Oprah Winfrey used to attend the same church as Obama. She was even a member! It's implied in the article that she left because she's a businesswoman first and foremost and wouldn't want news of her pastor's loose mouth to get out to her middle-class white viewership.
Obama, of course, could no more disown Wright than he could disown "the black community." Well, until Wright kept runnin' his mouth and Obama threw him under the bus. Those pesky white people vote, ya know.
So, one stayed and one left. Out of the thousands of folks who have walked into Trinity Church over the last 20-odd years, we get just a glimpse of two of their stories. How about you? Why would you leave, stay, or start to attend a church? I got to thinking about this after Daja posted this link:
People come by and post why they left a particular church, or Christianity in general. She chats about it here: http://gombojav.blogspot.com/2008/05/in-company-of-committed.html Daja said the Letters From Leavers was one of the saddest websites she's seen, but I don't know. I think sadder still are some of us who stay.
It's been bothering me a bit lately, but have you ever noticed that people are really, really nice to you when they think you're "unsaved" or just don't know any better? We're just going to patiently loooove those people into the fold. But when they finally show up and their kids are brats, don't expect me to invite them over to my house so they can sully MY kids. Uh-uh. I'm choosing good company like the Bible says. You know, my responsibility as a parent and all. Let that family socialize somewhere else.
Oh, yes, we all know that Christ died for our sins and whatnot, but as a Christian, you're supposed to do some "growing up" and stuff the very second you're done with that sinner's prayer. You know, get your life cleaned up and help out around here. Hit the ground with your feet running. Work to be done, you know.
Think of it this way: if someone doesn't clean up their act immediately after saying the sinner's prayer, that means the prayer didn't work and Christ had no effect in that person's life. And so you must work very, very hard or else you'll be proving one of two things: God didn't change your life (therefore God does not exist), or YOU are secretly a bad-evil sinner and you're reveling in the pigsty. And if you've read our church doctrinal statement, you'll get a clue that we believe in God. That means you'd better just pull yourself up by your bootstraps, missy. And get that stupid depressed look off your face. You know Jesus died for you and the Bible says you'd better "Rejoice!" with a capital "R" and an exclamation mark.
I think if I were writing a leaver's letter, it would be more about my attitude toward God and the Church. I have left long ago on the inside. I feel I have diligently sought God for quite some time, and He has not made the necessary changes in my life that are beyond my control. Therefore He either does not exist, or I must be reveling in the pigsty. Trouble is, I'm not having much fun there if that's where I am. I am hesitant to think of the other option. And yet, it's there all the time.
If He does exist, He isn't like Hallmark. He doesn't care enough to send the very best. I think I'd be ok with that if I had just one friend I could talk to. Just one person who truly understands my troubles. Someone to be there with me. Perhaps I am too introspective and am not out DOING enough. But I'm so tired. I can tell you DOING is not always the answer when your heart is empty.
No, nothing tragic going on here. At least, not more tragic than anyone else is going through. Just life. And maybe I think too much about it.