Northland Christian Church, Topeka, Kansas.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Quilter Girl chilled and I headed out alone to try out another church.
Before reaching the church,I saw a treat.
I think if people are picketing a church, the place must be at least doing something to get peoples' attention.
On a hunch, I stopped to talk to them. Only one guy would talk to me. I explained I was a traveller, and just stumbled on this place.
"So, what's wrong with this church?"
"They promote fornication and adultery."
"They preach it.?"
"No." He fidgeted. "They allow fornicators and adulterers to sit in the pews and don't do anything about it. God's going to judge them."
I read his sign. 'God is America's Terrorist.' Told him I didn't get it.
He explained that America loves to label terrorists, but those attacks are the judgement of God. So, God is a terrorist.
All through our conversation, he never made eye contact with me. No one else would come closer to us. I told him I was going to the church anyway and would check it out.
"Tell them we don't hate them. We... they just need to change."
I got on the bike.
"I know a guy that could paint that a lot better than that."
I shrugged. "A little late for that."
Funny, the last sentence capped it for me.
They are haters!
What really irritates me is this is the brush people paint me with when they talk about the 'radical right wing' or 'right wing extremists.'
Yet they are picketing the church I love!
I entered the church to the greeters and bulleting hander outers. Milled around. Went into the cafe and had a snack and drink.
No one talked to me.
Throwing myself under the bus, a little voice told me to sit and strike up a conversation with a guy sitting alone and I didn't.
Yeah, you preach it, Kevin!
I loved the five piece band and contemporary music, and we worshipped the Lord together. Sort of together. No one sat in my row.
Pastor R.D. Cogswell preached and it was more Bible study. My son Jonathan would have loved it.
But amazingly, in parts of his sermon, he talked about repentance, times in our lives when we step out of God's will, and mistakes.
I don't thnk he left the fornicators and adulterers off the hook.
After the service I talked to pastor Doug, an assistant staff member. Told him I liked his church. He said God had blessed them abundantly. I asked it it ws a growing church and he assured me it was growing well.
I asked him about the picketers. He said, "They picket every church in Topeka. It's sad really. They are really hurting people."
Thinking over my encounter with them, I could see they certainly had issues. Read the words on their picket signs. Wow.
I decided I would talk to the picketers and tell them how the service went, and what the pastor preached on.
They were already gone, before the 11:00 service.
Apparently the fornicators and adulterers only hang at the 9:30 service.