When Ruins Sing...

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

To Those Who Have Been Hurt By Christians

To Those Who Have Been Hurt by Christians

I love to write and I love to listen to podcasts. I did a 500 word per day writing challenge primarily because of The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins.

I am constantly searching for creative or writing podcasts to listen to while running, and I stumbled upon one yesterday that truly made me sad. I am not going to give the name, but I do hope the “angry podcast man” (APM) stumbles upon this take-away from his show.

From the very first words spoken, he was seething with sarcasm. He clearly thought the concept of creativity coming from a source outside ourselves was ludicrous and he could barely say the word religion without spitting fire. He went on to mock any notion that God could be responsible for the creativity within us.

He briefly alluded to being “religious” earlier in life, when he was dumber and less “enlightened”; however, he assured his listeners that he was much wiser now. (Sidebar: If we have to assure people of our wisdom, we are not really wise at all.) Each snide comment and chuckle made my heart hurt.

All that to say, it was obvious this man had been severely hurt by the “religious” and when we are hurt, we often come out of the “pit” in one of two ways. We come out “pitiful”, beat up and seeking comfort or we come out like a “pit bull”, biting and barking seeking a platform to land a punch. The APM was clearly in the latter of the two categories.

I recently attended a spiritual retreat,

Freedom Retreat with Church of the Highlands.

During one of the sessions, a man took the stage. He spoke on behalf of all men, who had ever abused a woman and proceeded to apologize in the fist person. He prayed that every person there, who had ever been abused by a man, would hear this apology as if it were coming from the mouth of their abuser. A woman followed and did the same for all those abused at the hand or mouth of a woman. You could hear sobbing all over a room of over 4000 people and you could feel forgiveness and freedom crashing in like a title wave!

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

I do not know if APM has ever really met Christ, but I feel as if he probably agrees with Gandhi’s opinion of Christians.

What I would like to do now for the APM and for anyone who has ever been hurt by Christians is to apologize on behalf of any Christian who has hurt them. Christ is good and we do a crummy job of reflecting him a lot of the time. It truly breaks my heart that Gandhi was obviously shunned by people who claimed Christ but he still recognized that Christ was awesome! I pray that the APM can look past the messiness, and sometimes meanness, of God’s children and see the beauty of Jesus.

Dear APM and anyone who has ever been hurt by Christians,

I am so sorry for all the times we have been selfish and not selfless. Christ gave HIMSELF for us, so our selfishness is clearly not from HIM.

I am so sorry for all the times we acted self-righteous and exclusive. Christ alone is righteous and yet HE gave us HIS righteousness in exchange for our sin, because HE knew that we had no righteousness of our own. Our self-righteousness is clearly not from HIM. Christ did not play favorites either and HE flocked to the marginalized. HE came as LOVE to rescue and restore, not to put HIS stamp of approval on buildings or denominations that exclude. Jesus said that everyone is welcome and I am so sorry churches or church people may have taken down the welcome sign for you. Regardless of the messed up Christians, Christ is still extending an invitation to you and HE really wants you to accept it. He wants you to get to know HIM for yourself.

I am so sorry for ever using the Word of God to make you feel guilty or to manipulate you. I am so sorry for loading you down with rules and regulations that got in the way of you seeing the loving eyes of Christ. Christ is all about a relationship and the religion thing we Christians have somehow screwed up in so many ways.

I am so sorry if we belittled your gift or made you feel insignificant or judged. I am so sorry if we ever tried to make you fit in a temple shaped hole, when God has designed His children to be unique, yet unified, covered by the cross not a steeple.

I am so sorry for throwing stones, when Christ said only those who have no sin can cast. The irony of that command is that Christ was the only sinless One and HE took a sinful woman by the shaking hand, looked her in the eye, helped her to her feet, smiled, loved her, forgave her and simply said to go and sin no more.

I am so sorry for the poor example we have set through the times we’ve gossiped, been prideful, used church politics against you, been overindulgent and complacent and cynical, and displayed an all-together sorry attitude. Christ exemplified love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As Christians, that is what we are to exemplify as well, and we have obviously done a poor job of that with you so far.

We want to do better.

APM, I pray you will give Christ another chance, despite HIS children. I pray that you offer forgiveness to those who reflected Christ poorly and that you experience freedom crashing in like a title wave. I pray that over time your opinion of Christians will become:

I know they are Christians by their love by their love, yes I will know they are Christians by their love!

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About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

One Reply

  1. What a great message Katie. It is sad that we are sometimes the very ones who keep others from seeing Jesus. I pray APM comes to know the real Jesus and realizes that we are all just lost beiings without him.

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