The Anonymous Project continues. I’m humbled by the depth ya’ll are plumbing.
I was reared a white southern male and everything that comes with it. Things like, we are the only ones in the world and we live our lives and you leave us alone. We was/are very poor but I had expiations that I could and would do anything the “city folk” did. I was reared in the mountains, where we raised or hunted our own food, mom made all our clothes and we wore them with pride. To make it short our girls was barefoot, pregnant and standing over the stove.
In this world, white men are first, women are second, and African Americans are third. Major Cultural issues such as homosexuality and same sex marriage are not talked about. This would hurt me inside, I can remember sitting in church, main stream conservative southern Baptist, and hearing the preacher say if you do not believe a certain way then you will be punished. Being a good son, grandson and church member and for the reason I bought the story/value system. I accepted this as fact and lived my young life as such.
When I started preaching and teaching I taught as I was taught. The people around me said I was headed down the right path and God had his hand on me. I preached racial and sexual segregation; most of the churches I spoke at enjoyed this style. It seemed the louder I spoke and the harsher my words the more amen’s and claps I got. Of course I truly believed this and felt it was “God’s way”.
BUT I was missing something!!
One day I was reading Galatians 3:28, in the bible and I said to myself “does God mean this”?? So I loaded the camper and my dog and off to the mountains we went, for a weekend camping trip. I took my Bible and would sit around for hours just reading and listening to what God was telling me. I remember it was fall of the year so I built a campfire cooked hotdogs and hamburgers and had me some alone time with God. I read all four gospels and most of Paul’s letters. When the weekend was over I felt so much better and that empty spot was filled with LOVE and UNDERSTANDING! At that point my life changed and I started seeing thing through “new” eyes. As I returned I told no one about my weekend. Slowly I would work in my new belief system and preaching style.
But I live in two worlds. I am a product of one environment, but a son of a different one.
While I love my family, I can no longer publicly support their value system. But I do not feel, at this point, that I can tell them my entire system has changed. And so while I cannot tell my family, I can tell anonymous project!!
I just want to say the following issues are close to my heart and I feel that the church as a whole has dropped the ball on reaching these people…..
Same sex marriage, the rights of women, the rights of all persons regardless of skin color and I support the idea of ONE GOD and many ways to reach Him!!
When I post in my blog I stay away from these issues, I am waiting for the day when I can show my support without getting bashed or having to worry about what people are thinking of me. And even worse having my parents, family, friends and church all think and talk about me like some evil mad man. Yes, this happens I have lost lots of friends and even had two key mentors turn their back on me. My own brother has disowned me and my beliefs. I try and bring some light to these issues in my church and the people act like and even say “that “stuff” is of the devil”.
There are three key points that I cling to. One, God called me to deliver His message. Two, I have a clear conscience on how I treat people. Three, people like my style.
I want to thank Jennifer for hosting this project and thank you for taking the time to read this.
Liberal pastor spinning his wheels from a closed-minded area.