If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I wish when another believer discovers that I do not attend a church currently because of "something bad that happened to our family," their response would be different than it almost always is. Lots of people go right to some of the familiar ones, "man failed you not God, you need to be in fellowship at a church" or "Churches are hospitals, we are all sinners" or "The person tries to sale their church as the safe one to attend" or "You can't experience God the same way outside of the church."

What I wish a fellow christian would ask me when they find out I don't attend a church because of a past hurt, would be, "do you have support from other believers around you?" I wish that would be a persons concern. Maybe even ask me, how my relationship with God is, right now.

Because really how does a church help someone?

To attend a new church we would need to build relationships which would require us to trust individuals. Remember it was through our former pastor Eddie Rojas, his son Patrick, and the elders, Jim Cameron and Dave Barrueto, that our family was devastated. It was also a very large number of the congregation (our friends) that supported the leadership, even to the point of defending their betrayal. I'm thinking maybe a pastor nor the leadership in a church would be who I would trust anytime soon.

My personal relationship with God really has nothing to do with a church.

I do have people that are believers that are loving me through this time in my life. I have no idea how long I will not be attending church but really that seems like such a minor detail in the scheme of my life.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

I know this is an old post... I'm one of probably many who have found you because of Patrick suing you. Funny thing... all the press about it is just getting this blog attention. It wasn't hard to find.

In any case, I wanted to tell you that you are not alone in this and you are absolutely completely justified. My husband and I left out church several years ago when it was found out the pastor was messing around with women in the congregation, physically abusing his family and embezzling thousands.

Much of the hurt you have written about by other church members echoed my lingering pain - we didn't deal with anything as personally horrific as what you did, but I still to this day will never understand how people can justify terrible actions like these. We had people in the congregation immediately who accused us of being judgmental and unforgiving. The truth is, you can forgive but the scars don't just go away... the slate isn't just wiped clean. This wasn't the first time he'd done this, either. Even our elders acted the same way - protecting him and his sin, not admitting it until forced, and after the fact, admonishing anyone who actually dared to bring it up as a gossip.

We couldn't bring enough people together from our congregation to press charges so he got away with it - now he has a whole new ministry and so many former friends are telling us to forgive him, and behaving as if we are against God's will because we don't welcome his ministry with open arms.

The appropriate thing for him would have been to be repentant and not tried to place himself in a position of leadership. You said it well - the appropriate thing for a sex offender to do is to make sure everyone knows what he is and knows to not let him around their children. But who will do that?

In any case... I'm getting off subject. My point for posting this is to tell you that we haven't returned to church yet. Probably for the same reasons you do... and also just a rejection of religious doctrine in general. My answer to the question is YES we have a church. My husband and I do a home church. Just because it's the two of us doesn't make it any less legitimate. It's funny how distilling it all to just reading the Bible and seeking the Lord can clarify things.

Now I don't have to deal with the BS from church members, people who think I'm not being obedient because I don't agree with everything the church teaches, the formulaic answers to real-life problems... the list goes on.

The modern church being a building you go attend a service at once a week is not something you see in the New Testament. Usually people would go fellowship in their homes together.

I don't think we'll ever go back to a normal church. And we're okay with that. It took us a couple years to really discuss it in depth and admit to each other that we really didn't feel any desire or conviction to "find a home church" aside from that's just what Christians are supposed to do. Well, there's a lot of that "That's just what Christians are supposed to do" that is a construct of modern religion, but not actually in the Bible. I prefer finding it out on my own, learning with my husband who I trust spiritually. Unfortunately, someone can seem to be a decent teacher or pastor but when their actions don't line up, it makes you distrust them all. It's shameful.

Anyway, I haven't finished reading your blog, and so if you already have done this - great. But I would like to encourage you to give yourself permission to not go back to church. It's okay to not go. We don't need a building full of busybodies and fair weather friends to have a relationship with Christ. And if the time comes that the Lord wants you to find a church again, you know He will let you know.