The topic at hand is Spiritual Abuse. It may surprise you that this is even a thing, but I promise that it is. Not many are brave enough to talk about it because for so long the church has been revered as perfection and right, and anyone who dares to suggest otherwise, is shot to death before they can even stand up.
If you want to read this with the intent of finding a new gossip topic, or be judgemental toward those who have been slain by the vises of those who are supposedly called to be holy, then I suggest you move on and read something else. What I write about here is based on actual facts, and I can't be the Priest or the Levite who turn the other way when coming face to face with pain and heartache (AKA: the story of the Good Samaritan (look it up)), and choose to keep walking along merrily as though nothing has clouded their line of vision.
I raise my flag to say, "Church, this is not okay."
"Come over here," the church invites. "We have what you need."
"We will care for you," they say. "We will be the hands and feet of Jesus to your thirsty, war-torn hearts."
"When you are sad, we will gather around you, and we will help you see the JOY again," they promised.
"If you have need of anything, anything at all, we will all share together so no one has to suffer," they declare.
"In fact," the church decides, "We want the whole world to know how wonderful and lovely and perfect we are so we are going to go to the ends of it to spread the love."
Sad. Weary. Heavy-hearted. Deeply disappointed. I must reveal that this is not always how things ACTUALLY are.
Recently, I listened to a sermon by a preacher who spent the "sermon hour" laughing at all the poor folks out there who thought they could complain to the church because they had been deeply hurt and wanted the church to be nice to them, understand the deep wounding that had happened, and help them heal. Seriously. I am not making this up.
Churches who operate with this mindset are not being Jesus to a hurting and bruised world.
This is not the Jesus I know.
Jesus does not scorn us when we cry.
Jesus does not pull up his "white power" pants, and wash his hands of all these stupid people who expect the church to care for their souls.
"Lead me, Yahweh, in your righteousness because of my enemies. Make your way straight before my face." Psalm 5:8 (WEB)
"You, LORD God, are my mighty rock and my fortress. Lead me and guide me, so that your name will be honored." Psalm 31:3 (CEV)
"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalm 84:11 (NIV)
I do not want to be like the 'church' in this story. I want to be like Jesus who cares for others with great tenderness and love. I want to listen to what people are saying, actually hear what they are saying, and repent of my sinful heart where I have deeply wounded and not been like Jesus, Who has also tenderly cared for me in my many hours of tears, pain, and heartache.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139:23,24 (NASB)
And, I would like to thank the warriors who Jesus so kindly put into my broken and bleeding path who did actually listen and care, who did not scorn and laugh, as the aforementioned preacher did. (You know who you are.) If it were not for those who were Jesus the way Jesus actually is, I would not be where I am today. Thank you. May God give you a luxurious mansion when you get to heaven.