Friday, July 27, 2012

When you're so beaten down that religion starts beating you...what do you do?

I struggle sometimes with how much of my personal thoughts and feelings I should share with you my readers. This is afterall a crafting blog, but I firmly believe in getting to know the person behind the keyboard and computer screen and today I just have some thoughts that need to be spilled. So bear with me please, and I promise to make it short and sweet!

So I know some of my readers are not religious, and that's totally cool. I am a religious person, for the most part. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I know They are real.

But more and more often I am starting to get disillusioned by organized religion. Especially the religion I was born into. I believe many of the principles of this church are true. I just get so frustrated with the people in it sometimes that it makes it hard for me to go.

The ecclesiastical leader in our church is someone that I don't get along with. I've tried, I really have. I've gone outside of my comfort zone to try and get along with him, but its become very apparent to me this last week that will just never happen.

I view this person as a controlling totalitarian anal retentive jerk. But I'm supposed to respect him and look to him for guidance in my life. Well I'm sorry I just cannot. I don't trust him, I don't admire him, I don't like him! As much as it pains me to admit that, because I've never had a bad relationship with a leader in our church before, so this is a new experience for me. And as such it's a new experience trying to figure out how to handle the situation maturely.

After facing several struggles with this person over the course of the last year and a half, two days ago I sent an email expressing those concerns to him. (I'm much more clear and articulate in writing than in person. Also in writing you can't see me sobbing like an idiot and choking on tissues, so I retain some dignity...not much...but some.)

I laid out all of my concerns with him. I was as honest and respectful as I could possibly be. I was not upset when I wrote this email to him, I was just trying to be honest. And I got in response:

Amber,

Just returning from an out-of-state business trip this week. I have multiple comments on your strongly-worded e-mail. If you want to discuss your concerns, I’m happy to do so in person. Please contact "Soandso" if you would like to schedule a time to meet with me at the church. Thanks.

(In our church we contact the leader's secretary to set up apointments, and he asked me to do that, I just removed this person's name and replaced it with "Soandso")

I got the brush off. Of course I'd like to discuss my concerns! Why do you think I emailed you in the first place? And if you have "multiple comments" on my "strongly worded" email then why could you have not replied in print?

This response from this leader is the last straw. I wrote him and let him know that my husband and I are finding a different church group with which to associate. (It's a different group of members of our church, we call them "wards" We're not leaving our church, just this particular grouping of members to find a different one)

I'm so frustrated that it's taking a toll on my spirit and even my desire to participate and worship. Tell me, what do you do when you get so beaten down that even religion is beating you down? Maybe I'm just looking for some advice. So bring it on, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

8 comments:

Missy Shay said...

The Bible is very clear that the leaders in the church should be above reproach, if not then it is time to find a new church. My reltionship with God is very personal and I am not one to follow "traditions" unless it is outlined in the Bible. I am not a "religious" person, I am a Christian, someone who follows Christ and His Word. It took us years to find a church who followed this criteria, I know have a pastor who I respect and trust to teach me God's Word, not man's word. Have you talked to your pastor about the problem you are having with this leader? BTW, you did the right thing in leaving.

Samantha said...

Well then Amber, you look to the only one who can take this hurt and heal it, Jesus Christ. Don't forget He said there is now NO condemnation......so while you're looking to Him for your example, who cares what this pastor's multiple comments are.

I agree with missy, I communicate with my pastor by email and he understands me need to do that compared with my friend who prefers face to face. I do wonder though whether you should share with a more senior pastor as is laid down in the processes for grievances etc in case there are others who are bring hurt by his attitude and are not so strong in their faith?

You are a beautiful daughter of the King (a princess then), take some time out to reconnect with your Heavenly father and have a great rest if the summer Xx

Samantha said...

Well then Amber, you look to the only one who can take this hurt and heal it, Jesus Christ. Don't forget He said there is now NO condemnation......so while you're looking to Him for your example, who cares what this pastor's multiple comments are.

I agree with missy, I communicate with my pastor by email and he understands me need to do that compared with my friend who prefers face to face. I do wonder though whether you should share with a more senior pastor as is laid down in the processes for grievances etc in case there are others who are bring hurt by his attitude and are not so strong in their faith?

You are a beautiful daughter of the King (a princess then), take some time out to reconnect with your Heavenly father and have a great rest if the summer Xx

Samantha said...

Well then Amber, you look to the only one who can take this hurt and heal it, Jesus Christ. Don't forget He said there is now NO condemnation......so while you're looking to Him for your example, who cares what this pastor's multiple comments are.

I agree with missy, I communicate with my pastor by email and he understands me need to do that compared with my friend who prefers face to face. I do wonder though whether you should share with a more senior pastor as is laid down in the processes for grievances etc in case there are others who are bring hurt by his attitude and are not so strong in their faith?

You are a beautiful daughter of the King (a princess then), take some time out to reconnect with your Heavenly father and have a great rest if the summer Xx

Samantha said...

Well then Amber, you look to the only one who can take this hurt and heal it, Jesus Christ. Don't forget He said there is now NO condemnation......so while you're looking to Him for your example, who cares what this pastor's multiple comments are.

I agree with missy, I communicate with my pastor by email and he understands me need to do that compared with my friend who prefers face to face. I do wonder though whether you should share with a more senior pastor as is laid down in the processes for grievances etc in case there are others who are bring hurt by his attitude and are not so strong in their faith?

You are a beautiful daughter of the King (a princess then), take some time out to reconnect with your Heavenly father and have a great rest if the summer Xx

Samantha said...

Well then Amber, you look to the only one who can take this hurt and heal it, Jesus Christ. Don't forget He said there is now NO condemnation......so while you're looking to Him for your example, who cares what this pastor's multiple comments are.

I agree with missy, I communicate with my pastor by email and he understands me need to do that compared with my friend who prefers face to face. I do wonder though whether you should share with a more senior pastor as is laid down in the processes for grievances etc in case there are others who are bring hurt by his attitude and are not so strong in their faith?

You are a beautiful daughter of the King (a princess then), take some time out to reconnect with your Heavenly father and have a great rest if the summer Xx

Samantha said...

Well then Amber, you look to the only one who can take this hurt and heal it, Jesus Christ. Don't forget He said there is now NO condemnation......so while you're looking to Him for your example, who cares what this pastor's multiple comments are.

I agree with missy, I communicate with my pastor by email and he understands me need to do that compared with my friend who prefers face to face. I do wonder though whether you should share with a more senior pastor as is laid down in the processes for grievances etc in case there are others who are bring hurt by his attitude and are not so strong in their faith?

You are a beautiful daughter of the King (a princess then), take some time out to reconnect with your Heavenly father and have a great rest if the summer Xx

Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography said...

This is a late response, but I wanted to share my thoughts...The church is perfect, set up my the Savior himself, the people in it are not perfect. It is difficult to try to respect someone you don't feel that for, and it isn't uncommon for others to prefer meeting vs. email. How is it going since then? Also, i've known people attending other wards for varying reasons, so look into that as an option. I've found a big part of learning and growing my testimony is finding ways to feel the spirit regardless of the frustrating people around me. I'd love to chat more if you need someone!