Oooh feeling the pressure from that last comment I made!
I kind of set myself up with that one didn't I!!
I can't actually sit here and tell you I have all the answers. Like I said, my testimony is messy and it's still happening. But I will tell you what I do know. Its something that I've actually known for a while and have even written about in the past.
"People can really let you down can't they? So many people have turned away from their faith, from God, from the TRUTH because of the actions of someone else. And then we have the crazy nerve to blame our misfortunes and bad experiences on God. Well NEWSFLASH it wasn't GOD that hurt you....Just like it wasn't God that developed the atomic bomb, or bring about global warning. That was us. People. We did it, we continue to do it, and while on the subject of people hurting us - we also make the choice to trust certain people in our lives. There are always going to be nasty people out there. People who pretend to be something they're not. Yes even people who claim they believe in God and follow His ways. It stings even more when those people infiltrate your life and turn it upside down, but that is simply par for the course. It is the world we live in and NO ONE said it was perfect. In fact it is the very opposite and there is absolutely no basis to be surprised"
So - Same principle, different drama.
Point is - none of this is God’s fault. And if you’ve been "hurt by the church" then chances are this truth is the same for you to.
That’s the simple answer. God did not, and does not condone this kind of abuse, especially when it’s done in His name. He's still the same loving Father figure we were inspired to believe in, have hope in, and have faith in. He is still our Daddy God and this has probably hurt Him more than us.
Fact: WE make our choice to believe, and to craft our thinking, attitudes and actions around that belief.
Belief is a powerful powerful force. After all, we were created to believe in a God we cannot see, touch, or smell. He is by all intensive purposes invisible to our eye and yet we BELIEVE in Him.
We were created in His image and likeness, and asked to believe THIS. And millions do…..that’s the power of belief. Crazy, beautiful stuff.
If I truly believe something to be so, I will go to extraordinary lengths to pursue it or protect it. That’s just who I am. Not everyone has that same level of conviction, but we all have a little bit of it in us. I think God may have overdosed me (and many others) with this capacity to believe, and live our lives by that measure...that’s the only way I can explain how someone like me (and anyone else like me) could be so blind to normality.
The trick is not to beat ourselves up too much for being that person. I’d rather live passionately and die for something I believed in, than live a mundane uninspired life. Yes? So if that's you, or was you: LIFT YOUR HEAD UP! You're still here, still breathing, still YOU. Don't let that part of you die with the bad experience you've had. Imagine for a moment if you were given another chance to apply that extraordinary power to something that was truly worth it. If you're reading this and feel yourself getting just a tiny bit excited (just a little is all it takes) then chances are you're on the right path.
So the only thing left to do is say Thank you. Thanks be to God who created you and me this way - even if it has got us into a bit of trouble lately. I look forward to the day I get it right and truly do some (good) damage in His name!