Problem with Churches

The Problem With Churches

The church, the Body of Christ, is a refugee camp, a plague zone, an orphanage; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Everyone is welcomed. Everyone has baggage. Everyone tracks stuff in. Everyone brings their burdens. Everyone is sick. We accept them as they are. We welcome them; minister to them; love them and serve them. To do less is to fail.

But wait…when they come and we accept them, they’re no longer THEM; they’re now US, which means that WE have lots of problems. The broken people are still broken. The plague still plagues them, and it plagues the rest of us. The refugees need to be fed and cleaned up after. All these children need to be tended to. There are messes, and fights, and tears, and pain. These people hurt each other, neglect each other and sin against each other. What kind of church is this? I thought you were Christians?

Perhaps it’s the parents, the doctors and nurses, the government. Who’s in charge around here and why don’t they fix it, and fix it now? Of course it must be the leadership, or lack of leadership, or corrupt leadership, or incompetent leadership, or self-absorbed leadership, or absentee leadership.  Look at what they’ve produced! Isn’t the church supposed to be a place of order and charity? This is a culture of chaos, a conglomeration of bizarre beliefs and practices, dysfunctional families, and weird kids. The problems are myriad: financial, sexual, relational, political, and personal. Somebody is always unhappy. In fact, some are so unhappy that they’re leaving. They can’t take it any longer.

This church and her leaders have failed. They were supposed to make us happy and serve us. They didn’t do their job. They should have ministered to us more. They don’t care about people, they only care about themselves. They didn’t meet with us enough, or check on us enough. They wouldn’t mind their own business. They didn’t help us. They told us what to do.  They eat with sinners. They’re just after our money. They’re so arrogant! They could have done more, so much more!

But wait…some are getting better, growing, maturing, serving, loving. Some marriages have been saved, children rescued, weddings, babies, baptisms, celebrations, comforts, funerals, communion, prayers and worship. Behind the scenes there is counsel, help, healing, friendship, weeping and rejoicing, kindness, charity, forgiveness, and reconciliation; thousands and thousands of unseen good deeds done daily. Truth spoken in love; sins covered by love. Sheep fed, nurtured, protected and guided.

This is not a perfect place yet. There are still spots and blemishes. This is a family with all the things families have: a blend of failures and successes; of tears and joys; of sorrows and hopes. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, filled with broken people, led by broken men, but full of His glory and promise. The problem with churches is US. The hope of churches is Christ. A lot of people didn’t like the way Jesus did things, so much so that they killed Him. Thankfully, He wasn’t deterred from His mission to rescue some of those very people. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

-Pastor Booth

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