5 Uncomfortable Issues The Church Needs to Start Talking About

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.

(Read more at Relevant Magazine here)

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.

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5 thoughts on “5 Uncomfortable Issues The Church Needs to Start Talking About

  1. very interesting article. Our church is dealing with a pastor who has engaged in and admitted to illegal activities of a sexual nature that have gone on for the past 16 years. Some of the church is of the opinion that he can no longer shepherd the flock and some are of the conviction that how can we call ourselves christians if we don’t forgive and allow him to stay in leadership. Any thoughts?

    • Thanks for taking the time to read it! I am not clergy, nor can I say I have any authoritative opinions about your situation. That being said, I’m of the opinion that pastors and elders are held to a higher standard. Forgiveness and reconciliation in a situation like this would require heavy accountability from outside the church and lots of humility from the pastor. I am very keen on a structure that encourages lots and lots of accountability for the people who lead their churches because that’s when people can feel most safe to be vulnerable to their leaders and to each other. I feel a lot of the models of independent church communities, severed from a larger body can cause some unhealthy habits of leadership. That’s just my opinion, for what it’s worth. Thanks again for reading!

  2. great article!! would love to discuss this further with you as i see it opening up a ministry for me. No details here , but another topic is Sexual abuse. Yes its an ugly topic But churches do not have a clue as to how to deal with it. (experienced it here) “Christians” feel that once they enter the sanctuary then they are safe from the ugliness of the world. Wrong !! and by not learning they don’t help heal their flock.

  3. This is a great article. Hopefully it will open the door for Christians to begin to discuss the topics you mentioned and others that people are secretly struggling with–but feel too much shame to disclose to anyone in their church. So many walk through the door of the church wearing their ‘Sunday’ mask of ‘I am okay–you are okay’ and peer through it hoping someone will see through the veneer and realize that behind the mask is a deeply wounded and hurting person desperate to be heard and valued by someone in the church. All the while singing ‘He has made me glad’ as the tears stream down their face’–then the mask goes back up until they leave the building. Not all churches are like this; but unfortunately far too many still are.

  4. I am just now coming to this article, and one topic that also needs to be addressed is abuse in all of it’s forms: emotional, spiritual, physical and sexual. My husband is emotionally abusive. People at my church have seen him in action yet say nothing to him or me. I’ve grown tired of the pitiful looks, have given up on “Christian” counseling and am preparing to tell my pastor that I am getting a divorce. There is no protection from him, no matter how much counseling he himself has received.

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