So last night I was closing up for the night at the coffee shop where I work, and there were these people sitting at a table who go to an evangelical-ish hipster church.
I’ve seen some of their events advertised on Facebook and I talked to them when they were part of a protest this fall. Working two jobs means I encounter many people in different spaces and sometimes it overlaps because I live in a small community.
I had mostly good feelings about them. They’ve been very friendly with me and easy to talk to when they come into my store.
But I didn’t like the tone of this meeting. They told one of their worship team members that everyone is trying to make their lives less busy and more “intentional” and he needed to be off the worship team for a few weeks.
I have no idea what sin he allegedly committed. It’s probably not sexual, because usually the punishment would be longer than a few weeks. Maybe he didn’t read his Bible often enough.
The whole thing felt off and not good.
The leadership woman who’s about my age was confronting the guy with the pastor sitting beside her, and they got him to sign this paper about church discipline.
She told him, “Now this doesn’t mean stop coming to church, because then you’ll never play on the band again.”
“For me to get on the platform and sing, there’s certain requirements I have to meet,” she said.
I just kept mopping around them, silently, slowly losing more and more trust for them. The words they used were harsh and didn’t value him. They kept making it seem like they were the spiritual ones and he was not.
I couldn’t hear the entire conversation and I don’t know everything about the situation, and I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. But it’s a story I know all too well.
They told him over and over the pastor was there for him and if he needed to talk to him during this period to please reach out but that it was his job to seek help like he was this bad, lost person.
It was a total power trip. This poor guy was sitting there all shame-faced trying to survive this awkward situation, like he had no idea what they had planned to talk to him about. Like he’s just trying to not lose his community.
It’s disorienting to feel like your people are making you feel like you’re not a part of them for some perceived spiritual failing.
It hurt a lot to see people who are supposed to represent Christ treat another human this way. This is not what Jesus would do.