Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Assembling" blog guest: Why church hurts

I have a few new blogs ready to post, but I first wanted to share something that's been heavy on my heart for a long time. I believe there are a lot of "good" churches in the United States, Canada and around the world. By that, I mean people who are operating out of God's love and grace and who are serving God and man in imperfect but genuine ways and who are truly nurturing and supporting each other as members of the worldwide body of Christ. I'm truly thankful for the people who have shared God's love and grace with me and who have helped me along the way as I grow in grace. I continue to need that support, and I hope to continue to support others in their grace journeys as well.

A large part of my heart is dedicated to finding ways to communicate the message of God's love and grace with those who are hurting, struggling, burned out, beaten up, etc, as a result of their interaction with other members of the body of Christ. I've personally experienced the pain of legalism from others, not to mention that I've dealt out my fair share of it, and I'm always finding out about how legalism is hurting others.

The story I'm going to link to is a real life example of how a family has been hurt deeply by people in the church - especially so-called "church leaders." I don't share this gratuitously. That is, I'm not sharing it for the sake of complaining or grumbling. This is real life, and I'm sure this story is much more common than we would think. My heart sinks when I hear stories like this, but yet it leads to hope as it causes me to pray more and more that God would continue to use people such as you and me to be true ambassadors of His love and grace, as we grow more and more in it ourselves.

I've linked to Alan Knox's blog, The Assembling of the Church, once or twice now. A reader of his blog, "Mrs. Anonymous," shared her story with him, and it's found here: Guest Blogger: Why I Said Church Hurts.

If nothing else, may this cause your heart to pray for the worldwide body of Christ to find the true grace of God, and to give it as they've received it. This is my prayer for you and for myself, for sure.

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