So how are things, years later?
So, here it is, almost 10 years later. Have things really changed? Was I rejected by family and friends for having this wild idea of God’s grace?
In a word?
Although there was intense heartache at the beginning, I can tell you now, I am so very glad it happened. My parents were appalled that I pulled out of our local church. The church was shocked, and my husband was convinced I had lost my mind. NOT go to church?!?! But, I dug my heels in, and didn’t budge. To share my newfound discovery, I had basically plagiarized Bob’s George’s book, A Scriptural Journey to Discover the Grace of God” added a few of my own thoughts and thankfulness in it, then passed it out to the leaders of our church. One pastor called and asked to set up a meeting with me. We met, and he said that he saw ‘red flags’ going up. He read the first few pages which were all scripture, but when he got to the back page (which was where it tied the scriptures in, and put a ‘therefore’ to the conclusion) he was concerned. “Not under the law? No, sister, I’m afraid you’re mistaken, we DO follow the ten commandments, and we DO still tithe” the preacher assured me. I was flabbergasted. I was so sure that my church probably taught grace, but due to me unable to hear, perhaps I just didn’t hear it. It was my fault, not theirs. I was broken-hearted to learn that my church didn’t embrace the clarity of the gospel, and sought to put us under bondage, in hopes of making us ‘behave’.
At any rate, I had been warned by the chatter friend to NOT present this to the preachers. After all, they’ve had years steeped in the law + grace doctrine while I had what–6 months of Grace? They’d eat me alive–and sure enough, they did. When the pastor and I were finished with our meeting, I was crying, he felt bad he led me to tears, we hugged and ‘made up’, so to speak, but I knew I would never be back to that church.
We tried various churches within driving distance, and they pretty much all had the same message I was brought up with.
- once saved always saved (or not, depending on if it was Charismatic or not).
- When we sin, we must ask God to forgive us.
- We’re not under the law, but must still tithe and obey the 10 commandments.
None of the churches were opened to the Gospel message. Most had the “Grace + law = eternal life” mindset.
I was alone.
I was being judged, condemned from all sides–anything bad happened, it was because I pulled out of church was the basic consensus.
To make things worse, the chatter that had initially shared the gospel with me, suddenly decided the friendship was too much, uprooted, and disappeared off the face of the earth. Devastated, I pulled out of chat. One of the friends that I kept in touch with, died during Hurricane Katrina–she lived in Louisiana. Now, not only do I not have friends in ‘real time’, but my online friends were decreasing.
Was I doomed to a life of no fellowship?
I was utterly alone.