Spouting pat sayings are nothing new, whether within the church or without. We all have a few up our sleeve that we pull out at opportune times. They are the quotes we’ve had bored into our psyches and belief systems that may have a bit of truth, but fall significantly short of their supposed all-inclusive and far-reaching breadth.
One I have heard parroted a number of times is this, “We are here to support the church not visa-versa.” In conversations with Christians, this is their first line of defence when their churches actions or in-actions are called into question.
Now, at face value I get it. We are saved through faith in God and its all based on his grace toward us. We come into the family and we are a part of this giant cult, er, organization, and we are taught to add to its strength, its vision and its purpose. Altruistic goals to save mankind from himself so that no one die and go to hell; to learn grace, humility, meekness, kindness, long-suffering, blah, blah…Lay down your burdens at the foot of the cross, forsake your pain to help another, serve, give, assimilate, truthfully they are just wheel-barrows full of crap heaped one upon the other.
For 45 years I bought in. From the age of 10, when a Baptist preacher scared me into confessing my allegiance with a message about the unrelenting fire and brimstone awaiting the unbeliever; to multiple denominational experiences; they all held one characteristic, get them saved and then find another one.
That really is the purpose of the Christian in a microcosmic sense, once you are saved, you take that message of new freedom to another. Missing from the euphoric sense of relief of forsaking sin however, is the problem many of us have in actually being free. This is where there comes some monumental issues which remain hidden and ignored by the church.
The church is unified in one respect, when one glosses over their negligence, they all stand by that same practice. (see the Catholic Church and its sexual abuse history as an example) They are unwilling to accept the responsibility of care-taking the soul that is saved when the initial shot of spiritual adrenaline is insufficient to fix the problems that exist. It’s the equivalence of a pre-exiting medical condition. If you squint and look real hard you’ll find it….yep! There it is, in the fine print.
Multiple pastors have told me that if they can’t address a problem you have in 3 sessions, then its time to move you on to a specialist. This being spoken from the mouths of liars who shout from the pulpit on Sundays that, “Our God can do anything!”
Why in the hell would you tell anyone about your problems?! Seriously. What hope do you have that they would be addressed compassionately and that you’d have people to walk that journey with you? They don’t. They quote their top 10 answers to your top 10 questions then mindlessly move on. If you don’t get it, you are not one of the chosen who are destined to grace the fields of heaven when the trumpet sounds.
Let me state this one, simple truth: Ultimately, your soul doesn’t matter to any other person on this earth Christian or not, everyone is only concerned about themselves. They are building their own mansions, either here or in their spiritual Utopia; to take time away to help you get your foundation right won’t be happening.
I have spent years writing about the hopes of a common man. I have laid at altars wailing, weeping, repentant and broken. I have gotten up assured of change, I have not seen it. I have been counseled, support grouped, and studied to death. I have prayed without ceasing and had those prayers go unanswered, and I have shared my story only to be rejected.
- Have I rambled? Yes.
- Have I built a concise case for my point of view? No.
- If I took the time to write it out would you have the patience to read it all? Probably not.
So now I turn away, the hopeful writings I once submitted are in the past and this is my new reality. It has taken nearly a lifetime to see what I blindly ignored and I will not waste another second dwelling on the chains of the past. I will come to a reckoning of my own with God, but you can have the church, I hope it is all you want it to be, in your mind.