I have often wanted to post something that would be of encouragement or comfort to those who have been hurt by not only Church Leadership but people in the church as well. I pondered even the title I would use and the one I chose “When The Church Hurts” can be used either way. It could be those in the church who have been attacked by those who leave it and move on because they didn’t get what they were looking for or it could be the church itself hurting people. After coming back from a recent visit from the desert we were again faced with story after story of folks who have been hurt at the hands of those who God may or may not have called. I wish I could say it was from one particular church but it wasn’t. It seems no one is exempt from the pain of those in leadership who just don’t seem to get it. In a world of damage control and spinning that goes out of control often times people forget what is truth! We live in a world where we have an enemy and I think since he joined the church he has been tremendously effective in his strategy in turning folks against each other. Jesus told us to love one another, Satan tells us to blog against each other. I know your reading this here on a blog and please trust me my point is not to take sides or give Satan any credence but there comes a time when we need to put on the brakes & say “ENOUGH!”
Since the advent of the internet nothing is kept hidden for too long. It its easy to search and look for the garbage that fuels fires whether its in Calvary or the Baptist denomination or any other institution that seeks to lead people to Jesus. I myself have been guilty of making comments of “why are they doing that?” Instead of lifting up the possibility that may be they are really trying to help someone. I Repent! You see I am so perfect (in my own heart) which really causes me to look at the other person and speak out on what I think is wrong with what their doing. We are never going to all get it down right for one another but the one thing we can do is LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Gee I seem to have read that somewhere.. ….oh wait ya Jesus said that.
For those who have been hurt by church leadership I know how it feels to want to pick up the spears and throw them back but just as God would not allow David to takes Saul’s life do all you can to follow his example. Davids men were watching him. By watching him they were able to see a man of God & not one that was perfect either but simply a man after Gods own heart. Fight the impulse to pick up the spear that others throw your way and allow God to be your shield. The one most amazing concept the Lord showed my wife and I was “God allowed it.” No matter how much we wanted to tell the world (and didn’t and yes it was hard) we refrained from doing so. “How long Lord” I would hear those words from many & my response was “in His time.” The most powerful verse that helped put everything in perspective for us was in James 1:1 especially “To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. ” To actually know that the word “scattered abroad” is DIASPARO. DIA= threw SPARO= sowing seeds. literally God allowed the persecution to the twelve tribes in order to get them out of Jerusalem why? So that there could be a sowing of seeds and out of those casting of seeds what grew out of them were churches places of worship.
Believe it or not Calvary Chapel Los Banos is a seed that was cast out of much hurt. My aim is to not blame where it came from my goal is to pass on that GOD ALLOWED IT! I know that I will never be able to meet everyone where they are at but I do know the ONE who can and His name is JESUS! God will avenge the wrong caused if you allow Him to or, He will let you to do it. I can attest that when He does it, baby its a done deal! It’s time to move forward to reach out to those who are hurt and not to blast others but to pray for Gods hand to remove, convict, cause repentance & yes to heal! I say this with complete honesty, yes we have some in the wrong place and they need to be removed but He has not called us to remove them, He will do it. In the process He has been checking our hearts to see if they are in the right place.
I often see Jesus on the cross when I want to grab a spear (and I know I can chuck it better than when it was chucked at me.) But I hear Him say “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and then I know I am toast. How can I do any different when I have been forgiven for so much? I see the gospel and I don’t see Jesus going after those who hurt Him. I need to extend a heart that was also crushed. Extend it to another crushed one so that they in turn can get back up and go do like wise. I believe the Lord gets me ready for heaven when He allows this in m y life and I have to be honest I hate it. What bothers me even more is that others have had to endure by the same hands but even in that God allowed it! My desire now is to reach out to those who have had a hard time getting past that and say “God Loves You.” He is desiring to move us all past that and into His arms and therefore it is a stinking test. Pass the test so you can see His loving arms reaching out to you saying “WELL DONE.”
The one thing Jesus has shown me regarding this when I tell Him how much it hurts is ….”Al, see to it that you never cause that pain to someone else” …OUCH!
If you desire to send emails telling me whats wrong with this post save it I have heard them all. If you are helped by it give the Lord glory because it is Him who deserves all the credit. Lets keep praying for each other!
IN HIS GRIP ~ Pastor Al
the views expressed are not the views of cclb but the authors view