Thursday, August 31, 2006

Unsafety part two

The church should be a place of extreme safety. A place were self image is protected and personal dignity is safeguarded. Fragile psyches can be nursed back to health and wounded emotions bandaged. The church should be a safety net for dreams and goals and ideas and visions. A place where unhealthy relationships are cared for and marriages have hedges of protection around them. A place where children run with confident wonder and young people can develop faith with reckless abandon. A place where all are welcome...All are affirmed...All are nurtured...

but unfortunately, the church is not always a safe place. Self images are torn down by sarcasm and thoughtless joking. Racism and prejudice and male chauvinism lurk just below the surface. caste systems that are at home in our culture, take up residence in our church family just as easy. gossip and slander tear gashes in unsuspecting victims. retaliation gives momentary satisfaction, but leaves everyone worse off. vengence is "ours, say us", rather than "mine, says the Lord." forgiveness is conditional and memories are deep and long. The church is not always a safe place.

the apostle paul says for us to put on the clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, peace, truth, wisdom, and surrender (colossians three). come on.

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