What are your thoughts?  In what ways is the church the devil's playground?  In my former career as a pastor, I had quietly come to this realization because of the injustices I often saw Christians commit against other Christians within the church, as well as to others outside the church.  It was often disheartening to see Christians talk so high and mighty about how worthy they were to "the Lord,"  and yet all the while be exactly the opposite.  It was even more damning and disgusting when I became the target of such ill will, when it came to putting child safety over church politics.  So I wonder what any of your thoughts were - particularly those who are former Christians.  What say you?

Please note, that I use the term "devil" not in it's generally accepted theological sense of an actual anthropomorphic being, but as a more loosely personification of the concept of evil and the injustices human beings often commit against each other.

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@Barry Adamson - My mistake - I just assumed you were an Atheist - it is so very rare for a christian to talk about injustice in their particular church. That in itself is refreshing. I also feel that most christians started off as honest reasonalby good people, then with just a modicum of power or trying to create a percepton of that particular congregation, covered up wrong doing or just shite.

Do you still belong to this particular parish?

If there, and there would have to be millions more, of christians with a sense of Justice, I wouldn't have such a problem with christianity. If more christians themselves uncovered the wrong being done in their name, I would have more respect.

I am still ordained as a Baptist minister, but I don't attend a Baptist church - that and I recently presided over a same sex union back in January, which is a big Southern Baptist no no.  The church that I was ordained in was a former Southern Baptist church that became Cooperative Baptist.  The church where I ran into problems was Southern Baptist.

There are Christians with a sense of Justice, but I would assume not as many as you would like.  I currently attend a UCC church, which is staunchly social justice oriented, and an open and affirming congregation, with a very good friend.  Most of the members there are anything but what you'd normally expect (the group I associate with there go to lunch after service at a local brewery and restaurant - some are gay, some are tattooed bikers, and others are your local public school teachers), and they are good people.  Even so, though, I am sure there may very well be the seedy underbelly of politics at play in that church as well.

Oh, and yes, I go for my friends and stay for the beer!

The last church I attended (to please a girl) was cool - the Church of the Servant - the minister, Norman Neaves, had been fired from a Baptist Church in Texas, which to me, were impressive credentials. He had his choir sing pop songs, rather than "Rock of Ages." Good man.

It probably doesn't help my credentials with the SBC that I have three tattoos now - two of which are not able to be covered entirely with a t-shirt, but I am purposely rejecting the "righteous" for the "damned" by doing that.  Not to mention two of the tattoos represent my liberation from their environment.  The third is in honor of my Wing Chun school.

Woohoo go you!  Laughing, when did you get inked?  What are they of?

Japanese Kanji: Ronin.  It's my Scarlet Letter:

Phoenix.  It gets colored in on Thursday.

And then my Wing Chun Academy Crest.  The pastor even tried to make me quit this art, but it's a part of my soul and no one can take it away but me:

Wow!  You weren't talking 'little rosebuds' were you?  They're awesome! Way to go, mate

Nope.  I figured: "If I'm going to do it, I'm going to be real about it."  I had often thought in the past about getting a tattoo, but was always prevented in doing so.  Call it not being fully committed to a design, not enough cash on hand, or concerned about issues surrounding the church. But remember: I recently took the pill fukitol - not to mention that the psychological hell I went through warranted physical scars of remembrance and defiance in becoming who I am.

Yeah, I knew the Phoenix - great guy to pal around with if you happen to have some extra marshmallows! I probably should never have introduced him to Icarus --



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