Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#61- My Church Life 5

My reputation was growing at New Vision Emmanuel Baptist Church as a polemic.  This was never told to me directly but I sure felt it.  By this time I was consumed with learning and verifying what I discovered.  It is hard to believe now but I still tried to make something out of my tenure at my church.

I took a rest from my Sunday School class and enrolled in a Baptism Class.  My aunt wanted me to get baptized when I returned from war but I was repulsed by the idea.  I hated to be told what to do.  I wanted to get baptized because it was what I wanted to do and no one else.  I was hoping to learn something novel from the Baptism class.  My class was lead by people of my age group.  They were not theological giants.  I knew as much or more than them.  I was unruly in class sometimes but eventually I submitted my passions long enough to graduate.  I got baptized in Sept. 2006...

In my better days at the church I thought of preaching.  Pastor Ron was becoming increasingly busy with various affairs and would let others share the stage.  Two of the men that would speak instead of Pastor Ron were peers of mine.  I formally told Pastor Ron that I wanted to get on stage and preach.  He told me that it was a process that included coming to Wednesday Bible study and maybe if I could be part of that group I could eventually go on stage on Sunday.

I started to come on Wednesday nights to see what was going on in Bible study.  It was lead by a young man whom I knew from afar.  He had the qualities of a leader.  I wanted to know what he did to get into his position.  It quickly became apparent that he would be the lead for Wednesday night studies and it wasn't a democratic rotation.  This same man started to preach increasingly on Sundays as well because he had the right stuff.  There was no way I would get to his standing any time soon.

I once sheepishly approach that young man (let's call him Dee) to discuss the horrible genocides of the Old Testament hoping he would recoil in horror.  He started to legitimize the slaughters in the same way other Christians do.  I was truly saddened by this because I felt that maybe we could have agreed on this.

I was on my own for real.  I plotted clandestine ways to get the church members to be exposed to new information that wasn't part of their propaganda.  One of the ways I did this was to suggest we had a round table of religious leaders from around the city.  That way people could ask a representative directly and clear up any misunderstandings.  I ran into a bureaucratic red tape brick wall.  When they did try to diversify their knowledge of other religions they chose to do it by using a DVD on Islam.  I was in the audience when to movie was on.  It was a sanitized and Christian friendly exposition.  I crossed my arms in a defensive manner as I watch this safe misrepresentation of Islam.  I believe I knew more about Islam then all the audience members.  Pastor Ron noticed that I was put off by the video.  I openly questioned the accuracy of the video and the intentions behind it.  This didn't help much.  This reinforced my feeling that the Church was not interested in a real deep research of other religions.

1 comment:

  1. What was the DVD on Islam exactly about? Was it saying they are sinners and are mislead? I'm curious on what they were trying to tell your congregation about Muslims.