A Man's UPC Experience

May the grace of God continue to work in your life to bring liberty to yourself and to others. I attended a UPC church in (omitted), from 1981 until 1983. Becoming fed up with the shallow and abusive leadership, I decided that the only way to protect myself was to study the Bible and to fall upon the Rock of my salvation. Thus, I studied in Israel for a year and also in Jordan for a short while. I majored in Hebrew at the University of (omitted) and ransacked the library at the (omitted) Presb. Theo. Seminary.

But guess what? Though I love to study and feel that I have learned much, I have not been able to step into a church since. I know in my head that fear is not of God. I also know that I learned not to stick my fingers in an electrical outlet twice at an early age. So I have basically stayed away from all things that are labeled "Christian". I have long ago gotten over the bitterness. I have a greater understanding of Mercy and Forgiveness; Grace and long-suffering; and of being Poor in Spirit. I know better now what it means to long for the Kingdom of God.

Will this make me (or others who have had similar experiences) a better servant, or will we be like the person that buried the talents that were given to them? Is this a sojourn like David's when he fled from his own and was forced to fight with the Philistines, or an excuse to return to the comforts of Sin and selfishness?

Freedom is a dangerous thing. In the end though, is this not what God wants for us? The ability to know Right and Wrong, Good and Evil. The desire to love our Creator and Savior that springs from our hearts, invades our minds and dominates our life - is this not the challenge, the goal and the Hope eternal that the Sacrifice of Jesus has laid at our feet?

May God be glorified in all that you do.


Posted February 1, 1998

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