I need some help with something. I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and was married for 19 years to a man and we faithfully attended a Southern Baptist church. Needless to say, I was firmly steeped in Southern Baptist doctrine, and traditions. When I realized I was in love with a woman, I fought like everything the attraction because I knew that I couldn't be saved and a lesbian. So for 12 years I did everything I could to get her out of my life. It didn't work and neither did the many prayers I begged God to take this away from me. So after 19 years I divorced my husband and moved in with her and we were married in Canada last year. When we got married, I had been out of church for 3 years because I just couldn't face the judgment that I knew I would get not only for my divorce, but because I was lesbian, too, from any Southern Baptist church. I searched for a Bible based gay church. I found several, and we went and have become pretty involved. I sing in the praise team and my wife works the computer system and soundboard.
The problem is this- being raised Southern Baptist, I am not very animated when it comes to worship and praise. I am getting better, but not quite there yet. I don't speak in tongues, I don't roll around on the floor and I don't fall out. And these people look at me like, "What's wrong with you?" They constantly say things like, "You are a praise leader, you need to step out of your Baptist roots and become Pentecostal." I feel like what I left the Baptist church for I am finding in a gay church, which astounds me. If anyone, any gay person knows what judgment and criticism feels like, why do they perpetrate it on others? I don't get it. I feel pressured to speak in tongues, as if my salvation depends on it, or roll around on the floor, as if my upraised hands aren't enough.
This is my opinion-I feel like worship and praise are very personal actions directed vertically toward God. It is MY praise to HIM. I shouldn't have to impress others with it nor do I intend to. I know there is a time and place for corporate praise and worship and I happily do it, but I don't feel it is anyone's right to tell me their opinion of how I do it. But invariably, our worship leader says it is not good enough, it is not bringing God's presence into our worship. We need to be more animated and more this or more that. If God is who I worship, why should anyone be able to say it isn't good enough?
I want to be able to worship freely and I think that I should be able to do that in church. Am I wrong? Am I just taking this too seriously?