“We wouldn’t have most of the New Testament letters
if it weren’t for problems in the church.” Flavien Pardigon.
Why are there so many problems between believers? Why are there so many hypocrites and just plain mean people in the Church? Why do even I fail in being the kind of person I want to be in the Church?
The fact that problems in the Church have always been here does not make it easier. In fact it pushes us to the brink of despair. Though there is an answer to the “why,” I’ll speak more directly to the “What should I do” question that you pose. Do this:
Read Revelation chapter 1.
Take note of the verse “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him.” This is the end goal we are working toward. This is where to look. At the prize, at seeing your Lord face to face, and especially at being found being a true follower.
Read Revelation chapters 2–3.
On a piece of paper make a chart (I’m serious) with these columns: A) Problems B) Commendations (or affirmations) C) Warnings D) Promises
>>Do this. Don’t move on without making this chart. You’re going to find things you never saw before if you fill out this chart on paper. Make it look like this:
With this chart in front of you, read these two chapters.
A) Break down the different problems Jesus Christ found in the churches. What were they doing wrong? Be as detailed as you can. Then,
B) What was it they (or some within the church) were doing right?
C) What kind of change did Christ want from this group of believers? What did Christ warn would happen to those who did not change?
D) What kind of reward awaited those who changed or kept doing the right thing?
Read Revelation chapters 4–5.
What kinds of problems are reflected in Revelation 4 and 5? What kinds of focus is there in these chapters?
The Apocalypse of John begins with an assessment of churches. What are these churches? They were churches actually around during the writing of John the Apostle. But also, just as the Israelites leaving Egypt with Moses was both an historical event and an archetype of each Christian’s own journey, in the same way the Churches of Revelation reflect archetypes of churches that have been around since the beginning.
In any Christian church you go into today you will find a combination of the problems you listed in A) above. These are the big issues.
You’re facing a church that is filled with people doing hurtful things. But instead of just figuring out where THEY’RE at, find out, from that chart you made, where you stand. What is it you are doing right? What is Christ commending you for? And where are you yourself failing?
Yes, the church is “the problem,” but if you want to know how to fix things, you can only start with you.
Look again at how Christ speaks with the churches. He’s kind, gentle, prodding. Incredibly sympathetic. But uncompromising. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” He speaks as a shepherd. Remember this. It’s very important when it comes to WHY there are problems in the church. Jesus Christ doesn’t cut us off just because we’re problematic—if he did that, nobody would be left. He is gentle with us, leading us down our path toward Christ-likeness. And it takes a lifetime, literally, to arrive.
The Church is full of hypocrites and mean people because we’re still alive in this world. We’re not in our totally-kind bodies yet.
Don’t misunderstand me. I know you’re hurting. So there is one more thing you need to do. It will take some time, but it’s a journey you will not regret taking.
4. Read this booklet:.
This book will bring you to a point of healing and to a place of understanding why there are hurtful people in the Church. And the healing you receive from the sweet words of Pastor Sibbes will give you perspective and guidance for your next steps.
(taken from a Quora question and answer set: http://qr.ae/TUpRA1)