Come Ye Children, Hearken Unto Me, I Will Teach You The Fear Of The Preacher.

In another lifetime I belonged to the Assemblies of God Church. This was before I knew better. This was before I decided to think for myself instead of following other human beings blindly. I never felt comfortable in this church. I always had a dark feeling, something unexplainable, but something that was “off” to me. It seemed hollow, phony and fake. My mom came here to visit once and we all went to church. Later I asked her what she thought about the sermon. She said, “The preacher yells too much. I didn’t like it.” I think she felt the same uncomfortable feeling I did.

One Sunday the preacher seemed very aggitated. Apparently he lost his glasses and was obviously angry. The children were being children out in the vestibule before the sermon. When we went to sit down to listen to the sermon, the preacher glared at every parent sitting in the pews and accused us all of allowing our children to run wild. It was a place of worship he said, not a place for children to be loud and disrespectful. It was all very demeaning and my first instinct was to take my children’s hands and walk out the door, after telling the preacher what I thought of his admonishments and insults. If he felt my children’s behavior was inappropriate for church the decent and christian-like thing to do would have been to speak to us privately after the sermon instead of lecturing and yelling at us from the pulpit. It was a private matter and not something to be brought up in front of the entire congregation.  I just sat there and took it and to this day I wish I had stood up for myself as a parent and also for my children.

Later I told my husband at the time how angry I was at the way we’d been reprimanded in front of other church members and to my amazement he actually agreed. When someone calls himself a man of god then he should show patience, kindness and understanding. Not anger and accusations because he was having a bad day. He should have realized that if  he wanted to be sure his church continued to draw younger church goers then he’d need to be a little more understanding of the behavior of children. Needless to say I never go to this church, nor do I attend any church. I can honestly say that The Assemblies of god soured me towards organized religions of all kinds. I have my own, individual beliefs and am much happier now. I no longer have that “uncomfortable and off” feeling.

2 thoughts on “Come Ye Children, Hearken Unto Me, I Will Teach You The Fear Of The Preacher.

  1. Well done.

    Recognising Christ in a person, preacher or not, is not difficult. Just ask yourself if they are acting like Christ. In a similar situation to the one you describe, Jesus said to those who were complaining, ‘Let the little children come close to me,heaven is made up of little children like these you are complaining about.’

    I went to a little church once where the pews were arranged in a circle with a carpet in the middle, and all the little children played on the carpet during the whole service.

    Your instincts were spot on.

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