This post makes more sense if you take into account that the name of this blog used to be, “The Church Agitator.” God moves us to different places as we grow. I’m in a different place now than I was then. There’s a story behind that if you want to read it.
I’m coming to a point where I’m seriously questioning my domain. Honestly, I started this as a way to work out problems I was having with my own church… and we don’t go there anymore.
I’ve taken some time off from writing, and it’s because I’ve been wrestling. I’ve been listening. My wife and I left the place where we were in conflict, and we started going somewhere else. This was a difficult choice, because as I have said, we felt like there was purpose in our struggle. Then we reached a different point: sheer anger. The pastor of the church we were attending blocked us at EVERY turn. We tried to get involved in new areas, and nothing would happen. There was this unspoken, deeply personal wall that just wouldn’t go away. There was no longer purpose in anything we were involved in. All that was left was pure contention. So we left. It really seemed like the only choice we had in terms of salvaging our own faith.
But then we must live in peace. We must learn to get along. According to Colossians 3, we must bear with and forgive one another. The church should be different. That’s mentioned far more by Jesus than opposing bad leadership. So we left. Because we wished to see peace return to our church and to our own minds, we left. With tears in our eyes and deeply heavy hearts. It seemed that we were causing no end of conflict, so we removed the conflict by removing ourselves.
I know what you’re thinking. “You call yourself an agitator.. what did you expect?” I know. To be fully honest, we were already in the conflict when I started this blog. This was my attempt to try to make sense of it, and maybe there was none to be had. Maybe we should have left earlier instead of stirring up trouble.
But I don’t think so.
I’m reading this book now, “Radical” by David Platt. This guy is the real deal. He’s not some obscure nutjob who says things for the sake of saying them. He’s the president of the International Mission Board and he pastored a large church in Alabama for eight years. He worked on the mission field for a long time. I believe he knows what he’s talking about.
Getting into the meat of that book is not for this post… mainly because I’m trying to figure out a life of peace. That book upends the entire American definition of church, and I’m trying to figure out how to live with it.
I’m also trying to figure out how to live with people of no faith. People who don’t want it. Bottom line: I’m trying to relearn love. The kind of love where I stop thinking of the church as something that serves me, and people outside of it as projects.
I should also say that my wife and I are going to a church that we feel is getting a lot of things right. I’m committed to hanging on to this agitator thing, because I think there is still room for it. I’m also committed to living in peace with my brothers and sisters, seeing them grow and come to deeper knowledge of Christ, and I know those two things will be difficult to rectify. I think it’s worth the time and effort.