There are two kinds of people who hate the church. One is a person who simply prefers the world outside of it. The other is someone who is wounded by something that happened inside of it. I'm talking to the latter.
For most of my life, church has been a viscerally dirty word to me. Even to this day, I flinch a bit inside when I write or say it. This is because of experiences I had as a child, in my home, and a Christian university in my twenties. I saw it as a house of dangerous hypocrites and over and over again this idea was reinforced.
You know how when you buy a car, you begin to see that car everywhere? At a certain point, it becomes near impossible to see the good when the bad is what one's eyes are trained for.
The other day I was on Instagram and there was a post about stopping child predators. One of the top comments was a solution that said, "Close the church."
Anyone with a penchant for data knows that predatorial behavior is a worldwide problem. It only takes knowing of Women's US Gymnastics, the Jared Foundation...there are as many secular predators as there are those who worm their way into religious settings...all religious settings: Jewish, Muslim, etc.
We know the behavior or predators is to establish one at the top to protect the others and have seen this model play out over and over again in a variety of settings.
But it is very popular to hate the church to the point where someone who has been wounded by it but does genuinely love Jesus can feel justified into hating it, too.
Sidebar: It is important to know that when I say "church" I am not referring to all building, there are many dead ones God has nothing to do with. I am not referring to every person who claims Jesus either as there as wolves in sheep's clothing exist. I am speaking of genuine followers of Jesus.
What does someone do when they have unresolved or negative feelings toward the flock but love the Shepherd?
Focus on Jesus. Find a safe, good home. They exist. Ask God to lead you to one.
It is possible to live for sometime in the wilderness for a time while they recover from something and regroup, but it's not a long term plan and eventually one will succumb to the elements.
Ask Him to lead you to a home.
These days, that is not an easy order, but nothing is too hard for God.
Jesus hates corruption, abuse, or anything else evil between the walls of His temple more than you do. Never think that isn't the case.
I tend to be more reclusive by nature, but He's made me know over and over again, everyone needs a home. Especially now.
You don't have to find it alone.
If you are healing or wounded and need help, Natalie Runion's ministry has been very helpful to me. This is her blog.
I'm reminded of the verse, "We do not battle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness."
I've grown determined to never let anything in the unseen, keep me out of my Father's house and steal the gifts He has for me there. I experience His Presence in many different settings: in my home as I read my Bible, often in nature, especially the mountains, but in His house, it is different.
I am His child and there is a place for me.
There's a song called, "Who You Say I am," and there is line that goes: "In my Father's House, there's a place for me, I'm a child of God, yes I am."
There is a place for you. Don't give it up for anything.