All of us who call ourselves believers have most likely felt the sting of a church before. It’s nearly inevitable. Whether someone makes a comment or the entire body that makes up that building seems to fall apart hurt is a part of the Christian walk that will happen. No, the body was never created to be this.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:2-6
This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with everyone you meet or know but it does mean to work to keep the unity of the Spirit with love and peace. There are entire other blog posts I could write and may in the future on that particular topic. But back to what I was saying…
In 6th grade my family left the church my mother had grown up in. The denomination that we belonged to was making choices that my parent’s didn’t feel were biblical so we left. While it was a little strange for all of us kids, now looking back I cannot imagine how hard that was for my mother who had only known one church since she was born and my father who’s only church home had been that one as well. Stepping in faith is rarely easy. After that it seemed our family caused strange things to happen to the churches we visited. Seemed. We really didn’t it just felt like that sometimes.
Nearly every church we went to had something happen to it while we were there. We could be there for a week and something would happen; or we would show up right after a major change. One church we went to for a couple years lost its head pastor and worship pastor very close in time. Now they are brothers and felt called elsewhere which is great and a completely solid reason for leaving. But then another time we were in a service where someone had to be escorted out for being so disruptive. You get the picture. Every church has hiccups. It’s called human nature. Here’s the reality:
Chances are very high that you will be hurt by a church in some way. Your response is 100% your choice.
Sometimes it’s such a big deal that we feel the need to leave a church. There are true biblical grounds for leaving a church and sometimes not everyone agrees on those reasons. Pray deeply about the decision. Get opinions from unaffected, biblical, trustworthy people. Go to the pastor about it-even if he is the problem. Read the scripture and make sure there is solid biblical backing. That’s not just picking up one verse out of context by the way, that is seriously studying and praying for wisdom to understand the scriptures.
I’ve heard more than once of people saying that they blame a person or persons for the loss of their faith. I get that. I truly do. That’s something else that I think every believer experiences at some point. Church is somewhere where fellow Christians lean deeply on each other and enjoy fellowship and grow.
But sometimes other believers fail us. Sometimes we fail other believers. If our faith, our core belief of God changes because of another persons actions then our faith is not rooted in Christ but instead of humans. That’s scary.
If you feel your faith falters or lessens from what a human has done; friend, stranger, pastor or acquaintance, then your faith is rooted in the wrong place. Doubts caused by humans is natural but a loss of faith is personal.
Can you imagine being what people rely on for their foundation of their faith? That if you mess up they may blame you for their loss of faith?! “Wait. That’s not fair, I’m not a savior, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes too!”
Exactly. It’s so easy to rely on others for our faith. It’s a sneaky move of the devil to condition us to start seeing others more than Christ. We are continuously told to seek our God first, to seek the scriptures, to spend all our time in prayer (Colossians 4:2, Philippians 4:4-6). Hooked up to God. Can you imagine how different our lives would be if we did? Think of how much love we would have to give to everyone we see, the peace, and through even the hardest times we would have confidence of faith that our God has all things in His hand.
Don’t get me wrong either, church is extremely important. Over and over again we are called to meet together with other believers for the teachings and growth and fellowship. That’s how we grow and how we can all work together as a body towards goals that Christ has set in our hearts that we cannot accomplish alone. It is just so very important to keep our faith rooted in Christ and that when the hard times come, even in the church, to rely on Him.
Keep pressing on towards Him.