Friday, September 16, 2011

Blasted Out of Bible Study

Wow! First Pat Robertson makes his horrible call about divorcing a spouse with Alzheimers and then I am uninvited to the ladies bible study I attended all year. Yes, I can see Christians are on the attack everywhere.

Last year many of you may remember I was attending a Titus 2 Ladies Bible study that was teaching me so much about myself and God and the plans He has for me and I was changing my way of thinking.

I was part of an incredible group of women who made me laugh and smile and at times cry. I learned to pray out loud in my group and felt comfortable.

You will also recall I left one church for another. It was mainly due to no longer feeling comfortable attending a church where the owner of the company I was working for attended, it was a very sad and uncomfortable decision when I made it, but I knew it had to be made.

In spite of the change to a different church, I still continued my ladies weekly bible study and looked forward to it all summer long. Though I knew I might miss a bulk of the meetings, I knew other women who were being mentored through the teachings because they couldn't attend the study.

Heading into the local WalMart on Weds. I ran into one of my study partners/team members and told her I had spoken to the pastor and she told me I could buy the book (the church charges $25 I found it tonight on line for $15), but I could not attend the meeting.

Sadly, she hugged me, put her arms around me and her head down and told me she knew this, there was a discussion about it, they are worried I will reveal the secrets of the team...I hadn't yet and I won't even be around so how could I do that? She told me she was sorry. I asked her if she would mentor me and she agreed.

When I got home I was visibly shaken and my husband told me to thank this wonderful woman but to turn the mentoring offer down as she will be shunned if the church finds out. So, I sent her an Email thanking her but declining her offer.

Later that evening, get IM'd on Facebook by another team member, we are chatting about this and that when I asked her if I had understood the pastor and if she knew. Her reply changed to ice...Thats right, you can't attend & she immediately jumped off facebook.

I sent the pastor an Email asking her if I had really understood I can't attend. Here is her reply copied directly from my Email:

'Hi Jean, I just got your email today -- I have been away from the computer for a few days. Actually, I would rather you didn't ask one of those ladies to mentor you as they will be working with the new ladies we have coming to Titus. Please feel released from your contract to complete the study since you are no longer attending our church. I hope you are having a great day!'

My husband does not attend church. This has really bothered him and he asked me to ask her if she was telling me this as a pastor or a person. He just told me that he is amazed that a church who is supposed to represent Jesus Christ, fellowship and love has chosen to shun me like I am a leper just because I attend another church.

I wished I had saved the Email I sent her. It wasn't very nice, I am sorry, I do not feel like being nice at all. I told her she was acting like the Pharisee's in Jesus day and while she talks the talk of Jesus she sure doesn't walk the walk.

I also asked her to not be surprised if I am not all smiles and politeness when I run into her in town.

This has hurt me pretty deeply. I have my new church and I love it, but right now I feel like taking a church sabbatical.

This just stinks!


Sewing Junkie said...

People can be cruel. If your intentions were to honor the group and be true to your self and your beliefs then I think they are judgemental and really not true Christians. Do your studying on your own and try and be at peace with knowing your are not at fault here. Gain strength from the fact you are a good person and Your Faith will carry you through. Chris

sally said...

Something like this has happened to me twice, although the dis-invitation has been more subtle. From the perspective of someone a little farther from the immediate hurt I would encourage you to live your forgiving Christian head instead of your broken fellowship heart. The best revenge would to be honest but not vindictive about how you feel. Perhaps there is a real and practical reason the pastor feels non-church members shouldn't be a member of the class. Perhaps she is thinking too logically and without an open enough heart. I'm just saying that 1) taking the high road minimizes long-term regrets and 2) communication is impeded by anger and defensiveness.

Ellen said...

That is an astoundingly disgusting way to treat you. It never ceases to amaze me when church members act in a way that is so against the basic tenants of Christianity. Why on earth would they want to turn someone away from studying & growing on their path with God? I'm glad you're comfortable in your new church. I'm guessing He led you there for a reason.

Quiltingranny said...

Sally, thank you for the advice.

Pat V. said...

They are afraid you will reveal "the secrets of the team?" We are charged to spread the gospel and share the good news, not hoard it for ourselves! I think you are better off without this group.

~Niki~ said...

This is just sad.
I hear these stories often, and I guess maybe that's one reason I am not currently going to church.
Yes, there are good churches out there. But unfortunately, people are human and even though it is church, stuff like this happens. It is all about money, really when it comes down to it. I wish I could find a church that was not out for money. That just wanted people getting together with like minds. I don't know what to tell you. Just know you are not alone and there are others that believe the way you do, Christlike, not like this behavior. They put on their church faces and go home and talk poorly about others, not good.

SocialStudiesSoubrette said...

Oh Jean my heart is breaking for you. I was just floored when I read this. I had Hubs read it as well. He recommended this verse as comfort for you:

"I have said these things to you, that hin me you may have peace. iIn the world you will have jtribulation. But ktake heart; lI have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Don't give up on the Church my friend. People are flawed but we are meant to be a part of the body of Christ. You have so many great gifts that are invaluable to the glory of God. Forgive them their trespasses and find peace in your new Church <3

Brenda said...

God is going to bless you again with a new group at your new church, another window is opening for you. I'm sorry you are being hurt yet again. Have you read "When I lay my Isaac Down"? sometimes it helps to read how others are coping with similar situations. We'll continue to pray for you and your family.

Melinda Cornish said...

their loss!!!! why would you want to go to this so called church anyway....this is NOT what it is all about...sending you a hug and you are always welcome with me.

Patty said...

Jean you are such a wonderful woman. This is not a Christian way to treat anyone. I am sorry you are going thru this. I understand your hurt as about a year ago I was "let go" of my job as the church secretary, a job I did for 17 years. I still haven't been able to "forgive" but I am working on it. I hope you will continue to find strength in your faith. You are the most faithfull woman I have the honor to know.

Beth said...

Dear Jean,
I am sorry this happened to you. I think the "oh so sweet, oh so nice" email bothers me almost as much as the action taken. I would rather have someone speak honestly to me any day. I do tnink you have gotten some good advice from others, so I'll just join you in being mad for a while. I am mad, too, and you're right, this just stinks.
Hugs and prayers.

Janet said...

Jean, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I just do not understand that kind of thinking. Having moved a lot I've been a member of several different churches and there were always people outside the church who attended these studies. And they were welcomed. Just know the people that hurt you don't represent all Christians and it seems to be clear that your moving to a new church was the right direction for you. I will pray you can move forward in healing and forgiveness and find real friendship and connection in your new church.