There is a phenomena in the church today that is quite disconcerting, has in fact been that way for many years. I wish I could say that I was not part of the machine that is the church proper, but lets face it having been in ministry for 16 years prior means that I was part of the problem not the solution.
Here’s the thing. Churches in general have things in their mission statments, here are some examples:
At Riverside Community Church we’re not about "having it all together" or even pretending we do. We’re just a family trying to grow together toward a God who knows us and can help us put all the pieces of this sometimes bizzare world into perspective. We may not have all the answers but we know someone who does. In fact He not only knows the answers…He made up the questions.
First Church especially focuses upon those who are seeking a "new beginning," and those who want to become more "Christlike," and want to learn more about living a "holy life," and for those who are yearning to grow in "love and compassion," and the building of "family relationships."
We exist to develop fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ by reaching seekers, building believers and equipping God’s people to impact the world.
- Heal the Whole Person
- Offer to Serve
- Promote Reconciliation
- Empower Others
The list goes on, there are also buzz words in the church but they mainly consist of the following.
Grace, Mercy, Acceptance, Restoration, Reconcilliation, Forgiveness. Many churches want people to know that they are open to all people who are sick and hurting. They open the doors to the world and invite them in, which is great. However they seem to forget that we are all human, they seem to forget that the people in their churches, the ones already there may need those very things on occasion.
Having been around the church all my life I notice a few things. One of them is that those words in the above paragraph sound good they sound like the things that God wants from us, and they are, and we will offer them to people out there in a heart beat. The other thing that I noticed is that there are sins that are okay and forgivable and there are sins that can never be forgiven.
I guess the real issue is that if you have baggage then you can’t possibly be of use. Forget the fact that everyone has baggage even the people that are leading. Forget the fact that Jesus told his disciples that you are to forgive 490 times. We even forget the fact that Jesus was in the business of giving people second and third chances. Remember the woman at the well. He knew all about her failures and sins and mistakes and still he forgave her and used her to spread the word that Messiah had come.
The church is great at forgiving and forgetting for the people outside the walls, but for the people inside well not so much.
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