Stop Apologizing For A Church You Don't Belong To

I was reading an online news story today about a disgraced and dismissed seminary president from one of the largest Christian denominations in America.  

A lifetime of boorish and chauvinistic behavior toward women finally caught up with him, and he'd finally done something that even the male-dominated establishment of his tribe couldn't ignore and he was asked to "retire." 

And then I made the mistake of reading the reader's comments below the article.  

Along with the scores straight up messages of support for this leader, there were also more than a few accusations that the whole thing was a web of conspiracies against him because of his commitment to the "truth." 

I had to wonder how people who aren't Christians read those kinds of responses, and the wondering made me feel kind of weary.

I'm tired of apologizing for a church I don't belong to.    

I bet there are a lot of Jesus-followers out there who are feeling the same way.  

The kind of church I belong to is the kind that doesn't want to be defined by what it is not. Rather, it wants to be defined by what and who it is for.  There's nothing worthwhile and lasting to be gained by living in negative terms.  

I still believe in the Church itself.  I haven't given up on it because I know that God hasn't.  

Despite all of our brokenness and fallibility, God chooses to use the Church to convey the Good News that because of Jesus we all have hope and a future.  That is the message that often gets lost when we move toward the negative spaces of our beliefs.    

If you belong to a loving, caring, vibrant community of faith--tell people about it.  Stop apologizing for a church you don't belong to.  Stop apologizing and start testifying.  Don't be afraid to share how your commitment to your church has impacted your life.  

Tell your non-churchy friends that can't stand church that you've got just the church for them, and you'll save them a seat.  And if you don't have a community faith like the one I just described... find one.  Don't give up until you do.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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