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Thursday, August 08, 2002 AD
Wayne W (not to be confused with any of the other Waynes who, along with Mr. W., infest the blogosphere), yesterday posted the history of churches he's been a member of over the years. While my list is not quite so long and interesting, I thought I might as well play copycat. (This might be an interesting trend for Christian blogs. Of course that means that Seth can't participate.)

+ From pre-birth to almost-23 I attended a Southern Baptist Congregation that friends and I learned to call "The Church of Good Taste." The choir loft was higher than the cross, a metaphor of their relative value in the eyes of the congregation. Since good music was such a priority, the church hired the best choir director they could find. No matter that he was living in open and unrepentant sexual immorality. This event caused many of us to leave shortly before the congregation's 75th anniversary. Their slogan for that occasion was "Enlarging the Vision," to which I was wont to append, "by Stretching the Truth."

+ Several months of clueless wandering ensued. As one might guess, I wasn't exactly well-grounded theologically. I visited a PCUSA church for a while, then an Evangelical Congregational plant that never made it off the ground, then a Vineyard church for a bizarre three months, and finally ended up at another PCUSA congregation. I joined a year to the day after I wrote my letter of resignation to my first church and was there for about six years. Unfortunately, it was six years of change in a generally liberalward trend as I personally was moving more conservativeward. The founding pastor, Eugene Peterson, was on his way out after 29 years. The first interim was a very liberal woman. The second installed pastor was a solid Evangelical fellow who was quite overwhelmed by the calling and resigned after just 18 months. Two more liberal interims. During the second one's tenure, especially, I was gritting my teeth, saying "She's only an interim, she's only an interim." But the damage had been done and the character of the congregation had shifted. The third installed pastor was a woman whose candidating sermon was psychobabblish "God believes in you" pablum. I blew 'dat joint.

+ Sigh...another year of ecclesiastical limbo. By that time I was solidly set on a no-women-pastors denomination. I had taken Greek at a PCA seminary, and was involved in a singles group at a PCA church, so I was considering the PCA, but I had only just encountered Calvinism and was pretty freaked out by it, kinda like the chick in this story (but without the public tounge-lashings). So I found another SBC congregation (the antithesis of the one I'd grown up in -- they seemed to deliberately eschew good music, but actually held the Bible in high regard) and stayed there for about three or four years. First Casual Baptist (a nickname given by the pastor) wasn't a bad church, and I reflect with some dissatisfaction on my decision to leave as lacking in charity. But by this time, I had swallowed the TULIP bulb and was itching to be in a Reformed Presbyterian congregation.

[To be continued....]
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/08/2002 10:17:00 AM • Permalink

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