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 Two

Confirmation:  The process of supporting a statement by evidence.  A Christian rite conferring the gift of the Holy Spirit and among Protestants full church membership. 

     Memories are etched into our minds through strong emotional stimulus like joy, fear, and expectation, and through sensory perceptions like smells, sounds, and touch.  They are triggered when we least expect it.  From the time I snuggled with my grandmother till the sixth grade I don’t remember anything about church.  But the sixth grade must have been a defining moment for my parents, their need for me to become a part of something otherly.

     Confirmation classes were the indoctrination of young minds into the faith of their parents.  They were weekly meetings to instruct us on the nature of God and the disciplines of the faithful.  Yet, their content has long been forgotten, save one.   Each confirmation class was given a tour of the “sanctuary.”

     Most Methodist sanctuaries were built the same, the narthex, the nave and the chancel.  In a modest way they were built with high ceilings to inspire awe in the worshipper.  The raised platform at the chancel elevated the preaching of the word of God, and its easterly direction faced toward Jerusalem and symbolized the resurrection.  As the pastor continued in his obvious delight in describing the symbolic nature of the church, only one thing caught my attention.

     A curtain hung high on the wall behind the preacher’s pulpit.  I had seen it before and wondered what lay behind it, what secret was hidden behind its heavy thick construction?  As we walked from the back of the nave toward the chancel it seemed as if the curtain became larger and more ominous.  My imagination conjured up many scenarios, but only one of them could be true, and in the context of our tour I was certain that behind that curtain Jesus hung on the cross.     

     We were on holy ground; we were walking toward the great mystery of our time; we were being initiated into the church and shown its greatest triumph.  The pastor sat us in the front row and wrapped up his tour, and to my consternation hadn’t revealed what was of utmost importance.  “Are there any questions?” he asked.

    I sheepishly raised my hand and quarried as to what was behind the curtain.  He turned and stepped into the chancel.  My heart was pounding as he took hold of that most sacred curtain and when he pulled it back my heart stopped.    I didn’t understand.  Where was the cross?  Where was the man who was supposed to be hung on it?  All that was there were the speakers to the organ, tastefully covered by an ordinary curtain.

     Fear, awe, expectation, and disappoint are strong emotions that have etched that memory into my mind.  It left a sour taste in my mouth toward those who held the mysteries of the faith.  I saw the absence of the cross and the Christ as a failure on their part to provide the tangible evidence of all that they taught. My sixth grade mind couldn’t comprehend what Jesus had told his disciple Thomas, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed,”  or what the Apostle Peter instructed, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”  This, however, is not why I Hate Church.  I’m just saying… (Continued).