That’s what happened to me.

Spiritual castration.

Castration ultimately means “to render impotent, literally or metaphorically, by psychological means . . . to deprive of strength, power, or efficiency; weaken.”  One synonym is “mutilate.”

When I was first castigated by leadership of the church, I was told by the personnel committee that because I had brought up concerns about the worship leader, I would no be “working with” (as a volunteer) him – meaning that I could not play instruments, sing, etc.  Not very long after that, I took a spiritual gifts class that the church offered as a means to not only assist people in identifying their gifts, but to also offer us possibilities for using those gifts in the church.  When the final class was upon us, the class in which we would meet with church leaders to discuss how we might use our gifts to serve in the church, I received a phone call telling me that I was not to attend this meeting because I was not going to be using my gifts in the church for a very long time.

This was a church that, for several years, encouraged people to identify and work within their spiritual gifts.  They emphasized that each of us has been given at least one gift by God to use to edify the Body and not using those gifts was a travesty.

Yet, I was told blatantly that I was not going to be using my gifts.  And for more than a decade, I submitted to the leadership’s chastening.

What I didn’t realize, what I couldn’t put together in my head or my heart, is that ultimately, the leadership was saying, “We have no need of you” (1 Cor. 12:21) and had cut me off – I was the castrated part of the Body.  Yet, as I read 1 Cor. 12, it would appear to me that any “Body” that says to one of its members, “We have no need of you,” truly is not a Body at all.  In fact, since “the members should have the same care one for another” (v. 25), and I was not being cared for, but rather attacked, persecuted, and ostracized, one must conclude that this church was not a “Body” at all.

Had this “church” brought me under formal discipline, presenting evidence that they had just cause for their treatment of me, and I had continued to behave in a manner that required them to ultimately remove me from service or even to excommunicate me, their status as a “Body” would remain intact.  But, no formal disciplinary procedures ever took place.  No evidence or even reasons were ever given for my castration even though I begged for years to be given this information for no other reason than so that I could make reparations to any injured parties.  My first request for information was overtly denied and from then on, whenever I addressed the issue via emails to the senior pastor, I was ignored.  He would not respond.

So, given the fact that I was not brought under formal discipline, no evidence or reasons were ever given, and I was denied any possibility of using my spiritual gifts in my “church,” the only conclusion possible is that it is not a church at all.  For where they have done this to the least – and I most certainly was “the least” in the way that I was treated, they have done it to Jesus.  No church would treat Jesus that way.  Ultimately, in castrating me, they castrated Jesus.

Jesus was rendered impotent.  Deprived of strength and power.  Mutilated.

And I’m sure he wept.

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