Confusion: 10 Reasons Why I Dislike the Church I am Supposed to Love
by Mark Votava
1. Fosters arrogance. The church seems to be very arrogant about God. Humility is something Jesus taught and is the one thing I hardly ever experience people exploring when it comes to Christianity. We don’t realize that vulnerability is the central message of the gospel, not pride.
2. Elevates the mind over the body. The body has been disregarded as bad or something close to it. I don’t buy it. We are called to an embodied spirituality of love, compassion and authenticity in our bodies.
3. Fosters dishonesty. The church loves to talk about truth while living in dishonesty a lot of the time. I thought that truth means being honest in our way of life? How can we be honest when we live a life of distraction, hyper-individualism and exclusion that aligns with the North American status quo?
4. Addiction to consumerism. We say life is about the kingdom of God, but a lot of time it is about our own consumerism. We are tied to our cultural expectations to pursue “the good life” of accumulating and pass this on to our children. Life is more about working exhausting hours at jobs that we dislike so we can buy things which keep us from being present to others.
5. Judges more than loves. The church lacks love. Often times I see too much division and fighting among others who are supposed to be taking the Bible seriously and loving one another. I have seen a lot of judgment from the church and not enough love.
6. Lack of community. The church has abandoned community in everyday life. The church has forsaken living locally to become neighbors to one another in a particular place. We live above place and don’t care about anything but our own agenda which creates extreme ways of individualism.
7. Oppresses sexuality. The church will not allow others to have honest conversations around sexuality. If you even say you have a sex drive you are thought of as bad. Anyone who is divorced, single, homosexual or having sex in a dating relationship is less than a heterosexual couple who is married.
8. Toxic charity. The church doesn’t really want to be in relationship with the poor so we practice a toxic charity that fosters dependence and makes us feel good about ourselves. We give out handouts to the needy, but want to keep them dependent on services that give us the power to decide what they need without ever listening to them. This is the kindest way to destroy someone.
9. Disregards the spiritual formation of the interior life. I have experienced that the church doesn’t have much interest in a deep contemplative spirituality of interior growth, formation and listening. No wonder there is so much dysfunction and lack of love. Interior growth is what the kingdom of God is all about moving us beyond our prejudices, religious pride and attitudes of having all the answers.
10. Overemphasis on sin rather than a way of life that is beautiful. I have heard so often, “I am a sinner and nobody’s perfect” line as a cop out for not taking responsibility in life. The overemphasis on sin is disheartening. When will we start living into a beautiful way of life as we abide in Christ to find creativity, freedom, hospitality, love, humility and compassion in the world we live in?
What has been your experience with the church you are supposed to love?