Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Footnote to the Narrative

While I'm telling this story of how spiritual abuse can play out in our churches, I have the sense that some would think that this fictional narrative is far-fetched.

However, one of the things I'm doing is using real-life events, although stitched together in fictional characters. All the events did not happen to one group of people like it is in this story.

For example, the basketball court scene played out just as I described between my senior pastor and his assistant pastor during in the 1980s. The issues were the same. The senior pastor was the model I'm drawing from to paint Pete. They were very similar. The assistant pastor never lived in Kenya, but there was a lot of jealously from the senior pastor. Then the incident occurred on the basketball court and their hatred quickly came to the surface.

In a different church, a youth pastor of mine, did have a free trip that he had been dreaming of for months. Then, simply in spite, the senior pastor assigned him to do a funereal to ruin his trip (but in that case the pastor had no obligations, just did it in spite). That pastor though was a very, very "spiritual" man. If you know my story, this was the pastor who I told I was very depressed . . . then he immediately walked up to the pulpit and told the crowd how sick he was of hearing Christians say they were depressed.

So, this story is based in reality, so I don't really thing it is far-fetched.


Anna A said...

I,too, have had experiences that are not all that different.

One, a man had left a smaller church pastorate to be Asst. Pastor at a larger one, with the understanding that he would be groomed for taking over the church when the Sr. Pastor left. Sr. Pastor left, but at the meeting to consider the other man to take over, Sr. did an excellent job of stabbing Jr. in the back.

At another church, I was in the place of Ted Ledbetter, (except much lower in the hierarchy. I was actually told, by a woman I respected (at the time) to lie to the man over me for my refusal to teach something about Southern Baptist mission work (as a push for money) rather than what I had planned. I don't remember what I did. In the scheme of things, with only having two irregularly attending women in my class, it probably didn't matter. (EXCEPT TO ME, and my resulting spiritual growth.)

jmj said...

I think I see myself in each of them, both the perpetrators and the victims.

Anonymous said...

AKA the same thing I say when I base fictional scenes on RL:

"You think I could make up shit like this?"

Headless Unicorn Guy