Thursday, October 28, 2010

Forgiving the Church (Henri Nouwen)

Had to post this up! Another gem from Henri Nouwen that is so relevant for today! I have highlighted in red what especially resonates with me as it has bothered me for years that there is a fast growing number of Christians who think they can have Christ without the church.

Then back to work. I have finalized my magic routine fro this Sunday - now just need to practice and coordinate with "the Weeman" so our acts flow smoothly from one to the other.

Forgiving the Church
When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ. When we say, "I love Jesus, but I hate the Church," we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially. But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness. 

It is important to think about the Church not as "over there" but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.


  1. I think that it is not helpful to speak in such generalities. If a pastor, elder or church leader has offended us then we should go to them first in private then with others. If they do not repent then we should:

    + forgive them anyway;
    + then protect others from them by telling it to the church.

    Religious abuse is a real issue. We must be vigilant in protecting the flock from wolves.

  2. Paul - Just wondering - Why do you require word verification when you moderate comments?

  3. Kansas Bob

    On word verification requirements ...I have no idea. Not my doing - I merely enabled the moderation feature. Blogspot's way of ensuring security?

  4. Hi Paul,

    The Word Verification feature is set on the same page (settings/comments) that Comment Moderation is - it is actually just below the moderation setting.

    Hope your week is off to a great start!

    Blessings, Bob

  5. Kansas Bob

    Thanks. I see it! :-)

    And on the Henri Nouwen comment, my thinking is more of forgiving the church in general - not so much as an institution but as a community of God's people. It worries me that more people say they love Christ but "hate" the church. So they avoid being part of a local church community.

    Most of not all cases I have seen end up with these Christians drifting away from God or indirectly influencing those close to them to slowly drift away. it scares me.

    1 John 4:20-21 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

  6. I get that too Paul. I wish that spiritual abuse was not an issue because of the damage done to innocent folks in the name of religion. Good that God understands and watches over both the saints and the church.