Last night I had someone send me a link to a blog post he had written. What I read was a very honest and real story about a guy that was once a youth pastor. After 2 bad church experiences, he’s out of the ministry and, by his own admission, off the wagon. He said:
“I dig God and I’m pretty sure he digs me”
I’ll be honest and say I love his honesty. If he lived anywhere near me, I’d love to sit down and talk about it over the drink of his choice. I think we’d have great discussion. We can probably learn much from one another. Both good and bad. What hurt me were the comments to his blog post. Account after account of people saying that were raised in the church and left because of the other Christians. If it hurt me, imagine what it does to the heart of God.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is accountability for each of us to understand that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ cannot and should not be deterred by others. I think we often use that as a crutch to justify not loving Jesus. It’s an easy “out” to explain why one doesn’t go to church.
I’m just being honest.
But and this is a HUGE but, it doesn’t excuse the fact that we often “shoot our wounded”. Church is a place where people feel safe with others. They share their story. They trust. The trust is betrayed and it hurts. The halls of the church become like the halls of a high school. That hurts. If you’re a believer and read account after account of people saying “God is cool, but his followers are idiots”, it should hurt.
I pray for my friend. I pray for those that commented. I don’t judge, it’s not for me to do so. I hurt for their hurt. I hurt for the church as a body.
And that is what hurts the most….