Angry Church People

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                     October 1, 2016

                                   

The cell phone game, “Angry Birds”, got turned into a movie this past summer. Angry birds flying into pigs has been a big seller!

Something I’ve noticed over the years are “Angry Church People”- people with anger issues stomping through places of grace because other church people want to be loving and kind to those that even Jesus would have a hard time putting up with.

Angry church people take advantage of the grace of God’s people, but angry church people have a real gift for keeping the church from focusing on its mission and purpose.

Years ago my friend in ministry, Dr. Mark Sommers, who now pastors in the Syracuse area, came to see me at the church I was a staff person at. On Fridays an eighty-plus year old woman staffed the office. I’m not sure I ever saw her smile in the year and a half I was there. Every couple of months she would stand in front of the congregation and lambast them about needing nursery volunteers. On one Friday morning Mark came to see me and was greeted with these words as he entered the building and headed towards the office:

“What do you want?”

    It was said in the most unwelcoming way possible, as the elderly receptionist looked at him with a frown and skepticism. Thirty-five years later when Mark calls me I answer with those words to him and we chuckle about that memory. The thing is…this lady had issues in other areas of her life. Her anger towards life got poured on to those she met at church.

Let me be clear! We all have issues in one way or another, but angry church people is an area that leaves people shaking their heads about the purpose of the church. When they hear the words “Grace Church: Loving God, Loving People”, and then get assaulted with a verbal bombshell about keeping their child quiet in church it becomes very disillusioning.

Angry church people shoot the message of grace and forgiveness in the foot. Like geese scattering in the air because of a predator in close proximity, people in need of hope scatter from churches where they’ve been treated as hopeless.

How did Jesus relate to angry temple people? He stayed focused on truth, never swayed from it. The law keepers used their religion as a sledge hammer. Jesus told them about his Father who was more concerned with people experiencing God’s love rather than who left the toilet seat up!

Angry church people are often very willing to be in leadership so they can use that sledge hammer of power and bitterness. Sometimes they push their way in because there is a vacancy where they can ease into power. Perhaps a template for leadership in the church should be Philippians 2 where Paul talks about a servant who considers the needs of others above their own. That might create a number of unfilled vacancies!

Angry Birds was a multimillion dollar seller. Angry church people is a multi-million person turn-off, and it isn’t a game!

Bottom lion, angry church people need Jesus!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Faith, Grace, Jesus, love, Pastor, Story, The Church, Uncategorized

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