I received a message tonight which reminded me, all too soberly, why we do the work we do. Lives are at stake. Another teenager is gone from among us.
The reasons a person commits suicide are different for each person and certainly more often than not, a combination of factors. Nevertheless, among all of the factors, abuse disguised in the name of Christian purity should never get to be one of them.
I’m tired of 17 year olds snuffing out their lives. Are we really so heartless that we ramble onward with empty words, “speaking the truth” to children who are holding guns to their heads? The truth? That’s what you want to speak? How about “God loves you desperately.” There. That’s Truth.
My heart is heavy. And I’m angry.
- I’m angry that the gospel of hope and grace has been reduced to rule-following rubbish at our fingertips.
- I’m angry that we Christians have contributed more to the problem than to the solution.
- I’m angry that we are perpetuating the wrongs done against others instead of being His healing agents.
- I’m angry that we care more about protecting our own rights than protecting the rights of our LGBT friends and neighbors.
- I’m angry that we sacrifice the innocence of others so we can supposedly hang onto our own.
- I’m angry that it is a laughable thing to call our church gathering places “sanctuaries” any longer.
- I’m angry that we pretend the brokenhearted don’t exist because if we looked at them, we’d feel obligated to do something for them.
- I’m angry that we fall down and worship before our self-made idols of cleanliness and piety.
- I’m angry that we aren’t doing enough for those who need us the most.
- I’m angry that we’re making it worse.
Shame on us. Christians, we are failing, and I’m frankly tired of us acting like we’re not. The least we can do is be honest with ourselves about that much.
Abigail Van Buren said, “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” That’s supposed to be true, but is it? When was the last time sinners – you, me, all of us – felt like the church would be the go-to place to receive healing for our deepest areas of need in the midst of our pain or shame?
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
I am out of words.
If you are thinking about taking your life, please take hope instead. Please, please, take hope. It will get better. We want to help. Contact us.