I attempted to find work in Texas as the school I was working in decided to close its doors. Upon coming home from an interview from a place I really didn't want to work anyway, I became convinced that it was time to return to Michigan. My brother was pastoring a small church in Luther, MI and I was going to go there and assist him in his ministry there.
We said our goodbyes, the wonderful folks down there had a nice reception for us and we headed to Michigan. At first we moved in with my in-laws who are fantastic people. We were travelling an hour to attend church in Luther from Mt. Pleasant and I was trying to get a job in the prison system or anywhere the Lord opened a door.
One Sunday night my brother had been preaching a series on the attributes of God and he came to what I think was the 'righteousness of God.' He took for his text, Romans 9 where the writer asks, Is there unrighteousness with God? He explained the doctrine of election and what Romans 8-9 was teaching in pretty clear language. You could sense in the congregation that some were not pleased with what he said.
The following week was a whirlwind. A group in the church organized and called for his ouster. They called for a vote the following Sunday and by their constitution, did not have the votes to have him removed. Some of John's close friends in the church encouraged him to leave but he said he would be happy to if he knew that is what God wanted him to do.
The Sunday meeting would have been comical if not so sad. Some of the comments:
"Well, we don't know the Bible well enough to argue with you."
It is amazing how when controversy strikes a church, people come out of the woodwork who never attend but have never had their names removed from membership. John learned a lot there and so did I. But that now left us up in Michigan with no church and no job, living with the in-laws. Not exactly where I wanted to be in my life at this point. But then, God!