Hurt by the Church: A Survivor’s Tale

I looked around the crowded church and felt more alone than ever. I was dealing with a lot of  personal baggage, and had come to the church to find peace. Yet, everywhere I looked I saw people who didn’t care about me – people who were just at church to keep up the appearances, and nothing more.

This began a downward spiral in my life where I became de-churched. The church had rejected me, hurting me deeply. Because of that hurt I wanted nothing to do with the institution known as The Church.

My library still contains a few books from that time in my life. Such titles include: Quitting the Church, Life after Church, and So You Don’t Want to go to Church Anymore?

God had to do a lot of work and healing inside of me, but eventually I saw that my anger and hurt were based on false beliefs. Here was how I saw things:

  1. The Church is God’s Will on earth.
  2. The Church does not care about me.
  3. Because the Church does not care about me, by extension, God doesn’t care about me.

I soon came to see how damaging this belief was. There have been many people who have been hurt by the Church. If those hurts came directly from God we would have a reason not to follow Christ. This belief is held by many, many Christians. The Church has hurt us, so we feel God doesn’t care.

The hurts of the Church are caused by sin. If we accredit the hurts of the Church to God, we are saying that God hurt us. Yet those hurts were caused by sin. That would mean that God hurt us through sin. Yet, we know that God does not sin, so this cannot be true.

This does not discount the hurt that we have received from the Church. That hurt is very real, and it is caused by one brother or sister sinning against another. How do we heal this hurt? It all comes down to what happened when Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died on the Cross.

Question: Are you carrying hurt caused by the church? What needs to be done to accept God’s Healing Grace?

–Derek Hanisch

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