There is a misconception about people who attend church. For some reason there can be a belief that people in the church have it all together in life. It can come from outside the church, or it can come from inside the church. You might think, “I’m the only one in this church that has problems.” As a pastor I can tell you that that is the farthest thing from reality.
Now in some ways it is true that those who attend church may seem like they have it together more than those who do not attend church. It is not necessarily that they face less storms. It is because at church they have learned and are reminded that God can carry them through the storms. So when they come, they are clinging to their faith in God, and that He will see them through.
That being said, the perception that there are only perfect families or any perfect families in a church can be an injustice to families or people struggling. Here’s why. Let’s pretend you are going through a tough time in life. You lost a job, a relationship you have is falling apart, you’re behind on your bills, and the list goes on right? If you believe that everyone in the church has it together all of the time, you won’t say anything. Why? You want to feel like you fit in. You want to appear as if you have it together even if things are falling apart. So you don’t say anything.
Have you been helped or hurt by that mentality? Hurt of course. The problem is that some churches foster this “perfect families” or “perfect people” mentality. They say things like “well Christians would never struggle with x.” Or they might say “if they were a Christian they would trust God and not worry at all about this circumstance.” The reality is we are all human and we all fail and fall.
What happens in scenario’s like this is that the person continues to suffer silently. Instead of people in the church praying for this person or rallying around this person, their inevitable doom creeps closer and closer. We should be in agreement with James 5:13a “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” Instead we make up our own verse, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him hide it and suffer alone.”
Churches need to foster transparency, even among their leadership. This doesn’t mean we come to church to constantly air dirty laundry. But if someone is faltering in their faith, they are failing in an area that God has called them to, let us be willing to let them share their failures so that we can pray for them and point them to Jesus, the one who can heal their pains.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, Pa 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.