take care of each other

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.

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    2 comments

    1. Sandy

      Hi Dan, I agree in much that you said but is there no rules in your mind or is just everythings ok? As long as you love, God excepts how we want to live, God wants us to be differant then the world (leaving the extablished church out of it). He does want us to follow him and his word. God loves the sinner but He dosen;t love the sin. So we need to be sure what we do is not offending him. (according to His word.)

      • Dan Allen

        Sandy, thanks for the comment.
        To answer your question about rules, no, there are no rules in my mind. The rule we follow is to love God and love others, according to Jesus, all the Law is fulfilled in that alone. Concerning the idea that we should be different from the world, I completely agree! Of course, the question at that point is how we should be different. We could all wear bright orange clothes and that would be different, but is it different in a way that reflects Christ? I think the way that we are different is more important than simply being different. Jesus was different because he loved others more than himself. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for others. The world is selfish and self-centered. Christ is self-sacrificing and a servant to others. I think the way that we should be different is in loving others selflessly, not by following a strict set of rules. That is honestly no different from any other world religion. They all have rules and strict laws. We don’t. We have the law of love. I agree that God wants us to follow Him and obey Him according to Scripture and His work in our hearts. It seems to me that the call of God in Scripture to His followers is to love one another and love Him. Check out the times Jesus condemns people. It is almost always a matter of people trying to control others through religion. Almost all his condemnation is focused on religious leaders. Why? Because, instead of loving people and serving them, they had used the Law and religion to burden down others. So, the law we follow is the law of love, loving Him and others, the way we are different is in loving Him and others selflessly, and the way we obey God is in loving Him and others.

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