- “I love Jesus; I just don’t like the church!”
- “The church hurt me.”
- “Church people are some of the cruelest people out there.”
- “I turned my back on God because I was hurt by the church.”
I have been in church my entire life and I understand why people say these things. I too have experienced mean, vicious, evil spirited people within the church. I too have been hurt. But not once did it make me want to cast off the church. It fact, it has drawn me closer to Christ and His Word and it has given me a deeper love for the true church of God. You see, we have a mistaken view that those that do such things are a part of the true church. Most of the time, this is not the case. They are simply pretenders, charlatans, and wolves in sheep clothing. They are either unknowingly or in some cases intently seeking to destroy the reputation of the church. And by the looks of things, they are doing a good job.
But, let us not forget that for every one negative account there are hundreds of positive ones. For all the groups of non-believers who selfishly try to run the church, there are groups of true believers who have a heart’s desire to come together with their brothers and sisters in Christ to carry out the work of Kingdom. For every one pastor who is foolish, ignorant, or just plain mean, there are thousands who are true servants of God, working tirelessly day and night, loving, serving, and ministering to people. For every one hurtful word said, there are thousands of words spoken that have ministered grace unto the hearers. For every false doctrine proclaimed by false teachers, there are still more who boldly proclaim the unequivocal truth from God’s Word.
Christ loves the church. (The true church, that is.) Christ established the church. Christ died for the church. It is His Bride. When we talk about the church in general, we are talking about the Bride of Christ. We better be careful! Quit being used by the enemy to destroy the reputation of the church. Quit looking at self. I know you’ve probably been hurt, but grow from it, move on, and lift your eyes and take notice of all the good that is in Christ’s true church. And by all means, if you are in a church where Christ is not preeminent, that is not preaching the truth, not loving the brethren, not doing the work of the Kingdom, not edifying the believers, and does not look like the church should look like then find a true church where you can worship and serve. True churches are out there. I know, my husband is the pastor of one. Sometimes it just takes a while to find one. But remember the words of Christ, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:18.