A letter to the Church-
My name is Christian. Most of you probably know me or at least know of me. My wife, Mara, grew up in the Church. We met while we were (both) in the military. We have a son named Adam. Most of you know Adam as the outspoken, rambunctious eleven year old down in the youth ministry. Most of you probably also know that Adam was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 2 years old. It was only by the grace of God that we got through his illness as a family. Actually, it’s only by His grace that we got through many things. The fact that Mara and I are still married is a testimony to God’s goodness and nothing of our own. Despite what I read in the scriptures, it seems that most people would be afraid to admit something like that, but I look at my past and see the life of a disgusting sinner. The fact the Christ would die for someone like me proves that God isn’t in it for “good people.” But His saving grace, along with His regenerating my heart, has caused me to see the sin in my life for what it was; a disease that I had no chance of curing on my own.
Being born again was the single most important moment in my life. Nothing has been the same. While I may still sin, I am convicted of sin and repent and confess. So, here’s my confession. I have feelings of bitterness towards the Church. I’ve confessed this to God, to my wife, and to the head deacon, but I feel I need to confess to the congregation as a whole. This is not directed toward all of you, but the ones it is should know. If you don’t, all I can say is that John 16:8 speaks of the Holy Spirit convicting us of sin. There were times that Mara and I begged for help and support. We got a few hugs, a few promises that we’d be prayed for, and maybe a phone call. And this was from leaders in the church.
When we were taken for over a thousand dollars, we were able to meet with some of the leaders and the guilty party. The outcome was so discouraging that we had to take matters into our own hands. It was causing such contention between Mara and I that we had to forgive the money in order to salvage our relationship. We had to give it up to God. But to be honest, it’s really put us into a financial pinch. Coupling that with medical bills that we accumulated last year are causing lot’s of stress and sometimes despair. I know that God is going to get us through this.
I was always under the assumption that the church was called to be the hands and feet of Christ on earth. If that’s the case, I’m a little disappointed. But I know that the church is full of broken, fallen sinners like me, so I shouldn’t have expected much… but I did.
Mara is pregnant with our second child. She’s ill and tired. I’m working for two people. This isn’t a complaint. I thank God that I’m being given the chance to be the husband I should have been but wasn’t in the majority if the beginning of our marriage. I feel this is also giving me the opportunity to show Adam that sometimes as I husband and father that we are called to make sacrifices.
I’m sure that many of you have heard different things concerning us. I can fully admit that we’ve done some things the wrong way. I admit that I haven’t been the best Christian, either. I can’t say that it’s not in the least part because I wasn’t discipled properly, though I accept responsibility as well. If I’ve sinned against any of you, I sincerely apologize. I know that there are preconceived notions of who we are, and I’m sure that’s why most of the people in the church were weary of approaching us. Pardon my strong language, but it really sucks not to be able to get beyond our past.
I’m willing to bet that people are more interested in why the painting outside the nursery isn’t done than we they haven’t seen us in several weeks. Some might say that it’s not their place to intrude, but aren’t we supposed to be a body in Christ? I imagine that if you woke up one morning and one of your hands was missing you’d probably be a bit concerned.
But people are too busy bickering about the music ministry or where the youth group meets to see that there are people that genuinely need help that are falling through the cracks.
We really needed help. We really need to be lifted up in prayer. I feel strange for asking for anything when I look around and see the people in need around the world, around the country and around the corner, but we are desperate to see Jesus in anyone around us. I’m sure there are those of you that may be offended by this letter, but search yourself to determine whether or not it’s conviction or if it’s prideful indignation.