Repentance

October 23, 2006


I’ve been thinking about your comments on my last post all weekend. Regardless of what you think about the Religion issue, most of you seem to think that Jesus was a pretty decent guy with something to teach us. Everyone seemed to agree that it is our job to love each other, whether it is the guy that lives next door or some kid in Mexico. I’d personally think that the main job of the Church is to love people, so that they could know how much God loves them. As I’ve been talking to people about this whole idea, nobody really disagrees with me. But that made me wonder, if we are all on board with this whole love thing, why is the American Church failing?

Jesus talks a lot about the idea of repentance. Repentance, simply put, is admitting we did something wrong. In order to free ourselves from the pain that we have caused somebody and to move forward in our lives, we have to be honest about what we have done. And the second part of repentance is trying not to do it again. If I say that I’m sorry for hitting somebody, and then turn around and hit them again, am I really sorry?

I think maybe one of the reasons that the Church is so irrelevant and disconnected to the world, is because we are unwilling to repent.

So let me repent on behalf of the church. I ask your forgiveness for the Church’s sins and for my own. Please help teach the Church how to be free from these sins.

I repent that we have been judgmental. That we think we have all the answers, when really, we are all still on the journey to find God. Teach us how to be humble and how to hear your stories.

I repent that we have cut ourselves off from culture. That far too often what we talk about has nothing to do with real life. Be patient with us as we try to catch up with the world and help us to talk about things that actually matter.

I repent that we have taken the mystery out of God. We offer pre-packaged answers and pretend like we have it all together. Help us marvel at our wonderful, and sometimes crazy, God.

Finally, I repent that we have made God boring. I am so sorry that the God that we try to give to the world is dry, irrelevant, tame. Help us rediscover the passionate, loving and vibrant God who fights against injustice, comforts the poor and invites us to join him on his incredible mission to transform the world.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I really liked how some of you described what Jesus means to you. I love the examples that you gave of how Jesus has shaped you, but the more I thought about the state of the Church, the more I felt like it was important to acknowledge what we are far from perfect so that we have a chance of moving forward. Hopefully this will give us a chance to start over. Then we can get back to talking about Jesus.

Any thoughts on all of this? Anything you want to repent of on behalf of the Church? I know a lot of you out there have been hurt deeply by the Church. Does this mean anything to you? Is there anything we can do to help heal the pain the Church has caused you?

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One Response to “Repentance”

  1. Matt (Mateo) said

    Well as you know I am less keen on the collective repentance of the chruch, but this is not to say that any of us are blameless, and we all have something to confess. I’ll admit that as much as I try not to, I selectivly help people when its convient for me. (I am not advocating that at every instance there is to help someone it is an opportunity, but when situations do arise and God calls upon me to act, sometimes I don’t. This is obviously in conflict of total submission and placing Jesus’ wants above my wants.) Its just so easy to turn a blind eye to those that God call’s me to; to accept the instant gratification of what I want and deal with the guilt and failure later.

    I was told by a non-Christian friend that Christians are hypocrits, but then retracted saying not me. However instead of feeling great, I knew in my heart that I was not a great representation of what Jesus calls us to be. How many other people do I walk past in my life look at me and I am the only example of Jesus in their life and I fail to live up to the ideals I claim to believe? Its so much easier to have this mindset when on missions, but the fact of the matter is that we are always on a mission so long as we are a part of this world.

    Jesus, I pray that you would forgive me for choosing when to follow you. I apologize for any instance where I was not a good ambassador for you. Please give me and others the ability to live our entire lives, in front of friends or strangers, for You.

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