My last email to the pastor from part 1 was May 3. Four days later, I received a response at church. The pastor stopped me at church and said he would be getting with me about coffee.

Tonight I went to a business meeting, just to observe. Before the meeting, I ran into the pastor and told him I was invited by one of the other ministers. He visited with me for a bit about our emails, telling me that he did want to visit. He said he didn’t feel right about throwing certain words out but was concerned about their impact. I affirmed that I understood there were many understandings of some words, and that I wasn’t trying to throw anything out, but wanted his definitions of certain words because they are so often misused. I explained that there were some things that were so misused that I needed to redefine them, to study them out, and had come to a quite different understanding of them than this group might believe, but that it was for my own safety. I also explained that sometimes those words and the definitions by which they were misused had to be gotten away from, not only to maintain any understanding of them but to maintain a belief or faith in God at all, or that some verses had to be studied and new understandings developed in order to even read the Bible.

He talked about being a shepherd again tonight. I don’t see that in the Bible – the comparison of pastor to shepherd. And he mentioned “they that must give account” (Heb 13:17). He has no idea what that verse means to me or how triggering it is. I don’t think he understands it the way it was taught in my former church. I don’t think he has any idea.

So, somewhere in the near future, coffee is waiting, and maybe some explanations that I’m not sure I’m ready for.