To begin with, you may want to know a little bit of background. Those of you reading this who are not aware of certain hobbies and interests will also notice a peculiar word choice here and there.
I have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with the congregation I worship with on Sunday mornings, to the point of beginning to look elsewhere and speaking with contacts I have made in the nearly two years I have been in the area. On Sunday, God gave a reason to leave twice: once in Sunday school when the intended answer to “Does sin mean you are not born of God? 1 John 3:9” was “No,” although I was able to persuasively answer the question as “Yes.” Either that, or my immediate monologuing did not allow anyone to interrupt the coyote. The second was when the pastor said he hoped no one in the congregation was perfect — in the context meaning always obedient — and he admitted he wasn’t.
This is not where I want to be.
Anyway, in the car on the way home, I called my parents and ended up speaking with Mom — one of those in the family who, by her own admission, cannot talk about holiness. To her, I lamented the unfortunate goings-on from that morning, and that is when the trouble began.
Over the course of the conversation I was given a list of sins that I was challenged to deny currently committing (do you ever have an attitude, do you ever get angry, do you do this that or the other), and when I asked her why she even asked that question, was told rather sharply to “honor your father and mother.” Rather than being a cause for grieving, my disappointment is due to my own pride and arrogance, and I should remove the plank out of my own eye before commenting further about others.
My family is allowed to refer to me as proud, arrogant, and a hypocrite. (I wait for the day they bring up my past as the reason why I am not interested in pursuing a relationship with women.) However, if I state, “How can you know you are a child of God, if you do not do what He asks?” then I am required to withstand the verbal beating and feel ashamed for even implying that my family may not be believers. (Ashamed? No. Grieved? Yes.)
Near the tail end of the conversation the topic shifted to what they talked about at their church. Apparently they are discussing creation. I made the comment that I was pondering how meteor impacts fit in a young earth model. I also stated that 40 days and 40 nights of rain would not be enough to cover hills with water (and acknowledged the reference to the fountains of the deep being broken up although this acknowledgement was ignored and even denied having been made) and was vilified for picking and choosing what I wanted to believe from the Bible, and was “reminded” that some things are inexplicable and have to be accepted “on faith” because “God can do whatever He wants.”
(Accepting things “on faith” without evidence to back them up is not how this coyote approaches the world. I’m not so far gone that I won’t believe something unless I see it, sniff it, or hold it in my paws; there must be some reason for accepting any claim first, though.)
It is not this way with everyone in the family. I can talk to Dad often, but for the rest… why would you want to speak with someone whose words are poison and soothing as acid?