I’m certain many remember the “Humble Pie” Believe the Sign served last fall. I don’t think the word shocked could possibly start to express what I felt. How on earth could the message be wrong?
I stayed glued to their Facebook page watching the comments and reading all of their posts. I waited anxiously for someone to come in and set everything right again. Not one minster stepped up. Not one.
I was so disappointed. I streamed services from every well known minister in the message hoping for answers. “Stay off of the sites, don’t engage, do not do an independent study, ask the ministry all your questions, and the worst: The Bible has discrepancies too!”
I was absolutely sickened. These ministers I thought so very much of and had so much respect for, refused to answer questions. Instead, they pointed to flaws in men of the Bible and tried to justify the discrepancies rather than present reasonable answers.
I began to think of the young people, of course they had questions about all this. Wouldn’t it have been so much easier to take a service and answer each and every discrepancy or question presented with the Bible? No, instead let’s make them look stupid and ridiculous for even having questions.
Well of course God uses fallible men. We are human. It is not so much the man in question, but what he said. Did he say what the Bible said? Either you hold the Bible as your standard or you don’t.
What I saw was men, elders, who had been in the message for 30 or more years standing up and saying “we were wrong”.
I decided to hear to what they had to say.
I felt like I was approaching a group of minsters on a platform. Me, a woman slowly approaching them, timidly asking, humbly, eyes to the floor… I didn’t see many “sisters” out there, and I knew I would be considered out of my place. But… it just had to be done.
My fingers were shaking, as I typed out, deleted, and retyped my question several times. I was so nervous, I couldn’t make sense of it myself, hopefully someone else would. I closed my eyes and hit enter.
Within minutes my phone was beeping and my email inbox dinged. I even had messages on Facebook from people I didn’t even know, and they were all saying the same thing: “Disengage!”
Funny how, if I was a man asking, there wouldn’t have been the intimidation. I don’t even think I would have been nervous. It probably would have rolled off like last night’s ball game scores. I’m pretty sure no one would have even noticed.
However, female that I was, I was warned not to communicate with those people, they are apostates. Speaking with them would only open doors to weaken and test my own faith. If I had any questions, I should ask a minister or my husband. What made them think I hadn’t?
I will admit I let them intimidate me. I stayed quiet, like a fly on a wall, silently reading. Watching for answers that never came, only to realize, they never would.
I will tell you this, when I asked questions of those “apostates”, they answered me. And when they did, it was with love and kindness. I wasn’t mistreated on the forum at all. The notes of warning were all sent privately by “friends”, “family”, and “concerned” message believers.
Just participating in a small conversation on the site shamed and embarrassed my family. I decided it was for the best that I not participate any further. I cried in frustration, that I would ever remain, a fly on the wall.
You know when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom and it just can’t possibly get any worse? Perhaps you’ve fallen and you just can’t go any further. That is when He carries you. He picks you up, and brings you along until you can go again. Sometimes, you don’t even realize it, but He’s been there the whole time.
A friend request showed up a couple of months later, out of the blue. It was a male name I recognized from the comments on the forum. When I accepted, they sent me a message telling me who they really were. It was another sister, just like me, seeking answers, but afraid to ask. As I read her note tears streamed down my cheeks. All I could think was, “I’m not alone, I’m not alone!”
She said she saw me post, and thought it was so brave of me as a woman to do so. This made me realize that if there was one fly on the wall, there were more. If there was one woman asking questions under a man’s name, there were more.
All of this was nearly a year ago now. So very much has happened. I am no longer a fly on the wall, others however, still are. Good news- more are coming.