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Being Mistaken for the Almighty

By Mark Main ~

Over 3 decades of fundamentalist Christianity definitely gave me a whole lot of things to be upset about, but there were some good times along the way. For anyone raised in church their whole life I think you will appreciate this story. In the end it shows the lengths Christians will go to in explaining things that seem to have no explanation.

Jimmy and I were cousins born a month apart. Since we were both raised in the same strict Christian church it was only natural that we would become best friends. It was an arrangement that worked out for everyone. Our parents would much prefer us not hanging out with anyone that didn't believe the way our families did and Jimmy and I genuinely wanted to be best friends.

To say that we were bad kids would be stretching the truth. We weren't bad, but we weren't exactly perfectly behaved either. We had a mischievous streak in us that we rather enjoyed letting out.

Often on Sunday mornings Jimmy and I would either never quite make it to childrens church or sneak out and roam the church grounds. During one such morning we ran across a storage closet that had recently been put in during a renovation project. We were, of course, curious to see what was in the storage closet so we attempted to open the door. Much to our surprise this particular storage closet was locked. That wasn't normal for our church. Usually all the closets were unlocked. As you can imagine this only made us that much more interested to get inside.

Noticing that the wall into which the door was built was little more than a piece of plywood without a door frame we knew chances were good that we could get the door open. The only question was could we do it without breaking the plywood. Upon finding a screwdriver in another supply closet we proceeded back to our locked door. While Jimmy used the screwdriver as a pry bar to pull the plywood back as far as possible I turned the door handle and gave a firm yank. Much to our delight the door popped open without breaking anything.

Upon walking into the closet we were rather disappointed to find that there was nothing of interest to us. Bibles, Hymnals, and other items filling shelf after shelf from floor to ceiling. I'm sure they were valuable but amounted to no fun for two young boys. Just as we were about to walk out of the closet something caught my eye.

Everyone was in awe of the miracle God had performed by placing that book on the pastors desk. Jimmy and I listened barely able to keep from bursting out laughing.In one corner of the closet there was an empty spot underneath a shelf. No Bibles, no hymnals, no boxes. It seemed strange that every other square inch of that closet was utilized, but not that one little portion. Naturally I had to go look. I got down on my hands and knees to see a vent of some type. The vent was made of a mesh with very small holes which made it difficult to discern what was on the opposite side. Not to be deterred I gave the vent a good hard push and it fell forward revealing a passage into the Pastor's office.

We had found our new Sunday morning hang out. The Pastors office had a TV (with cable) and a radio. The best part of our new hideout was no one would think of looking for us in the Pastors office even if they noticed we weren't where we were supposed to be.

Over the course of the next few months we would sneak into the Pastor's office nearly every Sunday morning. Every Sunday we would do something harmless like move the Pastors chair from behind his desk to the middle of the floor, lay things on his desk on their side and switch the radio station to the local pop station before we left.

The Pastor would mention these little things from the pulpit and attribute them to demonic activity meant to scare him. Jimmy and I always got a kick out of hearing our actions being attributed to the work of demons.

Perhaps the best one came though when our actions were attributed not to demonic activity, but to God himself.

One particular Sunday morning as we were preparing to leave the pastors office I took a book off his desk and replaced it with one from the bookshelf. As it turns out the next Sunday the Pastor told the story of how he walked into his office Monday morning and there was a book sitting on his desk that he hadn't left there. He had bought the book months earlier and all but forgotten about it. Instead of taking this as a demonic sign he took it as a sign that God wanted him to read that book. He did and his sermon that Sunday morning came from the book. According to nearly everyone in the sanctuary that morning it was one of, if not the most powerful sermons, our Pastor had ever preached. Everyone was in awe of the miracle God had performed by placing that book on the pastors desk. Jimmy and I listened barely able to keep from bursting out laughing.

There were many more times in our lives our actions were attributed to nefarious forces, but that is the only time I remember our actions attributed to God. Now that I have walked away from the religion of my past it is rather telling to realize that the actions of 2 preteen boys were so readily attributed to supernatural forces (both good and evil) when there was a perfectly rational and natural explanation.

Christians want to find evidences of the supernatural in the world so badly that they always find them even where they don't exist, unless of course my cousin and I were actually both angels and demons at various times.