Why You Can't Stand The Church
I was reading a piece a woman wrote about being “brave spiritually”, even through the messes. I was inspired, but something caught me. I stopped reading when she stopped talking about her own faith, and said “I have a confession. I have a problem with the church.” She then explained several reasons why she has such a problem with the church. Why she can’t stand it. And she is not alone.
Would you like to know why you can’t stand the church?
Because I am part of it.
Seriously, that is why. The church is full of mess ups like me. Mess ups that hurt others, say the wrong things, and are completely imperfect.
All of the reasons that I have heard from people who cannot stand the church have involved the people in it. This person has been hurt by a christian. This person has been offended by someone, that person didn’t like the pastor.
We should be glad that the church is full of people that are messed up. That means that there is room for us screw ups too.
If you are not a christian, this should be especially true. You know that you are not perfect. You should also know that neither is anyone in the church. That should be liberating. Know that you should be able to walk into a church (mind you, there are some healthy churches and others that are not) and fit in, no matter what. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No matter where you are in life, you fit in. Someone else is there, or has been there. Do not decide that you hate the church because of past encounters. You cannot hate all pizza when you have only experienced Digiorno’s cardboard crust.
If you are a christian, know that JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR THE CHURCH. The word church is derived from kyriakon, which is Greek and mean’s “the Lord’s”¹. Jesus died for his people. We, the Church, are His, and we are all in this together. We have one mission, one law, and one love. Before we say a bad thing about the church; complain about the pastor who didn’t speak to us long, or the bible study leader that offended us, let’s remember that. Jesus gave himself up for the church so that he might sanctify her (Eph 5). There will be times that we are hurt by someone. There will also be times that we hurt someone. Love the church like Christ does.
It is easy to jump on bandwagons, and hating the Christian church is one right now that has a lot of momentum. Let us truly be brave in our faith, friends, and take the unpopular road. The church will always be here, so let us pour into it instead of taking all the withdrawals we can and then leaving when we have had enough. We should invest in a forever promise, and know it may be hard and messy along the way.
p.s. Here are Ten Ways a Church Family can love on each other.
¹Breshears & Driscoll, Vintage Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 36