I saw a very disturbing thing on Facebook this morning. I won’t give details of that but I was prompted to write this.
Whenever there is a scandal against a visibly Churchy person, we see many people saying “don’t trust all these Church people”. I haven’t written to criticize it because they speak from experience but oftentimes, they don’t weigh the other side of it. I think they should rather say “don’t trust the flesh”.
Let me say this. Being Churchy isn’t synonymous to being “morally sound”, there are so many people in Church but they are addicts and their weaknesses are destroying them because in Church we pretend a lot, we lie a lot about our weaknesses and we deny every possible help by this very means. Yet, the solution stares at us every day but pride doesn’t let us admit our wrongs.
In the Bible, there has never been a denial of the above fact. There are lists of people who had several weaknesses, some trusted God and didn’t mask it up with religion of which David is a classic example and some masked it up with religion, living in hypocrisy which eventually destroyed them.
Even in the New Testament, there has never been a denial of the existence of these weaknesses in some believers. The Church isn’t the abode of perfect people, after all, it’s a people who are being justified by faith in Christ regardless of their weaknesses. Their actions don’t contribute to their justification. They are a people who say “Jesus, I am messed up. I surrender myself to you”.
When we understand this, we will stop trusting the flesh. Just because we drag the flesh to Church meetings doesn’t mean we can trust it. This is why Pastors mess up too! There are Pastors whose list of offences are full of abominations. Most times, these things tarry because we cover it up with religion.
There are so many Churchy people who are unfaithful in their marriages, there are so many Churchy people who are sexually loose, there are so many Churchy people who are fraudsters but there are so many unchurched people who are same. It isn’t about Church though, it’s about their unguarded weaknesses. Church hasn’t helped only because we only use it as a cover.
Many people have developed their weaknesses to that state of lacking in will to repent. It usually takes something harder to bring them back to order! Sometimes, it takes exposing their mess in disgrace especially at the time they lack words to cover it up. Sometimes it takes learning the hard way like a near-death experience.
Yes, some sort of improvement and change is expected from one who claims to have experienced the life-transforming power of God but these changes don’t take place when we keep living in self-denial and pretence! It doesn’t come when we continue to pretend like there isn’t any problem.
I am not standing as one who has got all my records clean, I am just trying to encourage us. It’s time to quit playing church, it’s time to embrace Jesus, admit we are weak and allow him to truly do the life-transforming work! It’s time to admit our humanity and it’s flaws, it’s time to stop putting up religious fronts.
I don’t reply greetings with “bless you”, I don’t engage in any conversation where religious jargons are constantly used, I try my best to avoid it because I hate those stereotypes. I like to be the man whom Jesus saved, the man who lives on earth with the consciousness of what Christ has done on my behalf.
I like to be that man who doesn’t pride in my efforts and ability to get things right. If you see me mess up tomorrow, I can look you in the face and say “I am sorry, I really messed and I never said or thought that I couldn’t”.
But even at that, I also want to be that man who has some kind of restraint, a man who is under control. I don’t want to play God with my flesh, something that is unreliable. I accept I ain’t good enough but I strife to reflect the perfection of my spirit by the constant renewal of my mind.
Even though I fall, I don’t want to remain a failure. No one close to me will ever say I made them lose trust in Church or ministers of the gospel because I live a simple life before them, a life that admits human failures regardless of that person’s ministerial calling but also a life that shows the desire to improve.
The Church isn’t for the perfect people, it is that place where weak people admit their weakness in total surrender. Until we understand this, we will not throw our pride away and seek help. We may also continue to expect the best from Church people when the best of a man is still man.