I was reading an online article which gave the link to the Google reviews and clicked on the link.
Seems Ed Chapman has gotten a taste of what it is like to leave a review for the church. Current church member, Lori Nodurft obviously revised her positive review to keep it at the top of the page, bumping down Ed Chapman's review. (BTW, Ed, if you are reading this, your comment was excellent!) Ed noticed that his review was bumped down and revised his to show that they are still playing the game. Lori must have revised it one more time, because her review is now on top even after Ed revised his. It reminds me of elementary school where kids are taking cuts in line to be the first to go outside for recess.
I have always been concerned about the young people at the church. The long meetings with the pastor for discipline issues, the lectures/teachings on discipline issues on Wednesday nights when we all knew he was using that as a lesson to deal with someone who was in sin and who was sitting in the pews (probably dying inside). I wondered how these young adults would fare many years later.
As I clicked on the review link in the news article, I noticed my daughter had updated her review and there was a new review I hadn't seen before - this one by Emily. Some of my readers may remember a story about a young lady I met in the nursery the first week we attended the church. You can read more about Emily in this earlier blog post: Disobedient Children and Meetings with the Pastor. She is the young lady who told me that all kids end up in the pastor's office at one time or another. She was to meet the pastor for an upcoming baptism. Her comment stuck with me loud and clear the entire time we were at the church. She told me so innocently, as if this was normal. I had never heard of such a thing in any church. Now, we'll read some more from Emily - in her own words. She grew up at the church. She met her boyfriend and future husband there. All of her friends were there. The friends were so close, they were more like family. This is the only church she has ever known. And she was shunned. Try to put yourself in her shoes and imagine what it would be like to have all of your friends and church family shut you off like that. In the profile picture, Emily is on the left and another former church member is on the right and both have given permission for me to discuss this on the blog.
When I think about their situation (the young ladies in the profile picture below), both having been there for as long as the former pastor was there, it grieves my heart. These young ladies are brave - leaving behind the only life they have ever known (very sheltered life) and walked out facing the unsheltered world head on. Thankfully, they have a lot of support and love from friends and family who have since left the church. They could have easily walked away from their families, but that has not happened. It will take some time to replace the bad teachings with right teaching, to work through the emotions of what happened, but these ladies are on the right track and have a lot of support. I'm so thankful for that.