Continued from Part One.
So every now and then when I got a concern I would address it in email. But I hardly got feedback besides a few times. My first real red flag concern was their incomplete teaching on marriage. The response I received was: “The pastor preaches under the influence of the Holy Spirit.”
Another time I asked what their accountability system was. I got a response: “We have weekly devotionals with the pastoral staff.”
Still another time I asked them why the pastors all seem so standoffish? It didn’t seem Christ-like. I got the response: “We keep fellowship within the ranks.”
But silly me wasn’t content with the answers so I kept probing and often sharing scriptures but I rarely got responses. I think the pastor in charge of reading emails should have told if there was an unspoken rule about answering emails. My personality is just keep probing and asking rhetorical questions, sharing scripture and trying to humbly contend for the faith. So that’s what I did.
Now, I remember wondering if the Holy Spirit was prompting me to email or if it was just my natural zeal. But interestingly, I felt a caution in my spirit when starting emails but thought, it’s the devil trying to intimidate me from contending for the faith, but I also thought it could be God warning me that the devil has put the zeal there and making it appear like God’s prompting.
Anyway, I think emailing somehow either started an inappropriate attraction to me or this assistant pastor decided to subtly turn on the charm to find a way to distract me, test me, or take me off balance and use flattery to find a way to shift blame to make me a troublemaker.
He had started to be friendlier at church but I wasn’t comfortable because he had been standoffish for so long and now I was feeling a bit bombarded with attention from him. He would now always be looking and smiling. I also noticed now he seemed to pop up everywhere more often than before. He would acknowledge me now.
Maybe it was my imagination and maybe it was my vanity playing tricks on me. Maybe it was the devil psyching me out. Maybe he was just trying to be more friendly in a Christ-like way since I brought it to his attention that they all seem snobby. But I was starting to get creeped out because I also felt a horrible sense of anxiety at home before going to church or after coming home from church and this anxiety really brought me to my knees. I started to really probe myself. I wondered if I was the one feeling attracted because of the change or if the flattery just swept me off my feet a bit. But it was creeping me out really bad so at church I felt this repulsion. I felt like God was also protecting me so I just kept praying hard.
One day I confronted him in email because it just needed to stop. He ended up forwarding the e-mail to the female counselor. Strangely, I received a copy of what he was sending her. It read: “I think it will only reinforce what she is imagining.” At first it made no sense, then I thought, it’s as if he talked to her and she told him to answer me to ease my worry, but he chose not to. So then he either accidentally forwarded me a copy or covertly did by making it look like an accident, in order to either hint to me that I was imagining things or simply to try to dodge a potential accusation to the counselor.
So soon after I read that she called my phone earnestly telling me: “Stop emailing because it is inappropriate!” Thinking to myself, what? I answered okay, but, can I explain why I emailed? She said no, she was busy that weekend but to call her the following Monday morning.
To be continued.