It is approaching a fifth anniversary of sorts. Five years ago on the first Sunday in November, 2001, a Communion Sunday. I reached a breaking point. That breaking point led to a decision which to some may have seemed abrupt and sudden, but was actually the culmination of a process that had been going on for at least five years before if not even earlier.
The decision made was to have significant impact on my wife and daughters, especially the younger daughter that was still at home. At the time my wife and younger daughter were really tore up by that decision, but it was hardly a year latter they both were thanking me, and thanking God for directing the course of action I had taken at that time.
I know there were those who did not understand that decision, who questioned the wisdom of it and even thought it folly. What they didn't realize is that I no longer respected their "wisdom" or judgment in matters of that nature. Over the previous years they had forfeited my respect. They had become like the Emperor who had no clothes. There comes a point where conscience can no longer be held hostage to friendship.
There are situations where bad things happen that are of such a nature that their badness overshadows and taints any good things that happened. You know intellectually and rationally there were some good things there, but just as ink put into a clear glass of water colors the whole glass, so the bad things color any good that may have been there.
We had been in that church for a little over 25 years. That's a lot of time and emotional investment. Sadly, our only regret about leaving is that we did not leave much earlier. We don't miss the abusive language from the pulpit and the arm twisting tactics and manipulation of the business meetings. We don't miss the shoddy and mediocre preaching, or the inept counseling. Those emperors proved to us they had no clothes. On that November Communion Sunday five years ago, I realized I could no longer as a matter of conscience take communion in that church. All the rationalizations I had used for the better part of a year to justify doing so fell broken to the ground.
After our leaving, there were those who had left years earlier who I, as opportunity was given, asked for forgiveness for any part I had in their mistreating at the time they had left. They graciously gave me that forgiveness and now my conscience is clear towards them.
We have gone on with our lives. We came to WCBC as refugees and found a home. As we watched the congregational life of WCBC, we found ourselves in place where we were no longer constantly swimming against the tide. We have been free to grow in our understanding of God and His Word unhindered by the scholastic chains of a so called "Puritanism" that presumed way to much and whose understanding was a distortion that sucked the vitality out of any vibrant Biblical Theology.
God has been VERY good to us. He has more then abundantly vindicated the rightness of that decision made those five years ago. To Him alone be the glory, honor, and praise!!!
Sola Deo Gloria!
~ The Billy Goat ~