Dear Church

Dear Church (6/10/18),

Dear Church,

I’m going to be writing you some letters, I’m not sure how many yet, because you need to hear some things. Some of it is hard, some of it is reason for celebration, some of it is necessary reminders, and some of it will bring up a lot of hurts. Mostly these are things that I, one of your members, needs you to hear; because it isn’t always easy to be associated with you.

I recognize that I have also been part of the problem, that I too have been sick and dragging you down. That’s why my words are for all of us. Not just for you, but for me too.

Please forgive me ahead of time if I rage too much, if I am too sharp. I will try to be loving and kind, but I also get very angry. Especially with you, because you are my family, a part of me, my body. Like most humans, for better or worse, I am hardest on myself and on those closest to me. I need to work on loving better, but so do you, so as a body can we work this out together? Repent together? Cry together? And rejoice together?

I’ll be honest, over the last year I’ve tried to walk away, but how can a foot just go off by itself away from its body? Not unless it is cut off and there has always someone to pull me back in, encouraging me not to quit church. I’m learning still, in a new and deeper way, what it means to be a part of you. I don’t always like it, especially in this time in history, but I do believe in you. I believe we are all meant to be the bride. Together.

Today the pastor on stage at the church I am trying to attend regularly read Romans 16, what stood out to me was this:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have been taught; avoid them. Romans 16:17

Here’s the thing about Romans: Paul was desperate to unify two very different groups of people; the Jews and Gentiles. They believed different things, but he again and again admonished them to focus on the gospel, to look to what unified them— Christ.

The pastor likewise admonished us today that we are free to have our convictions, but we are not free to divide over them.

He also quoted these verses:

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

That’s what these letters will be about as well. There are things you’ve done to hurt me, things I’ve done to hurt you and things I see us doing that are hurting others. I want to voice them because I want us all to understand one another, to heal and for us to beat with one heart.

I’m afraid we’ve left our first love in order to fight one another. Out Tweeting, out Facebooking, out debating, having the more clever words and arguments. We are killing ourselves and the nation, the world, it’s watching us burn. Let’s be the bride. Together. Loving Jesus. Being his hands and feet above all else. These letters will be to that end, expect more, many more.

With love,

A Member

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