A better, less angry post will follow, but this is what I have to say regarding all the stories that have come out in the past couple weeks, namely, the recent events surrounding the Duggar Family and The Village Church. I'm straight up pissed about it, and most people will tell you that I don't get angry very often.
First of all, who ever said that criticizing the church or church leadership is tantamount to attacking it? That's ridiculous. The church is an imperfect institution run by imperfect people. There are going to be missteps and there will need to be people who point out those missteps. It's not un-glorifying to God when people have the guts to do it. They're not creating tension or division in the church. They're saying what the heck needs to be said.
Second, someone tell me since when Christians are allowed to be above the law. I don't care who you are. You could be John Calvin or Charles Spurgeon or C.S. Lewis. If you commit a serious crime, you should be going to prison. The church has no business running damage control or PR for people just because they are a little higher profile than the rest of us. That's nowhere in the Bible.
Third, along the same lines, grace and repentance do not eliminate the consequences of your actions. Grace should be extended where there is repentance and even when there is not, but that doesn't magically dissolve the consequences of your actions. Actions. Have. Consequences.
Finally, and this one is a little more personal. Someone better be able to tell me why, in the United States of America, we have situations in which churches are protecting child molesters and child porn addicts while there are LGBT Christians committing suicide because they feel unloved and worthless and have internalized a message from the church that they are dirtier and more sinful than everyone else. Someone give me a valid explanation to this, stat. How is that glorifying to God? How is that reflecting Jesus?
This is unacceptable, disgusting, and makes me sick.
But evidently, these are Christian priorities as of May 27, 2015, a time when we prioritize the well-being of people who are in sticky situations, as a result of their own actions, and defend them when there are far bigger problems in the world.
I mean, someone give me a halfway decent reason that child porn is any different than sex trafficking, seeing as most of those girls are only children.
This is part of the reason that young people (myself included) are growing increasingly skeptical of the formal church. Because it seems to be more interested in outward appearances and damage control than actual people.
After all, it hurts when child porn users are granted asylum in the church while people like us are given an ultimatum. Because it implies that we're beneath even that. Where's our grace? Where's our unconditional acceptance?
And people wonder why we're on our way out.