Saturday, July 20, 2013

My SDA Sad Experience

It's taken me much time to pen down my SDA recent and past experiences... This is not to question SDA as a whole but only to share what my experiences have been thus far with some church leaders and goers. 

This past winter, my mom renewed her vows in a beautiful ceremony. I was overcome with love and faithfulness that my mother and father have had for each other throughout their marriage. I'm certain like every couple they have had to overcome challenges and differences as all couples should. But they have always remained faithful and committed to each other and our family. 

My mom is a pillar of strength and smarts. She is by far the smartest woman- next to my grandmother that I have ever met. She is powerful, intelligent and dedicated. She is a spitfire and makes things happen! 

My dad is a gentle soul. He works hard at his faith. He has never had an unkind word against anyone ( I wish I possessed his spirit and forgiveness). I pray for God to give me the power of forgiveness and vulnerability. Still hasn't happened. 

If it were just for my parents, I would be the best SDA there is, but unfortunately my exposure to the SDA ways has been far more indepth then just their witnessing. 

Getting down to my experience. In the last 10 years I have struggled with the SDA church and their opinions and behavior of "outsiders" . As I my heart starts to soften and the desire to visit the church creeps in.. there's a stumbling block. That stumbling block comes in the shape of a church goer of church leader. Boo to them! and me for being influenced, right? 

1- At my mothers vow ceremony we were in an office getting dressed, touching up makeup and getting ready. My dress was high up to my waist as I was pulling up my Spanx. Yep, I wear that ;) Someone knocked on the door and flew it open. It was her pastor. I quickly lowered my skirt and asked the stranger to leave the room. His response; oh, you have nothing I haven't seen before... I couldn't believe a grown ass man would ever say this to a woman and proceed to remain in the room as we proceeded to lower our skirts or cover our cleavage. My response; you haven't seen mine. GET OUT! Then he laughed and walked out. 

For those that know me- you know I don't mince my words. 
I was furious. I mean furious! My body is not an amusement park. I am not comfortable with "showing my goods". A HOLE!

Not only did he show up almost 30 mins late to a ceremony that he was to direct, but then this... lack of integrity I tell you. 

The ceremony came to it's conclusion and not once did this "gentleman" church leader -pastor approach me to apologize. It's as thou he had to right to barge in to the room uninvited and look at my goods. 

I will never visit his church! EVER!

2- I was hitting up garage sales with my mom and aunt. We ran into Menorca. Another awesome church leader from the Hispanic Maranatha Church. She is so great! NOT! 

She was with her sister whatever her name is... They locked arms murmured something underneath their breathes, rolled their eyes at me and walked away (whispering in each others ears the entire time).

I don't think there is anything wrong in walking away from someone you have no investment in but what I thought was phenomenal, was this church leader "pastor" murmuring and rolling of the eyes at someone she doesn't even know. Really, lady? 

Who the hell are you to pass judgement on me? Am I the one that married my cousins husband? Has children with a criminal history? or married and man that committed crimes against the church? I think not! -Yes, I'm judging her as she witnessed for Satan that day. I will treat her like Satan.  

I am disgusted with these individuals that stand in front of their congregation and speak of the Lords love and forgiveness and yet are such hypocritical witnesses and filled with in-humanness, forget Godliness.  

Matthew 7:15-20

King James Version (KJV)
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

I don't fully blame their shortcomings, I blame the church members and committee for electing such deplorable people to represent them and lead them to God. Don't they know they are being had? 

 “Leadership is the process of inducing others to take action toward a common goal”.

These people "church Leaders" don't have an iota of leadership skills and godly disposition to lead me or anyone else to do Gods will. In my experiences they have demonstrated to be lack the power to inspired or motivate others to want to be a part of their "club". 

Perhaps they should spend less time celebrating each others Godliness and salvation and read this: 

Romans 12:8

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[a] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Here is a great read on SDA Leaders roles and what they should look like. I will highlight the importance: 

1. Leadership is about relations:
Leaders must know how to inspire and relate to their followers. If you have no followers, you are not a leader.
2. Leadership is a process:
Leaders must act and set events in motion. Just holding a position of authority does not make you a leader.
3. Leadership is persuasion:
Leaders induce or persuade followers to take action. Leaders influence followers by inspiring their trust, acting consistently, and motivating them by words and deeds. Examples of the tools of leadership are: legitimate authority, setting an example, setting goals, team-building, and communicating a vision.
4. Leadership is purpose-driven:
Leaders act in order that the organisation achieves its mission.
According to this model, church leadership may be defined as “the process of activating church workers (members, volunteers, employees) for the mission of the Church”.
This leadership has a fundamental spiritual dimension. Every area includes cooperation with God and following God. Leaders count on God to change people in order to achieve God’s purpose. This happens by the leader’s and his followers’ faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them. Because of that, we say that our work as leaders is “God’s work”. our faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we perform leadership in four ways in the church:
1. Church leadership is about relations:
Leaders achieve the mission of the church by inspiring, elevating and leading the people in their organisation, so that they do their assigned work exceptionally well and with joy. This requires an organisation, where it is clear to everybody what their role is – an organisation which is dynamic, flexible and effective enough to accomplish the mission. It also requires a culture, where Seventh-day Adventist values and particularly the value of mission set the tone. Adventist leaders, therefore, need to be effective organisers, peacemakers, and builders of Adventist church culture.
2. Church leadership is a process:
Leaders take action and something happens. They change people and the organisation through their actions. Leadership is not static but dynamic. It strives for excellence and constantly asks if there is a better way to do what we do, in order to achieve the mission. God is active in this process. It is therefore an Adventist tenet that “we must walk in the increasing light”.4 This requires that we see ourselves as leaders functioning as agents of change, God’s change.
3. Church leadership is persuasion:
Leaders persuade or induce their followers to act, by various means, for example, by their legitimate authority, by how they manage relationships and conflicts, by the example they set, by goal-setting, encouragement and evaluation, re-organisation, team-building, and by communicating a vision. In all of these activities, the leader draws on his personal faith and draws on his biblical values. This requires skills in transparent communication, ability to inspire others, and being a team leader.
4. Church leadership aims at the mission of the Church:
Leaders need to define what this mission is and what it means to themselves and the organisation they lead.
The way God has defined the church’s mission is essential. We find that He has allowed variety in the wording of our mission. Various biblical authors at various times say it in various ways. Jesus taught his disciples a mission to the world which we have in at least four versions, in Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:45-49/Acts 1:8, and John 14-17. Luke then describes the fellowship of the first church in Acts 2:42-47. The mission of the church comes out in numerous instructions on church order in Paul’s writings. And it has a special significance for Adventists in John’s apocalyptic vision in Revelation 14:6-13, where we have found our eschatological mission defined.

In conclusion; I'm not saying you must be perfect to lead a flock. But you must be a leader! Inspire faith and trust, lack judgement of others and most of all motivate others to follow in your example. Not only be standing in front of the church and leading them in songs and preaching the latest crap you concocted, but witness with your actions and words. 

PS: I'm only sharing my latest experiences with you. I have not highlighted every event that has transpired with this church, but here's a few more that solidified my distaste for the Hispanic SDA Church that I once called home. 

My high school sweetheart and I were divorcing and I had lost a tremendous amount of weight. I was destroyed and beaten by the whole experience. 

I was at church one Sabbath and I had a lady -Wander Frias ask me why I was so skinny and what drugs I was taking? Bitch! I have never once experimented or have wanted to dabble in drugs. Just because you don't see me sitting in your church every Sabbath doesn't mean I lead a life of drugs and sex. Don't worry about me and worry about your retarded daughter and your birth control so you leave no evidence of your dick hopping. Yep, I said it! BOOM!

Then I had a lady Rosita ask me what I had done to my husband for him to divorce me? Seriously!? Don't worry about me and worry about your daughters that go shopping on Sabbath (nice running into them). Yep, I said that too! 

The first time I was called a nigger was at the hands of an SDA student at the Grand Rapids Adventist Academy. There was never a consequence for that student.  

They can take their church and eat it! I will never ever attend their Church filled with sick demented souls.

So, there you have it. My experience with the Maranatha Hispanic SDA Church. This church has made me sad and has left me broken. I once loved the SDA community now; to ever have known them, given tithe to them and further more have any affiliation with them depletes my faith. 

Think I'm judging? 

Matthew 7

New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Again, this is my story! 

I hope yours is much more pleasant then mine. 


Pennies on a dime design said...

Amen! the blind leading the blind gets us nowhere! it seems to be turning out that the people with the most true faith are the ones that are not in the church is often.
we turn to the church to help build our faith and we end up walking away with it crushed.
strength comes in numbers.churches were built to help strengthen our faith with support Iin numbers. the people of the church become an Army for God against evil. instead it has turned out to be an internal war within itself.
Just because I'm not attending a church does not make my faith in God any less important than those that do.
Good post. Your heart tells you right!
May God find a church for us for our spirits to soar.

Unknown said...

Yes. I believe in Gods word. It is powerful and true but I have never felt as battered as I did at the hands of these experiences.

I should of also mentioned the good souls I have had the pleasure to meet in this church. I'll touch on that next.

May God fill us with forgiveness and lead us back to his house.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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