A Long Overdue Apology

I-Am-SorryThe Church has been written off by many people, and perhaps you are one of them. Maybe you grew up attending a church, but something happened along the way that caused you not to attend any more. Whatever happened may have impacted you so greatly that you decided to turn away from God, or to say you hate Him and everything to do with Him. If this describes you there is one thing all Christians need to say, so let me start: “I’m Sorry.”

Maybe church just wasn’t what you expected. Perhaps you expected to see Jesus reflected in the lives of the people—loving, caring, passionate—but instead you were greeted by a church full of hypocrisy, judgmentalism, bureaucracy, and infighting. See, the church’s goal is to reach out to all people: those who are hurt, selfish, abused, angry, and hypocritical as well as the sincere, friendly, generous, helpful, and compassionate. God doesn’t turn anyone away, because He loves all of us! However, it follows that there are moments when we have a hard time getting along. We are not perfect people, although we serve a perfect God.

In the Bible, many letters are written between the early Christians regarding the troubles they had getting along. But the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28, “In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, employer and employee, male and female. Among us you are all equal.” Because Jesus suffered, was beaten and was killed before being raised from the dead three days later, all Christians share something that overshadows all else: we have been saved from hell by Jesus.

We are continually sorry for the part that we play in this messiness, but maybe it's time to give God another chance.

So we struggle to be a family, to teach one another, to be there for one another and to support each other. And there are times when we just mess it all up.

We are continually sorry for the part that we play in this messiness, but maybe it’s time to give God another chance. Maybe it’s time to come back to your local church and permit people of all different backgrounds and struggles to strengthen you, to sharpen you, to challenge you, and to humble you. But most of all, please don’t jeopardize your relationship with Jesus on account of our failures. He loves you like no one else can.

Yours truly,

“The Church”

by Pastor Stephen Valcourt. Article originally printed in the Pastor's Pen column of the Pincher Creek Echo, December 11, 2013