I’m going to say something that’ll make me sound like an insensitive ass. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever read my blog. This is the thing: yeah, it sucks that pastors and the church system hurt and abuse people in the name of Christ, but we can’t stay there forever. If you’ve been screwed by the church system, get up, give the system the finger and move on.
So many of you that relate to my writing have been hurt by pastors and church people. Maybe you were gagged and condemned for asking too many questions or for having doubts. Maybe you were rejected for getting divorced or getting pregnant or coming out of the closet. Maybe you have been burdened down with guilt for struggling with depression or anxiety or something like that. It is horrible to see that stuff happen, to see a system in place that promotes that kind of crap, and people in charge who desperately want to keep it that way. To see people still, in the 21st century, using religion as a way to control others for their own gain.
But we can’t stay victims forever. We can’t live forever as the rejects and outcasts. The message of Christianity is that we are all priests, we are all given the Holy Spirit, we are all the same through Christ, and we are all called to follow Him, to love other people, to take care of each other. Why is the church system so messed up? Because people refuse to acknowledge that. They want leaders, they want hierarchy. They want professionals to do the work so they don’t have to. They want professionals to know the answers so they don’t have to. There are followers who are too lazy to care and “leaders” who are more than willing to take control. That is why you got screwed by the church.
What is the answer to this? What keeps this from happening? Doing what you were called to do. Care for each other, teach each other, admonish, encourage, love, and stand with each other. You are the answer to the problem. Being who God has called you to be and not being a passive bystander. You got hurt sitting passively in a pew, so what do you expect to happen if you just sit passively at home wallowing in pain and resentment?
It’s really crappy that so many people get hurt. It’s good that there are groups and blogs and people out there who can validate and relate to what happened to you and what was done to you, but if you stop there you will always be pissed off and always be hurt, and that is a crappy way to live. There is too much bitching about how awful things are and not enough people willing to step out and follow Christ in loving each other, but that is the answer to the problem, that is what will keep this stuff from happening.
Did your church reject you because you got divorced? Well, what about all the other people who are going through divorces? What did you need that you didn’t get from the church during that time? You can be there for those people. You can stand with them and care for them the way that any loving brother or sister would. It’s still going to be a really awful time for them, but I’m sure it will help them a lot to know that you love them enough to stand beside them. Isn’t that what you needed? To see God’s love for you through his people? Isn’t that why you got hurt, because that wasn’t what you were given? Because you were given the idea that God hates you or is disappointed in you or has forgotten you. Love someone else who is struggling, take care of each other.