Though the exact date escapes me, in 2006 I decided to walk away from a church that had at one time, meant so much to me. Before I walked away, there was a horrible church split and unfortunately because I was involved in a few of the ministries, I had to make a choice. The day the church split and the weeks after, are still pretty raw to me, but my choice was to stay with whom I thought was the most “wronged.” Even with making that choice, deep down I had my doubts but the other side of the split wasn’t an option and other local churches became involved in the nasty entanglement as well. Additionally, my siblings were still involved and I didn’t want to let them down. I pressed forward with my head held high.
Getting into the details of what happened is not the point here so I’ll move forward. I eventually walked away feeling betrayed by the “wronged” one. The closer I got to the inner-workings of this church I worked hard to help rebuild, the nastier things became. I began to have what I can only equate to a veil being lifted from my eyes. Clearly, I began to see greed. I saw lies and perversion. I saw people grand-standing for position. I saw a reckless disregard for other people and their feelings. The textbooks call this “sociopathic behavior.” I began to see it as a Jezebel spirit. Yes, I went there. A Jezebel spirit is not limited to women and in this situation this spirit became overwhelming as the need to grow this church progressed.
I’m a bit off-track again because this just blows me away. Just about everyone under the “wronged” one’s ministry began to exhibit some form of the Jezebel spirit (I did say “just about.” But even if you didn’t, you felt the effects of those who did.), and I was not exempt. I thank God that during that volatile time, I worked for a gospel radio station. The music and ministry shows soothed my aching spirit. My co-workers who knew some of the details came to my rescue with prayer and advice. Eventually, I broke ties with the church, and most of the people who remain there. My siblings followed suit one by one with my baby-sister the last to leave. Over the last year or so, I’ve slowly started to reconnect with members from both sides of the split. It’s been emotional each time because I miss so many of my friends that had to make the decisions I made for one side or the other. This past weekend, my brother took pictures of one of the family’s I missed so much. After the tears, I had a ball watching them ham it up in front of my brother’s skillful eye.
Although I have still been unable to find a permanent church home – more than likely because I’m still a bit jaded – my faith is not shaken. I feel stronger spiritually than I’ve ever felt. I even had the opportunity last year to work with the “wronged” one on a wedding. Though the air was thick as peanut butter, I remained professional and calm on the outside. On the inside, I wanted to scream!
Recently there have been those wanting to do a reunion of sorts, old members, old praise team and those who were changed by the original mission of the ministry. It could be great, but only if the gathering would be for uplifting purposes. Not for recreating what was and not if it means bringing that Jezebel spirit in our midst. . The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a “time,” for everything. Is the time right?