A little over a month ago I sat down to write a blog about the injustice of a church I’d been disappointed and hurt by. I was tired of people leaving the church in silence and I felt like it wasn’t fair for me to just walk out and not “warn” people.
(I pondered and prayed for more than a week about whether I should share the post, and finally decided to share it. While I was glad it encouraged some people to ask more questions, I was disappointed that instead of being a warning, it became a way for people to attack the church itself and not the issues.)
I was upset because I didn’t feel like my family was given the opportunity to talk about the things we saw happening that weren’t right. I was frustrated that we were discouraged from ever questioning anything. That no one was willing to sit down and actually discuss instead of forcing us to conform or step down from being volunteering altogether. I was worried about the people that would walk in and possibly turn away from church entirely if they experienced the things that we experienced.
But even though I had valid concerns, I don’t think I should have written that post.
As I’ve spent the last five weeks looking for a church that is more of what I’m looking for, and getting lost in Scripture trying to figure out where to go and what to do… I came to the startling conclusion that *I* wasn’t even the kind of person I was looking for to lead me. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.
Those in my inner circle definitely deserved to hear what happened, but did the entire world? Maybe not.
I heard from several people that I should have just “left in peace” but that seemed outrageous. I wasn’t feeling at peace with anything and so I didn’t think I should leave and pretend that everything was okay. I never even entertained the idea that maybe my silence would leave room for God to work in that space… that my words may not even be necessary.
As I was writing my blog before, I kept asking myself, “Isn’t this hypocritical too?” But another part of me wondered, “But who else is going to get hurt and maybe turn away from church forever if you don’t say something?”
In my mind, writing it all out in one post and then never talking about it again wasn’t “gossip” and my words wouldn’t be able to get twisted out of context. I chose that avenue because I thought it would be the best way to explain things without everything getting more out of control. But I realize now that this doesn’t really make it better.
I’ve been in an almost constant state of prayer, and I’ve studied scripture more in the last month than I ever have in my life… and I couldn’t get away from all of the scripture that I’m confident God was illuminating on the page for me to read and use to try to understand that what I did was wrong. (Again, my concerns are valid. My method, however, was not appropriate.)
Matthew 5:38-48 was the very first page I landed on when I flipped through my bible to start reading. That irritated me, so I flipped again. James 1: 2-4 (This is one of my very favorite verses anyways… but it was the first moment that I really began to explore and question what I’d just done by writing the post).
How much better was I than them, if I couldn’t follow such simple scripture that clearly showed me over, and over, and over again that what I’d done was completely unbiblical and completely against everything I knew from scripture…
Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
Psalm 4:4-5 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things not hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(And really Hebrews 11:1-40 was perfect to read)
James 4:11-12 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. but who are you to judge your neighbor?
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
1 Peter 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
Colossians 3:13 Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.
Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Ephesians 4:27 And give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk from your mouth.
Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
There are so many more verses that I have written down and stuck all over my house on post-it notes… but the final one that just really made me feel CONVICTED right then and there was James 1:20
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
I didn’t understand that being right or having valid concerns doesn’t always mean that I need to share it all with the world. At the end of the day, after writing that post, I wasn’t even the kind of person who I said I wanted to surround myself with.
But do you know what’s so incredible? God’s Grace washing over me. I certainly don’t deserve it, but I’m thankful to serve a God who gives it anyways.
Sure, He would have much preferred that I had been able to figure this out long before now. (But I guess God did know it would take me this long to learn since he knows every step I’m going to take in my life long before I take it).
God already knew I would be stuck in this moment, conflicted about what to say or where to turn. The very moment where I can’t quite figure out how to move past the moments where I actually behaved in unbiblical ways trying to help others be aware of other people that were acting in unbiblical ways. Trying to save people from the hurt. Hurt I may have unintentionally inflicted by writing that post anyways…
Somehow God has softened my heart and worked through me during this time.
What it comes down to is… I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I had to learn this lesson the hard way.
I’m sorry I aired it all out in public.
I’m sorry I hurt peoples feelings that I really care about.
I’m sorry I didn’t act like the Christ I so desperately want to represent.
But I’m not sorry for my beliefs.
I’m not sorry that my concerns are not things I can simply “turn the other cheek” to.
I’m not sorry that I married a gay couple.
I’m not sorry that I disagree with their interpreted meaning of those 6 or 7 pieces of scripture.
And I’m not sorry for choosing not to be involved there anymore.
But I’m very sorry that I didn’t think that blog post through more before posting it.
Because I know that anger does not produce righteousness.