27 February, 2014

A Truly Sad Conversation

I had a conversation with someone this week where this person told me that a friend of hers used to attend my church and she said he has never been able to figure out their change of attitude toward me. She said that this person who used to attend the church used to always speak so highly of me, my family and the church, but then all of a sudden they had nothing good to say about me or the church. The part that really got to me was when she told me, "this is exactly why I will never go to church." I asked her to explain that, and she said told me that for several years, her friend had bragged on me as pastor and about the church, and had always invited her to come. Then, just as she was considering coming check out the church, this friend of hers had left the church, started ragging  on me and told her that I was arrogant, mean spirited and full of myself. She said that she asked her why she felt that way all of a sudden and that her friend told her that she had never really like me but had only tolerated me but that she'd had enough. Then, this woman nailed it. She said, "I'm not stupid. A person does not go to a church for 4 years if they did not like something about it. You simply did not let her do what she wanted to do, so she turned on you."  Sadly, she said that in her opinion, most Christians were self-centered hypocrites who are only happy when they are getting their way in the church. She said that this woman she was talking about has been from church to church over the years, and always sang the praises of the church and the pastor and the church... until she left for greener pastures. 

I'd say she is partially right. By no means do I think that "most" Christians are like this "friend." The problem is, they are usually the most vocal. This type person has a real need to have the approval of others and will always have a band of followers. They really are a small part of the Body of Christ, but they make so much noise and draw so much attention to themselves that they obviously get the most attention... and do the most damage to the Body of Christ and her reputation. The problem is, just as this woman said, these people are self-centered. I don't really even think they realize it themselves, but they are not out to give glory to Christ, but rather to draw the attention unto themselves. As long as they are getting stroked by the pastor and/or others in the church, they are happy and sing the praises of that local Body. But as soon as the attention is no longer on them, they turn on that pastor and church with a vengeance. The change just like a chameleon suddenly blending into their new surroundings, all the while bashing their previous hang out. They are vicious in their attacks on the church and pastor that they have abandoned. And as sad as all this is, the most devastating part of what they do is witnessed in likes of the woman I spoke with this week. The churches they leave may suffer some harm for a season, but far worse is those who are unbelievers watching such people who make the determination that "all" Christians are like the person they know and are observing. 

I have to wonder how many people were hindered or stopped from coming to Christ and His church by wolves such as this? It is heart breaking.

1 comment:

J Stehen Conn said...

Looks like the devil is still up to his same old tricks.