Millipede: Part 14

by MillipedeThere in some ways like that of the old church, but with a new twist all elders had to live within a certain distance of the town in which the new church was located. I think that it was 20 miles or something. It was along the lines of the members being close knit, of fellowshipping through the weekAs a side note- this was not like a cult, our pastor (I hate to use the same term over and over) for all his patriarchy, was not into hardcore control over the congregation. In the past, he was not the type to kick people out over arbitrary stuff. In fact, he really tried to avoid strife within the church. Although he believed in church authority he was not a very controlling … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man Part 12

by CaluluI think I cried off and on for a solid eighteen months after we switched churches. It was difficult. What made it even worse was the fact that Tom Smith had apparently told everyone in the Del/Mar/Va area that a) we weren't believers any longer, b) we went to a church of homosexual abortionists and c) we were going to hell. He had said this so long and so loudly that when I tried to keep up with friendships from the old church I was told things like what my friend Dana said.Dana and I had roomed together at conferences. We'd hosted each others kids to conferences. We were like sisters. I took her son on an international vacation with us for several weeks and my son and … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 13

by MillipedeThe new building had not materialized. The way that things were going, their might not be enough funds to acquire the building. Even so, our pastor continued on with his vision of a new church. I got the sense that even if it he had to go back to having church at home, he was going to create a new organization.It was at this point that we noticed something; my husband was no longer our pastor's confidant. Sure, our pastor would be friendly with my husband and if asked, he would discuss the new church with my husband. However, when the new building became available, he asked several other of the men to accompany him to the new building to see what they thought of it. My … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 11

by CaluluI went home crying, shocked that my pastor had gone back on his word like that. It was a betrayal that left me reeling emotionally. Cried for days feeling a sense of deep betrayal. The pastor was quiet that week, no emails or phone calls.I told my husband that I thought the time was right for me to join him at the other church and that I had no intention of going back to the old church as a member ever again. He was the recipient that afternoon of quite a few emails from Tom Smith telling him that he was dicing with his very salvation by attending this main stream denomination filled with homosexual abortionists.Fast forward a week. Hubby and I both agree that the best … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 12

by MillipedeIn truth, our Pastor was going through a period of soul searching. In the years that we first met him, certain issues had driven him into the Patriot movement which in turn had exposed him to different variants of Christianity.Now, not quite a decade later, his experiences had found him wanting. He liked our church and the people in it, but he had also seen a lot of people leave in a huff. The hair splitting, the people who shied away from organized churches; coming from a traditional fundamentalist background, he felt that most people in the Patriot movement wanted to be a law unto themselves. He felt that they were Christian only on the surface and that they used it to … [Read more...]

Baptist Taliban: Part 5

by Cindy FosterTHE SHUNNINGThis ‘discipline‘ as it turned out was not discipline at all, but punishment which had the appearance of one acting to satisfy his wrath against those who resisted or opposed him. He actually commanded the whole church to SHUN these young people for varying periods of time from 2 weeks to 6 weeks according to the severity of their ‘crimes’. There was only one given 6 weeks, and that was for making the statement about his not disciplining them unless he disciplined the others. This he said was the worst offense of all because that person was, “Making an accusation against a pastor without witnesses”. This person was also suspended from coming to church a … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man: Part 10

by CaluluIt seemed like the conferences and teachings were helping Tom even if he was still having his moments of weirdness and dysfunction.And then my darling husband started skipping our church's Sunday School to attend the early service at a big mainstream denomination before coming for to our church for our service. The questions started. I didn't quite know how to answer them because I didn't quite know exactly what was going on in my husband's mind. I knew he was unhappy with our church and visiting the denomination he'd been raised in was comforting to him, like going to the Catholic Charismatic services were to me when I visited down home in Louisiana. But I didn't really … [Read more...]

Millipede Part 11

by MillipedeEverything seemed to be righting itself, it was tough, but we were on our way. Things would be tight and they were somewhat different now. Seeing how my husband acted after losing his job had really struck a blow to our relationship. I had always known that my husband could be lazy and not given to "worrying about money". However, I had always thought that when the stakes were really high that even he would come through. Seeing how my husband reacted to his job loss changed all of that.The few attempts at even looking for a job ( two tries) and then sitting back and just being content to sell things until he ran out. I thought of all the sit down jobs for those with little … [Read more...]

Baptist Taliban: Part 4

by Cindy FosterPARTY TIMEIt was the end of the 1900’s. There was much uncertainty in the air everywhere, about what the next millennium would bring. Would our computer-dependent world come to a screeching halt? Would there be a shortage of food, water and electricity? Should we be stockpiling goods in preparation?If the ‘air’ everywhere else was unsettling, it was much more so in the church. If tension was butter, you could cut it with a knife. The young people were troubled, parents were hyper-alert, Paul and I felt like we were walking a perpetual tight-rope and The Preacher was venting rage through every sermon at our expense. With that kind of a pressure-cooker clima … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man: Part 9

by CaluluHigh school graduation loomed for Tom's oldest non-disabled kid, a son that's as bright as they come. The son has always been in the gifted and talented program at the local schools and was eligible for a few different college scholarships. The problem was that except for the small scholarship money there was no other funds for college. the scholarships were about enough to pay Tom Jr.'s tuition at community college but not enough to pay for books, a car, and gas back and forth much less pay for room, board and tuition at one of Virginia's four year universities.How do I know that? Because Hubby was the recipient of a late night drunken call from Tom, a call out of the blue. … [Read more...]


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