Searching For the Non-Existent

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsIt was over Sunday brunch that our weekend guests brought it up.  This deeply committed Christian couple who trained in missions, worked in Christian publishing, and he being and award-winning author of Christian books, she having been an administrative assistant for a mega-church pastor at one time, sat at our dining room table and very casually mentioned that they had not been attending church for several months. … [Read more...]

Dear Family, Friends and Former Parishioners

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserEditor's note: Posting this because sometimes it's a good idea to stop and look back to measure just how far we've come from our old life.What follows is the letter I sent in April 2009 to my family, friends and former parishioners. This letter came after Polly and I attended church for the 2008 Sunday before Thanksgiving. I am republishing it here so it is part of the historical narrative of my life. I know many of you have read this before but I hope you will read it again. As I reread this, I am reminded that what I wrote here is still, almost 6 years later, the motivating factor of my life.  The … [Read more...]

The Fantasy of Church Culture

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIn my last post, I mentioned watching the efforts of my ex-fellow elder to pretend he was unaware of my presence. I also mentioned how funny I found them. (I also admitted that I used to find this sort of behaviour deeply painful and hurtful.) So when a friend commented on my Facebook page that it gave her hope that she might also get to that same point of freedom from the pain, it made me stop and think about my response to his performance, and how I have got to this place myself. … [Read more...]

“pastor” Tim Henderson’s Lie

by Joe Sands cross posted from his blog Incongruous CircumspectionMore than a few years ago, my family decided to begin attending a small church in the tucked-away town of Elkton, South Dakota.  The church was called First Baptist Church of Elkton.  It was headed up by the lying snake of a control freak, Tim Henderson (you'll see why I call him that, in a bit), whom I'll refer to as T Boy.Note: You'll notice the church is now pastored by some other "KJV Only/Brother this, Brother that/Bus Ministry, numbers matter more than people/Women's Ministries because men just don't need it" nut job. … [Read more...]

In Which I Am Grateful For My Loss

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalThis past week, with social media bristling with the noise and reaction to the American Supreme Court's decision regarding same sex marriage, my strongest emotional response has been one of gratitude for being hounded from the IC (institutional church).That might sound strange... but I can explain.You see, I spent most of my life in the IC and it taught me well. It taught me that there was a right way to think and a wrong way. It taught me that there was an acceptable way to behave and an unacceptable way. Most of … [Read more...]

I Am A Publican And A Heathen Part 3

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserIn March of 1994, our family packed everything up and moved from Somerset, Ohio to Elmendorf, Texas, a small rural spot along the road outside of San Antonio. Community Baptist Church had asked me to come to Texas to co-pastor the church along with Pat Horner, the founder of the church. This move was supposed to be what pastors like to call a once in a lifetime opportunity. The church was a young, growing Sovereign Grace church. (the church is much smaller today, and many of the members I pastored are no longer there) The church wanted me to jump-start their evangelistic efforts and help them start a … [Read more...]

The Loneliness of Those Who Leave the Church

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser From your earliest recollection you remember the church. You remember the preacher, the piano player, the deacons, and your Sunday School teacher. You remember the youth group and all the fun activities. You remember getting saved and baptized. You remember being in church every time the doors were open. You remember everything in your life revolving around the church. … [Read more...]

Things That Matter!

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalI'm not sure why it got to me yesterday.After all the times I've had elder J's wife walk past me at school or at the shops in the past two years... all the times she's refused to acknowledge I even exist... all the times she's suddenly been fascinated with the thin air in the opposite direction from where I was...despite all the times I've begged J and his wife to talk through our issues... … [Read more...]

Just Get Over It!

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalImagine you were part of a circle of friends, many of whom you'd known for a long time. You are close, you often spend time together in each other's company. Everyone tells you how much they love you and value you. You feel happy and accepted.Now imagine that things start to change. In subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways you start to feel pressured to conform to expectations you never agreed to. To comply with other people's dictates. Eventually, things become more overt and these friends start to slap you around.You object. … [Read more...]

Part 4: I Submit and “Resign”

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIn the weeks following that meeting with the board, there were many communications (mostly via email) which just deepened the wounding. As dramatic as it might sound, I felt like I was fighting for my very life. I begged for someone to listen to me, to hear what had been going on and help me find a way out of my pain. By this time, elder M had given up hope and resigned his membership. I desperately wanted to believe there was a better way to go, that people who claimed to follow Christ should be able to work this out together, that we didn’t have to stay trapped in an endless repetition of history! … [Read more...]


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