I’ve been a Christian for a pretty long time and I’ve seen and experienced things that are not biblical in nature and hardly represent Christ-likeness. I thought about writing this blog a couple of weeks back not for any kind of personal reason but because I just felt like there are people who need to hear it. I know of people (and I’m sure you do too or it may be you) who have been offended in church whether it’s by a pastor, a small group leader, a church volunteer, friends, or your average Christian. I may not know exactly what kind offense was committed but many of which can be identified from a point of legalism. Of course, there is no church that is perfect and free from legalism depending on the degree that one views certain religious conventions. But in these kinds of situations it’s easy to pick a side and point a finger when in reality both sides are actually the same when you think about it. We all need the gospel, we all need to be renewed by the Word of God, we all need to be motivated by the Holy Spirit, we all need Jesus.
There was a time in my life when I experienced legalism to a degree that questioned my Christianity and led me to the point of no return. There were many questions in my head, there were many doubts and trust issues. But I remember attending a worship service by myself and getting lost in the crowd. And just when I thought that God had given up on me, He reveals to me His overwhelming grace. I couldn’t explain what was going on but in that moment I felt secure, I felt accepted, I felt loved. And then God began to surround me with people who would extend that same grace and love. Was it easy to forgive and forget? Was it easy to let go? Not at all. But that’s where the power of grace comes in.
If you’re reading this and you are someone who no longer goes to church or you’re fed up with Christians and organized religion because you were offended by someone from church, this may not necessarily resolve any offenses or issues you have with your church, but on behalf of your church, your pastor, your small group leader, and fellow Christians, allow me to say I’m sorry, please forgive us. I hope and pray that this simple gesture will make a dent in your heart coupled with an embrace of God’s grace.