Leaving the church?
"The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton , which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it. The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more. All optimistic thoughts about England and all pessimistic thoughts about her are alike reasons for the English patriot. Similarly, optimism and pessimism are alike arguments for the cosmic patriot". G.K. Chesterton said that!
But that's just the problem, isn't it? We hear all the time of people leaving this assembly or that because someone said something they didn't like or that the deacon in charge embezzled some money or a leader had an affair with someone in the congregation or that the church is supporting a work that this person or that doesn't approve of. When these people leave they often get our approval. We “understand” them, don't you see! Why would they stay when such bad things have occurred? Good people that they are, they must move on to some other church (presumably until they discover something bad has happened there). Our sadness, gladness, anger or pleasure are all reasons to stay to help and nurture. The real truth behind such moving on without trying to help is sinister.
Doesn't it just gut you when you hear people say, “I just love this church” and then sulk off when someone disappoints them?
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.