'Bunch of Hypocrites

I'm not sure when it happened(it probably has always been around) but somewhere along the way we bought into the idea that the church should be full of perfect people, or at least full of people who are "just as messed up as me but also just as nice as me" because clearly we would never hurt anyone in the church the way that church people have hurt us and contribute to the culture negatively and of course we wouldn't misrepresent Jesus the way that "those other church people" misrepresented Him. We often judge others by their worst actions and ourselves by our best intentions.

We tell people to "come as you are" and then wonder why our church has so many "issues" when we literally just asked them to come in with all of their baggage too(that's what we're supposed to do because that's how we were welcomed). We want our brokenness to be accepted by our church community but have problems with the brokenness of others, or at the very least we aren't willing to look at our own lives to examine if we might be at least part of the problem, the "hypocritical" church.

That's not to say that our hurt and pain should be swept under the rug, it shouldn't be. (I'm also not addressing abuses of power in the church, that is a whole different post to be treated carefully and compassionately) I've been wounded many times by people in the church, I have stories of hypocrisy and situations that are heartbreaking. The reality is that if we have spent any amount of time at/in a church, most of us have had those experiences as well and it's truly sad.

I think we expect the body of Christ to actually act like they've been redeemed(that makes sense right?), like they've been changed by Jesus and so often they don't and we wonder if they really have been changed.

We are prone to backbiting, judgement, condemnation, cliques and a whole host of other human issues. Are there a lot of fake people in the church? Absolutely, there are a lot of fake people everywhere else too.

Real world problems follow real people into the church because we're people, we have issues, and we bring those issues with us wherever we go. If we claim to follow Christ we should be working on our "stuff", loving people the way that Jesus loved but we're still living on this side of glory. We're still dealing with our broken nature and everyone else's broken nature and for us to be "completely shocked" or at least expect to not run into social/relational problems when our churches are filled with broken is sadly, we might not fully grasp  how bad people are, us included.

So when we're tempted to forget "the church" as a community altogether and just call ourselves a "Jesus follower" let's remember that Jesus told us to love the church and I think he knew how bad it was/would be. He still told us to love. Not to love religion but a group of messy, broken people, a community, not an individual(me myself and I)but a group, others, the church, even the messy ones. Why? Because that's what He did.