In the post I linked to above, one of the comments is from a member of another church - a church that happens to be helping fund the start-up of Nathan's church. The comment, by Mark McLaughlin, basically says shut up or we'll shut you down:
"Yea Nathan, nicely done.With a chip on your shoulder and lack of discernment you managed to rip the “the Christian Church of Sarnia” using a secular media outlet for all the unbelievers of Sarnia to witness and laugh at. Great job!Here is a suggestion. Instead of judging every other Christian in Sarnia with your narrow agenda (which apparently nobody else gets), maybe just focus on your tiny niche in the downtown core struggling with poverty and not sabotage everyone else’s efforts to reach the rest of non-believing Sarnia. I hope the pastor of The Story, Joe, will have the wisdom to sit you down and either tell you to find yourself in quiet or cut you loose. I’m a member of the church that has supported Joe Manafo’s church plant and is making your mortgage happen at the Story, and we are also one of the churches in your letter that all we do, as you so foolishly put it, “is plan church services, collect money in buckets (while conveniently receiving a tax receipt) for our building fund and missionaries abroad, and invigorate other Christians to do it all again next Sunday.” For your sake, I hope this keeps happening each week or The Story might not have such a happy ending. Anyone that loves Jesus does not wish that, including myself.And finally, that’s great that you cleared up Kelly’s confusion (03/31/09 @ 19:34 )on your rant by emailing her, way to go. As for the remaining cynics and unbelievers that were confused over your garbage, please leave it to “The Christian Church of Sarnia” to clean up the rest of your mess. Mark McLaughlin. "
It is that very "don't ask questions, keep in line" approach that makes the church (religion) so horrible and dangerous. It is probably the same approach that I am sure thousands of priests took advantage of when fondling, raping and sodomizing children. I'm not saying all reglion is bad, but setting such expectations of its followers is.
Question everything - if something isn't right, you have the power to make a difference. Don't accept things simply because that's what you've been told or that's how it has always been.
Mark McLaughlin, if you demand respect, expect to justify your position - you have no right to oppress the feelings, beliefs and speech of others. I would fight to support your right to free speech but, with freedom of speech doesn't come protection of your feelings.
Nathan - there are thousands (millions?) of people who have the same questions as you - don't let someone so closed-minded stop you from trying to make a difference.