Friday, May 17, 2013

I Love Church

It's true.  I love it.  Maybe I should more specifically say that I love my church.  I love the community, I love seeing Christians come together in large groups, I love Sunday mornings, I love seeing how a pastor can stand in front of thousands of people and cry for his lost city, I love seeing lives changed right in front of me, I love seeing love oozing out of the staff from the greeters to the pastors. I. Love. Church.

I attend a rather large church.  I love that it is on the leading edge of creativity while holding true to the conservative values and doctrine that I believe in.  I love being a part of an in home small group on Sunday evenings with 5 or 6 other couples.

I know a lot of people who hate the institution of "church".  I would agree with every. single. one. of their reasons too.  The church I grew up in would be a prime example of what in my book would be "messed up church".

What I've come to realize, however, is that it isn't "the church" itself that is bad.  There are just a lot of people giving "church" a bad name.  Well, guess what?  Churches? They're made out of people.  People? They're not perfect.

I don't care where you are, who you are, who you think you're not perfect and the spiritual leadership in your life will at some point let you down.  Maybe you need to realize that the people in your life cannot meet all your needs.  If you're attending church for that reason, prepare yourself for some disappointment.  "Church" is not your relationship with Christ.  Gathering together should be an encouragement to your faith but not your faith.

Just because a church is big and contemporary doesn't mean that it's perfect.  And just because it is a "church" doesn't mean that it is the place that you were wounded in and the place that will wound you again.

This post (as with any post I write) is probably more for me than anyone else.  Sometimes, you just need to process!


I was hesitant to actually post this because I was afraid it would come off as harsh to those who have been wounded in church. 

I posted anyway. 

Then, I read another blog written by someone that I grew up with and who was hurt in the same church that I grew up in and was also hurt by.

After reading her blog, my heart was saddened.   I went back and re-read today's post, and I realized how lacking in compassion it is.  While I do think there are still a great many people who expect the physical building known as the church to hold the answers to all of life's problems, there are a whole great many more who were hurt for just trying to be, for volunteering, for engaging.

I struggled with the same acceptance issues as she did though my rejection was manifested in a different way.

I don't understand how leadership in some churches don't see the many hearts that have been torn apart.  I don't understand how they continue to operate the way they do even when confronted with with the harm that has been caused.

My heart hurts for these wounded warriors.  My fear is that I may have ever caused pain in the name of the church.

These kind of stories are so discouraging and give way to despair.

But then I see that these stories are followed either by healing or the start of healing.  I have to remember that God is in control.  He sees the hurt and the pain and He is the ever flowing source of comfort, strength, and healing.  He is the focus.  He will right the wrongs and expose the darkness.  He has been faithful to me and I know He will show His faithfulness to you too.

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