Confessions of an Ex-Elder

Photo by motortion.

In the early days
before the great divorce,
we used the dreadful language
of compliance. We, the elders, met
in our councils and carefully
considered doctrinal crimes
and excesses of inclusion.
It was a grim endeavor.
I shuddered under the weight
of words. Faith and Practice
seemed a stern Quaker bible,
precise and unforgiving.
But we did our job, pinned
our specimens to the board,
examined under magnification.
When deemed appropriate,
we issued judgment—
out of compliance—
and excommunicated whole
congregations.
Since those days
I find myself in isolation,
not wanting to enter a church.
Secretly—or not—
I am out of compliance
with all of it.

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