Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Forgiving the Church...

This isn't particularly my story but it is a real issue for others. My daily dose of Nouwen was worth bookmarking here.

When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ. When we say, "I love Jesus, but I hate the Church," we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially. But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness.

It is important to think about the Church not as "over there" but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those rare occasions when the church does say sorry can be very healing, indeed surely the healing comes from Christ within the church when that happens.
Sadly, no amount of forgiving 'the church' in general or those individuals who have misused power, reverses the way our experience 'rewires' our brains to new levels of vigilance and wariness. One gentle but searching life-giving question we can ask ourselves in each situation in that new state is 'what would help to rebuild trust?' My feeling is that may shed light on what will help rebuild trust within a group of people as well as with us as individuals, a truly transformational outcome.