God isn’t the problem, the church is

I think Christianity and God/Jesus gets a bad rap, a lot of people love to hate Christians, they paint them as overly pious, moralizing, judgmental of anyone who doesn’t fit their “version” of Christianity, they are intolerant of anyone who is different from them, they are hypocrites; preaching one thing and doing another; spouting love and compassion one minute and the next ignoring the new church member beside them looking for a friend in Christ, some Christians. I think these are the things that non-church goers feel and their observations aren’t far from the truth. I feel that way and I consider myself a Christian. Some of the most judgmental people I have met have claimed to Christians, it disheartening and very hurtful.

But here’s where I disagree with the kinds of people who make these statements; they equate God and Jesus with the actions of the church. God is love and accepting of all, God isn’t going to abandon or ignore you like some in the church. But because of the actions of those in the church, it turns many away from God. How can Jesus be love and compassion if these are his followers, that’s difficult for me and I struggle with it.

I have to separate God/Jesus from Church/Religion. You can have God in your life, be in prayer, read the bible, practice the principles of Christianity and never set foot in a church. They say community is vital, worship is necessary but what if you don’t feel accepted?. How can I reach God here when I all I feel is hurt and bitterness? I can forgive but it doesn’t negate the fact that I feel uncomfortable in church settings because I know I’m being judged. I attend church begrudgingly and it sucks up my energy. Instead of making me feel closer to God, I feel further away, as far as I’m concerned he’s somewhere outside in the parking lot.

I don’t think I’ve ever truly, felt welcome at church, well maybe as a kid but not as an adult. I feel coldness and indifference, I feel no one really takes the time to know because they’ve developed their “holy cliques”. It’s like George Carlin used to say “They’re in the club and you ain’t in it”. That’s how I feel, out of place, misunderstood, ignored and people don’t want to know you because they’ve already pegged you as someone they don’t want to talk to, so you stand in the corner as people pass you by like you don’t even exist. Sigh, I wonder how many people have left church or never found God because they felt so unwelcome among these so called accepting Christians. And it’s all because of how we treat each other.

I personally find God in nature by myself, through the conversations I have with others, through miraculous things that defy explanation, through writing/art/music, through prayer, reading the bible and the love of my family but never in the church. But don’t think I’m not a Christian or don’t have God is my life. I love God but I struggle with his children, they’re the problem.

 

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6 thoughts on “God isn’t the problem, the church is

  1. Wow Dave! These are some great thoughts! Church is a tough one. You’re not alone. Ghandi said, ” I like your Jesus, but I don’t like your Christians. As a Christian, this breaks my heart for two reasons: One I get what he means, but two, he’s missing something. Christians aren’t perfect, were far from it. Being saved doesn’t mean that we don’t mess up, (were still battling between the spirit and the flesh) It just means that we have forgiveness. The church needs some serious work. We all do. Ths is why Jesus showed us grace, and why we must forgive one another.

    I’m sorry that you feel ignored in your church. I can tell you that not all churches are this way. Maybe it’s time to find a new church? However, no church will be perfect because the truth is that none of us will reach perfection this side if heaven.

    Awesome post Dave! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Two of my children, about the same age as you, feel the same way. But Scripture tells us not to forsake the church. Corporate worship(in the church) is important. Don’t let the weakness of other Christians allow Satan to get in the way of your worship of God/Jesus. It sounds like you may need a new church, unfortunately. Don’t worry so much about the “flavor” of the church – catholic, methodist, baptist, etc but find a church that teaches the bible with sound doctrine and has classes to help you grow in His word and truth. Yes His love is all around us in nature but he wants us in church. I will pray for you to find peace in church.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so relatable. For the longest time I never felt truly welcome in the churches I attended. Just another face to contribute tithes. And I always felt like I was “Christian enough”. Luckily that has since changed. I’ve been attending a/my church since Christmas and in these short 6 months I have felt more welcome than any other church. I joined the women’s group because I wanted to grow my group of God-fearing friends & basically all the women commented saying hello,welcome, looking forward to meeting you… and they followed through within the next few services. And I think that makes all the difference.

    I joined one of the bible studies and it’s such a judgement free zone its amazing. I wish I had met them sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m afraid your observations are correct for the most part. Jesus himself would feel unwelcome in many churches today, and it’s not the fault of Scripture, nor has God’s nature changed! U.S. believers (especially) have become complacent, cliquish, and judgmental, forgetting they are supposed to be the salt of the earth and light to the world.

    As a gay Christian, I don’t fit in anywhere, so I understand your feelings about church. I attend anonymously via a weekly broadcast – not ideal, but it’s the best I can do.

    God knows His children, and you can rest in His love with or without attending church. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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