Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You can get hurt in church, that is true

The irony is that, the very vehicle of healing for repentant sinners is the very instrument of stumbling too. That is right, as much as the church provides the blessings of having a family, a place you can belong and be treated as part of a larger whole, it too is a place where injuries are inflicted. Sometimes, there is so much fun in church fellowship and you get a drop of heaven, but wait till a crisis happens, it can be hell too. Take the story below as a case study. We can cite a lot more.

Think of the hospital. We bring our sick there to get cured. Sometimes, the cure does not happen, instead the situation gets even worst. Like, the time I heard a surgeon left a scissor in one of his patients after the operation. He was doing a procedure to fix something but instead, he left a new problem. For months it was tucked in the patient's abdomen, left accidentally by the surgeon, it was only revealed by x-ray the bizarre truth, the patient was carrying a foreign object. The real problem was fixed but a new and different one needs fixing too.

So what do you do when bad things happen to you, in church. Well, what should the patient do in that story? Where does he go but to a hospital again, no matter what. Perhaps he might go to a different hospital and get fixed by a different surgeon, but no one denies, he has to go back to 'a hospital'. Going to the fire station won't fix his problem.

Church, even though it does not purposely try to disappoint us, will disappoint us. That is the nature of being a sinner and saint in a grand scale. It happens, because it ain't The Messiah.

See: The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church, by R. Rosenbladt

11 comments:

Doorman-Priest said...

Well, speaking as one who is just about clinging on to the church by his finger tips right now, he sounds my sort of guy.

L P Cruz said...

D.P.

I do believe you will like him, he is helpful.

You may give up on a church, but do not give up on "The Church".

your fellow traveler,

LPC

J. K. Jones said...

LP,

My favorite radio preacher, Steve Brown, often quotes St. Augustine, “The church is a whore, but she’s my mother.” I understand mixed emotions about church.

The small Baptist church I attended growing up went through a church split when the pastor was accused of multiple counts of adultery with women he had been counseling. My reaction to the ensuing emotional conflict in the church lead to a falling away from church attendance during my college years.

The very church which was used by God to bring me to Christ had betrayed my trust. It still bothers me sometimes.

JK

L P Cruz said...

JK,

I can not begin enough to tell you the hurts I have accumulated in the past specially when I was pastoring.

To give you a clue...and in some degree...Ps 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

God honors his words even though those who spread them may be found liars themselves. And that is scary, for the one who spreads it, I mean. Because man can repeat the words of God though he himself is not convinced of it!

I like that Augustine quote.


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

The Unity, Sanctity, Catholicity, and Apostolicity - the marks of the Church - is contra Rome, a matter of faith, not sight. The just shall walk by faith (alone).

The marks of the Church is "guaranteed" and "sealed" only by the faithful proclamation of the Gospel in Word and Sacraments. Beyond and above this, only provide the setting for ministerial sins to take place: adultery, fornication, tyranny, misappropriation of funds, etc. In other words, where there is no love for the truth, substituted by tradition masquaerading as piety, as in the Roman Church for example, open the door to such evils. Priestly paedophilia as a persistent problem can be attributed to the Roman denial of total depravity.

Doctrine is very important. Without doctrine, there is no true holiness .......

Augustinian Successor said...

Without true doctrine, without the Truth, the voice of conscience is "obliterated" or "drowned" by casuistry or self-justification, which is grounded in a form of false doctrine. Only true doctrine safeguards the function of the Law in the life of the Christian. He knows that, contra Rome, concupiscence IS sin. He knows that his acquaintance who has a homosexual orientation but claims to be celibate needs as mcuh help as a practicing homosexual.

Everything is judged according to the Law in its totality. True doctrine, therefore, upholds the Law and safeguards against legalism and antinomianism. It not only accuses but restrains the believer in a way different from the unregenerate. The believer is restrained in his knowledge as both simul iustus et peccator. The unbeliever is restrained in his self-righteousness.

In other words, the believer does not mix or confuse the two kinds of righteousness. Whereas the reprobate only knows one kind of righteousness which he struggles or attempts to rationalise away any recognised or perceived "flaws".

Both minister and flock - the church - must acknwledge the Law in its totality and the Gospel in all its finality. The absolute sovereignty of God and the total depravity of man are both the twin pillars for the good of the Church. It is only when there is denial syndrome that the people of God suffers ...

L P Cruz said...

A.S.

Most hurts in church can be traced to false doctrine either internally held or externally promoted. I am quite certain of that.

I just came from a gathering of multi-evangelical group of people wanting to evangelize the ethnic people of Melbourne. As I sat with a group for breakfast, we started introducing ourselves. One pastor asked my background, and told him I was a Pentecostal and now Lutheran. Little did I know someone in the group was from the AOG and he felt slightly intrigued if not offended that I am no longer Pentecostal as such. We had a bit of interchange and I did not want to upset the discussion as if I was looking for a controversial thing to say, as if that was my agenda. I am a peaceful bloke, but the long and short of it is that the people there were agreeing that we should agree in which we are have in common like the Gospel - but that is the point - this word is thrown around loosely and is now a vague concept. I am sure when we ask around the table we would have a different definition of what the Gospel is.

I am wondering, there is so much chaos in evangelia right at this moment, I wonder if they know the implication of what they are uniting for, for at the end of the day - it comes down to teaching/doctrine. The Lutheran forefathers knew that all along. The world has not moved on from there.

LPC

WayneDawg said...

Very good post.

You sid in a comment - "Most hurts in church can be traced to false doctrine either internally held or externally promoted. I am quite certain of that."

This is so true. Sometimes all it takes is just a little bit of the truth mixed in with a lot of apostasy and you have the makings of a disaster. Sometimes the whole congregation is affected instead of just an individual.

L P Cruz said...

Wayne,

That is so true, I have heard and to some extent experienced that the whole congregation can get affected.

It is in a crisis situation when you get to know what the congregation truly believes when they act out what is inside. Then you wonder what happened to all that preaching? Where did the amens go?

Glad you posted.

LPC

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. I'm nursing some huge hurts right now and this was very timely. I'm going to listen to that.

L P Cruz said...

May the Lord guide you as you contemplate the meaning of all of this and perhaps plan your next move.

LPC