I didn’t step in that church for almost 3 years not because I am an arrogant, unrepentant person. Simply put, the church was not allowing me yet all those years, despite my pleadings. During those years, I made my pleadings that I’ll be allowed foot in the church. Since they are in the leadership, I respected their decision, BUT this kind of respect was perceived as arrogance, even by some of my loved ones. I was told that I am being proud that after my pleadings, I decided not to plead anymore. Now, about being proud and arrogant, I always maintained that accusations of pride and arrogance must not be rebutted. However, my defense is not against pride and arrogance, but on this matter: where shall I put myself? Ostracism somehow became a form of discipline. Yet despite all of this, I respected the leadership even after the restoration, and then I’ll still be called arrogant. For that one, I’ll just rest my case.
In all of this, believe it or not, I don’t have any grudges and hatred to my Pastor even until now. For the nth time, I did this to tell my side of that life story. This system of disciplinary action has been going on most, if not all, churches under this fellowship. I can’t blame this fellowship. In fact, they are not to be blamed entirely. We were only given a handful of Bible verses on how to handle this situation. Even if there is a 99.9% chance that one’s interpretation is right on verses regarding church discipline (1 Corinthians 5 for example), human as we are dealing with other human beings, imperfections will eventually arise. It may arise from execution, approach, “technicalities”, terminologies, etc. Yes, we may argue that God is sovereign and just and the church just did the right thing, however, what we are forgetting is that God uses imperfect people in imperfect circumstances to create a perfect timing of events. The end does not justify the means; there is a Just and Sovereign God who put order on things that were imperfectly done by US people. Am I passing the blame? Nope. If reading carefully, I have reiterated many times that I’m also fault in all of this, but again, my own share of mistakes.
What most people don’t know, in a human sense of the word, is that after a month of not making myself seen in that church, I looked for a nearby church to attend FOR THE MEANTIME. In fact, some of my non-member relatives are quite skeptical of me attending another “like minded” churches because they fear that there are connections, just like some religions who “directly reports to their central office”. During those times, I had a “if I perish, I perish” mindset. Let it not be said that I didn’t find a way for me to grow. I didn’t do that to avoid the other parts of the disciplinary action. I did that while waiting for those other parts to be finally executed to me. What I have in mind is to get back on my feet. Yes, what I did have consequences. This is for me trying to be more responsible.
Some people think that by publicly making an apology, it stops there. Some people think that public confession and apology are easy ticket to go back to normal ecclesiastical life. In other words, it is just a light thing. After all, once a person faced the congregation to confess, apologize, and repent, it will be just a year or two of probation (no on stage ministries). This is the very reason why some folks had an idea not to give it right away even the erring member showed signs of repentance. ONCE AND FOR ALL, please learn from my experience: public confession and apology WILL NEVER EVER BE A LIGHT THING. Any person who thought that by “just publicly confessing and apologizing”, it’s over and all gone, that person is not thinking really carefully.