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Posts Tagged ‘Nazarene’

My cousin spoke with me last night, and recounted the story of her grandmother and grandfather who no longer attend sermons at their Nazarene church.  There are aunts and uncles too, who helped to build the church, who are no longer even attending there.  One was an assistant preacher, and he was basically run off.  All of this because some upstart from a  college in Colorado came in as pastor. 

 This man has taken the core group of Christians who started this church and has broken their hearts.  Some he has shooed away.  My cousin’s grandmother now attends only Sunday school.  The loud rock music they call worship sent her husband away because he physically cannot sit in the service.  It hurts his ears. 

When my cousin’s grandmother told the pastor about this issue, the response was to only get louder and louder.  My cousin says the church is filled with people her grandmother doesn’t know, all the old faithful Christians are gone.  She says when her grandmother talks about it, she lowers her head and nearly weeps every time.  This should not be, a woman in her later years mourning over her church. 

 “Put up or shut up old lady, that is what you get”  has not been said aloud but has been said in action.  These elderly people could teach the young so much, but they have been shunned and forgotten.  What a disgrace, what discrimination.  When a generation forgets it’s elders, it is nothing but sinful and shameful and wrong. 

A poem I wrote a while back gives my feelings on the issue:

 

Shame on you

for proclaiming to the woman

seasoned with white silver hair

“we’re all about young families now”

and letting her miss church

the place where

she first believed

where she prayed at the altar

and repented once for all

where she learned

how to read her Bible

and sing sweet amazing grace

where her father took her arm

as she walked on rose petals

and red carpet

Shame on you

for pushing her out the doors

to the church

where her children

learned about Jesus

drawing on bulletins

dogs and flowers in crayon

during long sermons

while she whispered amen

nodding her head

where she watched

her children sing in vests

and pretty velvet dresses

with shiny black shoes

where she saw her boys and girls

dunk down in the tank

and carefully rise with water

streaming down their rounded

faces

the place

she gave faithfully

in Sunday school

and choir

dusting pews on Saturday

with oil and a cloth

playing the piano

and leaving bills

in the offering plate

Shame on you

for forgetting

the widow

who found comfort

in the place

where her fathter was

eulogized

and her son

prayed for in war

and her daughters

blushing in white

her husband

aging with her

week by week

finally coming after

years of prayer

before going home

to be with his Lord

she spoke up

you put her out

Shame on you.

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Family

Shared the Lighthouse Trails article with a cousin, and she and I spoke on the phone.  When I described what has happened in my church, and the characteristics of Warrenite churches, or missional churches of late, she said it sounded just like what happened to her grandparents and aunts and uncles on the other side of the family.  They attend Nazarene churches, and they have noticed a more “seeker” friendly approach, with rock concerts and the like to draw people.  They have seen changes, tried to confront them, and have been told to like it or lump it, basically.  They have left the church and tried to start another Nazarene church in a nearby community.  They were told that the community was too near the other one and would pull members away from the changing Nazarene church (duh).  So many members have left and have no place to go.  I fear they are going to have to meet independently.  Sad.  These are salt of the earth Christians here being ignored and let go by the Nazarene church and the pastor.  They were members of this church for maaaahhhhaaaannnyyyyy years.  This means nothing to the seeker sensitive pastors.  Not sure they are actually Warrenites, but sounds like it.  I feel for these elderly people, who in the later days of their lives have been abandoned by their own church home.  They are not emerging youth, so they mean nothing.  What of their wisdom, and what of all that can be gleaned from them?

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