Letter – Disillusioned about church

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I thought one could expect better from those who attend a church.  

I joined a church here after being widowed in 1980 and marrying two years later when I moved here. We did a lot of work in missions and loved helping others; I was in the choir and toddler teacher for 10 years.

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After services, we heard all kinds of older people telling racist jokes and it floored us. I bought my husband a new London Fog raincoat for a birthday gift one year and the first time he wore it was a rainy night to a men’s church meeting. Needless to say, he did not come home wearing it as someone took it, leaving him a ragged-looking thing. It cost me nearly $250!

My 9-year-old son didn’t go to church for a month for some reason and finally he did  for a special event. A 13 year old girl walked up to him and suddenly slapped his face, leaving it red and him crying. We thought of addressing this attack with the minister, but we did not and turned the other cheek.

The minister asked me to send money outside the county to an organization in Norfolk and told me not to tell anyone, which was not right as I always told where mission money went. The head of the finance committee had ruled that no more mission money should leave the county, that it was for people here who needed help. I was not allowed to attend those meetings. 

The head of the finance committee asked my husband and me to come to a meeting and tell him and three others. When we arrived, half the church was there, including the minister, who glared at me the whole time.  After this meeting, he took my job away as mission chair when the week before he had told me I was doing a good job and wanted me to take the job again for the next year.

After all of this,  we left the church and never returned to any church again. Turning the other cheek doesn’t work, and we were tired of being treated like we had been. 

If you cannot improve the way you are and your actions toward others, stop going to a church altogether. You are wasting your time.


Linda Gould Steffey