The Wedding Saga: My Dilemma
Hold onto your pants, boys and girls, the following sick and humorous story is true…
A couple months ago, an elder at my family church was reprimanded and kicked out for having an “improper hermeneutic”. Apparently he was beginning to question the doctrine of Lordship salvation as he saw that it was being used by the church as an element of control. Basically Lordship salvation holds that a person is not actually saved unless they make Jesus their Lord. This means that a church can, at their discretion, determine whether a member is “making Christ their Lord” based upon the members assessed behavior. Ultimately, this elder was concerned the church was becoming extremely legalistic and un-Christlike in their love towards those attending. Basically, they were using doctrine to be assholes.
Now, step back a few months before. This elder was sitting in an elders meeting in which nearly every elder, except for the pastor, admitted they did not know what “hermeneutics” was. My father is the elder who explicitly said this. They immediately all agreed that they needed to study hermeneutics.
So imagine this elder’s surprise when he is told that he is in a form of rebellion against the church and was being kicked out for having an improper hermeneutic. Obviously, the pastor had a strongarm in this decision. To make a long story short, he was basically told to write his resignation letter or else he would be dismissed that Sunday. He was not allowed to defend himself, his position, or get a clear answer as to what he had done wrong. The most obvious conclusion given the circumstances was that he was the most educated elder besides the pastor and the pastor was beginning to be jealous of the amount of influence he had. The kicked out elder was becoming interested in allowing my brother’s fiance to lead a Bible study and the pastor was basically like “we don’t know who this girl is or what she will teach.” During this time, the pastor was also using one of the elders in training, a weak-minded fellow, to spy on the elder who would soon be kicked out of the church. We know this because this young man admitted it.
So, while I would normally not consider this any of my explicit business, it has now come to a head of sorts. I am to be in my brother’s wedding. Ironic, is it not? Apparently everyone has been talking about me and how “sad it is” that I was never saved even though they all thought I was. So, since I was never saved, I can be in the wedding. But the elder, who is saved, cannot because he is under some form of discipline. Ironic, since the elder really is not quite sure what he did wrong.
Now, normally I would think that given the circumstances – I mean, it is a wedding – that maybe this elder would be allowed to attend out of a sense of grace. After all, my family and most of the people in the church have known this elder for years and years. Heck, he helped out teaching classes, preaching ,etc. Goodness, he taught in the church for eight years and they just now found out he is not qualified? He’s been a good friend for a very long time.
Well, now I find out my entire family is not speaking to them at all. Apparently they are on lock-down. Things have gone so far that members in the church have begun reaching out to third-party individuals to tell them not to speak with this elder. The poor elder – whom I have spoken to on several occassions -is completely flabbergasted. His description of the entire situation was “it is weird” and “sick” and he is finally reaching the point where it is all very funny.
Now, I am atheist. An atheist is allowed to be in the wedding party. However, this elder is refused. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I can support this complete mockery of all things moral. I was recently informed at least one other individual is thinking of boycotting the wedding unless this elder is invited. Alas, I know not what to do. My brother already asked me once how I felt about being in a Christian wedding, and I said I did not mind, but this…
Any advice? I’ve thought about just telling my brother “look dude, you are being an asshole. Invite this guy or I’m not attending.” I could either do that, and show him what it feels like to have fellowship denied for something really stupid or I could take a more graceful route, be friends with everyone and not say anything. I mean, on the one hand it is technically none of my business anymore… but is is my business! I mean, I keep hearing the rumors and things that are spreading about me – the lies that are spreading – and I do feel a sort of kinship for this elder who is experiencing similar things now at the hands of the people I will be attending the wedding with. So should I stand for justice or mercy in this situation?
Btw, normally I would not post something like this on the de-conversion site but I think my situation represents, in so many ways, the trouble we de-converts go through dealing with family and friends who are still Christian – regardless of their shade or hue. I cannot escape this. When you suddenly step outside the fold, the hypocritical behavior becomes so much more intense. I have no desire to defend anyone anymore, but want to judge everyone fairly and equally. I would also not normally post something involving individuals that are obvious to anyone who reads this post and knows me well, but, well, their complete asinine behavior has me seeking justice more than attempting to keep things private. I hope everyone understands. This has gone on long enough and has got to stop. I may remove this once I get the advice I need, but until then I’d really like some input.
BTW, feel free to laugh out loud. Quite frankly, this whole thing is so fundamentally stupid and easy to see through that it is funny. Honestly, it is hysterical. I cannot imagine how any of these people have brains or a Holy Spirit.:D Humans are a funny lot. I’m so glad nobody is going to hell for any of this. I have a sly grin right now… ironically I am having a lot of fun with this…. every time something like this happens it makes me so happy I left the church :) I feel like I’ve GROWN UP.