Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Church Members Behaving Badly
We've got this thing going on in our church right now where a few people are accusing another group of people of behaving badly--welshing on a bill for using the church nursery, being exclusive, taking advantage of the church name and church facilities to essentially facilitate their private socal activities, etc. I know, it sounds really petty, and when you just look at what people are saying officially, it probably is. What it really feels like, though, is one or two people have been deeply hurt and now feel that justice can only be served through public humiliation of the parties involved--preferably by the re-introduction of stocks just outside the sanctuary or public floggings in the gym. The truth of the matter is, I don't think even that would help as long as anyone involved in this chooses to hang on to their anger and bitterness as the defining theme of their life right now. It is all so sad to watch.

The other sad thing is that they are using the church as the focal point for their fantasies of revenge. Both sides. And trying to pull everyone they can into the brawl on one side or another. And so a place of peace and healing has once again become a battleground, at least for some people. Fortunately for them, some people are blessedly oblivious.

Of course, this kind of stuff happens in churches all the time. And, having been in and around churches my whole life, I've often wondered why people are so often at their worst around the place that is supposed to be the best part of their lives. And it's ususally people who are the most devoted to the church that act the worst. I don't know that anyone has the answer, but I've come to my own conclusions. I think that people act stuck in kindergarten at church just because it is so important to them emotionally. It is like, this place, this institution is so important that when things get tough they lose all perspective, all balance, all reason and respond strictly emotionally. It's almost too important to them to allow them to respond like adults, and they revert to being children.

I think this explains a lot of rabidly conservative evangelical thinking a acting these days.

Oh well. God save us, and our church, from ourselves.