You know the drill…Mom would tell you to get in the car, whether you wanted to or not. It didn’t matter if you were in the middle of your favorite show, or playing with your dolls. It was all – Get in the car, we have to go grocery shopping. Ugh…a child’s worst nightmare. But it was how my childhood was. Being dragged to the grocery store every. single. week.
Then? Once you got to the store? Borrrrinnnggggg. Walking around from aisle to aisle. Looking at food you really didn’t understand the purpose of. And you had to stand in line for like an hour. Also? You were never allowed to get the candy that was right there at eye level, screaming at you to buy it. So you would, of course, scream back. That never ended well.
And who never noticed the hypocrisy of the store managers?! They walk around in their little starch filled jackets acting like they are the most important people in the world. I mean…who gave them the right to make these prices and decide what food goes where?! It only got worse the older I got. I decided that I would give grocery shopping a try. And sure enough, all they care about is my money. They don’t care about the fact that I have had a tough financial week! They know that the cheapest food should go in the front, and they need to stop making me look at the unit pricing. Seriously. Who has time for that? I mean…there has to be a better run store around here somewhere, right?
The blame game. Ever been a part of it? Ever heard someone go buck wild over “the grocery store”? Ya. Me either. Of course not, ya know why? There is no such thing as “the” grocery store. Sure, you can get mad at Market Basket, Kroger, Stop and Shop or Wegmans, but wouldn’t you look pretty foolish to blame “the” grocery store? You would be more specific, right? Like..Market Basket needs to stop fighting and reopen their stores. Or, Kroger needs to have better pricing in the deli. But you are being specific. Not lumping everything together…that would be plain stupid. Funny, because do you know what I have heard people go buck wild over?
Oh, you know what I mean. The church ruined my life. The church lied to me. All the church cared about was my money. The church made me cheat on my husband, beat my kids, or become an alcoholic. Sometimes the blame is because the church was too strict. Other times it is because the church was too lenient. And all the way across the board, the church becomes known for being the problem. People talk about how their parents dragged them there every week, therefore turning them away from the church forever. People talk about how boring it was, therefore turning them away from the church forever. People talk about the hypocrisy of the pastor, or people, therefore turning them away from the church forever. Do you see the problem here? It is never the people in my church did this or that, it is always just the church.
The only thing that throws me, is when otherwise smart and intelligent people are the ones throwing the church under the bus. Honestly, I just don’t get it. The blog posts that go viral overnight are the ones screaming how the church ruined their life, how the church lied to them, and how the church has told them that if they had sex before marriage they would go to hell. (literally a quote from an article that went viral, and also literally completely and totally not from the Bible. So their particular church was not even using the Bible, if what she claimed she heard was true.)
Here is the thing.
The church is made up of people. Similar to a grocery store, some people may be members and others are just trying out the store to see if they like it. I can’t possibly look at the other shoppers and make a judgment call on the grocery store based solely on that.
The church is supposed to be a group of people who are called out by God to live like Christ. When people are living the way they are supposed to, the church functions properly. When they aren’t? It is not a good representation of the church. I would not say that I will never go to a grocery store again because of the debacle that is happening with Market Basket.That is not a fair representation of the grocery store. It is a particular chain of stores that is having issues.
So the next time you read an article about the church? Be careful that you are not throwing out the baby with the bath water. People are looking for literally anything to blame for their issues. The blame your mom and dad thing is kind of phasing out, so people are looking for something else to cast their problems onto. Sadly, I even see other churches using the blame game to get people to attend their church. Again, this is not a fair representation of the church.
In the book of James, we find that temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. Did you get that? From our own desires. We desire to do the wrong thing, so we do it. It is not my mom’s fault. It is not my school’s fault. It is not the church’s fault. We need to stop searching for people to blame, and just take responsibility for our own actions.
We know that this is not the kind of post that would ever go viral, because no one wants to take away a good excuse for their messed up life. And if they can blame the church, and no one fights back then they will keep going with it.
The challenge is for those people who are in churches that are showing the love of Christ they way God intends! Because we, my friends, have to go up against strong preconceived false notions towards the church! And we have to show the difference…in a big way. We have to look past the loud mouthed, blame shifting, blogging complainers who are telling people things that just aren’t true. So, to summarize. The grocery store didn’t really lie to me or ruin my life.
And the church never ruined anyone’s life. Stop playing the blame game.
Don’t let the loudest people give you a false message. Don’t lump me into a group I never asked to be a part of. The people in my church? Are loving, non judgmental, caring people…usually. Although, they are human so don’t always make perfect choices all of the time. Like a grocery store, you should make your judgments based on specifics. Not stereo types.
So. What kind of name are you giving the church?