Monday, October 25, 2010

What is the one thing you can't say in Church?

Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

I was reading an article called, "Why it is so hard to be broken in church?"  When I was looking the title of this blog post?  I'm sure people could up with volumes of items that would not be proper to speak of in church.

Danny Silk said:

For whatever reason, we’ve come to expect that church is a place where there isn’t going to be any sin. It is just not true. If we don’t know how to deal with sin, then we don’t know how to deal with people.

We inevitably create a culture of law in order to keep people from sinning. The message of this culture is, “Contain your sin within yourself. Don’t show it to me; I can’t handle it.” Remember, this was the Pharisees’ line. They were famous for being afraid of sin, largely due to the fact that the only remedy for sin in their day was various degrees of punishments. The fear of punishment ruled their hearts, relationships, and culture.

Jesus, on the other hand, had a group of unlikely companions. They were the thieves, tax collectors, and the hookers of the day. Compared to the other religious leaders at the time, He was like “Jesus of Vegas.” He was not in the least afraid of messes people made in their lives, and of letting them happen around Him. Even the people who spent three years walking personally with Jesus were still making messes the night of His crucifixion. But ultimately, His love and the way He led people empowered them to rise above their mistakes and issues.

What he mentioned does give us something to chew on doesn't it?

I think at times people get so caught up in looking at Laws instead of people.  At times we tend to go to such ridiculous lengths for these laws.   I remember once reading a debate about how a church goer that saw one of their pastors in a restaurant with friends.  This pastor decided to have a beer with his dinner, and you would  have thought all hell broke loose once that beer touched his lips. 

Did this pastor get drunk?  No.  He had a beer with his dinner.  You had people talking about how they never drank, how they were rescued from drink, how his 'behavior' would cause others to stumble, how he should be like them and have the conviction of no went on and on.

The pastor only had ONE beer with his DINNER!

We inevitably create a culture of law in order to keep people from sinning. 

Did the pastor sin with having a beer with dinner?  No.  The attitude in the debate was better never have a beer either - just in case.  If you do?  I swear these people wanted to ride this pastor out on a rail!  Why?  He could have sinned!  The opportunity was there!   I don't drink JUST be make sure that stumbling block isn't an issue.  What is WRONG with you that you can't do the same?  SOMEONE could have SAW you, and what messages does that send?

I don't have an issue with people that don't partake.  Its no skin off my nose if a pastor has a beer with this dinner either.

What is the one thing you can't say in Church?  I had a beer with my dinner.

The author of the article said:

Fear was obviously there. Shame. Rejection. But those feelings were more of the why people didn’t speak up more often.
I was looking for the what.
What did things like poverty and being gay and worship and money and porn and sex and depression and abuse have in common?
One night in December, seven months later, it hit me:
Whether it’s as a result of sin, or fear of the response we’ll get by speaking up about something like politics or relationships or mental health in a broken world, it all boiled down to brokenness.
And if this fracture in whatever part of our lives threatens our reputation, our character or our dignity, we hide.
If something in our spiritual life is broken or is confusing to us, we hide.
If a relationship is broken, we hide.
If there’s an unhealthy habit we fall back on, we hide.
If there’s a controversial political or social issue confronting us, we hide.
We ultimately want to hide what’s broken, whether it occurs individually or in a community. The Bible is filled with broken people, most of whom at some point or another tried to cover up their brokenness. Yet it seems like the people who are the most broken, the most helpless, are the people God often uses the most.

The culture of fear is something that most places of worship will not admit is present.  I'm sure most look to themselves as the hospital for sinners.  On the other hand, some will admit that is present...but not in my church.

There is a facade that is asked to be displayed, and when that happens the 'real sinners' will hide.  You know WHOM  the 'real sinners' are?  ALL of us!  I have held back saying things at times, because of fear of the reaction I would get.

I have read other people's stories, feelings, and circumstances on faith boards online?  I remember thinking to myself, "Oh bother!  HERE is comes!"  Sure enough the lectures came, and what seemed to be missing as tact for one thing. 

When domestic violence within the church comes up?  You get speeches on how you need to 'train' yourself not to do things you know will trigger someone else.  How are to put yourself completely out there, and remember you can't 'control' the other person.

We inevitably create a culture of law in order to keep people from sinning.

If you are dealing with adultery or porn addiction?  They ask if you handed up enough sex to your partner!  When they mention their drive has gone down they are reminded that their bodies do not belong to them.  They ask you HOW you went about making sure your spouse felt loved, honored, and cherished.  If you mention one thing out of honestly that could have been neglected?  Its strange how all other factors are moot from that point on.  They didn't follow the formula, and must take responsibility for part of what happened.

We inevitably create a culture of law in order to keep people from sinning.

Yet it seems like the people who are the most broken, the most helpless, are the people God often uses the most.

Its funny how we never stop long enough to notice huh?

I wonder why people will not acknowledge there are things you can't say in church.  How the 'rules' encourage them not to, and how they seem to wish to control the outcome. 

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Anonymous said...

Matthew 27:41 says it all: "The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus." A few verses earlier, it says the people shouted abuse. This tells me that the leaders and teachers of the Mosaic Law abused Jesus.

Legalism inextricably leads to abusive behaviors. When church leaders today act in legalism, they imitate the religious leaders and whether that is their intention or not, they end up mocking Jesus and abusing Him. I guess that conclusion shouldn't surprise anyone, since abusing His people is abusing Him. Get rid of legalism, and you may get rid of fertile ground for abuse to grow in. Given that religion and legalism go together, I guess we can also conclude that if the church insists on going by rules then we can expect abuse to flourish there.

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