I expect collateral damage in the world at large.
But somehow, I have always felt that the church should be better than that. Things hurt a little more when they happen in the church.
See, in church, people
are supposed to be all on the same page, following Jesus, being transformed and
changed into his likeness, living out the beatitudes, following the golden rule, not focused
on themselves but on others, out there in mission to the poor, doing
good in the world, helping and caring for each other, and so on.
Church is supposed to be a safe place where God is the priority and people come to be healed and to experience community with mature believers, and then sent out into ministry into the world, always having this secure and caring base to which to return.
In the world
at large I have never had a problem understanding that not everyone is operating in good
faith. But inside the church, where the Kingdom is supposed to be
spreading? It took me a long time to realize the church is a real mess itself, that it is more like
the world than not, and that you really can't count on people behaving differently in church than outside of it.
a church problem, I have finally learned that we should never make the mistake of thinking
everyone's willing to work things out together because we all are looking to Jesus as our example. I've also learned we should never assume
there's good will on the other side in a church conflict, and that if we just talk long
enough, reason things out together, and try to understand each other there will be a resolution. I've discovered that sometimes there is no good solution out there
that we just haven't been smart enough to find. Sometimes, there are
only negative paths, and the only choice is to take the one that is the least negative.
Along the way in my church leadership career I have had to discard two assumptions: 1) that the opposition has
taken their position in good faith and is reasonable, and 2) that
there's a solution out there somewhere.
I do not like this one bit. There's still a part of me that thinks the church should be a different kind of place with its own (better) rules, and with people who are seriously trying to follow and be like Christ. And that this should lead to a better class of behavior within the church when we disagree with each other. I still think this is how things should be. I just have never seen it.
Greg - FIVE; Alien - ZERO
4 years ago