How Church Has Failed Me.

Hey Vulnerabites,

Y’all know I have this love-hate relationship with the saints — but after watching this interview with Dr.Caroline Leaf, it became clear that my frustrations are not with the saints per say, but with the “churchy ways” of religion that I’ve been programmed to believe were the only way to be fully Christian, all while not letting my humanness (“the flesh”) have it’s way with me.

Yep! I’m going there.

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Let me preface this by saying, my intention isn’t to attack the church, but to point out the places in it’s culture that failed me.

Let’s get right into it…

  1. Shouting with all certainty, “If you really believed in God, you wouldn’t be crying!” she said. —- What?!?! When did the validation of my faith become equal to not showing emotions. I was going through the disappointment and pain of a failed relationship. Wether or not God had a plan for me was irrelevant at that moment in my life. My feelings were hurt, I could feel my stomach in my throat, I wasn’t sleeping, lost my appetite and all the other good stuff that comes when your ex gives you a courtesy call a month after breaking up with you to say he’s getting to know someone else and didn’t want you to hear it from someone else. It was my faith in God that kept me from sharing out loud the collection of choice and colorful words I had in my vault for moments like that.

Lie from the culture: When you believe in God, all things (especially the painful things) will work out for your good. So don’t cry or feel bad, suck it up and stand on that scripture. Because when you’re confident in his word, these experiences won’t phase you.

The truth: It’s ok for me to cry as I stand on his promise. I should  be FULLY present in my emotions and give myself permission to feel all the feelings that come with any experience. My faith balance isn’t any less if I do.

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2.  “Girl, don’t speak sickness over yourself.” Huh>!>!>! You asked me how I’m feeling and I said I’m sick. I didn’t say that I want to be sick, but if I am not well, how else should I communicate that? And Christian or not, we’ve all heard these famous words, or at least a version of it that says, “As a man speaks, so is he.” So, I’ve been conflicted about how to speak the truth of where I am without some how proclaiming a ‘self prophecy’ over myself. Any thoughts on this one Vulnerabites?

Lie from the culture: If I say I’m sick, then I will be sick, because ‘as I speaketh, so shall I be.’ Right?

Really? In that case — Oprah (or someone else with her status and influence) has discovered my blog, loved it, offered me a multi-million dollar book deal AND is going to be a permanent sponsor of my Vulnerabite experiences, not only providing me with funds, but with a team to bring my dreams to life.

Let’s wait and see Vulnerabites.

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Truth: I’ve learned to say, “I’m not feeling good.” Period. Without fear that I will be stuck in some permanent state of illness, because I don’t believe that I will be. I’m learning that it isn’t simply ‘saying’ that will bring a thing into my reality, it’s actually ‘believing.’ The two go together.

So, Vulnerabites, let’s stop being afraid to speak our truth for fear of ‘speaking it over our lives’— because the truth of what we believe in our hearts is what will show up in our lives, regardless of wether we speak it or not.  But you know what, we will eventually speak it, for out of the overflow of our hearts our mouths speak.

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3. “God got this. Everything is going to fall in place. Just Pray.” — Yes. Yes He does have it. So then what?!?

As much as I believe in this, I also whole heartedly disagree with it. I disagree with it because it removes all the responsibility from me, and puts it on Him. It gives me this impression, that I only need to sit and pray and if I ask often and well enough, God will send my answered prayers through Amazon Prime.

Lie from the culture: Just pray.

Truth: I have a part to play in my answered prayers. If I’m asking God for a job, I have to apply to them! If I’m praying for a major media outlet to pick me up as a columnist, I need to keep writing. *Hint Hint Jesus* So, like the good book says, “faith without WORKS is dead.” In other words, your prayers without any actions are life less, null and void.

Here’s a bonus for you Vulnerabites!

Bonus: For that annoying chick at work, “Don’t let her get to you, the devil is using her!” Lol. I love this, because it’s easy. It’s easy to not do any self reflection and just point the finger at her and resolve that she is the problem.

Here’s where I need the most truth: If I keep getting rubbed the wrong way in the same way, then perhaps the issue is with me. Maybe when I’m not so quick to cast an evil net over her actions, I can look back and say, “Well, Mac, your personality might be showing up a little too assertive and perhaps you could try being a bit more gracious in your tone and a tad bit more loving with your words.”

The church culture failed me in cuddling my saint-ness and making unbelievers the ‘bad guy’. No honey! Just because we don’t share a faith doesn’t make them bad, in fact they might be rubbing me in a way to force me into an awareness that I can’t get just being around the saints.

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You feel me Vulnerabites?

Let’s Connect on Instagram @YoursVulnerably

 

Let’s pass the offering basket. I’m done preaching.

I’m closing.

Looking forward to the day we can have these conversations in person! But for now, this space is ours 🙂

So Vulnerabites, where do you feel the church culture has stunted you in the development of your faith and even of yourself?

OR

Maybe you don’t feel stunted in your growth, I’d like to hear about that experience too!

Let’s Connect on Instagram @YoursVulnerably

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Yours Vulnerably,

The Naked Writer

21 Comments Add yours

  1. R. Leckey Harrison says:

    I left the church after their fail with me and my now ex. A big fail. I was an emerging leader and couldn’t believe what was happening. It certainly added to my trauma load.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! That can’t be easy. But how did the church fail you with your ex? If you don’t mind sharing with us.

      Like

  2. HarleyQ2 says:

    I have a few issues with Christianity which I address in my main blog. Faith is a belief in God not a guarantee that life will be roses. Christians tend to hide the true nature of themselves to appear ‘perfect’ and use scripture to justify it. The reality is we are all sinful humans who will both be strong and weak in our walk.

    I have blogged about the Palin daughter and her “purity” farce but look at her life now which is far from what she preached.

    When you are real about your struggles, weaknesses and mistakes, people learn more about God through that authenticity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! Well said Harley! People learn more about God when we’re authentic about our walk and our experiences! Which is what I’m aiming to do with my blog 😌

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beutiflee says:

    I love this. The prayer in point number 2 is definitely what I will speak life into. I do believe in the power of “I am”, we just have to be careful, but I won’t crucify anyone for following it with the word “sick”. Remember God knows the heart better then people. The last point, as it is the same reference from my blog. I do believe in, in addition to showing up, doing your part while waiting on the Lord. Anyone believing sitting on the sidelines as a spectator, lying in bed, or playing on your phone is going to bring the blessings, well here’s the truth. It ain’t gonna happen. God needs us all to diligently work, working towards our purpose and calling. When our hands and feet are moving in the directions of Gods work. Then will the blessings be reveal. They will come to you. Get up and make moves, don’t be lazy.
    Great post! 🙌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love that point Tiff! When my hands and feet are moving in the right direction, answered prayers will reveal themselves —- but I have to be moving! Exactly right! Thank you for your thoughts! Always love what you bring to the conversation! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Beutiflee says:

        Aww thanks. Like someone comment, your post are beautifully raw and pushes the boundaries. Which needs to be spoke out loud, you’re more like screaming it out, lol! I thoroughly enjoy them. And your honesty on my blog. Keep it going! 🙏🏼

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aaawww thanks Tiff! I really do try ☺️ I feel compelled to getting these kinds of conversations out and on the table for discussion 😌 I know that if I can just get it started, makes it easier for my Vulnerabites to just add to the conversation.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Da Hippie Rasta says:

    Your blogs are so raw and honest. I just love it !! Another way the church is shutting out the unsanctified is by having an unspoken dress code. What is wrong if I only have a mini skirt and Tims? What is wrong with my bright blue lipstick?
    Is it only me or do others feel boxed in with restrictions when getting ready for church?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey Hippie Rasta! It’s been a while, glad to have you back ☺️

      Unspoken dress code? I get it. I will say that some churches have a more jeans and a T-shirt culture, where as the traditional Pentecostal churches probably still lean towards the Easter Sunday hats with stockings! Lol

      As for a mini skirt? I gotta disagree with you on that one. I think our dress code should reflect where we are going. Would you wear a mini skirt to work? Probably not. But to a party? Out with your boyfriend? Sure. In that same vein, I don’t think church is the place for a mini skirt, Tims —- sure! No biggie.

      And if you have a job, I can probably guarantee you don’t “just have” a mini skirt. And if you do, wear pants! Lol

      Blue lipstick? Girl go for it! Blonde hair? Who cares!

      I do hear your point though on sometimes feeling boxed in with attire, but that just may be a matter of finding a church with a more casual dress code and those millennial type churches are popping up everywhere, so should you take the time to search, I’m sure you’d find one ☺️ I’ll even help you look!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joelle says:

    Let the church say….Amen!
    I also agree with Raven. We in the ‘church’ have created a culture of pretense.
    I feel that I was taught to put on this happy face even if was dying inside, lest my faith be questioned. Being in leadership made this especially burdensome.
    I firmly believe that Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion. Church, in my humble opinion, teaches religion, not lifestyle. It is a human institution, and the only things institutions can teach you is a formula, not application.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen! Amen! Amen! A culture of pretense indeed! And sometimes it even extends to our “sisters in Christ” —- our friends from church. Hence why some believers (me) have their “church friends” and their other friends! It’s a blessing to have a Christian friend who’s also very aware of their humanness.

      And as for the leadership? Girl, that’s another can of worms all by itself! But it’s a result of the culture. “If you believe in God, you should be so grounded in Him that your flesh should not be showing up and if it is you need to be praying harder.” Girl, don’t get me started!

      Wow! A formula not application. That is interesting statement you just made 🧐

      Like

    2. Beutiflee says:

      Yes Christianity is a lifestyle and you are right some churches aren’t explaining this walk outside the 4 walls.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Vanessa says:

    Very true. It just causes confusion and makes you question everything you say and do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right! Like, “Am I really Saved?!?!” Because being human is almost like this really bad thing to be. “Don’t let the flesh have it’s way they say.” I hear you Vanessa. I do!

      Like

  7. Raven says:

    I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately and question is being pretensive cause I can’t be pretensive with my emotions that’s one of areas that cane to thought when I read the blog, this pretensive culture needs to stop so the realist can step in!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Raven honey!!! Let me welcome you to the Vulnerabite family!!! I’m so happy to have you hon!

      Yes indeed! The pretend culture needs to come to an end, but Raven, you know, it has to start with us. We have to be the change we want to see. Sometimes when people see us being honest first, it makes it easier for them to be honest too! And I know you have it in you to be 🙂

      Big Hugs to you my darling!

      Like

  8. Didi says:

    Girllllll, You really did it this time! I love how honest you were here. I literally have a story for each bullet you presented… So sad but it’s true. I’m so glad that you are bringing this to the forefront because we all need to change these misleading statements and start using a realistic approach.

    Keep writing like you do and trust, mama O. will see it and the rest will be history! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Girl — Right?!??! Stories galore for these points. I knew I wasn’t alone…lol.

      Mama O!!! Can you hear me?!?! lol

      Thanks hon! 🙂

      Like

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