I have a confession...I don't like church. Well, church in the terms as many define and experience it. I don't like the church that refuses to acknowledge the divine gifts women embody and the positions we are called to occupy. I don't like the church that continues to disengage its members from the reality in which they live by being told to just pray about it, when there are real issues that need to be addressed and possibly even some practical measures in which it can be done. I don't like the church that prioritizes a few over the masses (the first family vs. everybody else). I can actually go on with my list of things that I don't like the church. My own experience in church has left me drained and somewhat cynical. Some of the things I have experienced and been exposed to, willingly and unwillingly, leaves me asking questions...what are we (the church) doing and what am I doing???
As I write, I have to admit that if feels great to acknowledge my truth. It feels great to not go along to get along. Even though I can almost hear some of my counterparts give the, "well you can't love the head and hate the body" rationale people give when someone critiques the church, I don't care. I do, however, care about are those who have been abused (sexually, financially, emotionally, spiritually....). I care about those who sit among others every week, but for one reason or another are isolated. I do care about those who hear about the love of God preached from the pulpit but don't experience it.
Tamela Mann has recorded a song entitled Take Me to the King. In this song she sings about what many feel too afraid or embarrassed to admit. She states that her heart is torn in pieces, she has been abused, she has no tears left to cry, she is all churched out...I can relate. I find myself wondering where are the Christians with the courage to help the hurting see God over the church? Yes, we are flawed and have faults, but too often the leaders are presented as infallible and the view of God becomes eclipsed. Too often the church is seen as an organization that cannot/must not be questioned and the view of God is eclipsed. The church is to be representation of God, but what happens when the representation, misrepresents the will and heart of God?
Will there be someone to help that person get to where healing can happen? Will there be someone courageous enough to call out the mess we sanctify each week and call it worship? What happens to those who have had their hearts torn in pieces, those with little to bring, those with no more tears to shed? Can someone, anyone help them get to God, the healer they need?
Tamela also acknowledged in the song that we are in God's way. The church should be pointing people to God and not becoming mini gods. No, this blog is not to suggest that there aren't any good churches, but it is to state there are too many hurting people. I will continue to pray for those (self included) who have been hurt by the church. I will never again shun or silence one who needs to voice their pain. I will be the one with the courage to help them get back to God. Will you?
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,