Sad and Mad

Ever had a bad experience with a church?  **Waits for the din to die down**

I’m really sorry to hear that.  But we’re probably not thinking in the same direction yet.

More specifically, did you grow up in the Church, or were you converted at some point later in life?  Were you introduced to Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God who lived, died, and rose again for you?  Did you receive with joy the good news of forgiveness and grace and hope based not in yourself but in the love of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

And then, at some point, did they change the message on you?  Did the message switch to emphasize personal holiness?  Did the message switch to guilt and coercion?  Did forgiveness fade to the background because you were now a Christian and the Good News was no longer for you?  Were you crushed because you continued to sin and all you heard at church was that you shouldn’t be sinning now that you were a Christian?  Or did you get mad, angry that you weren’t being preached the Law and the Gospel, but just the Law?

Did you ever get so sad, or so mad, that you left the Church?  You didn’t leave Jesus, you didn’t reject the Bible, but you rejected the Church because the Church rejected you?

Maybe this isn’t you.  But odds are you know someone like this.  I can’t count all the people I’ve met in my life who talk about how they used to go to church but they don’t anymore.  I can’t count all the conversations where someone has spoken of such-and-such a person who “used to be a faithful member of a given congregation, but now they don’t go to church anywhere”.

If this is you or someone you know, please read this little essay.  The full title is The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church, by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt.  It’s a fantastic little read (about 10 pages or so) made freely available by the folks at 1517.The Legacy Project.  I’m looking forward to working with this group next year on some speaker sessions in our area, and I’ll provide more information on them as I do.  So far I’ve met a few of their people and am impressed overall.

It is possible to hurt or angry at the Church, yet still love Jesus.  I think there are lots of people in this situation, and I hope that they can hear that their anger at the Church is not anger at Christ (at least, not necessarily). If you’re the sad or mad person, know that there are those who can empathize with your frustration.  People who can listen and agree that sometimes the Church can disappoint and hurt her own.  If you want to reach out to those who are sad and mad at the Church, Dr. Rosenbladt’s words might provide you a starting point.  Feel free to print out a copy or send the link to your friend.  Let them read it as well.  It might be the starting point for healing.


2 Responses to “Sad and Mad”

  1. J.P. Says:

    You can listen to it, too.

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