The Blue Hair Church was the next church I attended. This is what my father referred to as a “bible banging” church. It was here where I first encountered all of these people who seemed to speak “Bible Lingo.” I found myself among this group, who at first seemed very friendly, sending sympathetic looks my way, as I had not learned their language. I was a Bible Lingo illiterate…you know those phrases like “If thou dost not” and “what has thou done?” followed very quickly by Isaiah this or second Timothy that. I, of course didn’t know who the first Timothy was let alone all of the others. And here I stood among tiny children skipping past me repeating verses upon verses as if they were singing Mary had a little lamb.
The Blue Haired Church encouraged their people to be in the church constantly… doing all kinds of good deeds and memorizing the book of rules. All this activity kept me away from my family and friends and it seemed that a new family replaced them. They were always talking about the pitfalls of displeasing God. It left me uncomfortable and anxious. A growing feeling that I wasn’t good enough was born—somehow, I was always a step behind and felt unworthy. I left this church the day I walked into their business meeting and overheard them discussing my husband, the father of my infant daughter. After a private tearful counseling session with my pastor, that I thought would be kept confidential, the congregation learned that my husband was having an affair with his secretary. I quietly walked into a church business meeting only to overhear The Blue Hairs discussing my marriage and how they needed to revoke my husband’s church membership. I quietly slipped out the door and into my divorce lawyer’s office.
Many years later, still not very trustful of any church, I felt an urging to teach my children about God and began attending the Q-Tip Church. Most looked like they had heads of white cotton swabs. They made weak attempts to include children with a 5-minute Greeting-of the-Children-Session. The preacher would ask the children if they had anything to say. My 3-year-old son’s hand always shot up as I slithered down in my seat, cringing, as he would recall something I said or did. The congregation counted him a favorite storyteller as he would stand and speak loudly… “Yesterday, when my mom was fighting with my sister I saw a bunny hop up on our porch.”
This experience didn’t last very long. The people believed children should be seen and not heard and as I looked around I realized there were more funerals then baby baptisms and so I took it as a sign to exit.
The Napoleon Church was an experience that still seems surreal to me. It was led by a guy who sought after fame while pretending to seek after God. It was a little church that always wanted to be bigger. I spoke out about the inconsistencies I saw and was told several times that women were not supposed to speak. I asked to lead a teen’s music program as they were seeking leaders to volunteer. I was told that I could hold a leading position that was unseen like video editing, but NOT where the people could witness a woman leading. I was actually sent (they jetted me from coast to coast) to attend a mega church that looked more like a Disney theme park than a sanctuary. Their congregation amounted to 13,000 people. I was asked to study their artwork as a model for classrooms. The mega church had a gift shop filled with media all authored by their leader. Napoleon the Preacher looked around and said this is exactly what he wanted.
I said “What rows and rows of books with your photo on the cover? I thought that God was supposed to be the center of attention.”
I was a member of the Napoleon Church’s version of a Christian rock band often singing lead vocals. I organized a group concert at a local baseball stadium joining together with 9 other Christian bands from area churches. The admission would benefit a local rescue mission helping the homeless. I spent many hours organizing this even as it was the first of its kind in our area. Some of the members in my band could not afford the admission price and the baseball stadium was firm... no ticket, no entry…and I was the organizer of the event! Each band was given 10 free tickets. I had 13 members in our band. I went to have a meeting with Napoleon himself over this dilemma and this was his reply.
“Those free tickets need to cover myself and my 3 children, and other members of our staff.”
“So…let me get this straight," I said, “the band has to pay to perform in a concert I organized to help for the homeless?”
People had no food or shelter. I tried to do what I thought God had called me to do and I was confused knowing the people of the Napoleon Church were truly missing the point. As I addressed this with others I was immediately ostracized and I left this bad dream and moved on.
...conclusion in the next blog
Yes, I took a slight detour from my meditation experiences, but since most of this writing came through while meditating I wanted to bring it into the light:)
To learn how you can meditate without any CD's or guides please read http://meditationapathtohealing.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-to-begin.html
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