I’m beginning to think it’s harder to live like Jesus at church than anywhere else. Christians appear to work less at getting along than those who claim no connection to the church or Jesus; I’ll never cease to be amazed at the way we treat one another in the name of Christ. Some may say that’s just human nature, and therein lies the problem. Christians are supposed to operate according to a reborn nature. Is it any wonder that the masses are either turning away or staying away from Church? Who can blame anyone for choosing not to be the brunt of someone else’s critical spirit, even if that less than exemplary spirit is acted out “in Jesus’ name.” I learned just last week of one man who loved the Lord but left church because the stress he experienced being among other church members was too much to bear.
There is more good natured camaraderie and joie de vivre at the corner pub than in many churches. I can’t help but wish that church more resembled Alcoholics Anonymous than the Friday Night Fights.
“No matter what far place alcoholics end up in, either in this country or virtually anywhere else, they know that there will be an A.A. meeting nearby to go to and that at that meeting they will find strangers who are not strangers to help and to heal, to listen to the truth and to tell it. That is what the Body of Christ is all about. Would it ever occur to Christians in a far place to turn to a church nearby in hope of finding the same? Would they find it? If not, you wonder what is so big about the church’s business.” (Frederick Buechner)
I have believed for years that what most of us are seeking is an accepting group of individuals that love without judgment or condemnation. I hang on to the slim hope that this may one day be found at church.