The author is the son of a ‘famous’ christian. I am a ‘nobody’ in that particular world.
He thinks “church is messy by nature.” I have found it not messy, but dangerous.
He says, “it’s where Jesus’ people are connected.” I find I can connect with Jesus’s people wherever I meet them.
He opines that, “To leave the Church is to hurt yourself and to hurt others.” I left because it was the only way to stop the hurt.
His judgement: “leaving the Church… is escapism.” My experience: leaving the institution was the only way to escape the abuse.
His words seem to equate ‘church’ with a building or institution. My understanding of the word ‘church’ is that it’s a living body.
He talks of “doing church.” I speak of being the church.
He concludes, “No matter your frustrations and hurts, it cannot be abandoned. You need it now whether you know it or not, and someday you will have a need nothing and no one else can meet. And the Church will be where Jesus shows Himself to you.”
My response to him?
I rejoice in your experience, but it is not universal. Please don’t present it as an incontrovertible reality. That hurts.
I not only can, but I have abandoned what you seem to call ‘church’.
But I have not “given up on the church”, which is the body of Christ. I have given up on an institution.
I do not “need it”. I need to feel safe when I meet with my brothers and sisters.
‘The church’ is not my sufficiency. Jesus Christ is.
And he can show himself to me wherever and whenever he chooses.
So please don’t put him (or me) in a box. I love him too, you know.