Friday, October 27, 2006

Henri... again

To some who read this blog; and if you do, wow, thanks, I've been struggling to post recently; here is something I found from my daily email from Henri Nouwen. I know I have posted a number of things from him before, but truth is, I find his writing very challenging and easy to connect with. Perhaps I should actually get around to reading one of his books.

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Forgiving the Church

When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ. When we say, "I love Jesus, but I hate the Church," we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially. But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness.

It is important to think about the Church not as "over there" but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.

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Just for clarity's sake, I'm not feeling wounded by the church, but I, like many others, know a few people who have been hurt by the church and struggle with what to tell them. I believe in the church (a good thing for a pastor to do). I believe that it is the one thing we can be involved in that will have an eternal significance. The church is not perfect, clearly, it needs to be better. We need to be open about what we do that hurts ourself. Did that make sense? If the church is wounding it's own, then we must figure out how to stop that.

If it's the church's job to tell the world about the gospel, and we spend time wounding ourselves, it means that's less time, resources and energy being put into our true task.

Like this blog says, ramblings and thoughts from Doug.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

I like this quote. Significantly needed in our day. There are a number of people who have been hurt by the church who have simply walked away. How does it get better if we walk away? I also know a few people right now who have been hurt and HAVE forgiven. They then are able to work at making it better through their own obedience to Christ. Always a pleasure Dougy