Monday, July 18, 2016

God said, "Don't go to church!"

God said, "Don't go to church!"

My grandmother, Martha Drake, told me an amazing story. She said God told her not to go to church. I am a pastor and I have heard lots of stories of why people didn’t go to church. Though some have merit most are just smoke and mirrors and I don’t know if they are trying to fool me or themselves. Personally, I don’t think I am as dumb as they think I am considering some of the stories. I have never had anyone tell me that God told them not to go to church and I believed them until grandma told me her story. 

Grandma had accepted Christ and was serving him in spite of the fact that her husband, Ralph my grandfather, was not very happy about it. Grandpa was what some might call an alcoholic but considering how he behaved I would have called him a drunk and a mean drunk at that. Grandma lost 12 children to miscarriage all of the probably due to the beatings. I was glad that by the time I came along Grandpa was a different person. 

One night grandma was walking to church and felt God tell her, “Don’t go to church, Martha.” She didn’t think it was right to miss church on Sunday night when she could go so keep walking. God did not let up and a couple houses before the church she turned into her Aunt  Millie’s house and visited with her rather than go to church. Afterward, she went home feeling a little bad for not going to church. 

“Martha,” her friend Treasa told grandma later, “I am glad you weren’t in church Sunday night. Part way into the service, Ralph shoved open the back doors of the church. He stood there holding open the doors, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and just stared around looking for you. You could see he was drunk and mad. When he didn’t see you he stomped out letting the doors slam behind him. I think if you had been there he would have dragged you out and beat you.”

 Grandma later wondered if perhaps God did not save her that night, not just from a beating but from losing her life. It is strange to think perhaps I might never have been born if Grandma had gone to church. 

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