To those who feel hurt, offended, wounded, humiliated by the Church.
I know what you feel. I’ve been there.
But hear me out.
As I said before, I really struggle with this. But not because I still feel that way. I struggle with this because sometimes it’s easier to feel that way. I want to be mad at the Church for how some are treated and abused. I want to be mad at the Church for its exclusivity and opulence. And I believe that kind of anger is right. But I find it so much easier to stand in judgment, right? Rather than giving myself over to creative solutions, it’s far easier to simmer in the broth of unimaginative, tired, and borrowed impotence while offering no solutions whatsoever.
What I’ve discovered in my journey is that I didn’t really hate the Church.
The Church is NOT what hurt me.
A person hurt me.
People hurt me.
I hurt myself.
I was projecting my hurt and humiliation at an institution because that’s a much larger target. It’s an easier target. I can’t miss when I’m firing at larger structures and let’s be honest, it feels better. It’s much more difficult to fire at a person with a face and a name and issues, many of which are the same as mine.
The excerpt above is from an old blog entry by Brandon Mouser, this blog is now inaccessible, so this is the only online copy of his work.
I stumbled upon this blog 2 years ago, and I must admit that his words echoed the words that were in my heart when I was still aching — words that I had to suppress inside in fear of being ostracized and being labeled as “rebellious spirit” just because I have spoken my mind and apparently by doing so, I have “touched the Lord’s anointed”.
It feels da*n painful deep inside when people you cared for, people you thought are God ambassadors, people to which you bared your soul naked — hurt you:
But there is a truth larger than life, and even bigger than all my hurts and pains:
- All the things I detest in the Church and the attitudes I hate about some of these people, are also found in me far too often than anyone else.
- I am never different than these people, in fact I could be worse. The imperfections I see in them, is nothing compared to what I see in myself.
- And even if I belong to a perfect Church without all the disgusting flaws, my own imperfections will make that Church imperfect.
- But in spite of all the filthy things and secret sins I hated in myself, Jesus still saw me worth dying for.
- And if I am worth dying for, then so are these people. Who am I then to judge?
Now the wounds have healed and left ugly scars. And I realized that oftentimes the beginning of healing is when I become honest to myself: that I am a human being hurt by another human being, and that I am not as innocent as I often claim to be.
I discovered I will never learn true forgiveness, until I got offended badly.
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