people are love and respecting (now).
Join the movement.
Today I am guest posting over at my friend, Preston Yancey’s blog, as part of a series about “the beautiful, mangled Church.” He’s featuring over 50 amazing writers, so be sure to check out the entire conversation, which is entitled At the Lord’s Table.
I respect people who have intellectual reasons for walking away from the church. Not because I agree, but because I can empathize and grapple with questions, too.
But then I dig deeper, and usually the reason people have left the church, faith, or organized religion comes down to one thing…
But, as my dad always taught me, people in the church can hurt us because it’s often the only place that says, “Welcome, all sinners!”
The church attracts people with deep problems whom many other organizations may stiff-arm. Those people get involved as volunteers and end up rubbing their fellow pew-sitters the wrong way. Jesus also warned against wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sadly, some people end up getting bitten by these wolves and then claim the sheep did it.
The wounded then leave the church.
Often I hear myself apologizing for the church and how screwed up we are. (And we are.) So instead, I would like to highlight people who come to mind as reasons why I love the church. It will be from a child’s point of view since the people who first came to mind were from my days growing up in Michigan and attending the church my father pastored. Our family lived in the parsonage, which connected via sidewalk to the people who worshiped within the four walls of Trinity Church.
There were many good people at Trinity and a handful of bad. To those listed below, I simply want to say thank-you for living your life in a way that reflected the good and kind Christ whom I love. When I look back one day on the film of my life, I hope as an adult I was as generous with my time as you were with yours and that I care for the people in my church as you did.
Mr. Smith: He was a janitor at our church, and, for whatever reason, I was fascinated by the large sweeping dry mops. They were as wide as I was tall, and turning them felt like I was moving a dead body. Mr. Smith would assign me a long hallway (hello, child labor) and then take me to Burger King. Sounds sketchy, but it wasn’t! He loved our church community by keeping it clean, and he loved me through Whoppers…
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.