Thank you for this. I grew up in an evangelical family and your parents and you (before you left the movement) had a lot of impact upon me. Since then I've gone through my own journey and am close to where you are now.
Part of my life has been to speak more openly of my own past and my relationship with my Mom has some similarities to what you speak of.
It's no surprise that people whose primary spiritual themes are guilt and shame wield it as a weapon to try to shut up others and it's wonderful to know that your mom not only resisted this but stood in stark contrast to those opportunists who dared to speak on her behalf.
Keep being real. Thanks for your transparency and sharing this moment of your life.”
“I've left formal association with Institutional Churches after 20 years as a pastor and denominational worker. When people ask me why I would would leave my faith like that, I tell them I still have my faith as strong or stronger than I ever did. I didn't leave institutional churches to abandon my faith. I left institutional churches to preserve it.”
GDWhiteman on Oct 12, 2012 at 06:57:57
“In general, I'd say that the needs of the institutional church are largely contrary to filling the spiritual needs of individuals. Perhaps my thinking is Quixotic, but I hang around the edges of the institution hoping to leaven it. I resist strong attachments to the institutional church for exactly the reason you do - I fear that, if I buy into the needs of the institution, it will swallow my faith.”