Mrs H. I think I understand what you said to Gene but see my reply to Tim Bonney. I have indeed experienced toxic religion. I put off making a profession of faith until I was an adult because of my close observation of church folk, Clergy and Laity. I did not grow up as a preachers Kid either.
although my parents had both been licensed to preach.
I will try to make a long story short. Some how my dad became involved with a waiters at a restaurant where he delivered bread, pies and rolls.
when she learned about it my mother went to he pastor and his wife. Immediately they started arranging for her to leave my dad and soon it seemdd the whole church knew about the problem. My mother wanted to at least try to work on reconciliation. She was told that to reconcile she would have to forgive AND that if she forgave him for such a sin she would be as bad as he was. She went along with their advice and filed for divorce. And I went to live with my grandparents who attended the same type of church. My mother stayed in the same type of church. And I became "that divorced woman's little boy". Tim Bonney nor you or anyone else needs to tell me about toxic churches.
Years latter and and God caused me to cross paths with Black baptist Chaplin in Korea when out of boredom I attended a service in which he preached about love and forgiveness. And since we where there on a "Peace Keeping Mission" (1955) I had a lot of spare time I attended chapel rather frequently. I drove the Chaplain around a lot and we talked a LOT. Soon our outfit was shipped to Japan and we did not unpack for three months and had no regular duty assignments so I became an unofficial chaplains assistant even though I did not claim to be a Christian. He decided to have A revival on base ( we where assigned to a navel station even though we where Army. We some time joked that the Army had lost us. We where a regimental HQ & HQ company but most of the regiment was still in Korea. Eventually the Revival Services where held and I made a genuine profession of faith. One thing led to another and one day he aske what I was going to do when I got out of service and i told him about my plans to go back to work at GE untill I had saved enough to move to Chicago to study stage management and to mary the Nursing student back in the states to whom I was "tentatively" engaged to marry. HE asked if I had an interest in preaching and I said "I have thought about it But that girl back home was a PK and she wants nothing to do with being a preachers wife. Then we shipped back to Korea ( had never unpacked our gear). It was close to the end of my overseas tour. And the Major and I talked a lot about denominations I might consider. He was rather insistent that I find a Southern Baptist church that sounded strange to me because my girl friends father was a bivocational So Baptist preacher and had gotten into some serious conflict with his association and his church because of his friendship with several black co-workers on the Oak Ridge Project.
I did marry that young woman and we moved to Birmingham Alabama for me to enter college as a Ministerial Student. The first year, we got into a great Church with a terrific Pastor. Then we went to a small country church to help a student friend of mine who was the pastor pastor. Those folk tolerated me because my buddy was from Georgia I had met him in his home church while I was stationed at Ft. Benning. And they knew nothing of my civil rights activity. Ron graduated and the School relocated to the other side of B'ham and although I did OK with most of my classes, I flunked out of Howard through the English Department. And went to work in the personnel department of the hospital where my wife was employed eventually We went to Newton Mississippi and a small Baptist college for me to get my English out of the way. We almost immediately got sideways with the community because we over paid our "Colored girl". And I defended a Sociology professor who most of my fellow ministerial students felt was "Teaching too much sex in a mixed class room". The chapter that really got him into trouble was titled Sexual deviation
. He got fired and went to teach at a Fine Methodist School in B'ham. And it was while there that I went on a supply preaching assignment In Philadelphia Ms. and upset the chair of deacons by referring to the chorus "Red and yellow, black and white they are precious in his sight". Our church history professor was one of the few people I got along well with and he sometimes had me preach in his church. We attended the FBC there and those folk treated us pretty well except for one deacon who advised the others not to "worry about that Yankee boy, cause he will soon move on and be somebody else's problem" Have I made my case about experiencing toxic churches and Toxic Baptist. or should I go on with the next 50 years. That was only 5 and just skimmed the top.
Honestly it did get better.
When I discovered the difference in ignorance, prejudice and pride. After more hurts and a lot of recovery. Should I feel Sorry for G.S. perhaps, but I am sure their is more to his stories than we have heard and his side hasn't reached my hart strings. Oh Yea! I tried that worshiping in nature bit, that is how I got into Long distance bicycling. Indy to Atlanta, Indy to St Louis, Indy to little Rock and several one day centuries. Dropped out of church of a while after a divorce. Got back into church through singles ministry. My Second wife has served in three settings one very discouraged church, a dual parish of very tired people, and a rather overwhelmed congregation but never a sick church . They are churches that have had, both very good pastors and some who must surly have missed their call.
Ed: And Dave R. I respect your request but I do not and will not countenance Genes Continued crude language. And if he must have a pity party ask him to give is some new material. And I still contend that picking wounds is not healthy or a way to get healthy. Now I have to get ready to take Trudy for a 2nd biopsy. See you all this afternoon.