Church Hurt...An Insider's Perspective

church hurt deconstructing faith deconversion faith is god good? lament and repent people deconstructing their faith Sep 06, 2022

The other day I found myself in Buc-ee's. If you've not yet found yourself there, stop reading this post and go directly to the nearest Buc-ee's, do not pass "Go!" do not collect $200! :) 

Seriously, Buc-ee's is an experience! If you like bbq, especially bbq brisket, you're going to be in hog heaven (pun intended! Only brisket might not come from a hog come to think of it, but you'll find your fair share of bbq pork and pork rinds there.) Buc-ee's is like Truck Stops of America met Sam's Club and exploded in gas pumps and Buc-ee's nuggee's. 

And although I've yet to walk out of Buc-ee's without a bbq brisket sandwich and bag of nug-ee's; on this particular day a t-shirt caught my eye, 

If you don't love this t-shirt you can still be my friend, but we might not be the very best of friends. For only the very best of friends who have the same warped sense of humor I have, and the same hard parts of the journey I've walked, can truly appreciate why this t-shirt caught my eye and almost became a delightful spur-of-the-moment splurge. The only things holding me back were my good pastor-husband, and the answer to this question, 

"Where on earth would I wear it?" 

I might've lost some of you in that confession. And if I did then come back next week when I'm not feeling quite so saucy. For those of you who are still with me, let's talk about what I really want to talk about and that's church hurt.

I've heard this phrase a lot lately--it's one of the most common "why's" behind the masses who're deconstructing their faith. And, if truth be known, I've got my own fair share of it as well. So let me share with you what I found on the internet. Here are 3 amazing articles on the subject of church hurt. Click on their titles to link directly to the articles.

How I Got Over My Church Hurt Without Losing My Faith

This was the first article I found when I googled "church hurt." It's written by a pastor's son, who, I think, is actually a pastor! I feel certain he would've bought that shirt at Buc-ee's and maybe even worn it to preach in. He even mentioned table flippin' in his article. But with sound wisdom he said this,

"Christians love to trot out the story of Jesus flipping tables in the temple (I even referenced it above). But we miss a key point: table flipping was the Messiah’s last resort, not His first. For (at least) three years prior to this, Jesus had private conversations with Pharisees (John 3), genuinely answered their questions (John 9:10-13), and challenged their teachings without attempting to destroy them (Matthew 15:10-14).

As the Pharisees turn on Jesus, and their true colors come to light, then Jesus’ words grow in sharpness (Matthew 23). The table-flipping incident sticks in our consciousness precisely because it feels out of character for Jesus, not because that was His M.O. That’s the point. As he prepares to go to the cross, Jesus’ action in the temple fulfills an ancient prophecy and sets the groundwork for the sacrifice that is about to follow. It’s precisely because He was not content for humans to be the gatekeepers to God that He would pick up His cross—and those flipping tables showed it.(1)"

Caleb Mathis is definitely someone who's been up close and personal with the church hurt dragon. In his article he gives us steps that all begin with "R." (That was the big give-away that he was indeed a pastor--don't they all think in alliterations?) With wisdom and compassion, Caleb shares how he dealt with church hurt, and let God use it to "restore, confirm, strengthen and establish" him. (I Peter 5:10) 

Another great article I found was this one from the Desiring God website, 

Help in Overcoming Church Hurt 

The writer, Josh Moody opens his message to us with this very true statement:

"Not every church hurts people, but most churches have hurt someone at some point. Some people are hurt through their own mistakes, others because of sin committed against them, and still others because of failed leadership. This reality can leave them reluctant to re-engage, afraid of being hurt again, wanting to protect themselves, and questioning the place of church in their lives. The good news for the hurting is that God has spoken to your pain in the Bible.

Most of the writing in the New Testament, about how to live in a church, exists because the church has never been perfect."

He goes on to encourage us to:

  • Stay in God's Word as we process our pain.
  • Pursue the holiness you would like to see in others.
  • Trust that love will eventually prevail.

This is much sounder wisdom than "flippin tables!"  

And finally, just like the genie, when you get to have 3 wishes and you use the third wish to ask for 3 more wishes, here is an article that gives you 2 more articles and 4 books on the subject. 

When It Hurts to Go to Church

If you've experienced church hurt and have some advice for me, please personal message me on my facebook or instagram sites. :) 



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