Dare I say this... Well I dunno, but, I think I think I will say it anyway.
I no longer go to church. I can't. Not here in the South. I just can't bring my self to do it. I find the churches around me to be mostly full of horse shit. (Pardon me for being totally blunt. I need to drive a point home.)
It is a touchy issue with me. Considering what I have been through, seeing a lot of churches struck down in the moment of hideous sin, has made me wary. I saw to much methinks. I saw what should have been agencies for peace working to further the cause of the enemy that I so passionately LOATHE. I think in a sense, and this is one of those hind sight moments, seeing the very foundations, the symbols, the people I should have seen as my brothers and sisters, all going down the tubes has poisoned me. They made me as a Believer look bad. Very bad. They made all of us look bad. Like some old inquisitor who just had to set a firebrand to his own church because of the corruption he found sitting on his door step, my heart is broken in a way that I do not think I can fully recover from. Inspite of this, I have not lost my faith. It has changed a good bit, but, it is still there, still mostly intact, still mostly untarnished and good.
I might have been ordained as a minister a long time ago, but, I have never taken up a position of being a Pastor over a church. It never has been, and, I don't think, never will be my place. I am very much a Rogue from my own church. Even though I did the right thing, a lot of people only remember me as the one who destroyed their church, or that church, or this church. They refuse to take the blame them selves, letting wolves in the front door and letting corruption blossom on what should have been a sacred place of sanctuary. I do not think some of these people will ever forgive me for my actions. That's ok. I did what had to be done. I did not enter a popularity contest.
I see a church, see a building, and, I see something a lot like a pond. It stagnates and pollutes from within. My path, while not perfect, I think has been a little better. My messages came with vivid reminders usually. When I spoke of love or tolerance, and to forgive, my message was usually driven home by the fact that I usually took a beating that day in some fashion. My chapel was the black top. My stained glass window the sky above. There was no benches usually, standing room only. Inspite of this, it was usually a packed house.
Now, things are different. I am learning to settle down and make peace with all these things. I am happy, I have been happy for a long time I realize, there are lots of old little snags that trip me up here and there. I don't need to go to church to talk to God. If I want a conversation with Him, I can go out and sit on the bench under that old leaning cedar. I have always been able to feel Him the best from that particular spot, it is a very peaceful place. When I go there, I am very much the babbling hermit, speaking to somebody who is not there. Somebody is there, you just can't see him. There aint no collection plates, so, I don't need to worry about corruption or get upset thinking about where money might be going. In that spot, I don't need to be the Inquisitor. I can put my sword away, cast my armor aside, and, speak to God as I am deep on the inside. A little grumpy dwarf named Doc.