Hypocrisy of the Church
As I describe the hypocrisy of the church, let’s start with the fact that I was raised in the Episcopal church. I think I’ve mentioned that before. When I was 15 or 16 I stopped going to church. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy. I was very angry. I felt a deep betrayal that scalded my soul for years and years. I finally reached within and found the Holy Spirit again, though I did not attend church. I studied on my own for many, many years.
Recently I decided to go to church again. I missed the fellowship, the communion, the extended family it provided. The opportunities for volunteering and truly making a difference in the community for those in need are abundant. Already I’ve made contacts with those sponsoring efforts for Hospice and taking care of the elderly and sick. As I said, if you are looking for a place to truly serve those in your community who are in need, the place to find those avenues is via various churches. Not just throwing money at them and someone else actually does the ministry. But hands on, knowing you are contributing to the welfare of those in need. The church provides that.
I looked around for an Episcopal church that would be familiar and my husband and I attended. And we attended again. The second time, however, there was a hint of political agenda during the sermon. That was a little off-putting. But I chalked it up to this particular minister being an interim minister who was only filling in until a parish minister was hired. Then came the 3rd time we attended.
Politics Invades My Peace
That was today. I am so angry I can only sit here and vent. Do you know what it is like to be angry in church? To be angry at your minister? Do you know the guilt of that? I do. He is supposed to be my spiritual leader, my mentor, the one I go to when I feel lost in my soul and need to reconnect with the Holy Spirit. How can I disagree? How can I be a dissenting voice and condemn and judge his teaching? But I do. I wholeheartedly do. I am livid.
The person that is pledged to save the souls of those who are lost, to bring them out of the darkness, saw fit to preach to me that I should take away guns from others who have nothing to do with the evil murderer, whose souls may or may not be lost. He saw fit to preach to me about a political issue. Oddly enough, the sermon was about letting go of earthly things and establishing or reestablishing every day the connection to spirit. But no, the earthly gun was more important than the souls of the youth that are so black that they would take the lives of others — that they would brutally take the lives of others.
The minister, the saver of souls, the holy leader of the spiritual community thought it was appropriate to throw that deep and integral part of Christianity aside and speak of the guns and my responsibility to do something about that. Nay, not minister to the youth whose souls for whatever reason are black with hatred and filled with evil. No not that. Just take away the guns from other people. That is going to bring back the souls of these youth. That is surely going to take the blackness from their hearts. I AM LIVID STILL.
The hypocrisy had me so angry — right there in the midst of the sermon — I was livid. In God’s house I was livid. I confess my sin for that. I was livid with anger and betrayal and despair. But this time I will not allow my feelings of betrayal by the clergy to undermine my effort to get close to those in my community so that we may commune together with God. I don’t know what I will do from here. I can find another church. I can continue to attend and only pay attention to the service and close my ears to the sermon. I can wait until the new minister is decided upon and this horrific abomination is gone. I don’t know what I will do.
What are your thoughts? Have you had this experience? How did you handle it? What choices did you make?
Reconnection is the Answer
One thing I know that I will do and that is to do their job for them as needed. I am pledged to speaking out about the horrific degradation of our society. I am pledged to speak of the wisdom of ancient times not so long past that kept us safe from self-destruction, that kept society on the path of becoming ever more virtuous. That path included following a code of ethics and laws of morality passed down for generation after generation after generation. It was passed down through the church. And I know a lot of you are not believers any more. But can you at least see that our society is becoming less and less civil the farther we get away from the Judeo-Christian values that have led us to where we are today – or at least where we were 50 years ago. Perhaps you will return as I did. Perhaps you will simply re-engage with your early childhood religious experiences and share those with others.
When I left the church so many years ago, I left behind the connection with the Holy Spirit and my soul. I went through the darkest time of my life. It began in my late teens and continued until I was into my 30s. I let the hypocrisy of my elders taint my devotion to getting as close to the righteousness of Jesus as I possibly could. That was my goal as a child. I let evil guide me down the dark path.
Save the Children
Today, our children are killing other children. They are lost. They are going down the dark path with no light – and for many, not even a knowledge of light such as I was afforded by attending church in my youth. They are hopeless. They are lost. They are misguided. Their families are broken. Their mothers abandon them to well-meaning yet disconnected day-care workers. They are sent to school prisons with nothing to offer but rote memorization and indoctrination. Their souls are in pain. So many of them are predators and prey simply trying to survive. Maybe not your kids or grandkids. But lots and lots of them.
These children need connection. They need connection to their souls. They need connection to Spirit. They need to know they are loved. My heart is breaking for them. And my heart is still filled with anger that those who are charged with the salvation of their souls are failing them. They are focused elsewhere themselves.
My despair at 15 revolved around the realization that not only did those that I had relied upon to guide me not follow the teachings themselves, but they did not know how. And furthermore, if they did not know how, there was no way they could show me how. I was devastated and still desperately wanted to know how. At 15 I desperately wanted to know how. And there was no one there for me. I proceeded to make one disastrous mistake after another, each leading me farther down the dark path. I didn’t kill anyone. I wasn’t that lost. But the lives of my children suffered. Our family still struggles with demons from our past from time to time. I draw strength from within my heart and help them to draw strength from within their hearts.
Email Me, You Talk and I will Listen
Thank God I was able to pull myself out of hell. I suspect many of you also trod that path and were able to pull yourself out. Our children need us. They need us now more than ever. And they need God and they need Jesus. They need to know that if they will be still in their heart and listen, that no matter how many awful thoughts they have had and no matter how many awful deeds they have done, inside their heart – it is connected to the Holy Spirit. There is salvation, redemption and forgiveness. There is hope. There is light. And above all, there is love. A love so deep and everlasting that it cannot be extinguished.
If you are out there now listening to me and you are feeling lost, abandoned, and full of despair, please email me. While I am not a medical practitioner or bonafide spiritual counselor with papers presented to me after some intellectual accomplishments, I will listen to you and I will guide you to the best of my ability to resources in your area that can help you find the love you need. CONTACT ME HERE. Let’s start a conversation. And if you are loath to get involved in the church, fine. There are other resources that can set you on the path. There is hope out there. There is love out there. Let me help you connect with it.
The quote for today’s podcast comes from the Bible, the New King James Version. The original King James Version is the first version of Scripture authorized by the Protestant church and commissioned by England’s King James I. The New King James Version is a modern language update of the original and it retains much of the traditional interpretation and sentence structure of the King James Version. I’m a real traditionalist and thus this is my preferred Bible text.
As you listen to my reading of these verses, you might keep in mind your thoughts that plague you and badger you and tell you how unworthy you are. I often think of my thoughts as that which troubles me most.
Psalms Chapter 3:1-6
1 A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son. Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah
3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah
Thank you so much for listening and until next time, may you grow your life gracefully, with wisdom in every step.
www.villagewisdompodcast.com – Village Wisdom Podcast and Blog