“Yes, I’m sinning. I know I’m going to hell. But my happiness for the next year or two is more important than anything else.”
She didn’t say that. Well, not in those words. That’s what she told me, though.
I visited the woman. According to my files, she still belongs to the church, though I’ve never met her. We’re trying to visit every person, update church records, and encourage those who haven’t been around to come back.
She told me outright she’d been living with her boyfriend for the last seven years. Someday they’re going to get married; just not yet. She told me they hadn’t been to our church for years, because two pastors ago, the pastor told her not to come to communion as long as she was living in sin. Oh, but don’t worry. She’s been attending a different church and having communion there.
So, why did she still consider herself a member of my congregation?
“I have history there. That’s where I belong.”
But you’ve been attending a different church. You didn’t even know I was your pastor, and I’ve been here for a good year and a half. I know you’ve received invitations to come back; we have this address on file, and we’ve sent out at least five, six postcards and called to invite to various events.
“If you want to remove me, that’s your choice.”
No. That is not what I want. That is your choice if we remove you. It is a recognition of what you’ve done. (more…)