Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Pinehurst Family

The farthest back I can remember places me in a parsonage of a small church in Everett, Washington. I was born in Bremerton but my family soon moved to Everett where my father would pastor Pinehurst Community Chapel. Much of this time period is foggy to me, but I do remember several incidences that contributed to my early socialization as a Christian. Activities in the church such as Awana and Vacation Bible schools stick out as the main events that I remember from this age. I can only assume that this is because they had a deep impact on the beginning of my moral formation. Yet, amongst these important activities something very strange sticks out in my mind about Pinehurst Church.
Being the first home of my memory, one might conclude that this place would rise as a place of comfort in my remembrance. However, I distinctly recall never feeling at home at this place. From flashes of church services to playing in the back yard, I always recollect an unusual uneasiness about the place. This perhaps could simply be my frail childhood being intimidated by what I perceived at the time as traumatic events such as the police raiding the next door neighbor in a drug bust, the squirrel that getting fried on the power lines, or the burglar alarm going off. But, my intuitive side tells me that my uneasiness arose from something inside the church. I was far too young to be disturbed by misleading theology or debates about worship styles. There was a feeling around the people at Pinehurst that never made me feel comfortable or nurtured.
So the question that this now poses to me is: did this early experience somehow scar or deter me from the fundamentalism that was embodied in the church? This church was a bit more fundamental than that which I am used to and comfortable with now. I always become restless and tense when I encounter more legalistic church. It is possible that my experience at Pinehurst has made me associate negative feelings with this type of tradition.

1 comment:

Bo Lim said...

Important questions. My wife simiarly has a strong aversion to Fundamentalist churches.