I grew up in a large family and one constant was attending church. I was raised in a Baptist Church and never questioned it. As I grew up and the years passed, I found myself on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Military life is not a 9-5 lifestyle and I found myself not attending church like I did as a young person.
One day someone knocked on my door and a young man with a West Virginia Accent was standing there with a KJV Bible. We talked for over an hour and I learned he was starting a church in our area. That Sunday I attended just to see what this new church was like. That opened the door and I was a member and heavily involved in church activities. The ministry I had a talent for was running the sound booth. Over ten years later I was still running the sound booth and the church had grown from 12 people to way over 100 members. If fact, the church purchased 16 acres and started to slowly build a new facility. Everything was going well until the fickle finger of fate pointed at me.
The company I worked for went belly up causing me to work three different jobs to keep the same income I was used to. At the same time, my wife and I started having problems in our marriage. After a few years, my wife and I legally separated. That opened the flood gate! I was treated quite differently by the members of my church and the pastor. I was removed from the sound booth for some unknown reason that was never explained to me. Eventually my wife and I got back together but….I was still treated different. I signed up to be included in the sound booth ministry but I was ignored. Other people signed up and they were placed into the ministry. I had a job offer in another state and I took it. After leaving people stopped talking to me, calling me and they ignored me on social media.
I relocated to a new area and found another IFB Church. I became a member and heavily involved. Ten years later my wife and I were having problems and we divorced. You would think the church would help you? Nope! I was ignored and treated like I had some kind of disease. I left the church. I would run into people in town and they would ignore me or walk the other way.
I have learned if you are rough around the edges, a little different, go against the norm, you will be ignored or shunned. I don’t think this is what God intended.
That is my story. I am reminded of something my grandmother used to tell me. She said, “What you say is what you want to be. How you act is who you are.”