An Apology To Those Hurt by the Church
Maybe, you felt like you didn’t fit in with the culture there and that made you feel alienated. Maybe, there were some harsh words pointed at you and/or your family for how you live and you felt judged. Maybe, you were told certain things would happen and they never came to pass. Maybe, the favor of the Lord was on you and you received criticism from jealous members. Maybe, by no fault of your own, people gossiped about you behind your back. There are so many more situations that I’ve been told about that are deeply painful.
For that I’d like to offer a sincere apology.
I’ve grown up in church my whole life. Some of the best people I know, I met them at church. Some of the worst people I know, I met them at church too. It is amazing how some people can claim to be saved by grace but have none to give to others.
I know, I was one of them.
My life’s basic creed was, “Forget what Jesus actually said and did. I’ll do me. When I’m in a tight spot that I can’t get out of by my own power, then I’ll ask Jesus for some help. Thank you for the fire insurance, I’ve got it from here.” I was not the only “Christian” who operated by that creed.
There are some people who go to church that still operate by that or similar creeds. There are so many who are reckless with their words and their actions. There are so many who expect grace but don’t give it. As a result, you were hurt by people you never expected to be hurt by. And for that I’m truly sorry. Even people who are in right relationship with God can hurt other people too. The church is made up of imperfect beings trying to serve a perfect Creator. We mess up — and I’m not trying to make excuses; your pain is real and it is something that God wants to heal.
God does healing through supernatural means and natural means. That means, more than likely, God will use people as part of your healing process as well. People who understand that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). People who understand that is by grace through faith and not works that we all are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). People who strive to be more and more like Jesus. These people are God’s people, they are his Church.
For those of you who have been truly hurt, I understand that it will be hard to trust church folk again. Jesus said in Matthew 7 that you will recognize real believers by their fruit. And in John 13:35 Jesus says you’ll know who are his by the way they love one another. So I implore you to give the church another chance. Look for those you see the fruit of the Spirit in. If you can find it in your heart to be like Jesus and forgive those who have hurt you, please do so; I know this process can take time but I encourage you to start it. Don’t try to walk the Christian life alone (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The church is not perfect but it is the family of God. We all know family members can do things that upset each other. But at the end of the day, we all need family and community to survive just like you need food. You’ve been to a nasty restaurant before, right? You may have even gotten sick from it. But I’m sure you haven’t given up on the concept of eating out. The church should want to serve better, speak better, and love better through the power of God’s grace — grace that was meant for you to partake in and accept despite how you have been hurt.
Posted on May 29, 2012, in All HFL Articles and tagged apology, Christianity, Church, Ephesians 2:8-9, God, Gospel, hate, hurt, Jesus, john 13:35, judgement, leaving the church, love, Pain, proverbs 18:21, Religion, truth. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.