Simply put, I am walking away from the church body that harmed me psychologically. After 20 years of dedication, after years of being pressured to remain, I no longer am a member of a Missouri Synod Lutheran church. My spiritual director does not fully understand why I am leaving, so I will take the time to explain why.
I was sick of seeing Synodical officials looking the other way when someone harms a church worker. I cannot do a damned thing about it. You rock the boat, you get in trouble. You get threats. If you are a church worker, your job may be in jeopardy. I have knew too many classmates leaving the Synod because of such abuse and their District Presidents would look the other way.
I was sick of entering the sanctuary feeling that I do not belong. It did not matter which LCMS congregation, I felt like an outsider.
I was sick of being reminded every Sunday that I was not fit to serve the Church. I pick up the Book of Concord, the voice of the professor plays in my head.
I was sick of doing self care often. It does not take much to rub salt into my wound.
Speaking of wounds, I am healing, but remaining Missouri Synod would infect the wound over and over.
The Seminary did not know what to do with me. I refused to play the meek passive female. I was not afraid to speak out. They did not care about how to help me, but pocketed my money and told me to eff off.
What keeps me remaining? My Preggie is with Jesus, I have no more obligations. Someone suggested that I should remain so I can be a Regent of an university, but my work especially around Derby time prohibits me. It’s not worth it.
I am sick of skipping church because it reminded me of the exile years. I went to the hospital a few weeks ago because of an episode. White-knuckling the episodes throughout the years is not an acceptable exercise in Christian spirituality. It’s not good for me to open the Book of Concord and hear the voice of my professor telling me that I am unsuitable to serve my Church. My family and friends told me to GTFO of Synod and get away from it before it harms me further. “This boy’s too young to be singing the blues…”
You know how CS Lewis in Mere Christianity mentioned about the rooms of the Church? The room marked “LUTHERAN” contains very very hostile people who do not know how to “speak the truth in love” but instead focused on one-upmanship. Weak on sanctification, indeed! Empty platitudes, ivory-tower solutions, no one dared to stand out lest one gets punished.
I was not myself. I was forced into the mold of what people expected me to be. And I give up pretending. The joy of the Gospel was not there. No one in Synod stood up for me when I needed them the most. Instead, they excused the behavior of their cherished theologians and glossed over.
So I am seeking a healthier church, one that accepts people like me. (And the Lutheran influencers would misinterpret that as “I’m seeking a church that is tolerant of sinful behavior”– far from it. Being Autistic is not a crime.)
It’s long overdue. And my soul is now relieved that I got out of there.
Over time, I shall make changes to my blog and to the Weep No More guide. The blog and guide will have more of what I stand for and less sectarian and provincial sources. I will also chronicle my faith journey and personal growth. Stay tuned. And please pray for me.