Dear Church (If you only knew),

Dear Church,

If you only knew the people who were sitting next to you in your pews each Sunday, things could be different.  I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe you just don’t know.  Maybe you have no idea when you speak with such confidence about a sin or state your opinion so boldly on an issue, that someone who serves alongside you in the nursery or puts their money in the offering plate right after you, is struggling with that very sin or issue.

Church, if we are who we say we are, we have to start speaking differently.  We don’t necessarily have to change our message, but we do need to change our tone and language.  If we are who we say we are, we need to take up the cause of people, not the cause of causes.  If we thought for just a moment about who enters our buildings each week; maybe, just maybe, we would speak differently.  If we reflected enough on our own brokenness, and how we wanted to be talked to, maybe we would speak more gently, maybe we would ask more questions, maybe we would listen rather than talk.

This letter is the first of several letters written by guest posters (who wished to remain anonymous) that will be posted this week.  These letters are raw and real.  They are a reminder that issues the Church often treats as black and white are really rather gray.  They are a reminder that the Church is full of imperfect, broken, hurt, and violated people who have struggled, and do struggle, and will struggle.  These letters are a reminder that we as the Church are to be about the story of redemption, not condemnation.  These letters are a reminder that the things we like to yell in megaphones, sharpie on picket signs, write arrogant facebook statuses about, and (mis) quote scripture at are things that people struggle with daily.

These letters are a reminder that Jesus didn’t take up issues, He loved people with issues

May we all read these letters with a desire to learn how to speak to our fellow journeyers in a way that brings hope, love, and restoration rather than guilt, shame, anger, and isolation.

______________________________________________________________________

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b]but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love Never Fails  – 1 Corinthians 13

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About allisonbuzard

Follower of Christ. Wife. Social Worker. http://twitter.com/AllisonBuzard
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11 Responses to Dear Church (If you only knew),

  1. Karen McGee says:

    so often reminded by one of my fellow community groupers that just because what we say is true/right doesn’t mean it’s helpful. we need to speak with grace and tenderness to the church and not just recite truths.

  2. Maria Aleman says:

    I must admit I was recently quite offended by a church group when I attended a concert… They were calling everyone sinners for attending the concert… (which yes I admit I am a sinner and imperfect reason why Jesus came and died for our sins) but the reason I felt offended was not that I felt attacked personally, but that they were attacking other concert goers telling the girls they should be ashamed of how they are dressed and that you should be in church not at a concert. My cousin told me who cares its funny, but I was really upset because my first thought was for the people who are not Christians or have had a horrible impression of Christianity and about God sure did not have this group changing their mind about it. If it was a turn off for me and I sure would not want to be a part of that group how about for those that need to know about our loving, Merciful God that helps through all your needs and that the Body of Christ should be a reflection of that and addressing things in a caring loving manner instead of attacking…. all I could say is that we do need to be more aware of what we do and say and how we do and say it.

    • Maria, I’m sorry you had to experience this, because it’s awkward and uncomfortable, but I’m with you, I’m even MORE sorry for those who aren’t followers of Christ to have had to experience this. I guess all we can do is resolve to show the Jesus we know to the world, through our words and actions.

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