We are never going to find a perfect church because we are all sinners saved by grace. But at the least, love for each other should be obvious... or else we are no disciples of Christ... "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12 Sadly I have been to such mega churches where the preacher is more interested in getting the right side of his profile on the video tape... real performers! Give me a church that truly loves its' brethren...
Many people, myself included have been hurt by judging, unloving and critical Christians in church. 18 months ago after I left the last church where I was serving as a deaconess and a foundation member, I decided I had had enough of being hurt. My weight, age and illness were mocked and they were only going to get worse. I felt that I would never go to church again. But gradually over the months, I got an unbearable hunger for corporate worship and last Sunday, in spite of panic attacks and a bit of fear, I went with my friend to a church that Chris and I have attended before. It was good... I felt complete.
I do understand the silent looks, the unspoken criticism of being ill and the almost palpable expectation of others to get better and to stop whingeing.... and yes, to have more faith. This world is geared to the young and well and the beautiful people, even in the church. If you happen to be obese as well, you are minced meat! But I had to work through that and to be honest, it still hurts. Christians should not judge on externals...
But I need to go to church. For me, it was a lesson in forgiveness and knowing that Jesus accepts me as I am, even if young pioneer church planters of pastors, don't. I think unless God intervenes in their hearts, a lot of go getting pastors will continue to view the chronically ill aged and overweight or poorly clad, with the carnal mindset of the world.
I wonder if they have really heard from God in their calling when His compassion and love is evidently not manifested in their actions. This shouldn't be with pastors because although human they are entrusted with much and they should be worthy of the respect they deserve as pastors. Yet sadly many fall very short. I believe it is a sad indictment against the modern church... and pastorate.
Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi was shown contempt when he went to a church? he never went again, citing us as hypocrites! This is so sad and I know it grieves the LORD.
If the church has no compassion for the sick, no care for the poor or hunger to reach the lost, then she doesn't know her God and deserves to be called hypocritical.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
Therefore the Lord said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men," Isaiah 29:13