Lesson Learned with Tears

I feel sort of like I’ve been pretty absent here on my Xanga.  And when I have been around, it has been through cryptic pseudo-poetry.  The reason is because life has been very hard for me recently, and every time I’ve sat down to blog, it’s been hard for me to come to a whole lot of conclusions.

Our church is going through a very difficult time right now.  And with each twist and turn that I have been discovering, whether it be regarding hidden sin, moral confusion, or deep pain, my stomach and soul have not failed to evoke the dark pain of seeing my own church rot from the inside out.

I’ll have to admit that I’m not totally done being angry.  And I’m certainly not done with my anguish.  With each leadership meeting that passes, I wonder if my curled up intestines can take another twist.  I close my eyes, bite my lip, and shake my head–sometimes in disgust, but mostly in grief.  This is the Church…where is the Good News?

The other day, I was praying–on my hands and knees, prostrate before God–and God spoke to me a hard lesson.  You see, the darkness that I have been falling upon at my church has really woken me up spiritually and made me realize that living a righteous life is not just for the old school; righteousness does not fall out of fashion just because I am post-modern.  And so I came before the Lord, crying out to him:  Lord, I’ve been living righteously before you, haven’t I?  Then why do they keep doing that stuff?  I thought we had repented…I thought we had moved passed all that stuff.  And God spoke to me in no uncertain terms:  I know

He didn’t have to say anymore because I understood exactly what he meant.   I didn’t fight him because I knew he was right, but those two words were very hard for me to swallow.  My righteousness offers no guarantee about the Church.

It’s never really occurred to me to ask so what’s the point of living righteously?; those two words were all I needed to hear.  The point of living righteously is not to start a chemical reaction that brings about righteousness in the Church.  No, living righteously alone is worthwhile because God is righteous and he’s called me his own (I gotta represent).  But I also knew that God was telling me that it was still for the sake of the Church, not as a guarantee, but so that I could be more ready.

My church is not literally rotting from the inside out (just like I am not living in perfect righteousness), but that’s certainly what I felt–and still feel sometimes.  But God is faithful and he has not abandoned us.  I don’t want to offend God and deny the good work he’s been doing among us.  I didn’t have to look far to find sin; but I don’t have to look far to find blessing either.  I suppose that’s grace.

As W.C. said, as a Christian, I am hopeful and optimistic–I always am.  But I still have yet to see things really turn for the better–we’re only in the nascent stages of confession and even more so in regards to repentance and healing.  When I speak of grace, I am not trying to be romantic; it’s all we have.

3 thoughts on “”

  1. that’s ironic because that’s how some of the leaders feel sometimes about 3rd home (although i’m sure our problems may not be as severe as 6th home’s).  i can see how it can be most discouraging, even disillusioning, to witness the fruits of your labor and righteousness – spoiled and rotten.  big vic used to tell me his frustrations with the evangelistic efforts of 3rd home and how many people were unwilling to do organized evangelism because they knew that it would be unsuccessful and fruitless just as many have been in the past.  i am often guilty of that “don’t do it if you’re not guaranteed some success” mentality.  big vic used to say, “just because we will have no converts does not mean we should stop evangelizing.” 
    “my righteousness offers no guarantee about the church” is a concept i’m only beginning to learn about.  i’ve shied away from leadership at church in the past because i’m so afraid of being disappointed by unresponsive people and having a “fruitless” ministry.  i’ve focused so much on the outcome that i’ve forgotten why i even thought about leadership in the first place: to serve God.
    poor Job.  the rewards of living a righteous life weren’t very hot during the first half of his life.  it’s so deceiving to believe that God is predictable and works according to biblical formulas: if we do his will, we will be majorly blessed, if we pray for brokenness, God will be our best friend we’ll never have to suffer again.  i wish that were those things were true.  but, the only guarantee God gives us, i believe, is he’ll never fail to be unpredictable and soveriegn.  that is something that resonates through your entry.
    i can’t imagine the pain you must endure from seeing your church go through such an experience. 

  2. we battle on…we battle together…we continue ourselves and together in the work of faith, labor of love, and steady in hope… 🙂  right there beside…you are not alone…

  3. I was just reading Job, and i came upon chapter 5.  Verse 17-18.  Blessed is the man whom God corrects, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty, for he wounds but he also binds up, he injures but his hands also heal. 
    I guess that maybe right now our church is injured, but that its a blessing from God because it is ready to bind us up again.  I have faith that someday our church will turn around and be God’s church. 

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