Most of us saw the clip of a well-known controversial gospel singer saying some unkind things in a bazaar rambling floating around on social media. The court of public opinion was held and boy, were there ever so many opinions and spin off topics. I just want to say in my opinion, she was wrong. It wasn’t a good look for her and just like many organizations those that are associated with an organization get lumped into one person’s pot of mess.
Here’s something I think we need to remember; we are all responsible for our OWN journey in this life whatever your beliefs are. She is not a reflection of ALL Christians no more than if a non-Christian man sleeps around. That man is not a reflection of ALL men. I know we have been conditioned to think the opposite. You can’t even say the majority of a certain group is this, that, or the other unless you have statistics and even that can be up for debate. Just like you and me, ultimately, she is responsible for her own behavior and relationship with the Creator. The way we form opinions of certain groups based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and even age is often based on STEREOTYPICAL thinking and misinformation.
Now, there are people saying that she, people like her, is the reason why they don’t go to church. Facts: there are mean Christians in church. They are usually pretty mean on the job and in families. There are mean Christians in church that hold positions and continue to be mean and continue to hold these positions. Who’s responsible for that? Leadership and that particular organization. I have found the person is usually related to someone higher up, a friend, a longtime member, an elder, they were promised that position, and they give big bucks or their family has been at that church a looooooooooong time. All pretty lame excuses for continuous abuse of power and authority.
Mean people exist that are not Christians at all. Why do you think Christians are held to a higher standard or the Church is held to a higher standard than the world? Why would they not be? James 3:1-2 states
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
You may be thinking, because you have been taught James is talking about teachers and preachers. Leaders. But in deeper reflection, a Christian is a teacher to the world. The Church as a collective is a leader and teacher in this world. We receive stricter judgement. AND WE ALL STUMBLE IN WORD. And when he says perfect, he means MATURE. Stricter judgement comes with the territory.
In honesty, throughout history the church has been pretty “judgy” about the world and non-Christians. We’ve been heavy on YOU’RE GOING TO BURN IN HELL and light on HOW CAN I HELP YOU personally. I know the church has been a pillar in communities and historically black churches have been a place of refuge for the black community. I know the church feeds, clothes, and houses those in need. As they should if they are financially able to and if not provide resources that can help. I think when you sow seeds of “we are better than you” or “something is wrong with you”, we get some harvest in return. We shouldn’t expect grace and mercy from others and yet we cannot only give it to those in position and authority either. Maybe our slogan should be, “Welcome to church where we are all imperfect people serving a perfect God. Here we learn and grow together so that we may better serve our communities and humanity.”
Now, why can’t people get over CHURCH HURT or find another church? I find it unsettling that we can be so dismissive of people’s feelings. Let your significant other, child, parent, or friend be dismissive of yours and all hell breaks loose. I am really glad Jesus wasn’t. Probably, because he didn’t lump all experiences into one. You don’t know what hurt they experienced, first of all to tell them to GET OVER IT. Secondly, what’s nothing to you may be something to them. Thirdly, you probably don’t have the wisdom to look deeper into the pain and examine where it may be coming from. It could be coming their past. Or how about you examine where they are in their walk in Christ. What level are they on? Fourth, he or she who lacks wisdom, let him ask. Fifth, he or she that leads a congregation or may be responsible for counseling souls need to take some courses in counseling or read numerous books on counseling. Sixth, he or she that leads needs to know when their counseling skills are limited and the person needs professional help.
I think habitually mean Christians need deliverance and counseling. I think habitually mean people in general need the same thing. We are possibly all mean at some point and time throughout our lives. But, to do and say mean or nasty things, to exhibit that behavior without care and regularly, let’s me know there within lies a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.
PS These are MY thoughts, opinions, and observations. I present them as so and not hard facts.