“If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him—and have seen him!” ~ John 14: 7~
Many years ago, I took a correspondence course, offered through my denomination; the classes were held, at the church I was a member of. This was a class on delivering a sermon effectively, the associate pastor taught the class.
I am not sure why I took the class; I think I got caught up in the moment, as it were.
Everything was fine; I was enjoying the course and the stimulating conversations, which it offered. Then one day, one of the men, taking the class with me, made the statement that you cannot know God.
At first, I said nothing. I was shocked, by his authoritative tone, he was certain he was right, though the Bible says that we know God through his Son, Jesus. Never-the-less, I waited for the associate pastor, to address the man’s inaccurate statement.
As the class drew to an end, I looked at the associate pastor, who happened to be Cuban, and asked if he was going to let the man’s words stand.
What ensued was a nightmare. The associate pastor, who should have handled the situation, had chosen not to address the man’s comments. The man instead decided that best course of action, in this situation, was to verbally attack, the only woman, in the room, me. He basically told me because I was a woman, I could not possible understand the Bible.
I listened to him in shock. I could not believe the sexist way the man spoke, nor could I believe how ignorant he was.
Normally, I can more than hold my own, in any conversation. Between the Irish and Cuban, I have the gift of gab covered; I am fortunate enough to have a little education, to have read a few books, and done some traveling. I also happened to have had parents who were always correcting either my English or Spanish. But on top of all of that, I was born and raised in this particular church to parents who were ministers; and I happen to have read this book, the Bible, that the discussion centered around, quite a few times. Also, I happened to be right.
But none of that mattered, because as the saying goes, “I came to a gun fight, with a knife”.
Yes, I expected the associate pastor, to handle the situation, and it never would have occurred to me, that not only would he not defend the Bible, but that he would let me be called names, in church, was unthinkable.
If I had met this particular man anywhere but church; I would have politely addressed him, using words he did not know, and sighted enough scripture, to make him cry. Instead, I stood there looking at the associate pastor, waiting for him to step in; he never did. An entire class of future preachers, left class believing they could never know God. I just left feeling broken hearted.
This week an actual pastor posted an insulting video, making fun of people who are of European decent; which I am. In my opinion, it also insulted people from Korea, claiming that a person of Korean heritage would not automatically claim it, when identifying themselves to others.
Personally, I feel any and all pastors should be posting material to encourage us and build harmony and peace. I so hate the church being involved in politics.
I found the video deeply offensive. Using all of my self-control, I went to bed, and did nothing. I did not want to be rash, and do or say something I might regret.
The next day, I wrote the pastor, and laid out my objections. The man literally wrote back to me, as if I were a child, and had simply not understood the meaning of the video. His response to my letter has left me feeling worse than the insulting video; which to him was a clip about how all Americans come from someplace else.
I will admit that I can be hard on the clergy, history does not always help; like many of us, I hold teachers, police officers, and pastors, to a higher standard, than any ordinary person. I expect more from people who are entrusted with others minds, bodies, or souls.
We are living in very upsetting days. I have been looking for someone to figuratively and literally put out the fires, not to stoke them. I am missing America’s Pastor, Rev. Billy Graham, not that he would have been able to speak peace into these messy days, but I think he might have tried.
I do not think this is the time to be cool, showing my age there, but the word does so express my feelings. I know, politically correct is the proper term. I do not deny that we have issues to address in our nation, if nothing else, what motivates so many people to take to the streets and be so destructive.
I am tired of people treating my life like it is something for their entertainment. I do not need to have anyone explain an insulting and vulgar video to me; I understand the point. But what I would like to hear from the clergy is that they actually believe what they preach, and believe that there is an answer to this chaos, and yes, as a Christian, I believe that Jesus is the answer. I wish all the clergy did also. That is all for now.