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One Reason I Hate Christians

By Slow Break ~

Have I told you I hate Christians (most of them anyway)? Let me set the stage:

I was trying to bust out a Matrix throw my bod...Image by pimpdisclosure via Flickr
It’s three months after I stopped pastoring St, Michael's church in Asscrack, South Carolina. I’m working at a second rate car dealership full criminals, liars, and thieves. I fit right in. Fraud is being committed on an hourly basis by salesmen falsifying documents so that lenders will give car loans to the people using food stamps to buy an eight ball from the guy who sits in the desk next to me. I’m living in a borrowed pool house where my son is sleeping in a closet. I have not sold a car in weeks because I’m white and I don’t know enough crack addicts. I have no money, no future, and no idea where I’m going to move my family when we have to move out of the borrowed pool house.

This is not my finest hour.

I am filling my car up with gas to make a 2 hour drive across the toilet bowl they call South Carolina, so that I can meet with the Credentials Committee who will decide if I can become an Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For those lucky enough not to know what a Credentials Committee is, this is basically a group of old pastors who make sure that young pastors meet all the qualification and have all the correct beliefs in order to be considered an ordained minister.

So I drive to some shitty diner, in some shitty small town, in the shitiest of all states so that I can sit in front of a group five spectacularly unsuccessful pastors who will judge my progress in the ordination process and determine if I can continue.

I have little or no idea of what is going to happen in this meeting but after all, how difficult could it be? I knew who would be there and I was relatively sure that this was not going to turn into the IQ Olympics. I’m quick on my feet. I can handle this.

One detail, just so we can all experience this little story together.

Probably eight months prior to this exercise I was asked to answer a series of questions on various topics salient to the church. Theology, Church governance, lifestyle questions, you get the picture. I was shooting for total honesty when answering these questions, just like now only without the colorful language and the “I’ve finally broken free of the brain washing” attitude.

I wait for a few moments and I’m called back into the private room they have reserved for their meeting. I pour myself a glass of water and wait for the fun to begin. In front of me is a small packed of papers with my name on front and I notice that each of them have something similar in front of them.

There are five people sitting around the table. I don’t remember most of their names but for the sake of the story let’s give them titles. On my right is The Educated Lady, to her right is the Elderly Black Pastor (EBP), to his right is the leader who we can call Mac, to Mac’s right is a man whose contributions were so limited I don’t recall him speaking so we will call him Silent Bob and leave it at that. Finally, to my immediate left is a guy I’ll call Doughboy.

Now let’s be clear, I’m fat. But I’m the kind of fat that if you pissed me off I could flip your car over with you in it. And in my defense I could have called him “Closetboy” but that would be mean.

Mac thanks me for taking the time to come meet with them and asks me to tell everyone how I’ve been doing since I left the church and what I’ve been up to, what I’m doing for work, etc. I answer their questions, leaving out the part about the crack heads I try to sell cars to.

This is generally socially accepted small talk that is likely to start any meeting, so I’m felling relaxed and comfortable. I grew up in the church, these are my people.

The next question seems innocent enough.

Mac: “Where are you and your wife going to church?”

Walter: “We are going to a wonderful church down the street from us named The So and So Baptist Church. “

Mac: “Hmm.”

Doughboy: “Do you mind if I ask a question?”

Walter: {In my head} Oh Shit…

Doughboy: “Why aren’t you going to Pastor Jones’ church that in your town. It’s a Church of God and doing very well. Is there any particular reason you decided to attend a church outside of your own tradition?”

I’m quick on my feet so this is what I consider to be a softball pitch. A lesser man’s attempt to sound important. This can’t possibly be a real issue.

Walter: “Well after going through what I just went through at St. Michaels I felt like me and my family needed a little space. We needed to worship in a place where no one knew who we were. Honestly, I just wanted a healthy church where people would have no idea I was once a pastor.”

EBP: “I see, are you aware of their theological differences from us?”

Walter: {In my head} “No, the degree on my wall is for decoration only”

Walter: “I’m guessing that you are referring to Eternal Security?”

EBP: “Yes, that would be the main difference.”

Ok, for those of you who have a life and don’t understand the argument surround Eternal Security let me break it down like this. If you believe in Eternal Security you believe that once you have a genuine salvation experience with Jesus Christ that nothing you do or say can cause you to loose your salvation. You are Eternally Secure. Obviously, if you believe the opposite you believe that through your actions you can loose your salvation. Baptists believe in Eternal Security and the Church of God (my particular tradition) does not.

Lets continue

Walter: “Yes, there is a difference on that one point of theology but this is a bible believing and bible preaching church. They aren’t preaching heresy and they have a great children program for my son.”

At this point we move and on and I consider the issue closed.

We move on to my answers to the question on the form I filled out almost a year ago. At this point the Educated Lady takes over. They have no issues until we reach the final two questions. These may not be exact reproductions of the questions but close enough.

“Do you now, or have you ever partaken of alcoholic beverages?”

“Do you now, or have you ever used tobacco products.”

On the questionnaire I answered yes to both questions and in the spirit of honesty I chose to elaborate so as not to cause confusion. Mac decided to read my responses aloud.

“Yes, in college there was a time when I drank quite heavily but I have not done so in many years. However, I do on occasion enjoy a glass of wine.”

“Yes, I do enjoy a cigar from time to time. I would guess I smoke roughly four cigars a year.”

You could feel their ass holes pucker when I said “Yes, those are truthful answers”

Doughboy: “Obviously you don’t see anything wrong with that since you are being forthcoming.”

Me: “No, I don’t have any issues with it. You asked a question that I answered honestly.”

The next three comment came in quick machine gin fashion

EBP: “Have you considered that these liberal ideas you have could have influenced your preaching and your congregation picked up on them and that is what caused the problems at St. Michael?”

Doughboy: “How often do you smoke?”

Educated Lady: “You know we believe in Holiness”

I received a letter a month or so later telling me that they could not recommend me for ordination at this time. They did however, outline a process I should work through in order to clear up the issues in my life and with my theology. They provided a long list of books I should read and asked that I meet with Doughboy on a monthly basis for further counseling.
So let me vent for a moment.

I’m living in a town 10 miles from the church I once pastored and they want me to attend the sister church of that congregation because my choice to attend a Baptist church shows that I have unresolved theological questions. I drink wine on rare occasions and smoke a good cigar on a quarterly basis so I am obviously morally bankrupt. I can go out and spend $19.95 online to get ordained but these wind bags have decided I don’t meet their criteria.

Have I told you that I hate Christians?

They assign me a list of book to read. Not only have read every single one of these books previously. I’ve read the source material that these authors plagiarized because I am smarter and more intellectually curious than all 5 of these “scholars” put together. Then they want me to spend time with Doughboy, the closet homosexual who wants to “nurture” me back into the fold. Thanks but the visual imagery is bad enough, I’ll pass.

Here’s a list things I should have said in that meeting:

“Which kind of holiness? The church down the street thinks if women don’t cut their hair then they are holy, but a man must cut his hair in order to be holy. Maybe I should have just lied on the form then visited my barber.”

“Let me be clear, I am no longer the pastor at St. Michaels because half the people who attend are racists strait out of the movie Mississippi Burning, and I decided to preach a sermon where I talked about the evils of racism. You would have liked it, my main illustration of racism was when a member of my congregation said to a five year old black kid, and I quote ‘Someone put that dog back on its leash’.”

“If by liberal you mean that I reject the notion that when the Bible says Jesus drank and created wine it was really talking about grape juice, then you Sir are correct, I am a flaming liberal”

I don’t really think it would have mattered what I said to them because what small minds these folks possessed were already made up before I arrived.

This is one of the episodes that cemented my position as highly critical and pessimistic about the Church.

Post Script – I must add that I do not hate all Christians. My wife is a Christian as are most of my family and I love each of them very much. There are still precisely 3 pastors that I respect. One of them died several weeks ago but I haven’t found many likely candidates to fill his spot.