Wanna experience something like never before? Tonight at 7 at Two Rivers. I think you will be shocked to NOT find what you expect. Come and see. Yes, it’s prayer and praise night at church, but I don’t think you’ve ever experienced such a “church” like this. You love to stretch your mind regarding religion?
Thank you for the invitation to your praise and worship service tonight. I don’t think we will be coming.
I could tell you that I have been too busy for what my Hysterical Illness lets me do (have I told you about that?) or that this is our first free At-Home Day in three weeks (we usually try to keep one a week as a kind of Sabbath) or that with Thom out of town for the weekend we are going to keep everything very slow and low-key—and all those things are true. But they really would only be excuses.
Although I have been doing a lot of work this last year reconciling my spiritual understanding of the Divine with the Christian God and figuring out who Jesus is for me, I still have enormous and unhealthy prejudices against anything that even sounds like Evangelical Christianity. The thought of attending a Praise and Worship service make me a little sick to my stomach.
Your particular church may be none of the things I identify with evangelical church but I’m not in a place spiritually or psychologically where I am ready to risk it. Not long ago I wrote a couple of blog posts about how I am keen to continue working to resolve my knee-jerk revulsion to Evangelicalism but that it is not something I can even attempt at this time. I wrote about needing to step back from all my inner work of the last year and just rest alone with my God for another long while.
Even the fact that I feel compelled to write this very long explanation for declining your invitation instead of a simple “no, thank you” is indication that there are still huge issues for me to address. But I can’t do it just now. It may be months or years before I can face those particular demons. I haven’t set foot inside a Protestant church in almost ten years. It has only been this summer that I found I could read a Bible without physiological unpleasantness (after nearly two decades of being outside Christianity).
I do want you to know that I appreciate the invitation and the friendship that inspired the offer. It is nothing personal to you, your family, or even your particular church that keeps me from accepting. It’s not you; it’s me (weak chuckle). Please try again in a few months. Who knows the timing of God? I may be able to consider such invitations sooner than I think.
Thanks for understanding,
Sandra the Heretic