this is my response to a beautiful and heart-felt letter of apology to those who were treated poorly at church which was posted by Melanie Redd at Ministry of hope.
I strongly encourage you to read it on her blog because it is beautifully and sincerely written. Also, and this is very important, my response here is in no way meant to criticize her letter or blog post. On the contrary, I was truly touched and my heart was opened and softened by her letter.
I just feel that there is a very urgent need for us to discuss these issues and bring them out into the open. I think that was her intent...we cannot move into light if we shut each other out in darkness. We need to share out thoughts and opinions so that we can truly understand where the other person is coming from and how what we do and say affects those around us.
so here is my response to Melanie and please feel free to comment...though I may regret saying that....
Wonderful, wonderful post. I have been to many, many different churches in the past 30 years....and have not one friend in any of them. Many people who were friendly but not one friend. Your post is very timely, Christian churches and people who affiliate themselves with Christianity are one of groups of Americans shrinking faster than any other group. Nationally, these people are leaving in droves. They are not raising children who will go to church. Here in New England to say you are Christian is almost the same as saying you are a bigoted, hate-filled racist. I hear about Christians picketing funerals of gay soldiers and targeting homosexuals regarding marriage. And, it isn't just that issue. Are you a mother working or staying home, are you wearing a skirt every day, do you use a head covering, do you send your children to public school...the list can go on and on. I see different denominations of Christian churches bickering and criticizing one another. Each saying only their church preaches the real word of God and no one else is getting into heaven. On a given day I can have Mormons, Jehovah's witnesses, and Christians all knocking on my door saying their way is the only way.
And yet, after attending differing churches for 30 years I have had only 1 person ever call me or want to get together for even a cup of coffee...and she was the pastor's wife.
I accept your apology, though I was never deeply hurt and there was never any one thing that turned me away from churches. I applaud you, and your proxy has truly touched me.
Honestly though, and I think we need to speak of this issue frankly and honestly if we are to change the trend of closing churches, my entire thought process about churches has changed and though there may come a time in my life when I will attend a church again, I will never feel the same way about Christians.
Even here on my blog I have noticed that "Christian" bloggers almost never return comments I have posted on their own blogs and very, very rarely comment at all. They have their pop-up "follow my blog" and other ads before I am even done reading the post but they don't even acknowledge or return a comment I make.
So, speaking as one of the ex-church goers that you are proxying for, I appreciate your apology...it really did make my eyes tear up. But, if you drop a plate on the floor and break it, it is still broken after you apologize.
Your apology is thought provoking to me, and as I said, it has touched me, but I stopped going to church because of the attitude of the Christians there. And, your apology doesn't change that. I don't want to go back to church. I am treated callously there, as if I don't matter to them...but, by they way, they would like me to drop a little something into the offertory basket on it's way by.
Originally, I stopped going to church because I felt as if I wasn't liked there. Now, after decades of maturing, growing in the word of God through bible reading and studying, and maturing through life experiences, I don't go to church because, I don't like them.
faith filled Friday