Episode Three of the Ken David Stewart Show
Christianity with an Attitude.
I got saved when I was 27 years old. The only reason that I said the prayer of salvation was that I wanted fire insurance or in other words, I did not want to go to hell. Following my salvation experience my walk with the Lord has been very problematic to say the least. In my case, I cannot honestly state that it was a walk. It can be more accurately described as a stumble with many returns to my pre-Christian way of life. During my life I have fallen into the depths of depression and spiritual darkness. At times in my life, I felt like I have been submerged in the pit of hell.
I have often struggled with affection or any kind of liking towards my fellow man. I admit that on numerous occasions I had a strong distaste for people, both believers and unbelievers. I’ve attended many churches, this was most of the time due to the influence of my wife, Martha. She is a very strong Christian woman.
Over my life. I’ve especially had a difficult time with the Bible, the church and other Christians. All three have failed to meet my expectations on many occasions. There have been long periods of time when I have adamantly refused to attend any Christian services or Christian events. I selfishly disregarded the pain, disappointment and frustration that I caused my wife. In a very cavalier manner, I thought that I could not tolerate the hypocrisy that was being demonstrated by my fellow believers and the church.
As I am blessed to have a great deal of insight about myself, I also fully recognize that I am a hypocrite too. I thought that by avoiding contact with the church and other believers, I was at the very least, saving God’s Kingdom from one more hypocrite, namely, myself. There were times that I was either physically or emotionally too impaired to attend church. Perhaps, at these times, I had some excuse.
I have very mixed feelings about the first Baptist Church that I attended. I respected and appreciated the zeal and moral integrity of my first pastor. He would visit our home quite frequently. The Baptist pastor and I had some very serious discussions about the Christian life. The pastor and I got into many a heated argument. At the time I was employed at a job that I utterly detested and was suffering with extreme issues of low self-esteem. I told the pastor that I wanted to quit my job for the sake of my own health and sanity. The pastor sternly rebuked me for wanting to take away the financial security and economic welfare of my wife and family. I was very hurt by this rebuke.
I was quickly drafted into the role of being a leader in the 20% of any congregation that takes charge and gets things done. This is the same principle, whether in the secular world or the Christian world. 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
In this capacity I attended weekly Bible studies, served as an advisor to the Sunday school faculty and went along on local missionary drives. I was highly regarded for my abilities as both a student and as a teacher. My pastor respected my intellectual acuity and my sincere desire to play a significant role in the growth of the church.
Unfortunately, my honeymoon with the Baptist Church did not last very long. My personal lifestyle and attitudes showed little change after I became a Christian. To tell you the truth, they demonstrated no change at all. I continued to smoke tobacco, drink alcohol and listen to my favourite band, the Rolling Stones.
There were other issues as well. My family and I lived in a mobile home. We seemed to constantly be having problems with our plumbing, furnace and appliances. As I had absolutely zero aptitude for any skill set beyond the intellectual and educational, a small team of church goers volunteered or were appointed to give me some handyman assistance. I was not in the financial position to have any professionals repair my home. After a while, one of my church helpers told me that from now on I should learn how to do my own household repairs. This was well before the days of You Tube, so it was very difficult to learn any handyman skills on my own. After all, no one had taught me. I started to be infested by a strong spirit of resentment toward my fellow Christians at my first Baptist Church.