His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Church for the Un-churched

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Did you know that most of the people who don’t go to a Christian church had earlier in their life attended church? This is most apparent with the young adult generation, like from 18 to 30 years old. They attended as a kid, probably because their parents dragged them there, but they followed a different path when they gained their adult freedom.

I’m reading “Churchless,” by George Barna and David Kinnaman. It’s a book based on survey results of those who don’t go to a Christian church.

I just finished reading a chapter that describes the reasons young adults no longer go to church. And then this idea slipped into my mind: instead of the traditional brick-and-mortar church, what if there were an on-line church? Maybe it could be a Facebook group, where people go to talk about Jesus. Would this be more appealing than a traditional church? Might this type of church be able to avoid the turn-offs of a traditional church?

Please let me know if there is such an on-line church. What do you think of the idea? Thanks.


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Wounded Christian

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“Every year, 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity. This translates into the realization that people are leaving the church. From our research, we have found that they are leaving as hurting and wounded victims—of some kind of abuse, disillusionment, or just plain neglect! From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations in the USA declined by almost 5 million members (9.5 percent), while the US population increased by 24 million (11 percent).” *

Are you one of these wounded Christians? Some wounds go unnoticed, for a while anyway. For the past four years, I haven’t gone to church – I have no desire. I had stopped attending church because I was disillusioned by the messages coming from the pulpit. As I step back and look at myself as an outsider might, it now clearly looks to me like I’m a wounded Christian.

Are you wounded? If so, consider checking out the Facebook group, “For Wounded Christians – a Place for Healing.”

 

* From an editorial in the July 2012 issue of Christian Computing Magazine, “Why the church is dying in America,” by Steve Hewitt


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Self-Inflicted Wounds

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Wounded Christians – some churches have wounded many followers with false messages. These messages are like spears, piercing our hearts and minds, often leaving grave wounds. Yet not all wounds come from a church.

I’ve met many pastors who have a very intimate and personal relationship with Jesus. Yet other pastors have fallen into the pit of intellectual self-importance. Their theological knowledge is more important to them than their relationship with the Spirit of Jesus. This disconnection leaves them wounded and weak, and often subject to despair.

Yet not just pastors. Any of us can fall victim to our own ego, our own desire for self-importance. Self-inflected wounds come from accepting false messages into our hearts. Yet we all have a shield for deflecting the spears of false messages, the shield of truth, given to us by Jesus Christ.

If you too have wounds and would like to meet with other wounded Christians, please consider joining the Facebook group For Wounded Christians – A Place for Healing.”


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Wounded, but Healing

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The Facebook group For Wounded Christians – a Place for Healing, has me thinking about my wounds lately. What do my scars look like?

Up to my mid-thirties, I believed what most churches had been telling me, that I had to earn my way into heaven with good behavior. For some reason, this turned me off from Christianity. I don’t know why.

Then, someone gave me a book by Billy Graham. I don’t remember who gave me the book. I don’t remember the title of the book. I think I long ago lost the book. But for the first time in my life I read something in that book that shocked me. Billy Graham told me WHY Jesus died on the cross. Billy told me that Jesus paid the price for all my bad behavior. Billy told me that I didn’t have to earn my way into heaven – all I had to do was believe in the truth of what Jesus did for me, and accept the gift of salvation that Jesus offers me.

This truly shocked me. It was in direct conflict with all I had heard up to that point in my life. Salvation isn’t a reward for good behavior, but rather a gift, generously offered to all who have the faith to simply accept it.

I still remember that feeling of shock. It was then that my wounds started to heal.


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Healing my Wounds

wounded heart

This morning while praying, it became clear and obvious to me that I too am a wounded Christian. Why else would I sometimes be angry at certain churches and their behavior? My anger has it roots somewhere, and it must be in past wounds.

This morning I was wondering how the Holy Spirit within me feels about all this. Also, how can I let go of my anger?

I suspect God may also get angry at certain church behavior. But God’s anger does not affect His love. Like any good parent, no matter how bad the behavior, God still loves His children. That sense of God’s love for churches that cause me anger actually helps me begin to let go of the anger and take hold of the love. With the Spirit of God within me, He can love through me. I now know that I can feel sincere love for those who had hurt and angered me. For me, it may just take a little more time, to let go of my anger, and take hold of God’s love.

Are you a wounded Christian, carrying scars inflicted by churches or other Christians? Please consider joining the Facebook Group, For Wounded Christians – A Place for Healing, where you can share your feelings, your stories, your healing.

May God bless us all with His overflowing love, which washes away all bad feelings.