There is a lot about the church that I get discouraged about and it would be normal to question why I would want to be a part of it.
I have seen Christian leaders fall, not just into sin but into abuse. And not “slimy” leaders that you might suspect were up to no good, but some of the most respected leaders.
I have seen toxic attitudes toward women and attempts to limit their rights. I have seen hatred (and not just disagreements about lifestyle) toward LGBTQ people. I have seen dismissal of people based on labels (both from progressives and evangelicals). I have seen Christians being extremely nasty toward one another.
Why am I still a part of the church?
Well, it’s not because I’m a pastor and I’m paid to be in the church. I have left pastoring before with no job to go to and would do it again.
But I choose to remain a part of the church for two reasons.
Because of Jesus
The first reason is that I believe in Jesus. Not just that he existed but that he is who he claimed to be in the Gospels. I believe he is the Son of God, that he died on the cross, and that he rose from the dead. I believe that Jesus taught the kingdom of God and points us toward a better life, now and in the resurrection. Even when the church stumbles, Jesus is still worth following.
Because of the Church
I could imagine a way in which I might still try to follow Jesus but have no interest in the church. Plenty of people attempt this. But I want to be a part of the church because I still believe in the church.
As many high profile controversies are in the news and arrogant Christians on social media, there are still plenty of examples of people living out the Jesus way. I see this regularly in the local church. People who are not perfect but who are trying to follow Jesus by loving God and loving people. There are people who are sincere in their faith and who are compassionate toward people. There is still beauty within the church.
I might vent about my frustrations concerning things I see and hear but I am still committed to the church.
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