Thursday, September 06, 2007

Frustration

I'm tired.

It was around this time last year that someone told me God had left my church. Abandoned us because of the hardness of our hearts. And that He would not return.
I was also told that as long as I remained at the church, I wouldn't grow.
Because of yesterdays post they seem to think they're still right.
Months of my blog has been living proof that they were wrong, but one post wishing for the absolute best from my congregation, from every Christian, seems like proof of their claims.

I'm too tired to fight them.
But I can make weary complaining into an art form.


What kind of person tells a Christian that God is tired of them? We didn't change in the 3 months he attended our church. And now we're doomed.

To be entirely honest, I am at the end of a 20 hour day that hasn't ended yet. So vulnerable doesn't even begin to describe what I'm feeling.

So I have something to say.



Churches everywhere have someone in them just like the one I've dealt with. They're willing to walk up to tired, struggling Christians and tell them to "give up the fight". "Start over somewhere easier", they'll tell you. "Nothing will happen here", they say. They talk a good talk concerning biblical things, but their walk has them consistently kicking the well-doing until they are weary.

They seem most believable because they know the bible. You know they can grind you into the dirt during any biblical debate just by quoting scripture after scripture. They intimidate you with their words. Maybe even by their manner. And when they come at you with "Thus says the Lord," you're hard pressed to fight against them even when everything in you is screaming "God wouldn't SAY that." It's hard to defend against the God of one verse used for their specific reason, by brandishing your knowledge of who God has shown Himself to be. Their verse is easier to brandish with it's solid form.

It's not the world I fight with. The world has been kind to me. Strangers have helped me. It is family and those that claim to be Christian who are willing to tear me down and hold me back from fighting for the best God has to offer.

I'm tired.

I'm sorry I wrote yesterdays post. I suppose I did not accomplish what I was trying to say well enough. My church did nothing wrong yesterday. They sang well, They worshipped well. I didn't point out clearly that I see this problem in every church, and in almost every christian. We give less than the best. We don't just do that during a song service, we do it in our every day lives.

Instead of giving Him praise and worship, we give Him 30 minutes after our television shows are done. Instead of giving Him all of us, He gets what is left. We spend our lives, rather than investing them into Gods work. We hold onto that which is good, so tightly that we stubbornly refuse to release it long enough to grab something better.

And if all that isn't bad enough, every now and then one of our own reach out to grab onto the greatness that Abel had, only to have a Cain murder them.

No offense to us, but we're a stupid lot. Meekness is not timidity. And unfortunately the only ones able to break the timidity barrier seem to be the ones that are clobbering you in the pasture.

Something's gotta give.

So for every foolish Christian out there (and I do mean EVERY foolish Christian, not just the one I'm discouraged by), just as foolish even as myself, I beg you to stop. I beg you to stop trying to convince everyone that God gives up on people, on churches, and on families. I beg myself to stop considering it. God doesn't give up on people, churches, families or me. Let us all stop making the mistake of placing our character traits onto God, rather than trying to fit His onto us.

And, if none of us can find something to say that's encouraging, maybe we could all just quote "With God all things are possible." until we finally believe it.

4 comments:

SLW said...

Flyaway;
I sure hope it wasn't my comment that affected you as you've described. There was only three, so I'm wondering. I wasn't trying to be critical, but to help you navigate the circumstance. I actually agree with you: there's no such thing as a throw away church, I don't know how to write-off brothers and sisters, and we must keep up the good fight rather than fold our tents and move on.

Anyway, you have the goods to make a difference, so you'd do well to make that difference where you are. Be the spark, because with God, all things are possible.

One Sided said...

I have a friend (Tom) who is a very strong Christian, who is fantastic at starting ,,,, well that is just it he is fantastic at starting churches, bible studies. He cares about people and knows how to bring them together and how to get them active. Problem is he has no staying power and he tries to draw off the best of what he started to follow him in his next venture. He succeeds at what he starts, when he succeeds at leaving, he often leaves nothing behind to ensure the continued success of that venture.
I asked a pastor friend of mine why he continued to stay at a small church, filled with divisions and petty squabling, his reply was simply, "God has not called me elsewhere."
So as long as God has not called you elsewhere then you are to be in His service where He has called you to be. Despite what may seem logical to the world. Around here Tom is known in every church, He is not known for what he starts but for his leaving.

flyawaynet said...

Actually slw, I was going to respond to your comment on yesterdays post, but I just hadn't got around to it yet since I got back in late last night.

I liked your comment. I think you hit the nail on the head actually. We're a sincere, God loving church. The idea that we're half-hearted seems not quite right maybe, but the concept you introduced of 'lack of focus' really hit a cord.

I'm afraid to be a spark. I spend a lot of effort in church trying to make sure I don't burst into flames. I'm flamable and have to control the sparks. I imagine I would find myself without a church if I allowed myself to burn quite as I would like to.

But with man, these things are impossible. But with God all things are possible.

flyawaynet said...

One-sided, I will always find it amazing how crazy we Christians are. We're like a bumbling, crazed, smelly group of sheep yet God loves us and uses us anyway.

We self-destruct ourselves. Yet somehow God manages to not have an entirely sick and diseased church.

I've got to find the good again.