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Why Church Hurts So Much

church hurts

Have you noticed all the Christians apologizing for the church?

It’s kind of the thing to do these days. It just seems better to assume everyone out there has been hurt, wronged, isolated, burned or ostracized by the church. It’s almost the battle cry of my generation. “We’ve been emotionally wounded by the church!” 

When Donald Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz, making public apologies on behalf of all Christianity seemed novel and refreshing to many readers, and many of us have run with that idea in the years since.

Some Christians just can’t resist telling everyone what jerks we’ve all been. Don’t get me wrong; there are some things to apologize for. (And I’m not talking about cases of serious abuse.)

When you stack up all the apologies, it might make a passer-by think that maybe the church is just an agent for pure evil. 

I’m not here to apologize or take back apologies that have been made. If anyone should feel hurt by the church, it’s me.

I’m here to ask why does it happen? Why does the relationship people are supposed to have with the church break down?

A Low-Maintenance Friend

Think about the least important relationship in your life, the person you have the lowest maintenance friendship with. The person you talk to once every few months or even years. Most people probably have at least one of those friends. I’ve had several. One even told me he valued how low-maintenance we were. It was weird. It was also probably the last time we talked. No hard feelings.

If that person were not in your life, would it make that much of a difference? Probably not. You already have the lowest possible investment in that person. If they decided not to call you for six months, it wouldn’t hurt you that badly. I dare say it’s probably nearly impossible to be hurt by that person.

There are some people who have that relationship with their church. It’s very low-maintenance. There’s no emotional investment, no risk. They sit on the fringes. If you don’t want to ever be hurt by the church, this is where you want to be.