It has been said that the Church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners. Yet, most of us would much rather pretend to be a saint on display than call for an ambulance.
Week after week, many of us walk into a church, sit by people we have known for years and yet would never dream of sharing our innermost struggles with. While a large part of this is our pride, another factor is a Church that seems unwilling to talk about certain uncomfortable issues, choosing rather to ignore them, try to cover them up or simply reject people who bring them up.
There are many issues the Church as a whole needs to address, such as creationism, activism, environmental stewardship and many others. But there are many more issues that individuals in the Church are dealing with—issues that the Church Body should be talking about. In Galatians 6:2, Paul urged the Church to “Bear each other’s burdens,” so maybe with more grace and love we can turn on the light in the darkened rooms of each other’s hearts and let our churches become safe havens for the uncomfortable things we have to deal with.
Many of these issues need to be dealt with professionally first. But that should not be the end of it. Research shows just listening to someone and showing them you genuinely care for their situation can be a huge part of that person’s healing process.
This is far from a comprehensive list—these are a few of the issues many people in churches around the world are dealing with, whether they admit it or not. And as people increasingly leave the Church, often over issues such as these, it is becoming more urgent that the Church talk about how to care for every one of its members.
Author’s note: I wanted to just say a brief word on my new RELEVANT article, “5 Uncomfortable Things the Church Needs to Start Talking About”. First, I do hold these convictions as things that will help believers be more close-knit in our relationships within the community. However, I do understand there are other deep-seated issues that stunt the conversation. I do not address these in the article.
Secondly, I am leaning more towards Orthodoxy in my understanding of what “Church” means, so in the context of my article the word is more loose an generally defined. That’s not something I’m entirely proud of, but there you have it. I believe that the Church, as defined by 1 Timothy 3:15 is the pillar and foundation of truth, so something I wished I would have had room to say in the article would be, these issues must first be tackled with truth of scripture and tradition and with abundant grace. I may be putting this statement on my blog later. Thank you.