Wow! I don’t know where to start! Today is June 2, 2021. I went to my hair stylist ( she is also a friend, we go to church together and get dad is the pastor). We began to talk like always about different subjects and some how I told her about dinner things I am struggling with which led to a conversation about legalism. She and I were raised very similar. Very strict house holds. We were both raised in a free will Baptist churchs. But not the same church.
We talked about how legalism about destroyed is and I told her it took me until I was 41 to realize I wasn’t going to hell for wearing a dress that showed my shoulder, or if I wear pants, or if I had a glass of wine. ( Drinking is the cardnal sin). When I was young, I totally rebelled and decided that no matter what I did I was going to hell so just have fun. Every night I would pray for God to forgive me! Even when I went back to church I would still ask God to forgive me for all my past sins. I have 11 brothers and sisters, most all are saved and were free from legalism. I could not. I told them you know how you were raised but they argued back about not by works but by faith. I believed that but still, women wear a dress to church, men wore dress clothes, you can’t speak in church of your a women, men dare not have long hair etc… Thankfully I was not raised as strict as some of my other friends but it was enough to scar me.
I started to attend a church when I was 41. It was a free will Baptist church but not like any other one i attended. Many women didn’t wear dresses, on Sunday and Wednesday night the kids world wear shorts!!! They didn’t sound only from the maroon church hymnal, I was totally freaked out. But I told my self I must give it a chance. My husband loved it( he was raised totally different) my kids loved it. After a couple of Sunday’s the Sunday school teacher says something that struck me. (We have as biker church in our town, the Pastor has long hair and he is a good man of God! He graduated from Oxford University, England. He knows the Bible front to back!
I would always tell my self, there is no way he is going to hell for having long hair, wearing biker clothes and riding a Harley.) Anyway, the Sunday school teacher said ” we have a pastor in our community that may not look like us or acct like us but I believe he loves the Lord and he can reach people you and I can’t!” I was dumb founded. Here I am struggling with legalism and salvation and God was speaking to me. After Sunday school, we went to the sanctuary, sat down and was getting ready for the service to begin. ( I was struggling because they didn’t sing from the maroon church hymnal). The preacher began to peach. The message somehow turned toward legalism and how it has hurt a lot of christians. He talked about not by works, but by faith. THEN, the pastor began too talk about the biker preacher, He said basically the same thing as the Sunday school teacher said. He said it didn’t matter, how long his hair was or how he dressed. He had met him at the hospital while visiting the sick. He went on to say that He could reach people that I ( my pastor) could not reach. It clicked. I don’t know, I was changed! The Lord showed me it was not what I wear, or traditions I was used to, or all the things I was told if you do this and don’t do that you will go to hell. I finally realized it was not by works! It was by Grace through Faith. I was totally set free!
Back to my story, as she ( my hair stylist ) and I were talking about all this, she told me about this podcast. I came home immediately and listen to the first 2. I intend to get them all in by next weekend so I can get caught up!
Thank you for helping people like me and many others be a recovering fundamentalist!