My hairdresser is a church goer. She’s a nice enough woman. Each time I attend my hair appointments, she asks me whether I am attending a church now. Each time, I say no. She is aware of the abuse I have endured at a toxic church. In her mind though, I am not a good enough Christian, if I don’t attend church. There is always that attitude – that I ‘should’ be in a church. And no matter how I approach that conversation – it is not ‘good enough’, that I don’t.
It is simply a case of stage 3 faith progression and no awareness of that. You don’t have attend church, to be a Christian. Many spiritually progressed Christians, don’t attend church.
I actually would like to be a part of a church community. I would like to know other Christians. But, I am unwilling to compromise my beliefs, or subject my children to abusive/unsafe/unhealthy/toxic doctrine/environments.
My list of what I will not compromise on are…
- They need to not be welcoming child sex offender/paedophiles. I am unapologetic in my belief that they are not to be trusted, and secure in my desire to keep my children safe from sexual abuse.
- Has strict child protection strategies in place for youth groups, children’s ministry.
- LGBTIQ welcoming. And not only welcoming, but accepting in every sense. No attitudes it is sin. I do not want my children subjected to any views contrary to this.
- Not fundamentalist, or right wing/conservative. As I see so much unhealthy, cognitively distorted thinking, I choose to avoid and not subject my children to.
- Not enabling/encouraging child abuse in the form of physical discipline. Which I know is abuse and is domestic violence.
- Don’t victimise victims further with more abuse – pushing forgiveness, reconciliation etc with abusive people and shaming the victims – as the ‘bad’ people, if they don’t.
- Must understand 1st Century Biblical context.
- Must be led by spiritually progressed leaders, who are not stuck at stage 3 in faith progression.
I’m aware this is a list that pretty much rules out most churches. I’m also aware, I am unlikely to find one that fits all this.
I am aware I could be told, I should be more flexible. Well, I’m not taking any known risks with my children, with regards to their safety, or what I subject them to, in terms of what they will hear/learn.
And I am completely secure in this.