I have a generally pretty good relationship with my mom. I was always closer to my father. But when he passed away in 2005 it was just me and mom, I have no siblings. We remained close but her issues with hording made it impossible for me to live there. After a time living with a friend I jumped at the opportunity to move to Oklahoma
I think the move has helped. The distance has made us closer, if that makes sense. We appreciate the time we have together more sine we see each other maybe once a year. My mother has been very liberal most of her life. She grew up Catholic but isn't a judgmental person and was an anti-war hippie growing up. That's what makes some of the things I've been hearing from her kind of disturbing
First off, let's have some context. Growing up we attended the Methodist church. My dad was a member of the choir and I was an altar boy as a youth. When we moved to a different town we feel out of attending. Dad quit the choir due to an argument with another member who accused him of stealing her music packet. Eventually we stopped going entirely, aside from holidays. I don't think we ever stopped believing in God or lose our faith in Jesus, we just stopped attending church. After my father passed away I went through a major crisis of faith and then I moved a few years later. Mom started going back and getting more involved. And that is where we are now.
The church is dying. The attendance has dropped and bills are getting to be too much. I saw this coming a few years ago. During one winter the chapel could not be used because they couldn't afford to heat it, so service was held downstairs in the fellowship hall. So right now they are trying to sell the building and see about moving to a smaller location. Frankly, mom's not even sure if he has the authority to do that.
On top of the financial issues there are group dynamic issues as well. The pastor is progressive on some issues, mainly gay rights and gay marriage. My mother doesn't have an issue with that. She supports equal marriage rights. But what she told me today was kind of interesting. She feels that the pastor is using his position in the church to promote his own agenda that it's become the church of Pastor Bob, not Jesus Christ. Another issue is that there is a fracturing of the church. One on side you have the pastor and his group which includes a long standing lesbian couple. They have been trying to run our friend who runs the nursery school out and my mother has been staying to help her. She keeps saying she will be going back to the Catholic Church.
One big issue she mentioned today was a push to promote the church as all inclusive and accepting. She feels that isn't right or biblical. She insists she's not homophobic but that she's simply tired of hearing about it and being forced to accept it as an acceptable lifestyle.
I was shocked when I heard some of this. I knew things were getting back but I didn't realize they were getting this bad. I was especially shocked to hear some of the things my mother said, that she was tired of the pastor trying to push homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, and that it's not biblical. I never heard her talk this way and I frankly was getting upset. She has no issues being friends with our mutual friend's mother who's been an uncloseted lesbian for years. Frankly it sounds like she's becoming one of those types who just wants the gays to shut up and be quiet. I even called his an evangelical which she denied but insists she will be leaving the church because of how the pastor is running things.
I wonder if I even know who my mother is anymore.