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Column: Let’s Stop Splitting – Truth Be Told

By: Mike Kelly
Retired Pastor

Matthew West has a new song entitled “Truth Be Told”. As I listened to the lyrics, I was struck by how absolutely true they were.

It starts by revealing the two lies most of us fall for.

“Lie number one, “You’re supposed to have it all together”

And when they ask how you’re doing

Just smile and tell them, “Never better”

Lie number two, “Everybody’s life is perfect except yours”

So keep your messes and your wounds. And your secrets safe with you behind closed doors”

None of us have it together. None! We all have areas in our lives that are out of control. We’d like them to be under control, but we know they aren’t.

And we’d like folks to think they were under control. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking sets the church up for failure.

When we contribute to the lie that we have it all together, outsiders won’t come inside because they think they won’t measure up to us Christians who have it all under control.

Or, they stay out because they know we don’t have it together, making us hypocrites.

“I say, “I’m fine, yeah, I’m fine, oh, I’m fine, hey, I’m fine

But I’m not, I’m broken

And when it’s out of control I say it’s under control

But it’s not and You know it

I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it

When being honest is the only way to fix it”

We won’t fix what we won’t acknowledge is broken. Not one of us is totally well, or “fine”. Why can’t we admit that in some areas we are broken?

What if we did admit that we are broken in some area? Would that allow those around us to feel more comfortable admitting to their issues that need God’s touch? Absolutely.

And, if admitted to and directed toward God, some healing would take place and the individual and the Church would both be healthier.

“But didn’t you say church should look more like a hospital?

A safe place for the sick

The sinner and the scarred and the prodigals, like me”

Luke 5:31-32 “Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to invite good people but sinners to change their hearts and lives.”

If the church is for sinners who need a change of heart, the broken, the lost, the killers, the prostitute, the guy who stole from his investors, the druggies, the pedophiles, the wife who is cheating on her husband, the homosexual, the gossip, the gang member, the liar, the doctor who abuses his patients, the teacher sleeping with her student, the husband hooked on porn, then who is it for?

Did I leave anybody out? Oh, yeah, the people who think they are good enough. Those of us who have this Christian routine down, those who think they no longer sin, those who are judgmental of all the others, those who see an unmarried couple in church and huff, those who think tattoos are a mark of the Beast, those who rely on their behavior to justify their role in the kingdom.

And, finally, let’s not leave out the modern day Pharisee who knows the Scriptures back and forth but doesn’t understand God’s grace and mercy. They need God’s mercy and healing as well.

“There’s a sign on the door

Says, “Come as you are” but I doubt it

‘Cause if we lived like that was true

Every Sunday mornin’ pew would be crowded”

How do we correct the attitude that prevails in many churches: “we want you in our church but only after you are cleaned-up, spiritually healthy, looking to get involved in ministry, and willing to donate to support the church.”

The answer is quite simple to state but hard to implement: An attitude that realizes that except for the grace of God, there go I. Humility. Counting others better than ourselves.

Like Paul, knowing that we need God’s forgiveness and mercy more than anyone else in the world. Philippians 2:3-5: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

That attitude when demonstrated outside our four walls would lead those outside to come inside where they can be healed and made new by the God of all Grace.

———————–

Mike Kelly is the founding pastor of Bryan’s Grace Community Church (retired) and Board Chairman of Bryan’s Sanctuary Homeless Shelter and Williams County’s Compassion (free) Medical Clinic.


 

The post Column: Let’s Stop Splitting – Truth Be Told first appeared on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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