Today I’m stealing a post from Jon Hallewell as my immediate circumstances are a little crazy at the moment. This is from his blog “Life Shaped Faith” that I recommend. I’ll post something new later today if I can.
This post says a lot and a lot of what it says is what makes me the most depressed and discouraged about what I do. Here’s the article and then a couple of my own thoughts:
Saying Sorry for Church
I’ve spent the past few days having to say sorry. Not for any bad behaviour or offence of mine (that happens so often it isn’t worth blogging about!) but sorry for the church. I’ve been meeting some people who are not christians and don’t go to church. I’m Sorry for when someones spouse is so into church (because that how we follow Jesus right?) that they miss their own wedding anniversary to do something with church. Sorry that this is not a surprise to that person because that’s the normal behaviour. Saying sorry that the church deals with them in such a programmatic way, that when they’ve engaged with it, they’ve not been treated as people with specific needs and life circumstances but as items to be processed on a production line, made to feel “like they were a problem” when they didn’t fit the mould. Sorry, when an artist is made to feel that their contribution is worthless because it doesn’t have the churches name to it. Sorry, when someone is visiting a beautiful young daughter on her death bed to be told by a bible-in-hand Christian to “just let go, it must be God’s will.” (obviously not, as the daughter came through.)
I’m Sorry, that when I talk to people about Jesus, about His great mission of love and restoration, I have to apologise so much, I have to say “it doesn’t look like that.” Sorry I have to agree when some of the church “system” is labelled evil. I’m sorry that these people have got the idea that if Jesus is true He would be revealed through His followers. (where could they possibly have gotten that idea?) They’ve experienced His followers. ?. I’m sorry that I feel like I have to choose between loyalty to people in the church, even people I know and love, and acknowledging truth to those I’m talking to outside of it. I’m sorry that I feel so angry about this this evening. I’m sorry.
Some days this pile of “sorrys” is what makes me want to just stay in bed or go on a permanent road trip. Please don’t miss this point though, I am the church, I’m not apart from the church and these sorrys are mine, not just some institutional their’s. And at the end of a lot of days of saying sorry when I look at the pile it hasn’t gotten any smaller and I struggle with that.
But then just as I’m about to throw in the towel, I bump into a life that is in the midst of seeing sorrow turned to joy, getting free from some screaming monkey that’s been on their back, finding family and community where they’ve only felt orphaned and alone. Just one is enough for me this week, maybe my expectations are low, but one is enough to tip the scales and win the day over my sorry pile.
Hey, if you read this today, please be praying for a little baby boy named Asher who needs some healing right now. And pray for him mom and dad too who need comfort and strength and love. Thanks, and I’m not sorry for asking.
Thanks for reading.