Baptist meetings always smell of Aqua Velva, Chanel 5, and casseroles. Musty hymnals tanned with age meet the eye with an almost historic glory. The pulpits many hand made creak and groan with the weight of the ancient King James Bible sitting distintively on top.
I pastored two of these churches. I was the authority. The vicar of Christ for about 70 people. They hung on my every word as if I was another Isaiah or Ezekiel uttering oracles and jeremiads on the condition of sinful man. It was a southern gothic replete with plenty of shouting.
Why did I leave it? One answer only will suffice. I heard a sermon from the Preacher. The preacher was none other than the Christ. Christ alone is the Preacher. He teaches his own. I realized through his gentle touch that, he and he alone, is the only one to speak on God. All my works, Bible reading, sermonizing, and evangelizing was for external religion. Outward forms with no substance. I was led to a book by Job Scott, a saintly Quaker, on the Christ. Then to George Fox. They wrote about what I was experiencing!
I quit. I left it all. I left the money, fame, and political position for the Eternal Presence. Now, the only sermonizing I do is with a life lived in the Eternal Love.
Christ speaks, Christ lives, Christ loves, and Christ exists in ALL of us. We just have to stop, drop, and listen.