When Churches Hurt Part 2

My last guest post by Maurilio Amorim  spoke about the Church at its worst. And I received this comment from a reader:

Hey Tom. I don’t get your last blog and thought you may be able to explain it to me. It seems like you are inviting people to share their bad experiences with the church, and for them to share where they have seen church at its worst. I feel a little stupid asking this, but is the reason for inviting stories like this to bring healing to people?

I think this is a great question, and this was my response…

Well, without trying to sound defensive, I think ultimately this guest post is in fact about bringing healing to the readers.

Personally, I am always aware of how Grace Family Church attracts people who have been previously “hurt” by churches and are often so overwhelmed and encouraged by the love and acceptance they feel when they walk through Grace’s doors.

I think as the “big C” Church we need to acknowledge the wounds and the mistakes we have made in the past, and also acknowledge our own tendencies as humans to get hung up on trivial issues and miss the point. To pretend like the church hasn’t hurt people is ultimately unhealthy and just untrue. That’s what happened in apartheid. I believe part of people’s healing is acknowledging the “hits” they have taken, and then helping them to move forward and beyond.

I believe the last paragraph he writes sums it up well when he says:

The one thing I can do is to keep my own heart in check and to save that righteous indignation for the things that really matter”

For me this is the redemptive side to the story – that yes, church is messy and filled with messy people, but I can decide today to stop pointing fingers, acknowledge my own propensity for sin and deception, and keep my own heart in check.

I truly believe that the local church, when it is working right, is the hope of the world. And I believe that if the Church is willing to stand up and admit it’s own weaknesses, it will bring great glory to God.

But perhaps I have missed something by reposting Maurillio’s blog. My heart was certainly not to create a “moaning session” for people, or to deface God’s chosen vessel to bring redemption to this world. Hope that makes sense.

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