It’s about authentic love and a fake affair…

its about a fake affair

by Kenneth Justice

~At coffee the other day a friend and I were discussing the many people who have been wounded (emotionally and spirituality) by over-zealous and overbearing churches…. when all-of-a-sudden the 30-something man sitting near us interjected, “I’m one of those causalities”.

Apparently the man grew up in a particular denomination and married a fellow parishioner from the church. Life was good, they had two children, he had a solid job, but one day he began to question the teachings of his church. He began to feel that the leadership was too controlling. Eventually, he could no longer attend the church in good conscience….and this led to some of the most devastating consequences.

Because he no longer believed in the church his wife demanded a divorce…..which he hesitantly gave into; “I still loved my wife but since I wasn’t going to be a part of the church she didn’t want anything to do with me. I even lied for her; the only way the church would allow her to remarry one day is if I lied to the church and told them I had an affair…..so I lied and said I slept with another woman; even though I never really did….I created a fake affair so my wife could move on with her life

His parents and all his relatives are still members of the church and they refuse to talk to him or have any contact with him whatsoever; they have ex-communicated him from their lives for leaving the church.

Now he is divorced and only gets to see his two teenage children every other weekend…….Last month the teens informed him that when they turn eighteen, since he will no longer be their legal guardian; their church has ordered them to cut off all contact with their father…the teens believe in the church and told their father they are going to obey the orders.

The story was heartbreaking;

—) A husband who still loved his wife but a church that got in the way

—) A father who loves his children but will no longer get to see them after they turn eighteen

—) A man who simply questioned the teachings of his church….and who got ramrodded by an authoritarian religious system

It’s stories like this that I hear about all the time which really tug at my heart……it makes me tear up. For someone like myself who has such a strong faith in God, I can’t tell you how mad I am that so many expressions of Christianity tend to churn out stories such as the one that the man at the café shared. Unfortunately, these kind of stories aren’t limited to only one particular denomination…sadly I’ve heard these kind of stories from many different Christian denominations.

Too many Christian churches become obsessed with doctrines or bible scriptures and entirely forget the simple concept of love. Why would anyone want anything to do with a religion or religious belief system if it produces stories such as the one the man shared with me at coffee? Haven’t we gotten far enough away from the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the other ‘black marks’ in the Church’s history? Why do churches insist on continuing a course set toward nastiness?

Read through old articles of mine and you’ll find thousands of comments from fundamentalist Christians who hurl isolated bible verses at me in order to ‘argue’ or ‘convince me that I’m wrong’ about whatever I was writing about. Too many Christians are obsessed with arguing, debating, and hurling nastiness at others (and each other) and not enough Christians are obsessed with demonstrating love toward others.

I’m not about to encourage people to lie….and I should mention that the man at coffee said he regrets making up a fake affair in order to help his ex-wife out…but when I think about it; that man demonstrated a tremendous amount of love toward his ex-wife; he created a fake affair, he walks around with the realization that the people at his old church believe he had an affair……all because he loved the woman with whom he used to be married.

It’s fascinating to me; here we have the man’s ex-church claiming to be the source of ‘true love’ and claiming to know the source of true love….yet the only one demonstrating any type of  real love  was the man who is losing everything that matters to him in life, the man who has lost his family, his wife, and is now losing his children….

Besides the comments you see publicly, I get a lot of emails from Christian readers who want to debate me on bible verses…..it makes my eye twitch that my fellow Christians would rather spend hours upon hours debating bible verses than spend that time working towards solutions to solve poverty, malnutrition, helping single mothers out, and helping all the other people in our communities that have very real needs.

But, Kenneth, the truth of the bible is the supreme matter of our faith” is generally what they say to me, “The most important thing that matters is that we convert people to Jesus” they say…..To which I ask; REALLY???

Is that what you people get out of the bible when you read it? Commands to spend your every waking moment memorizing bible verses and doctrines and trying to convert everyone you meet (via your bloody nasty debate tactics) to faith in Jesus?

Apparently, you and I have been reading a different bible. Because I saw true love living within that man who was excommunicated from his church and his family…..and I saw nothing but seething hatred coming from the church because the man dare question what they were teaching.

I really need a cup of coffee this morning,

Kenneth



Categories: Religion

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

74 replies

  1. I grew up in a Baptist home that was pretty strict. Im still consider myself a Christian but im no longer Baptist and it has created a rift between my older brother and I. He wont let me or my girlfriend come over his house anymore unless i repent and admit that i have been living in sin. my younger sister who is also a member of their church died a couple months ago and i didn’t even find out until after the funeral because my brother refused to call me to let me know. thanks for the post.

  2. Kenneth – this is a totally heart wrenching story. This “church” that you mentioned is not the body of Christ, it is a cult. As a woman, I am totally embarrassed and ashamed of the woman in this story. HOW could she let him take on such a lie and a burden of shame? Really, my blood is boiling right now.

    I love my husband, and I will follow him except unto sin. If he wants to change churches because he questions the teachings, guess where I’m going? Yep, with him. He is the spiritual leader of our home. This is a tremendous job, and so I fully understand why I am called to be his helper and ultimately submit to his decisions. Trust me, I am not feeble minded, and I have plenty of opinions, many of which win! However if we meet a standstill, I have to trust in how God is leading my husband.

    I just …. I really can’t say anything else about this. I need a cup of coffee too.

  3. This was a “church”..?? A “church” would “order” children (anyone) to a specific act.?? This was nothing more than a group of individuals.. invoking their own doctrines (agenda) on “believers” (??).
    What “denomination” would do such a thing..??
    Man-made rules.. Man-made doctrines.. Man-made agenda.. all in the name of Jesus.
    It’s really no wonder why we have so many “denominations” of Christianity today.
    (“Denominations”?? Aren’t they “man-made”??)

    • This was a “church”..?? A “church” would “order” children (anyone) to a specific act.?? This was nothing more than a group of individuals.. invoking their own doctrines (agenda) on “believers” (??).”

      agreed

      “What “denomination” would do such a thing..??”

      ya, i didn’t want to mention the particular denomination as i don’t feel like getting into it with anyone…but i will say that I have heard direct accounts from people in 7 different well known ‘major’ denominations that are similar to the account that i heard the other day from this man.

    • Jesus Christ taught LOVE.. the fanatism is solely man-made…and certaintly this woman is Christian by words not by actions of love

    • (i’m not native speaker and writer as you can see))

  4. Kenneth for Pope and Archbishop and Dalai Lama and Bhudda and any other top title in the religious universe. And if that doesn’t fly … Free coffee for Kenneth, free coffee for Kenneth!

    • Paul,

      thanks…but I think i’ll pass on those titles….I have enough headaches in my life already 😉 but the coffee…yea I wouldn’t mind that. (although between me and you; i get a lot of free cups already…the perks of spending so much time at café’s…shhh don’t tell anyone)

  5. I have been a part of some very, very conservative Baptist churches in the past and I understand what you’re talking about. However, I would point out that many of the rank and file members probably grew up in those churches and honestly know no other way to think or believe. Their leaders are very controlling and tell members what they are to believe. It is similar to situations where people grow up in the welfare cycle. They don’t know any other way to live. We need to love these people and, with great tenderness and patience, try to show them the better way. Conservatives/Fundamentalists are not monsters. They are brothers and sisters who need our prayers, our love, our compassion, and our understanding just as much as anyone else.

    • Russ,

      Their leaders are very controlling and tell members what they are to believe. It is similar to situations where people grow up in the welfare cycle. They don’t know any other way to live

      that is a really interesting analogy

      We need to love these people and, with great tenderness and patience, try to show them the better way. Conservatives/Fundamentalists are not monsters. They are brothers and sisters who need our prayers, our love, our compassion, and our understanding just as much as anyone else.”

      i totally agree 🙂

    • yeah..!! we shouldn’t be critical with them,too..because the people make mistakes.. i will pray for them and i will request God to protect me from doing fanatical actions! Jesus Christ makes me feel better, happier and thankful for life

  6. I think a lot of people need to take up Coffee Drinking – it might just clear their Minds, cleanse their Souls and revive their Spirits.

    • Victoria,

      I’m with you on that 🙂

    • Okay with you if I substitute herbal drinks? Or sweet cider?

      Yes, we Latter-Day Saints are a bit of odd ducks with the proscription on coffee and tea, but then, I would be loathe to have my daughter and I tell Jews, Muslims, and vegans that bacon is the way to bliss (although it makes us quite happy).

    • I have a latter day saint dude who lives across the street from me….a very nice fellow. He collects bikes off the side of the road, fixes em up, and then gives them away to children in the neighborhood…….

    • 🙂 That could make a fairly apt analogy– a bit like the bikes, every soul needs some care and attention. I’ll bet the kids remember him long after the bikes really wear out, though.

  7. There was one here called The Exclusive Brethren which was just like that.But even the mainstream churches have done damage,I realize being brought up to fear God who was always watching was more like worshiping the devil.

  8. I say amen to that.
    Me to have left church due to what the man and you described. the hypocritical view that they held. I learned like you from Him. To love all and everyone equally. That a church/temple is in ones heart.
    The doctrine and lectures some (I know not all are the same) made me quit religion but keeping lessons learned as my own.
    A shame that interpretation is done is such a controlling way as was in ages ago when the Roman Catholic church altered the bible to their own liking.
    That man was brave and full of love to go so far as to be banished from his loved ones in order to protect them. Sound familiar?
    Do not mean to put everyone that beliefs in the same box. Sorry if you felt that way.

  9. It does not hurt to have a fruit juice instead now and then

  10. It’s funny how “the church people” claim to be Christian or catholic, but yet they are a bunch of hypocrites themselves. I do not attend church, but believe in God, so for someone to say they are excommunicated from the church is being a hypocrite because doesn’t God love all people, no matter what their religion, sex orientation, or political background is? Oh, how I love to get on this soap box with “the church people”. 🙂

  11. I once belonged to a similarly overbearing church. They actually threatened to call CPS because I wasn’t attending the church for a few weeks due to some depression issues I was dealing with.. as if threatening a depressed person is going to “make them better.” It saddens me to hear stories like this because Christians should be the most welcoming and loving people out there, and some are quite the opposite. Thanks for sharing this story. It’s a reminder to set a good example of what a Christian should be.

    • Threatening to cal child protective services? Holy cow dude I can’t imagine what that must have been like

    • My wife and I have had our struggles with CPS… but not because of any lack of attendance at church.

      CPS already has enough trouble reaching people that really need help ASIDE from the ham-fisted way that they do it… seriously, this should be on a par with people calling 911 for non-emergencies. It’s misuse of public resources, MORE so if they bullshit that your lack of attendance is somehow you not being a responsible mother.

    • I agree 100%. They never did end up calling because they knew they had nothing to report, other than my lack of church attendance *eye roll* But to even threaten such a thing was so very hurtful. I ended up leaving the church and finding another church where we felt appreciated.

    • Yeah. It seems like a betrayal of trust. I don’t blame you one whit for finding another group that was less judgmental. Even within my faith, I have friends that moved to a different ward (congregation)– either by physically moving or asking records to be transferred– because of similar problems. And I’ve been in wards where I felt judged, pitied, or out of place. Fellowship, I think, is very important to worship, and I’m very sad to see or hear of people acting so petty.

  12. Even Jesus told us the most important message from the entire bible is “LOVE”…there isn’t anything else, because God is love. All the doctrine, rules and churches can’t wipe that away.

  13. Horrendous story. But as someone who has led a conservative church I also know that I’ve tried to do the righht tyhing in pastoral situations and it’s all gone horribly wrong despite my best efforts.

    You’re right though – being more loving would make such a difference.

    • “But as someone who has led a conservative church I also know that I’ve tried to do the right thing in pastoral situations and it’s all gone horribly wrong despite my best efforts”

      Sometimes the best thing we can do towards others is to demonstrate grace, patience, love….and bite our tongue 🙂

    • Indeed. And my tongue is quite raw at times 😀

  14. WOW! You just left me speechless…

  15. I’m so in love with this post you have no idea. The only display of love that was shown in that man’s situation was by him. I feel so terribly sorry for him, that he had to endure such ridiculousness. And I am totally on your side with how you view the bible and Christianity. Thank you for sharing.

  16. *stands up and applauds you*…SOMEBODY gets it…finally!!!

  17. I lost a bride-to-be to the wiles of the church . . . and all I can say Is . . . Thank God! I did.

    Course at the time I was feeling pretty low . . . but then after I left the church and got high, I knew they were right. I find something down right anti-erecting about the idea of praying before sex.

    • “I find something down right anti-erecting about the idea of praying before sex”

      oh JJ…you got me cracking up with this one…….do people actually pray before sex???? omg…I gotta no more comments on this lol

  18. Your comments are spot on. I know a number of Christian friends in similar circumstances. I feel very fortunate that I grew up in a Christian church and Christian family that spent more energy on the original message of Christ which is love. We were encouraged to debate and discuss without wondering off the path too far. 🙂
    I love your blog…keep up the good work!

  19. A truly sad fact… and I’m very confused:
    1. What Church has CPS?
    2. What Church asks to pray before sex ?
    3. What Church allows you to move on after a divorce with the excuse of having an affair? I want to switch 🙂 just joking.

    I’m Roman – Catholic by religion, I didn’t finish reading the Bible but I do go very often to the Church but I never hear one of these things. I also know a lot about Orthodox habitual practices and rules..or regulations…

    • Dana,

      well I can answer number 1; I think the reader wasn’t saying the church had CPS but that they were threatening to call CPS……

      as to Praying before sex…I’ve bloody never heard of that before! Sounds pretty out there lol

      and as to number 3…I can’t really answer as I don’t want to mention what denomination the dude was a member of…..suffice to say its not a church I would ever walk into!

  20. My heart breaks for this man….and I wish EVERY Christian would stop to think about the greatest commandment. When God told us to LOVE each other, He never said the word, “except!” Today I posted, “You say you don’t believe in abortion, but you treat unwed mothers as though they have a disease and then wonder why we are called hypocrites.” on my twitter…I lost 5 followers. :/

    • “I lost 5 followers. :/”

      yea…it sucks….I notice a drop in followers if I write about certain things as well……for whatever its worth I like what you tweeted though 🙂

  21. That reminded me of the great film ;”The big Kahuna”

  22. Try being a believer in Christ, Muhammed, Budha, Baha’u’llah and More but don’t “belong” to any of them!! Get the reactions from all sides! Lol! Love is all there is, it is the very vibration that holds the universe together. I like you thoughts they are always detached and non-critical, and always come back to the core – Love. kindest regards, j’iam

  23. I hope I find a man that will love me that much, to fake his affair with someone else.. L0L
    Life isn’t fare, he sure is rare .
    Church is about keeping family together, not breaking them apart.:(
    Nice job, Kenneth 😊

  24. That man’s story breaks my heart.

  25. Interesting piece, fortunately this is not my experience but I have heard similar stories, although not so devastating. And I wonder too if they are reading the same text as I am. Is this religion or just mankind’s capacity to control and corrupt? You mention love in your post and it always strikes me that it is this most simplest commandment that we should remember everyday, love one another.. I really enjoyed your post and your great points..

  26. But what’s with all the people? Why all these blind devotion? People have simply stopped thinking and evaluating.

  27. Wow, very sad story. Unfortuneately I grew up in a church similar to this. After 30 + years and a divorce I finally got the courage to leave. After several years of searching I found what church was supposed to be. Thanks be to God!

  28. I spent thirty years in such a church, when I reached a point where I could no longer continue to devote my life to it. I loved my church, so much so that I started working for it after being involved for twenty five years. It was only after working there that I discovered how controlling it actually was at dictating the actions and lives of its parishioners.

    Knowing that it followed an excommunication practice, I chose to walk away which basically meant walking away from the only life I had known. What made it scary was that all of my earlier work experience had been connected to the church and it’s parishioners in one fashion or another. This particular church didn’t like losing parishioners and would hunt you down and try and get you to return. I had to move to a place where there was no affiliation and no one knew me…I was in hiding.

    The full affect hit me when I tried to get work and suddenly realized that, although I had an abundance of valuable business skills, I couldn’t use any as a reference.

    It took a while for me to sort out how to begin a new life. Eventually I got over the stunning affect of how much my church controlled my life and got the courage to just tell the truth. I had to get over my embarrassment of being shunned by my church. In order to survive, I had to get work. So I went and applied for a lowly position. I included all the places I had worked and the positions I held and when the application asked if they could call my previous employers, I wrote no but said I would explain my answer if asked in an interview. When asked, I told the truth. The result of the interview, after looking at my skills and experience, was that within five minutes of leaving, the company called me back and offered me an executive position. My new life had begun…and I have never looked back.

    Several months later, I found out my ex-husband had also left the church. I was shocked as he had worked for them for most of the thirty years we had been involved. What pushed him out? He was told that he could not be connected to our daughter (who was not a member of the church)…because she was in communication with me.

  29. I’ve always been of the opinion that the most important aspect of faith and/or spirituality is the relationship and individual has with Divinity.

    In my own journey, I have come to believe in a few things strongly and I once wrote a blog about it. I won’t say what the issue is. Just know that it was dear to my heart and we hear a lot of condemnation from all religions about this issue I support. All the same, there are plenty of religions who also agree with what I believe.

    My post discussed how I came to realize that particular belief and one of the comments was a simple Bible verse. Proverbs 16, 25: Sometimes a way seems right to a man, but the end of it leads to death.

    I found this interesting as that could go for my beliefs, the commenter’s beliefs or anyone’s. The only sign we have that was we think is right is so is that personal relationship with Divinity. I thought about not replying, but I did. I said I thought it was interesting and that differences in interpretation are why there are so many Christian religions. In a way, that’s where we show our greatest human flaw. We, as humans, can fail. We can fail to interpret an old text correctly. We can misread signs.

    Apparently, that take meant I thought I was “smarter than God.” The commenter said he had no care for the dogs who won’t make it to Heaven.

    I said nothing else. I thought to myself. Wouldn’t a true Christian try to do what they could to get me into Heaven. Wouldn’t they be concerned for my soul? Love every neighbor as themselves? Or is that not the Christian way?

  30. I was very touched by this man’s story but perhaps not in the way that other were. Although I identify with his pain, in this moment I am connecting more strongly with his integrity and spiritual clarity. This is a man who valued himself over his community. To me a church is not God, it is a community. Its value needs to be measured in how it serves the individuals; not the other way around. When who he was, or who he became, was incompatible with his community, he valued himself greater and left the church – ya know, like Jesus did. But he also knew that there was something more important than himself, there was something more important than his truth, and that was love. Yes, he lied but he lied for a higher calling; he lied for Love. To me, Love is God. In essence, he sacrificed himself for God. What happened after that is unfortunately all too typical but it is not because Love had failed. To me, it is because people have placed community above themselves and themselves above love (god). Love is all you need and Love will conquer all but only if people believe in it. Most people don’t even know what Love is and why would they want to; after seeing what it had done to this man? Most people would rather subvert their own will to the power of the community and cling to the instant gratification found in hate. But can you really blame them?

Trackbacks

  1. Day 51: On culture monk, being atheist and having a faith. 41 days to go! | My journey on becoming full-time designer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: