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Monday, June 21, 2010

Hey Church People.

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Note: I originally wrote this in February 2009, but it applies to another friend today, so I'm reposting.

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Y'know. I can handle it better when you pick on me. Leave my friends alone okay?

Why is it you're in this to crush people's spirits? Yes. I said Crush. When someone volunteers to do something in GOD's church you don't get a say. When are you going to learn?

They're working for God, they're following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, they're trying to do something God has called them to do and all you can do is put them down?! How dare you.

What are you doing? Are you helping them? Are you encouraging them? Why no. You're not. You're in the background attacking their character.

They're doing God's work.

Whose work are you doing? Tell me, because I'd really like to know.

Church people--sometimes you need to shut your big ugly mouths.

I remember when you, dear church people, made me cry. When you sat in your circles and accused me. You had that look in your eyes, like if you'd have had a rock in your hand you would've stoned me.

Now you're making my friend cry and it pisses me off even more to know you're still at it. To know you still show up every Sunday and sing your songs and say your prayers and to know your heart is still full of vile nastiness.

Why? Why do you do these things?

You, church people, the ones who SHOULD be supporting other church people, are instead breaking people's hearts.

I just don't know how to love you right now.

God forgive me if I've ever been a church person. Help me to never, ever crush someone's spirit.

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Toni said...

God please help me to never be a "church person" either.

You're such a good friend. Thank you.

Martel said...

Hi, Michelle -

I'm reading a book right now that is called "UnChristian." It's a very interesting look at the way those outside the church view those who call themselves "Christians."

I have been on the receiving end of the mindset that you've described. It's not a fun place to be.

In my experience, the best way to handle this type of situation is to step back and analyze the goal. If someone is putting up roadblocks, maybe there is a solid reason why the goal can't be attained right now. I'm not saying don't stand up for yourself if you think you've been wronged. But more of a look within and also look at what the roadblocks are. There are a lot of people who do a poor job of articulating the reason behind the decisions. Try to put other people's motivations in the best light and work toward attaining common ground. Shifting your own attitude can go a long way in coping with situations that don't turn out they way we'd hoped or planned.

~michelle pendergrass said...

A friend of mine did a review on "UnChristian." I hesitated reading it only because I was an atheist for so many years and figured it would tell me what I already know. But maybe there's more?

You're right about attitude and I realize mine is often a problem.

I also realize that there are bullies in church who, every time someone takes a step of faith, are right there to shove them down and rub their faces in the mud.

The bullies aren't there making valid points, they're just being stupid bullies. And that's what I'm angry about.

At the same, God often allows conflict so that we gain wisdom, discernment, experience, etc... To find balance and peace in that suffering is difficult.

I know we're all flawed. Not one of us is worthy of God's grace. There are no black and white answers this side of heaven. But there are things we can do to make things better here. And it seems like in situations like this the bullies get to win because everyone's afraid of calling them out. I get tired of keeping my mouth shut. That's one of my flaws.

Kay Day said...

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love

the continuing debt to love one another

serve one another in love.

bearing with one another in love

spur one another on toward love and good deeds

love one another deeply, from the heart.

Plus six or seven more. Can you imagine the beauty of church people if we all loved the way He wants us to? Wow.

It breaks my heart, too, Michelle, and God's.

~michelle pendergrass said...

Amen Kay!

Anonymous said...

I could not have said it better myself, Michelle.

Anonymous said...

I think I love you :) As a nonChristian I have to say that these kinds of "Church People" are about 50% of why I'm not Christian. But that doesn't mean that I don't admire, respect and agree with a lot of the Christian ideals. You can do God's work without believing in God, or without being a certain flavor of Christian. I regularly donate clothes and household supplies to Christian and Catholic charities because even if we don't worship the same we both want to help the same people.

casual friday every day said...

I'm saddened by many Christians and their attitudes. They certainly aren't living the kind of life Christ has instructed us to live.