So, for those of you who may or may not read my posts. Let me clarify a few things before I get into this topic. I am a Native American. I am heterosexual. I have a good job and have never been arrested or in any sort of legal trouble.
All of that being said… I have faced what I view as discrimination.
So, how did this all come about? Well, I wasn’t at the grocery store being told I couldn’t wear a hijab, or in the streets being told by police that I needed to go home because I was black and therefore unsafe to be out and about after dark. I wasn’t in any sort of altercation with the law, or really with anyone around me.
I do my best to just be the best person I can be and move on with my life altercation free.
So, where did this happen? What in the world went wrong that I was discriminated against?
Well.. be ready for a shock, because it sure shocked the hell out of me.. I was at church. My church discriminated against me and told me not to return.
I was KICKED. OUT. OF. CHURCH.
I was told I could no longer sing on our praise and worship team, and I could no longer take communion with the church.
Now, before I get too involved with my story, I can respect the church’s reasoning behind asking me to step down from the praise team.
They stated that due to my secular lifestyle, I live with my boyfriend, and no, not as roommates, I was not maintaining the lifestyle necessary for being a role model in the church. I can respect that.
However, how they chose to inform me of their decision, is ridiculous.
First off, the pastor, elders and deacons reached out to MY PARENTS, not me, and not the worship leader at church. They told my DAD that due to my lifestyle choices HE needed to tell me I wasn’t allowed back.
They did not tell the church worship leader. They left that to me. I had to tell the worship leader who had already sent me my set list for Sunday that I had been asked to step down from singing. I wasn’t welcome on Wednesday night’s either.
Talk about an awkward conversation.
Now, as much as I can understand their decision, I can’t respect the way they went about things. Nor can I ignore the fact that I feel so unwelcome at that church now.
All of this came about from a discussion about initiating another elder to the church. A question was asked about how he felt about secular lifestyles, people who live them, and whether those people should be in a position of authority within the church. He replied no.
Now, I only find that ironic because the question posed to him right before that was, we have an aging congregation and no new influx of young people, how can we fix that?
Well, my answer to that particular question is, by being so strict and judgmental towards the younger generation.
Now, I don’t want to make excuses. I know my lifestyle is not biblical, but I don’t broadcast that to the people I go to church with, well.. DID go to church with, as I have decided not to return.
I have volunteered with this church for at least the last ten years. I ran the youth program for awhile until the Pastor’s wife and I got into a disagreement about a VERY racially charged and ignorant statement she made during a lesson/discussion. I have organized volunteer activities for the younger age groups as well as the older age groups. I have volunteered time and money and energy and effort.. And I am just really disappointed that things have come to this.
I enjoyed singing. I loved it. I felt like it was a calling. And now I am scared to even sing in the car anymore for fear of bringing something bad down upon myself.
I have felt bad about life choices before, but I can’t bring myself to regret or feel bad about this one. Bobby is God’s gift to me. He loves me. Cherishes me. And we talk and pray together daily. We discuss God and God’s plan for us. Just because we haven’t gotten married YET doesn’t mean that it isn’t in our future. It’s a daily discussion. Financially we just aren’t ready for it.
I can’t help but feel incredibly judged. Ridiculed. I am upset. I am hurt.. I thought that church was a place for sinners. I feel right with God. He knows my life. He knows my heart.
I just can’t believe how.. unwelcome they made church. I am now nervous and scared to go to ANY church. And a break from God isn’t going to make it better, but I think what I am craving is.. a break from the PEOPLE who think they can enforce God’s will and rule. His judgment.
Church shouldn’t make you want to remove yourself from the company of other “godly” people.
But it did. It does.
I don’t know when or if I will be going back.. but I will keep you updated.