I'm Just Saying

Dr. Paul Perkins

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For an author writing is as necessary as breathing. They don't write for money or to court literary fame, but because they believe they have something to say. It matters not that anyone will read or listen, the words must be written, and if in the process someone is blessed -- all the more wonderful

Dr. Perkins has written for a long time, but only recently has sought to publish his work and venture into new genres. He believes in education, finally earning his doctorate at the age of 55. He believes that learning never ends, giving fodder to the imagination and breathing life into the characters on his page. His hope is to continue telling stories for a new generation of readers and aspiring authors.

Dr. Perkins' first novel is "Centurion: From glory to glory", but is not his first book. He has written "Legacy to my sons", "The Lost Shepherd", "The prayer of a transformed life", "The Cost", and a verity of Christian Youth Devotionals. 

Why I Hate Church: Part Five

Cocoons serve to protect young pupae until they are ready to break free into beautiful butterflies.  Every young Christian needs a place to grow and learn in an environment where it is safe to fail.   Failure is inevitable for the Christian if he truly seeks to live as a follower of Jesus.  Failure isn’t necessarily about sin; it is about trying new things, being faced with conflicting situations, and being forged in the process of life.

As a new believer venturing into the arena of collegiate academia I was not adequately prepared for the onslaught of an antagonistic worldview.  At the University of South Florida I endured the rants of an English professor who loathed Christians and a science department that was vocally dismissive of faith.  But it wasn’t until I entered the theatre department that I found my most challenging situation.

     Our puppet troupe was performing for local elementary schools the “Jungle Book.”  It was an elaborate production of puppets and humans, and our largest puppet was Kaa, a 30-foot python.  I was asked to accompany three other puppeteers to a conference in Atlanta, Georgia to demonstrate how we manipulated Kaa. 

     Since becoming a believer I had not been surrounded by such a culturally diverse group of people who didn’t believe in Jesus.  My colleagues consisted of a young man who played Mowgly and was gay, a large boisterous fellow who played Baloo, and a beautiful young lady who was an ardent feminist.  Mowgly had friends in Atlanta where he stayed, and the rest of us shared a single room.  I was not going to sleep with Baloo, and knew it wasn’t appropriate with the young lady, so I volunteered to get a rollaway. 

     Intimidated was an understatement, but I was determined to live my faith in front of them, and the only way I knew how was to read my bible.  So each morning I opened my bible and attempted to concentrate on my devotions.  One morning, and I can’t remember what I was reading; my two roommates approached me and asked what I was doing.  I explained, and they engaged me in a conversation about faith, science, morality, and I was dumbfounded.  They seemed to know more about my faith than I, but they were arguing against it.  I sat there speechless.

     Feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment simmered inside, not at my roommates, but at the church for failing to prepare me for such an ordeal. Why hadn’t they grounded me better, or maybe it was because they couldn’t.  The Sunday after returning from the conference I sat in the back of the sanctuary with my friends.  As the pastor preached I quietly, but loud enough for my friends to hear, mocked what he was saying.  After the service the oldest daughter of my adopted family confronted me.  “What is wrong with you, Paul?”  I spewed my feelings as she and the others patiently listened.  The only response that I remember was, “What you need to do is go to Bible College.”

     There was no question in my mind that was what I needed to do.  When I told my mom what my plans were her only response was, “We wondered when you were going to do something like that.”  God’s sovereign hand was guiding me in the direction of his choosing.

     Did the church fail me?  Maybe, or maybe I wasn’t listening.  All I know is that I was determined not to face that kind of situation again unprepared.  The Apostle Peter instructed his congregation,

Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.

It is difficult to face the reality of an imperfect church, but that isn’t why I hate church.  I’m just saying… (Continued).