Yes. We have made it to the mountains and have survived the last two weeks. There are many posts just waiting to be written about the abundant, yet challenging life here in the Sacramento mountains of New Mexico, but none are more pressing than our search for authentic fellowship. One serious fall back to the mountains is that of leaving all our deep friendships in Plainview. As most of you know, we were very close to our Death Team (our Bible Study group) and developed friendships that were deep, loving, intimate, and rare. We didn’t expect to find the same out here, but we were hopeful.
Our first attempt failed … partially. We attended a Baptist Church about 30 minutes away from the house. Sunday School was alright. Amanda stayed in the nursery with Presley, while Caedmon went on to his class. Surprisingly, there were a handful of kids that morning. Most, however, were only visiting grand-parents for the summer. They will be gone come this fall. I went to Sunday School on my own and fell in love with the people instantly. The class had about 10 people in and surprisingly most of them came prepared. They had taken their workbooks home, underlined phrases, made notes in the margins, and when they spoke you could tell these people really loved Christ. They were passionate about discovering His mysteries and applying them to every day life. I instantly felt welcomed and was encouraged by the authenticity of their relationships with Christ. In some ways, I felt ashamed that I hadn’t poured as much in my relationship as they had.
But then there’s the “worship service.” I expected the hymns to come. Although the drum set on the stage surprised me. It was just for looks. They didn’t use it. I didn’t care. Worship for the most part is what we put into it. And hey, if these people love hymns, then I am going to love hymns right along with them. Same God. Same Father. Same relationships. However, my joy ended when the preacher stepped up to podium.
He began to tell us about the “end times” and the last days. It irked me, but I can push past it. However, he then took the parable of the mustard seed and gave it a whole new meaning, complete with ooo’s and ah’s from the congregation. He explained that what Christ was saying is that when a mustard seed bush is full grown, it symbolically becomes the nesting ground for “Satanic birds”. He titled the birds with several -isms and supported his argument with the infallible and inerrant reference to the last verse in Revelations, which states that if anything is added to this gospel, then God will send plagues upon them. My blood was boiling and almost burst when he finally pronounced that a “non-thinking” person would interpret this scripture otherwise.
While I loved the fellowship in Sunday School, I can not subject my family to the misguided teachings of this man. This was very difficult for me. I wanted the fellowship. And I believe that in order for the Church to some day be unified, we have to make compromises. But I draw the line at false teaching or someone’s opinion stated as fact. Especially, when they start insulting others for their interpretations.
We heard about a local home church, and are thinking about giving that shot.