For the past few weeks I’ve been responding to articles and posts about churches and Christians being judgmental and cold. Because I don’t think they are. I’ve tried to explain why I feel the way I do, but either I’m not expressing myself well, (happens a lot) or I’m flat out wrong.
Maybe I have my head stuck in the sand. Maybe all these things are true, and I’m just not noticing it. Because the truth is I’m pretty busy on Sunday mornings. I play piano for my little church, so as soon as Sunday School is over, I go straight to the piano. After church is over, I’m back at the piano. So I’m a bit out of the loop, I guess. Perhaps all this negativity is going on around me that I don’t even know about.
But maybe, just maybe, we’re all too sensitive. Maybe, just maybe, I am too sensitive about these posts.
In defense of my sisters and brothers in Christ, though, sometimes we just don’t know what to do because no matter what one does, it’s going to be wrong. We were too pushy; we were too cold; we didn’t look at a person properly; we asked someone to do something. I have heard all the excuses. On the other end of that spectrum I’ve also seen some of the older members (most have died out now) protect their pew with a vengeance. And I remember the dos and don’ts of my mother’s era.
It boils down to Do you really want to be in worship with a bunch of people JUST LIKE YOU? Because that’s what it is. People full of faults trying to overcome those faults because they love Jesus and want to be more like him. Imperfect people saved by grace. People with personalities that sometimes clash, sometimes mesh, and sometimes seem distant due to circumstances in their lives.
I’ve been to many, many churches. I’ve seen people so happy they dance in the aisles; I’ve seen people so heartsick it was all they could do to muster up the energy to be in God’s house; I’ve been hugged, really hugged, by the best huggers in the world; I’ve been encouraged by the best encouragers ever; I’ve prayed with the mightiest prayer warriors. I’ve stepped over and talked to the quiet people, and I’ve joined the rowdy ones. That’s only a few of the personalities.
Jesus set the example for church attendance. Every week He was in the synagogue. I’m fairly certain there were quite a few people who did not like Him and were more than downright rude. But He went anyway. Maybe, just maybe, He had the option of several synagogues to choose from when He attended. But, unlike us, it probably wouldn’t have mattered to Him where He went. His mission was His priority.
Our country, my little town, is full of churches that are full of personality. Go until you find a church that is just where you belong. Hopefully, without bashing the one you just attended. There is a church personality to fit your personality, a church in tune with your thoughts and behaviors, a church that will feel like home.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the church folk who are cold and hard and judgmental. Maybe, just maybe, it’s you.