I have been getting more questions lately from some in our old church asking why we haven’t been there for such a long time. I got a very heartfelt note in the snail mail today from one of those friends. She said that she really misses my wife and me on Sundays especially in the Bible classes. She mentioned that when I had a disagreement with the pastor on a biblical issue she and her husband tended to agree with me more than the pastor on that issue. She was wondering where we have gone and hoping that we would come back. It is nice to know that some from our old church still miss us six months later.
Since the pastor has evidently chosen not to reveal his actions that resulted in us leaving the congregation, this brings up a serious dilemma for me. I wish all the people there the best and that includes the pastor. Do I take a chance of causing disunity there by telling my friends the truth? It is not my intent to cause dissent in any of the Body of Christ but I also would like them to know that my leaving was at least partially not of my own accord. I don’t harbor any ill will of the pastor who wanted to take away my membership privileges because of our disagreements on biblical interpretations. After all he was just taking a stand, albeit a strict one, on denominational issues. Since I publicly admitted I do not believe in a totally literal and inerrant Bible he felt strongly that I could no longer be one of his official flock. But, I am getting very uncomfortable avoiding telling some of them who ask why we no longer attend. What do I say?
As I have said many times before, it greatly saddens me to see us Christians split over such non-essential things. As long as we hold to the basic tenets of Christianity surely we can come to our own conclusions about some of the other things? Must we always toe the denominational line?
How do I answer my friend who sent the snail mail note today? I just don’t know right now.