About Us   |   Contact   |   Advertise With Us   |   Support CWCS

5 Things Churches Need To Hear From Those With Church Hurt

May 10, 2022

Something I’ve heard a lot from Christians lately, and especially from Church leadership, is that one bad pastor shouldn’t cause someone to leave the faith. This, of course, comes from the slew of scandals that have plagued the Church lately, pastors like Mark Driscoll, Brian Houston of Hillson, Carl Lentz, the list goes on. And it’s easy to just dismiss these incidents as not representative of the Church and easy to distinguish for a true believer. But when someone leaves the Church over scandals like these, the response is often something along the lines of they probably never had a real faith in God in the first place, they replaced the worship of God for a celebrity pastor. While there are cases where that’s true, it’s problematic to just make blanket statements like these about people leaving the Church, and let me explain why. 

I do want to say here that I will give a few examples, so trigger warning for anyone who has experienced abuse by the Church. But I also want to encourage you to seek out those hurt by the Church, and those who left the Church, and hear their stories. It may surprise and shock you. And it may even change your view of those people.

We all know that church attendance has been going down. It’s been on a steady decline for a while now. But what we keep hearing from those in leadership is that the fault lies primarily on the people who have left the Church. And even beyond that I’ve heard several lies around this, like they just want to sin more (really?) and to gain street cred (from who?). All in all this just creates an us versus them mentality. So that brings us to why saying just one bad pastor shouldn’t cause people to lose faith or leave the church can be problematic.

First, what you’re basically saying, or what people are hearing, is that pastors don’t have to be good people. They can misuse money, be hypocritical, have affairs, but it’s the message of God that matters. In theory, yes, God is God regardless of how humans act. But I hope you can see why that doesn’t sit well with many people. Church leadership should be held to a higher standard, that’s actually clearly stated in the New Testament (Titus 1:5-9, 1st Timothy 3:1-7). With the amount of churches being planted, and popping up in big cities especially, it’s easy to find pastors who aren’t qualified to be a pastor. But a new believer, or a new church member, may not be able to tell this easily. I, personally, attended a church led by a celebrity pastor, not because of them, but circumstances put me there. From all accounts he was a great guy, charismatic, and had a booming church. But guess what. He wasn’t actually that great of a guy.

He regularly yelled at and demeaned his pastoral staff. He inflated numbers. And he didn’t even have a seminary degree or any biblical training, leading to some pretty terrible sermons. My wife and I left that church hurt. Every time since then that we’ve entered a church, we have a hard time trusting the lead pastor. So I know very well how hard it is to believe that one bad pastor is the exception. Instead, it often feels like the norm. And along with that, it’s hard to believe that no one else knows this. Why did no one warn us about this bad pastor? If everyone else, including other churches and pastors just accept this, why should I trust them?

Second, it’s rarely just one person. It’s a church. It’s a system. It’s a collection of believers that has failed someone. For example, a story I’ve heard too many times to count now, is about a woman getting kicked out of a church for either of two reasons: divorcing her husband or becoming pregnant out of wedlock. And when you look further into the story you find that the husband was abusive. Or that the father also attends the church but has no ramifications. But the church gives the wife or mother very specific directions on how she needs to atone for her sin. And then when she rightly refuses to be controlled by a pastor, the entire church turns against her. And now she has no one. Did just one person fail her? No. Her pastors, elders, deacons, friends failed her. Even more so, this often happens in small towns. When you have a community of a few hundred people, most of which attend one church, your whole world just betrayed you. You have nowhere to go, no one to turn to. And when you feel the world has failed you, it’s easy to feel that God has failed you.

Third, if you grew up in a church that doesn’t follow the Bible, you may not even know that the hurt you’ve experienced isn’t what God wants. For so many people they’re kept in a bubble of like minded Christians, or people who claim to be Christian. Just like I mentioned before, this isn’t uncommon in small communities where no one leaves or has any idea that other churches might be different from theirs. They’ve lived their whole life believing that their family, friends, and pastors love them and are telling them God’s truth. A friend of my wife was diagnosed as bipolar. Unfortunately, her church didn’t believe in diagnosing mental disorders. Instead, they tried to exorcize a demon out of her. So she was left with a choice, leave her church and Christian community to get help, or stay in an abusive church.

But it’s not hard to see that if this is your upbringing, and your “loved” ones are just telling you that you’re demon possessed, the world starts to get a bit confusing. And if, because you’ve never known other Christians, you assume all churches will just try to exorcize you, why would you attend another church? If we’ve grown up in a good church, we know that God is perfect and humans aren’t. If you’ve been controlled by a bad church, you’re probably told the Church is the direct, unquestionable hand of God. So you’re left with the option of abuse in church, or leaving the faith, at least according to what you know.

Fourth, not everyone has a strong faith. And that’s okay! As Christians we grow our faith as we live out the Gospel. So if a major problem causes someone to lose faith, we need to help them heal, not blame them. No one has a perfect faith. It would be arrogant of any Church leader to say that all Christians should have enough faith to weather anything. But as we’ve seen, hardships cause people to lose faith. The loss of a child, divorce, failed businesses, and all sorts of things. If a pastor or church’s action is causing those new to the faith, or those struggling with faith, to leave, the pastor, the church, the people of God need to do something. We, as Christians who know the Gospel, need to stand up and say, no, that’s not what God looks like. Your trauma is real. Your feelings are valid. It may not be easy to trust God right away, but what you experienced was not God. Let me help you and show you Christ’s true love. And by the way, you don’t necessarily have to say that directly, sometimes it’s best to just show it through your actions.

Lastly, it’s not just that someone makes a mistake. Whether you’re a Christian or not, we all know that people aren’t perfect. The problem is, so often, pastors and church leadership are treated as infallible. And that has caused lots of issues. Look at Mark Driscoll, he was forced out of one church only to start another. Where is the accountability in that? As Christians, or people struggling with the question of faith, we don’t expect perfect people. We want people to admit their mistakes and grow. We want people held accountable for their egregious misuses of power. When the leader of a church supports the deranged lies of a politician trying to ignore democracy, and the organization and congregation just go along with it, well that’s a problem. And if the congregation is courageous enough to confront a pastor of wrongdoing, a good, honest pastor would admit their mistakes and change, or maybe even step down. But the stories we hear most aren’t like that. We see pastors who abuse the weak, misuse money, do the exact actions they preach against, but then are protected by their organization.

If, as a non-believe or Christian, you see that pastors can mess up as much as they want without repercussions, but it’s your job to figure out who the good and bad pastors are yourself, why would you stay in Church?

  1. buy clindamicina

    December 3rd, 2023 at 10:58 PM

    […] buy clindamicina[…]

    buy clindamicina

  2. does fluoxetine contain acetaminophen

    February 6th, 2024 at 1:05 PM

    does fluoxetine contain acetaminophen

    does fluoxetine contain acetaminophen

  3. metronidazole sanofi

    February 8th, 2024 at 12:09 PM

    metronidazole sanofi

    metronidazole sanofi

  4. can you take cephalexin and drink alcohol

    February 11th, 2024 at 5:38 PM

    can you take cephalexin and drink alcohol

    can you take cephalexin and drink alcohol

  5. cymbalta manufacturer coupon 2015

    February 11th, 2024 at 9:05 PM

    cymbalta manufacturer coupon 2015

    cymbalta manufacturer coupon 2015

  6. duloxetine hydrochloride

    February 12th, 2024 at 4:19 AM

    duloxetine hydrochloride

    duloxetine hydrochloride

  7. lexapro makes me sleepy

    February 12th, 2024 at 6:54 PM

    lexapro makes me sleepy

    lexapro makes me sleepy

  8. is escitalopram the same as citalopram

    February 13th, 2024 at 3:23 AM

    is escitalopram the same as citalopram

    is escitalopram the same as citalopram

  9. viagra india online pharmacy

    February 14th, 2024 at 11:40 PM

    viagra india online pharmacy

    viagra india online pharmacy

  10. does amoxicillin give you a yeast infection

    February 17th, 2024 at 6:21 AM

    does amoxicillin give you a yeast infection

    does amoxicillin give you a yeast infection

  11. can you drink on bactrim

    February 28th, 2024 at 8:15 PM

    can you drink on bactrim

    can you drink on bactrim

  12. what does neurontin do for anxiety

    March 22nd, 2024 at 11:53 AM

    what does neurontin do for anxiety

    what does neurontin do for anxiety

  13. what are the side effects of depakote?

    March 22nd, 2024 at 3:50 PM

    what are the side effects of depakote?

    what are the side effects of depakote?

  14. ddavp tablet dose

    March 22nd, 2024 at 4:41 PM

    ddavp tablet dose

    ddavp tablet dose

  15. cozaar price

    March 22nd, 2024 at 6:03 PM

    cozaar price

    cozaar price

  16. contrave questionnaire

    March 22nd, 2024 at 9:39 PM

    contrave questionnaire

    contrave questionnaire

  17. effexor horrible side effects

    March 22nd, 2024 at 10:04 PM

    effexor horrible side effects

    effexor horrible side effects

  18. aripiprazole dosage

    March 24th, 2024 at 10:30 PM

    aripiprazole dosage

    aripiprazole dosage

  19. can you give dogs aspirin

    March 24th, 2024 at 11:21 PM

    can you give dogs aspirin

    can you give dogs aspirin

  20. baclofen reddit

    March 28th, 2024 at 7:34 PM

    baclofen reddit

    baclofen reddit

  21. does celexa help with anxiety

    March 28th, 2024 at 10:56 PM

    does celexa help with anxiety

    does celexa help with anxiety

  22. bupropion dose

    March 28th, 2024 at 11:08 PM

    bupropion dose

    bupropion dose

  23. celecoxib warnings

    March 29th, 2024 at 12:31 AM

    celecoxib warnings

    celecoxib warnings

  24. does robaxin make you tired

    April 14th, 2024 at 8:16 AM

    does robaxin make you tired

    does robaxin make you tired

  25. nateglinide acarbose

    April 14th, 2024 at 8:19 AM

    nateglinide acarbose

    nateglinide acarbose

  26. abilify drug

    April 14th, 2024 at 8:42 AM

    abilify drug

    abilify drug

  27. ezetimibe and nice

    April 14th, 2024 at 10:13 AM

    ezetimibe and nice

    ezetimibe and nice

  28. amitriptyline weight loss

    April 14th, 2024 at 1:33 PM

    amitriptyline weight loss

    amitriptyline weight loss

  29. remeron side effects elderly

    April 14th, 2024 at 3:18 PM

    remeron side effects elderly

    remeron side effects elderly

  30. remifemin synthroid

    April 19th, 2024 at 8:34 AM

    remifemin synthroid

    remifemin synthroid

  31. formulation and evaluation of repaglinide tablets

    April 19th, 2024 at 3:09 PM

    formulation and evaluation of repaglinide tablets

    formulation and evaluation of repaglinide tablets

  32. propranolol lactose

    April 19th, 2024 at 5:44 PM

    propranolol lactose

    propranolol lactose

  33. sitagliptin sglt2

    April 19th, 2024 at 6:36 PM

    sitagliptin sglt2

    sitagliptin sglt2

  34. venlafaxine side effects weight loss

    April 20th, 2024 at 2:49 AM

    venlafaxine side effects weight loss

    venlafaxine side effects weight loss

  35. stromectol canada

    April 20th, 2024 at 6:28 AM

    stromectol canada

    stromectol canada

  36. tamsulosin basic 0 4

    April 20th, 2024 at 8:07 AM

    tamsulosin basic 0 4

    tamsulosin basic 0 4

  37. cialis online pills

    May 13th, 2024 at 10:01 AM

    cialis online pills

    cialis online pills

  38. how to reduce side effects of sildenafil

    May 13th, 2024 at 11:28 AM

    how to reduce side effects of sildenafil

    how to reduce side effects of sildenafil

  39. g and e pharmacy edmonton store hours

    May 13th, 2024 at 11:50 AM

    g and e pharmacy edmonton store hours

    g and e pharmacy edmonton store hours

  40. side effects of tadalafil

    May 13th, 2024 at 1:33 PM

    side effects of tadalafil

    side effects of tadalafil

  41. levitra vs cialis vs viagra

    May 13th, 2024 at 1:46 PM

    levitra vs cialis vs viagra

    levitra vs cialis vs viagra

  42. cheap online levitra

    May 13th, 2024 at 5:31 PM

    cheap online levitra

    cheap online levitra

  43. compare pharmacy prices

    May 13th, 2024 at 11:47 PM

    compare pharmacy prices

    compare pharmacy prices

  44. sun pharmaceutical india tadalafil

    May 17th, 2024 at 9:58 AM

    sun pharmaceutical india tadalafil

    sun pharmaceutical india tadalafil

  45. ivermectin 3 mg tablet dosage

    May 17th, 2024 at 11:04 AM

    ivermectin 3 mg tablet dosage

    ivermectin 3 mg tablet dosage

  46. sildenafil fast delivery

    May 17th, 2024 at 12:15 PM

    sildenafil fast delivery

    sildenafil fast delivery

  47. where to buy generic tadalafil

    May 17th, 2024 at 1:39 PM

    where to buy generic tadalafil

    where to buy generic tadalafil

  48. sildenafil and vardenafil

    May 17th, 2024 at 4:07 PM

    sildenafil and vardenafil

    sildenafil and vardenafil

  49. cheap viagra.com

    May 17th, 2024 at 5:09 PM

    cheap viagra.com

    cheap viagra.com

  50. ivermectin buy australia

    May 17th, 2024 at 11:50 PM

    ivermectin buy australia

    ivermectin buy australia

  51. ivermectin 12 mg

    May 18th, 2024 at 5:28 AM

    ivermectin 12 mg

    ivermectin 12 mg

CWCS Hoodie

most popular

team favorite

Newest

CWCS T-Shirt

CWCS Trucker Cap

$45.00

$25.00

$25.00

Merch

Shop the CWCS

Shop All →

All Contents Copyright 2021 Christians Who Curse Sometimes