Coming back to God
Problems with church?
It does happen that some people leave church altogether because they had a bad experience. Sad though it may be, sometimes Christians get it wrong. Things can be said (or not said!) that cause hurt or offence; things can happen that shouldn't have happened, leaving someone feeling upset or uncared for. It shouldn't happen, but sometimes it does. Maybe that is how you feel and even if you haven't lost your faith entirely in Jesus Christ, your faith in the church is pretty low if not dead.
So, what is there to say? Well, to begin with, there may be no excuses. You may be justified in feeling hurt and not wanting to take that risk with a church any more. I can understand that, although I'd like to encourage you to think about just a few things that might make a difference:
1. Not all churches are the same. A bad experience in one church doesn't mean that you will have another bad experience somewhere else.
2. It can really help to talk with someone who really doesn't have an agenda, and is willing to listen and to help. It can happen that there are other ways of seeing the situation that caused hurt. Talking about it and maybe asking someone even to pray for you can help in releasing those feelings that have perhaps kept you away from God.
3. The Bible has so much to say about the importance of forgiveness and not harbouring anger or bitterness towards others, even if they have wronged us. Sometimes, we need help to do that. I would encourage you to ask for help if you think that is a step you need to take.
4. Reconciliation is another key teaching of the Bible. If the people most affected can be brought together to listen and hear how the other has been affected, it can be the beginning of healing.
5. Maybe you have been angry with God as well as the church, because of something that has happened in your life that has made you very sad or unhappy.You would not be the first person or the last to have such feelings. We can all feel that way at times. Again, just being able to talk openly about what you feel, knowing that you are not being judged, but listened to and cared for, can make all the difference.
Oasis Christian Fellowship is not a perfect church. I don't think that exists anywhere. But we are a caring and loving church. We do not exert pressure on people and encourage them to seek God or to seek God once again, at their own pace, knowing that they are loved and supported all the while.
If you once were a practising Christian, but have been away from church and the Lord, but feel deep in your heart, that you want to come home, please send me an email or give me a call. We'd be pleased to meet you, or just to listen to your story.
We are here to help.
Pastor Andrew Edwards
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