I have made the decision that now is the best time to leave Life Christian Center completely. I had planned to just quit going without saying a word. I didn’t want anyone to ask me my reasons for leaving. I didn’t ask anyone’s permission to visit that church when I started in the spring of 2011. I met a lot of great people in the year and a half that I was at youth group. Overtime though, I felt less and less welcome on Sunday mornings.
Laurie Virgin called me to find out how things were going with my new job. I told her what was happening. Then she said “see you Wednesday”. I had to break the news to her that I would not be coming anymore. What she told me not long after that really broke my heart. She said that she was going to announce to the church that I left and tell them to leave me alone. I didn’t tell her to do that. It is NOT her job to speak for me. I am a 25 year old adult and I can speak for myself.
She said that I was part of the church family and said that I was like a son to her. If this is how she treats a son then it is a good thing she only has daughters. I’m glad that I already have a mother. Laurie also accused my mom of dragging me into some pattern of looking though the eyes of hurt and finding fault with churches. My mom did not drag me into anything, but excuse me if I happen to notice that one of the faults of people in church is to judge my mother when they haven’t taken any time to talk to her and learn who she is. I’ve had people tell me that my mom needs to be put in a rest home, that she’s old, or tell her that God is testing her by breaking her tooth and she’s not passing the test.
I could easily have decided to leave just over the way they treat my mom, or maybe over the creepy dead animals in the men’s bathroom, but I stayed as long as I did because I do like many of the people and I haven’t found fault with the majority. However, I’m sure that when Laurie announces that I’ve left, she’ll try to come up with her own reasons to tell others when they ask why.
And so,I think it’s for everyone’s benefit that I explain the 3 strikes as I call them.
They told me I was a “distraction” when I danced during worship on Sunday. I don’t know who I was distracting or what I was distracting them from, but I felt rejected and not as welcome as I used to. The really odd thing is that even though they discouraged me from dancing on Sunday morning, it was just fine for me to dance in youth group on Wednesday. So tell me, is it right or wrong to dance? If it’s right, then what was wrong about it Sunday? If it’s wrong, then why is it ok only on Wednesday? It doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t leave the church over that but I was depressed ever since then.
The Sunday that Suzy gave a prophecy that there were suicidal people there that should come to the front and be prayed for. Pastor Bill Virgin however said “don’t come,because…….just because”. I was one of the people who was extremely depressed to the point of feeling like I should die. It could have had something to do with the fact that we lost half our income, our washing machine had broken, I couldn’t get a job, and on top of that people thought I was bad for dancing. Either way, when he told me not to come and be prayed for, I only felt more rejected.
In Bill’s September 9 2012 sermon, his whole theme was about God breaking us and messing up our lives. He said at one part
“You ever been messed up by the lord? You will have your turn if you haven’t. Especially after today. We’re going to release a holy ghost mess up in your life.”
This is very different from my view of God as our loving creator,healer,and savior who forgives us and dies in our place so that we don’t have to be punished. I don’t agree with Bill’s opinion of God and I don’t find that type of God in the Bible. Aside from that, it was not the kind of encouragement I was hoping for.
These are a few thing that really made me question why I was still in that church. After much thinking and praying, I knew that I couldn’t continue listening to this garbage.
I hope that all you teenagers and young adults know that none of this has anything to do with you. I can’t hold you responsible for anything that other people say. I’ll miss seeing you as often as I did, but there is no reason you can’t talk to me if you want to.