Community / Faith

The Church is a Whore, But She is my Mother (Part 2): An Open Letter to the Church

This is part 2 of a 3-part series I’m working on. If you haven’t read the first post, please check it out here. And please check back next week for the last part of the series on why the Church is worth it.

To the Church,

You are a beautiful representative of a beautiful God’s love. You have an amazing job and duty to this world. You have been called to love in a world that needs love. You have been told by the Savior Himself to continue His works on earth and to act as His hands and feet.

Some of the work you’ve done has been just that. You have helped build orphanages, you’ve embraced and fed the hungry, and you’ve reached out when disaster has stricken. There are parts of the world with no media influence that only know of love and compassion in regards to the Church. For these things, I say thank you. Thank you for continuing a legacy of giving and allowing love for others to influence you.

I know, however, that there have been terrible acts committed in the name of my God and His Church. Empirically on a global scale, the church has defended the shedding of innocent blood and chosen sides when it wasn’t our job to do so. We’ve gone to war in the name of revenge and hate, instead of calling for peace and reconciliation. On a personal scale, we’ve set rules and standards for others to live by and we’ve condemned those who have broken them. We’ve put our human punishments on them. We’ve watched friends go through divorce and instead of letting our hearts break with them, we’ve distance ourselves from them as if they have a deadly illness we might catch. We have judged people based on their outward actions instead of loving them. Perhaps the most fatal sin the church has committed is the sin of selfishness. Putting matters into our own hands instead of listening to what God has already ordained to be true. We’ve put ourselves on pedestals reserved only for God and His Son, believing that we can do things better.

The Church has indeed hurt many people and nations. This is my plea to you, dear Church, to turn to God. For everything. Please recognize the hurt you’ve done and ask forgiveness. Please understand that we are all made in God’s image, no matter how one chooses to live life. Our job is to love our brothers and sisters as fully as we possibly can simply because they have been placed on this earth right beside us. Please turn from an “us vs. them” mentality. We need to stop making anyone feel like they don’t belong and aren’t good enough. Feed the poor, clothe the naked, and embrace the lonely out of a heart overflowing with love. Ask God for the desire and means to do so.

I attended a church once that held a back to school night barbecue in a low income area. I was so excited to meet new friends and serve my city. When I arrived with the high school girls I was mentoring, I was quickly disappointed. We were told to walk around and pass out as many tracts as we could. (Tracts are essentially literature to explain Jesus’s death on the cross and how to be a Christian). I told the girls to please not do that and instead just make friends. They couldn’t believe I was asking them to just sit with the families and break bread with them. What were they supposed to say? I told them to ask about their lives and play with their children. And we did for the next hour. Then, a sermon got under way and it was pretty clear that the sermon was intentionally put here in the lineup so all of these families would have to listen to a sermon before receiving their free bags of school supplies. As I stood by myself in the back of the crowd listening to a pastor plead for us to come to Jesus (“whether we replaced Him with drugs or anything else”), I started feeling embarrassed wondering if the church was really supposed to be doing this. Another woman from the church saw me by myself and came over. When she got to me, we locked eyes and I noticed the smirk on her face as she said, “These people are only here for the free school supplies.” When she searched my face for a reaction, I told her that’s all I would have showed up for, too and walked away. When the sermon was over, I watched the kids run up to get their school supplies and my heart sank as I felt a tugging notion that if God had been there in flesh, He would have been the face of the homeless man sitting silently near the playground watching all the chaos.

Church, you have been called to do good and beautiful things. Please take your will, your pride, and yourself out of that calling. Please do in this world what I know you’re capable of doing. And I will be with you, among the crowd, praying for the same thing in my own life. Asking God to mold our sinful hearts and motives into work He’d be proud of.

♥Katie

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One thought on “The Church is a Whore, But She is my Mother (Part 2): An Open Letter to the Church

  1. Pingback: The Church is a Whore, But She is My Mother (Part 3): Why the Church is Worth it | Love Big, Live Small

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