Don’t you dare say you’re different!!

WARNING: HARSH WORDS WILL FOLLOW – DON’T READ THIS

I have been living with and not saying much out loud about some major hurt in my life.  The culprit?  Church.  Surprising?  Not to a lot of you I’m sure.  Somehow I am a product of what happens when you’re not part of the “it” crowd.

It’s probably no surprise what I’m going through by now.  A lot of you even know all of the details and it’s just not pretty and so in a moment of need I turned to some men who are pastors.  I thought maybe this would be a time for me to be completely honest with someone about the pain I’ve caused and the pain handed to me.  I wanted to walk through with someone that might have another perspective.  I wanted to walk through this with someone who could show me that God was still able to hear me and heal me.  I thought that as men who have accepted the challenge and the role as a leader of the church they would be a good place to find some love and even a slap across the head if needed.  I told my story but have never heard anything since from either of these men.  I guess you have to do all the reaching out?  I guess I don’t want anything to do with that kind of help.

I kinda quit trying after that but a couple people did reach out and wanted to hear what was going on.  I shared as much as I could.  I shared about my hurt as a husband loosing his wife.  I shared about the hurt handed to me by men who said they wanted to help me.  I heard “we want to be a different view of the church for you.  We want to BE the church”.  Great!  This is good news!  Someone who gets it!  And for just a minute they were just that.  As soon as the word “divorce” hit though, they scattered.  I haven’t heard from “the church” since.  So help and concern is conditional?  Love is conditional?  God’s love is conditional?

You know where I’ve found love?  The people who don’t call themselves “the church” at all.  The people who wouldn’t even call themselves a “Christian”.  People who don’t have an agenda. 

So here is what I have to say and this is where it may get harsh.  Fuck you if you claim to “be the church” or if you accept a role as a leader in the church and let people fall alone!  It would have been better to never say a word at all.  And the thing that hurts the most is that you say you are different!  Bullshit!!!  This is the same story I’ve seen over and over again.  How about we stop talking about how we’re different and just BE different.  And I know that I’ve done the same thing so if I did it to you – I’m sorry!  I don’t want to be that man ever again! 

Let me just leave it with this: If you come to someone in their moment of need and you tell them that you want to show them God’s love, you better make damn sure you’re ready to do it.  Just remembering to pray for them isn’t enough.  Just one phone call isn’t enough.  Just one facebook message isn’t enough.  You better be ready to walk through that dark moment.  If you’re not or you even think that maybe you’re not – don’t because starting that path with someone who says they have your back and leaves you when the night becomes it’s scariest is far worse than starting it alone and having to finish it alone.  Don’t say you’re different – Just be different…………

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~ by Stephen Baker on March 5, 2011.

5 Responses to “Don’t you dare say you’re different!!”

  1. Hurtful experiences with the Church can be some of the most difficult. Although, I hope it goes without saying that the Church is more than just two people! Some of us do want to see Christ move through His people.

  2. It sucks to hear that the Church has failed you. I wish that were not the case. But I am glad to hear that you have people in your life who listen and offer support.

    I follow your blog and pray for you and your kiddos several times a week.

    Thanks for the exhortation. I think it is true that too often Christians step away from problems we don’t know the answers to. It’s cowardly and not a good representation of the God we serve.

  3. Sounds like we know done of the same people. 🙂

  4. Sorry that I was probably part of that. I wanted to reach out, but I wasn’t ever really a close friend… so to reach out to someone who was already distant probably seemed insincere. I went through the crapper too though, and so I felt much empathy when I heard your news. Took me almost 2 years to feel somewhat “normal” again. Stuff like that leaves some serious scars that never really go away. Fortunately I found the church glorious during that time. I’m truly sorry you didn’t find the same.

  5. I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to let you know that your experience with the church and church people is not unusual. Church culture is so focused on being “holy” (defined as being set apart and sacred) that we are unable to embrace and love people because it requires us to be vulnerable, and requires us to get involved in another person’s mess. Loving people requires getting dirty. As long as the church is focused on holiness, it is systemically unable to fulfill the mission Jesus laid out for it.

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