I’ve come to the conclusion that The Lasting Supper is made up of two groups of people:
1. those who have been wounded by the church;
2. those who intellectually moved on from the church.
This is a generalization, but I think a pretty accurate one.
Actually, when I think about it, they both apply to me.
Then, when I think about it even further, they both may apply to all of us.
I’ll share from my own perspective about myself, and see if this applies to you:
Yes, I got some pretty outstanding scars from the church. I’ve shown some of them to you. But, this is not what actually drove me away from the church. The scars didn’t come out of nowhere. The wounds were delivered when people tried to confine me, constrict me, and control me.
If I had complied and conformed, things would have been much better for me. It was my root desire to be free to be myself that caused the problems. When I showed any signs of independent thinking or living, that’s when the hammer always came down. It was when I challenged the centers of control or questioned the status quo that things got difficult for me.
But then, when I think about it even further, my desire to be free was rooted in my mind. My own mind. My desire to be me was my own thought.
So I can fairly say that it all began with a thought in my mind: I want to be free to be me! I want to be free to ask questions, explore, discover, and integrate what I learn that is true. I will do whatever it takes to realize this. This is really all I have, life is short, so I’m going to make it my priority to see this through to completion.
So… back to those 2 major determinants that would describe the demographics of The Lasting Supper members… people who are wounded; and people who have moved on intellectually… can be boiled down to just one:
In my case, and I think in the case of many here, the wounding is the result of this battle:
Who will control your mind?
The wounds are what you received for fighting for ownership of it.
I remember after one of the most devastating blows to me personally (we went through a church split in 1997 and experienced massive betrayal by our closest friends)… I got my whole leadership team and me to get group therapy. The therapist essentially concluded that we shouldn’t identify ourselves by our wounds, but by our fierce desire to be free and independent. Just by a slight switch in perspective, it made us all realize that, as difficult by necessary as it was, we had done the right thing and had scars to prove it.
I eventually got to the place where I no longer identified as wounded, but as free.
No longer walking in shame, but dignity!
So, when people suggest that TLS is made up of a bunch of wounded people, I redirect their sight to what you really have been involved in… a bloody fight for independence!
And, if you haven’t won yet, you will!