4 Reasons I write about Dysfunction

Someone asked me why I write about scandal and church dysfunction. Surely there could be more fun things to write about than trouble in the church. Many ask, shouldn’t we be trying to spread the good news instead of talking about the bad things. Aren’t these matters just distractions to our real mission? This is one of the realities of pointing out sin. Here’s the thing though, when you bring to light sin and error and are labeled as the real problem that is clear evidence you are dealing with a dysfunctional system. Also, like the game of “Hot and Cold” that children love to play, when you’ve managed to raise the ire of someone it might just mean you’re really close to the fire.

No doubt, if you set out to call out evils done in the church those who appear innocent on the surface but are participants in it will get their feathers ruffled. I’ve been called “Pot Stirrer,” and “Trouble Maker” so I understand the pain you face. Truth matters and hiding behind it is always wrong. It’s in our nature to think we can move the church forward by using shortcuts but when the truth is stifled it hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. Always!

So here’s why I’m compelled to tell the truth and write about things that some might think should be left alone.

1. I’m a survivor myself

I’ve been through the fire more than once. It’s one of the questions I want to ask God when I get to heaven. Why did he allow me to go through some very challenging and dysfunctional leadership challenges? The only possible hint to an answer for this great question is the fact that somehow, by the grace of God and through his protection, I have survived. Not only have I survived but I’m more passionate than ever for the work of God through his church. Trials can make us better leaders if we let God bring that about. He wants to do that through your trials.

2. I get your pain…It’s real

Because of the situations I’ve been through I’ve been offered an unusual empathy for those who are the victims of spiritual abuse. I get it when someone is angry at the church, I understand how you get there and it’s not a necessarily a sign of your immaturity but rather the fact that you know that what you see and experience is not what God wants. Though our enemy wants you to think so, you’re not alone, and you’re not crazy!

3. There’s hope for victims

I know there’s great hope even when you think things are at their darkest. Even when you feel hopeless there is hope. How do I know this? Because I know that God loves his church and will protect her. Those who brazenly mess with the sheep and toy with the precious Bride of Christ will not escape the attention of the bridegroom for long. So take heart my friend God sees your struggle. He hears and answers prayer. God will rescue those who call on his name.

4. My prayer is that those who’ve been wounded will rise above and join the fight for Christ’s bride.

One of the things that keeps me going is the desire I have for others to have their hope in the church restored. I know how easy it would be to throw in the towel. Remember that when Jesus said he would build his church he intended to follow through on his word. Does that mean things will always be smooth sailing? No, as a matter of fact the opposite is true. He told us that anyone who followed him would be persecuted just as he was. Much of that trouble came to him at the hands of religious leaders so we shouldn’t be surprised when we experience trouble at the hands of those who supposedly work for the Lord. Rather, we ought to expect this.

My prayer for you is that God will lead you to rise above. And somehow if, by God’s grace, you make it through the fire my hope is that you will turn your experience toward the church not against it. If, with the Lord’s help, you can do that you will be a more passionate champion in the mission of the church.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail
instagram

4 comments

  • Doug – Great insightful comments! It takes real courage to discuss corruption in Christian leadership, as it does make you a target for the guilty who want to escape detection. I believe that the Lord is doing a housecleaning within the evangelical church in America and courageous truth tellers (i.e. “whistleblowers”) are an instrument in God’s chastising arsenal to accomplish this. We should not be surprised, either at the corruption at the top, or God’s relentless efforts to expose it. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

  • Amy Moore

    Your ministry to spiritual abuse survivors is more important than many realize. Edmond, OK is home to the largest mehachurch in North America. They may also be the wealthiest. Gateway was previously #1, but they refuse to publish numbers from 2018 on. It’s likely that Life.Church lapped them this year.

    Any church with access to approx $150M yr tax free, will inevitably become perverted by an increasing lust for power, fame, control & greed. Priorities shift to protecting the brand at ANY COST, which is how folks get hurt – badly – in the most unChrist-like of ways.

    Pastors and counselors who haven’t undergone severe spiritual abuse have difficulty understanding the depth and breadth of the devastation. Pastor, you do a good job explaining this. I pray your ministry continues to grow.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comments! I’m familiar with the influence and ministry of Life.Church and have many friends who attend or work there. While many of the recent scandals have taken place in large churches the real issue is not church or budget size but rather how a church relates and functions internally. Transparency is vital in all churches. Thanks for your prayers as we battle against spiritual abuse in the church and minister to the wounded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *