Friday, November 03, 2006

cancer in the body of christ

reading will's blog today i saw that ted haggard, the head of the national association of evangelicals is caught in the middle of a great and grand mess. god help him. true or not this again sheds light on the issue of pastoral struggles and the environment we have created for those who lead the church.

i blogged at the end of september on the church and porn. maybe i should have entitled it 'pastors and sex'? either way we have a HUGE mess on our hands and we need to begin again. the elephant is sitting square behind the pulpit and if we don't begin to dialog about this in new ways we will NEVER weed out this hidden behavior that is eating like a cancer in the body of christ.

please know i am not condemning ted haggard - there but for the grace of god go i. i pray that this is false, but the new acting sr. pastor at his church said (here) that some of the allegations made have been admitted to by haggard.

i don't see this as much as his failure, but the failure of the church. we have trained these men to be separated from their souls. the disconnect will wipe us out.

i know that when i was in the middle of my acting out in my sexual addiction that i was the most vitriolic and shaming of everyone around me. my own shame was so great that i had to keep throwing it outside of myself. those who are the most vocal in shaking their fingers in others faces many times are the ones that struggle the most deeply. i know it was true for me.

that is why telling out stories is where healing can be found. finding the safe place to share our fears, confess our sins and receive grace and healing is what truly will bring this back from the brink.

it truly is a cancer. and it's breaking god's heart. instead of portraying perfection, image and the bright shiny plastic jesus we need to return to the place where redemption is found. by bringing our stories into the light and allow those damaged places to find healing. we then become the 'wounded healer' nouwen writes so beautifully about.

cancer survivors are some of the most vibrant, enthusiastic souls. watching them minister to those currently going through treatment is like watching jesus himself. they know what it is like to be so afraid. be so sick. be so wounded and broken. real survivors make the best ministers. they never shame. they never wound. they are present and carry their story with them wherever they go.

the church needs a lot more survivors.


Trudging said...

Well said!

Sarah Louise said...

Amen sister, amen!!

(she writes, a survivor of bipolar disorder)

gracie said...

gracie is a survivor. You have written this well, Bobbie. We have all fallen short - there is no such thing as falling shorter than anyone else! Praise God, praise God for grace...