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Things I wish I knew: week 3

Church Hurt: Why I Didn't Deconstruct  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A testimony and exploration of church hurt

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Church Hurt: Why I Didnt Deconstruct

Introduce my self:

I have been a christian for over 10 years now.
I was rasied to be a universalist and honestly I believed in God but was never satisfied what Lewis described as “paradoxically mad at God for not existing.
My first day in a church I told my youth pastor I was an atheist all he said was he was glad that i was there. I know the holy spirt started working on me that day and as they say the rest is history.
From a very young age I got heavily involved with serving in the church. I started serving in worship at 15 and began to get involved in several things at church
I studied Outdoor adventure leadership. and education. half way through i felt the call to ministry. and started studying religion.
I worked in youth ministry for a while.
Got married and Moved to Vancouver

Church hurt

Definition: Church hurt is defined as emotional or physical pain felt by someone; inflected by the words, actions, or inactions of a person of leadership in a church, congregation of the church, or person who represents the church.
Church hurt can occur in many ways. Often times people are hurt by a pastor friends mentor who was formative in their faith walk whom you trusted and cared about. many people who deconstruct their faith and walk away have been wounded by these abusive, maniulative or generally unhealthy leaders an communities.
Additonally believers are now faced with information from around the world and other online churches have started to take the place of local church in their lives so when popular leaders such as Ravi Zacharaias, Carl Lentz, Driscoll, Brian houston, Rachel held evans , Michael Gungor, Josh Harris and so many more have fallen from grace or left the faith it can leave a fan or listener feeling wounded, betrayed, disoriented, and lead to the idea that the church is harmfull place.
People will often through the baby out with bath water when events like this happen
Clairificaition: not everyone who is hurt by the church deconstruct’s and not everyone who is hurt by the church deconstructs.
Defenition: Taking apart your faith to the point of apostacy or disbelief

David and Saul

Sumary of context: we are dicussing one of the most famous people in the OT David. after the time of the judges the nation of Israel longed for a king and by worldly standards they selected saul who was the most handsome and tall he by worldly standards a good king however Saul dishonoured God and the prophet Samuel annoited a shepard boy named David to succeed paul and the king of Israel.

Closeness

Upon David’s Anionting he had found favour in the sight of Saul,
1 Samuel 16:22–23 ESV
And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.
So David grew through Sauls ranks quite rapidly and began to be a general In Sauls Army
1 Samuel 18:5 ESV
And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.
Unfortunatly this where we see the hurting begin as Saul becomes Jealous of David as the people began to love him and celebrate his victories.
1 Samuel 18:6–9 ESV
As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.

The Hurting

Saul Begins to chace and hunt down David becasue of his jealousy. First he throws spears at him. Give him his daughters hand in marriage but gives him a task I wont get into which surely would make him the target of the Philistine army.
additonally Saul ordered his servants and sons to kill David. I count 11 times where either directly or indirectly tries to kill David.
this lead David to flee the city to the wilderness and to hide out in a cave.
while Saul was seeking Davids life in Chapts 22-26 we see saul in a few vulnerable positions where David was able to actually kill saul. Chapter 24 has multiple ocasions where this could have taken place
1 Samuel 24:4 ESV
And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’ ” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
shortly after this encounter David REbukes his men in vs. 6-7 for wanting to Kill Saul
This leads to another exhange in Ch 26 where David as able to kill Saul as he get very close to him while there is a spear right next to his head 26:7 so instead of killing Saul the guy whose been chasing him down. trying to find and kill him what does he do?
1 Samuel 26:10–12 ESV
And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.
This bring this to a conclusion with Sauls omision of guilt
1 Samuel 26:21-23 “Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.” And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.”
why did Saul continually attack David ? because of sin. His pride, his anger his jealousy, all common things in leaders who have caused harm got in the way
Saul is invinting David to come back into the disfunction. David Chooses to not return to the disfunction and to the person who caused him the pain. while we could argure that his decision to flee to the philistines was not wise we dont have time to get into that subject.
Saul was the God appointed leader of Israel he had a fall from grace but was still in charge he represented a holy kingdom. he lead the church and kingdom and caused someone who served underneath him a lot of trauma and pain
however despite that pain David does not go an deconstruct his faith. he never lost faith in God
he had wisdom the wisdom that is lacking to say you hurt me but im not gonna change everything about my belief system.
One of the most common cause of deconstuction is Church hurt. what that says is that “the sinner who hurt me has more power in my life then the Gospel does and im going to choose to change my whole belief system as a result of the pain”.
Psalm 34:17–18 ESV
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Lament and Prayer

Defention of Lament: an passionate expression or greif or sorrow
David deals with his problems through lament and prayer in the Psalms
Psalm 18: David calls God his fortress for delivering him from Saul
Psalm 59: Davids Cry for deliverance amidst Saul attempting to kill him
Psalm 116: David Laments over previous times where he was brought low but the lord had rescued him
Psalm 22: probably the most famous as David Cries the same words that Jesus does on the cross.
“These psalms often protest mistreatment of God’s people and petition for his justice. David—who wrote a majority of the psalmsexperienced abusive leadership firsthand from King Saul. Yet he sought the Righteous Judge with lament, groans, and tears.” -Joshua Ryan Butler
as a culture we are not bad at prayer however when it comes to lament we are not good at that. It is easier to get angry and walk away from something then to deal with a problem.
I believe that a lot of deconstruction happens purely for this reason. It is a lot easier to ignore and move on that to deal with our own hurt and sadness casued by the a church leader.
Lament calls us to be still in our sadness deconstruction calls us to by pass it.
Church hurt is real. But deconstruction is a false cure.

Personal ties

Briefly discuss what happend with little detail
I was hurt by a church leader while I was new to serving.
this kind of hurt lead me to question my own faith, (was it my fault, Did I deserve this, where is God in this, who can I go to, ETC)
I had the choice to follow the world.
while I would never wish what happened to me upon the lessons I learned about God’s grace and kindness while in that season I wouldnt trade for anything.

Conclusion

“Church hurt is real. But deconstruction is a false cure.”
If I can get one thing clear to you guys that may be uncomfortable. God did not hurt you, The church as a whole did not hurt you people who. We have no right to be mad at God
why give one person so much power to change our whole lives
God knows that this is happens and he is there. you have a choice in how we respond in our hurt do we responed in anger and go with what the world wants or do we respond in lament and prayer
The cure for bad community and un healthy church is not to abdon all it is to live in a healthy community. lets thrive as a ministry to be that healthy place that welcome those who are burdened and hurting.
The church and the churches are not the same.
Donald Barnhouse/
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