I have debated whether or not I should write this. Why? Because it involves people from my church. The youth pastor and his family, to be specific.
Have you ever had a weird feeling around someone and you just could not give any rational explanation why? This has pretty much been the case since day 1 of having met this couple.
For those of you who are fellow believers and participate in church life, I know the first thing that will pop into your minds is that I should not be speaking this way. Let me offer up apologies in advance, but I am human and with that comes imperfections. I’ve searched my heart and I don’t think there’s any real malice there, just a niggling, annoying feeling that won’t go away.
When I first heard the word “missionaries”, it conjured up images of people in remote places in the world with no running water or electricity, trying to plant churches. Coming to Canada from across the U.S. border was not exactly what I had expected, but what do I know?
So, long story short, this couple and their children, who are related to my pastor (they are brothers), came on the scene about five years ago. Montreal is one of the least churched provinces in Canada, especially when it comes to youth. This was their calling, to draw the young’uns to God.
In all fairness, they are very active within the youth community and have managed to make connections with teens. Not many have actually started coming to church, but they do attend youth nights and activities outside of church. Hey, if it keeps them off the street, drugs and other vices, it’s all good.
So what’s the problem? They seem insincere and full of themselves. Little cliques have formed and we have lost some really good folks due to personality clashes. They have rubbed some the wrong way, myself included. We used to be so much more united, and now there are divisions. If you don’t notice them, it’s because you are part of a clique.
There are so many things that have cropped up, but I’ll stick to the latest red flag. They just came back from a vacation…to Hawaii. I’ve been to Hawaii. It’s not cheap. So, they are getting funds from their church in Pennsylvania as well as from our church in Montreal. That’s not all. Last year they all went to Disneyland and took a young girl they have unofficially “adopted” as well. Uhm…..is it just me, or does this seem a little extravagant?
There have been a couple of times when they have had fundraisers (and by fundraisers, I mean turning to the congregation for money) for a particular youth group activity. Here’s a thought…have a carwash, a bakesale, craft sale, etc. Or, stop using the money you are being given to go on expensive vacations while you are “missionaries”.
Another thing that gets me is the “you’re with us or against us” mentality. If one does not buy into their way of thinking 100%, it’s an issue, and you are automatically labeled a trouble maker. I’m sorry, but calling myself Christian does not mean I check my brain and judgement at the door on Sunday.
I’ve seen pics of her parent’s home. Do you know they have an full sized giraffe that they had taxidermy-ed in their living room. Not just the head. The whole freaking thing! This was a “trophy” they hunted and killed while on a safari somewhere. They are not hurting financially. Good for them, but again, modesty is lacking, in my humble opinion.
Then there’s that fake smile that never quite reaches the eyes. I usually have a really good sense about people and there’s something about this couple that just has never felt “right”.
Don’t get me started on the Facebook rants. Do you know what I absolutely love about my pastor and his wife? You never know what their political views are. They keep everything to themselves. Not these two. They would post all sorts of stuff about Trump during the elections and start online debates with others and should they become cross (pun not intended!) with someone, they would post little quips and digs, hidden behind scripture. Seriously?
I got tired of seeing the bullshit on display and I unfriended them from Facebook. The result? I don’t see or hear any of the drama anymore and I am less annoyed.
So that’s my rant. I’d love to hear comments from others, whether or not you agree with me. Sometimes it helps to hear other perspectives. I just hope that when their time is up in two years, that they pack up and head back home. It will be interesting to see how things turn out with the rest of the congregation.