June 30, 2008

Worthington SDA Church, Part 4

Because I'm still getting comments on my articles I wrote about the Worthington SDA Church almost 2 years ago, I want to add another posting and try to bring the story into perspective. (The links to the articles are at the end of this posting.)

When I wrote the three articles about the Worthington SDA Church near Columbus, Ohio on this blog, I never invisioned there could be so many different interpretations about what I wrote. Very few, and certainly even less who commented, could view the story through my eyes unless they had read my memoir, "Dusty Angels and Old Diaries".

After all this time, it seems I'm fruitlessly trying to convince my readers that I was comparing the church and the great changes that have occurred in the last 20-30- years. At most, I tried to convey the differences of what it was like to be a Seventh-day Adventist in the 50's and now in the 21st Century. At the least, I was sarcastic and vengeful about it. Yes, at the time I was hurt and misjudged some - just as some of you are doing to me now.

It's too bad most could not read between the lines, but instead continue to see a criticalness and close-mindedness I did not mean to portray. I don't blame those who read it that way, but am truly sorry that my true intent did not come across. The most disappointing part is that some assume things about me that are nothing like the person that I really am.

After reading the Worthington SDA Church postings, some feel feel angry that I’m so "close minded and biased", or a few feel sorry for me because I don’t understand the SDA Church better.

I’m still getting pretty strong comments as a reaction to my opinionated and forthright thoughts about the church and how it used to be compared with how it is today. Even close friends who’ve known me for 30+ years question some of my statements and try to form an idea of why I said what I did.

Reading the articles – and my rebuttal to some of the comments – I am positive that I’ll never dispel some of the conflicting ideas presented, and the issues presented will not be settled by any one person or their responses.

But, I do want to say that I’ve learned a lot since I opened that can of worms. Mostly that I’m not sure what I want in a church or how I feel about religion at all. It’s not anyone’s fault. Not the pastor, or Mary or Don Jones. I alone have to walk the path of my own relationship with God.

One point I think everyone will agree is that every person’s religion is different no matter if everyone on earth worshipped in the same building or under the same canopy of nature. Obviously, it’s not about the clothes – or lack of them! Not the wedding rings, various habits we bring with us or how many verses we’ve memorized from the KJV of the Bible.

Presently, I choose not to attend any recognized church body in order to proclaim to the world that I believe in Jesus, the second coming or life after death. It’s not because I don’t like the preacher or someone who’s a member of the church board. It’s not because I feel uncomfortable with the birthday cake, or because I wasn’t invited to potluck or because a few were unpacking boxes of oranges on the edges of the Sabbath.

Yes, those items played a part in my subject material for my story and weighed heavily on my mind when I wrote the articles, but after all these months of contemplation of your comments and discussions with friends (some who hadn’t even read my blogsite), I am sure that my religion is within and until I find the path ordained by the universe, I should mind my own business and search my own heart for its truth. Most of all, I would be saddened if my words brought pain to someone else. That is not my purpose in life or on this website.

Here are the links to the other articles and comments.

http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/2006/12/westerville-sda-church.html
http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/2007/01/i-went-back.html
http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/2007/01/moving-forward.html

Take Care on the Journey,
~Linda

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

6 comments:

The Cat's Meow said...

Since you brought back your SDA church story does that I miss out on a good response?? I know it's very hard for a good Christian to see past their bible, with their twisted interpretations, and see what you was trying to say. I don't think the church has changed much, they still look the other way, talk behind your back, cheet on each other, hate gays and people who don't belive like them, eat meat, wear jewlery & make-up, it is just done more openly now. The SDA want to believe in Ellen G White but how many of them live by her words. I've yet to see ONE PERSON live by the bible or Ms. White!!
Got to go.
Love ya, Sandy

Linda Meikle said...

Hi Sandy,
You missed out on this response sent a few days ago by someone who found the posting about 18 months after I wrote it. They didn't sign the comment but here it is... (There's also another one but it's so long, I know you'd never read it all.) ha ha

honestly, i do not think God cares as much about dress and worship styles as we lead ourselves to believe. i feel as though you are close-minded and well indoctrinated. what will you do when u find the young man who always wore a t-shirt, sneakers, and earings to church, but no the pastor from michigan who refused to marry a couple because they were going to wear wedding rings. . .

Linda Meikle said...

...And because I thought "anonymous" was being sarcastic, I responded likewise with this...

Honestly, I DO think God looks on the heart and the reason we dress or don't dress for church. But, I can't quote a Bible verse on that. Nor, do I recall a Bible verse that says He cares about worship styles either. Come to think of it, I can't find the name of the church Jesus attended. I was sure it was SDA. (Now I'm being mean.)

Close-minded? Not sure what you think that means. I think the Worthington SDA pastor thought the same thing about me that you do and that's why he didn't want me becoming a member there.

The reason I know you (and others) missed my point is because my oldest son attended church in t-shirt, sneakers and earrings and I was simply happy that he was there. But, I know he got a lot of nasty looks from the older folks who were raised like I was to be more respectful of God and worship and he felt very unconfortable.

For the record, when I lived in Berrien Springs, PMC had a rule that rings could not be used during the wedding ceremony and if the couple insisted, they could not be married there. Maybe I shouldn't blame the pastor, but the church board for that. Besides being a member there, I was a local wedding photographer so I was acutely aware of that rule. Also, at the Eau Claire SDA church, anyone who wore a wedding band could not hold church office. I know because they voted me as SC Supt. until someone noticed my ring.

I continue to ask the question (as I did in my posting), why the difference now? Instead of logical answers, I get comments about who I am. LOL

I thank those who responded kindly, including the comments by Dan Jones. I have never met you, but if we ever meet, (it won't be in church) I'd accpet that hug!

The Cat's Meow said...

I thought that "The Church" and "your Body" was to be to temple of GOD!! Where you are to show respect, reverences,and temperance (not drink ,smoke,Eat meat) to me, that means to be at your best!! In mind, spirit, body and DRESS. Would you go before a Judge, or a job interview in your dirty, unkept, clothes? Sure, while you kiss your ass good-bye on your way to jail with no job!!!ha ha
I love ya,
Sandy

Clay Feet said...

I find this ongoing discussion more enlightening and positive (including that cat's) than many I have read recently on openly Christian forums. I appreciate your desire to be honest and kind. However, I will take strong reservation with the idea that you should just crawl back into a hiding place and mind your own business (my exaggeration). You know in your heart that you can't hide and stay alive in the heart. The reason both of us spill our guts so much this way is because we know we want to keep connected with other hearts, and that includes the hard stuff as well as the nice feelings.
Keep it up.

Linda Meikle said...

Hey thanks! To both of you for helping me understand better that drive inside of me that says something isn't quite right but not sure if I'm suppose to fix it or not!

I've always believed that the reason we dress up and look our best at church is because of respect. And yes, you show respect in this country by looking our best. Perhaps the respect part has been eliminated by the leaders to get more people in the door? IE Money in the cofers? I really don't think one needs to lower the standards to send out a welcome card!