether you are good or bad, it only affects how you are good or bad.
I’ve received so much flack over that post that I keep rereading it and rereading it. I still don’t see anything wrong with it. Was it wise? Perhaps not, but it’s neat to see all my friends who have been burned by a church cheer me on. People who are hurt by the church are loving my courage. I’ve received a ton a messages from people who have left the church letting me know that Jenn and I have friends who understand.
I want my friends to understand. I want the friends I was close to, stay close to me. I want my wife’s friends to understand that she isn’t at fault and she needs support. I appreciate the support from people who understand, but I want those who were our closes friends to understand.
Perhaps that’s too tall an order.