Throughout my walk in life I have come across several Christians who do not attend church. In one way or another they have been “hurt by the church.” They have been judged. They have felt not accepted. They have been…hurt – by fellow believers- by people of the congregation.
I like to visit different types of churches of denomination. I proclaim myself as a nondenominational Christian. I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and have a real relationship with this Trinity. I am a Christian, that’s all that should matter to you.
Now, on my visits to different denominations I have witnessed so much judgement amongst believers- it is no wonder why there there is a seperate hurting group of believers who refuse to attend church.
I have been in a church and pinpointed in the middle of the sermon by the pastor because I had a shorter hair cut and wore pants, I didn’t sport the long hair and skirts like the rest of the women in the congregation.
I have been judged in a charismatic church because I didn’t dance – as the others danced.
I have been confronted in a pentacostal church saying that I haven’t been baptized by the Spirit because I didn’t loudly and boldly speak in tongues. The fact of the matter was I was indeed filled with the spirit but the Lord had blessed me with other gifts.
I have been passed up for an employment position because I was not a certain denomination- even though I was more qualified for the position than the rest.
I have witnessed elders and decans of churches who pride themselves in their Christianity but yet are deceptive and choose to whisper, make fun of, and spread rumors about others behind their backs.
Ive seen private prayer requests turned into matters of gossip.
Christians are persecuting Christians.
And the sad thing is, this is even affecting our children.
I have held a child while she cried tears of unacceptance in the middle of a youth group. In a room full of children, after a sermon on friendship, this child sat alone- for several minutes. No other child went to her to say hello, no youth leader said hi either. Everyone played with their friends all around her. She sat, and eventually pulled her legs up to her chest until she formed a little ball. I went up to her to see what was going on and she was crying, saying, “No one cares to be my friend. No one likes me.” As the cliques enjoyed themselves she spoke, “It is like this in every church. The girls don’t want to be my friend and they even sometimes tell me they don’t want to talk to me.”
My heart crumbled for this girl. Even in the House of the Lord- the house where people should feel accepted, the cliques are so strong that young hearts are broken and left to feel like they don’t matter.
Maybe that’s why there are even suicides amongst members of today’s church.
The cliques in many of today’s churches have often times become so strong they are almost cult-like. It is hard to feel like you fit in to a group, and once you are in, if you don’t follow their legalism manners you get rejected. We are in a sense shunned if we don’t wear the right clothes or paint a smile on our face and act fake- like everything is happy-go lucky in our lives.
Am I bashing Christians? That is not my goal. That is not my intention. My intention is to wake people up.
WAKE UP CHRISTIANS!!! WAKE UP!
Pour out your LOVE!!!
I understand and get that Christians are also sinners- we are all sinners. What I don’t like is everyone going around acting like they aren’t- putting on a front and being fake. The show that they are all put together and don’t have any problems makes those who WANT freedom from their issues feel even more alienated.
Now is the time to be real! NOW IS THE TIME TO BE REAL!
The superficial church where everyone has a smile across their face everyone’s all dressed up in fancy clothing and no ones at the altar NEEDS TO CHANGE!
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about how for years she felt not accepted and like she had to “fake it til she made it.” Now she has finally found a place where she is not bound by this judgement- she is more free.
How do we get that FREEDOM??? My friend, the key is Jesus.
He overcame legalism; he healed on the Sabbath.
He overcame judgement; he gave us discernment.
He overcame perfection; he loves us in our messes.
He overcame unacceptance; for he is a friend in us.
He overcame the spirit of being fake; for he says to come as you are.
What is a REAL church?
A church of acceptance,
a church of imperfect people,
a church of people with different gifts- some may dance, some may raise hands, some may sit quiet, etc.,
a church filled with love,
a church that welcomes regardless of the persons background,
a church that loves the noise of children,
a church that embraces who people are but also encourages growth,
a church where it is ok to be wrecked and then mended back together without judgement,
a church where you can indeed come as you are.
For the church is the House of the Lord. It is God’s House! And I will tell you something, God doesn’t care the pastor preaches in shiny shoes, or just barefooted. God cares about freedom.
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
I am thankful that in my wanderings and in my travelings that I have stumbled upon few churches like this. Granted, the congregations of these churches are small- but only a few followed Jesus back in His day; can I get an Amen?
I am talking churches where the pastors are not afraid to lay broken at the altar, where leaders are not afraid to show when the Spirit moves their feelings, where people admit they are a mess, where the congregation cares more about Jesus than about what everyone thinks about them and how “put together” they appear.
This kind of “realness” is where deep healing happens and true freedom occurs.
What good is having an altar in the church if it never gets used?
God longs for more Christians and Churchs to be set FREE! Hallelujah!
Jesus- HE is our cornerstone. HE is real. HE is love. HE is our identity. He is our acceptance.