I’m Messed Up! You’re Messed Up! We’re ALL Messed Up! (Pt 1)
My perception growing up in church was – that only perfect people belonged there and were accepted there. And because I knew that I was not perfect – I had no desire to be in that environment. However, I was forced to go – so I learned to pretend with the best of them. I put on the fake smile and acted as if I had it all figured out, that my spiritual life was good, and that everything in my personal life was the way it should be. When in reality – nothing could’ve been further from the truth. (If you’re interested you can follow this link and listen to part 1 of this message series where I shared all the details of my life story – http://eaglepointe.org/messages/2008/comfortable/comfortable.html)
The longer I was in church the more I realized that all of these “adults” really weren’t perfect – nowhere close! I began to resent what I perceived to be arrogance, hypocrisy, and deception. I resented how I was made to feel inadequate and that there was something wrong with me because I was not good enough, did not know enough of the bible, and did not fit into their nice ” Christian” mold. I was further ostracized, particularly by the adults, when I began refusing to put on that fake, phony, pretentious facade of ” I’ve got it all together and life is good” – when it really wasn’t. It should come as no surprise that when I was able to get out of that environment – I did not darken the doorway of a church for five years.
Romans 8:28 says – “God works all things together for good…” My “church” experience growing up was not a good thing. However, one of the many good things that God has brought out of that is – it caused me to radically re-think everything relating to church and how it’s done. I will cover this whole idea more in follow-up blogs – but I will leave you with this for today… My take away from my early church experience was that because I was “messed up”, didn’t have it all figured out, couldn’t quote enough bible verses, etc – that God was not interested in me – nor was He interested in having me be a part of His church.
But as I began reading through the Bible myself I was completely shocked. These were not “perfect people” that God was holding up as examples for us to follow and to learn from. People in the Old Testament, New Testament, Jesus’ disciples – in fact, when you look at some of the greatest leaders in the Bible – this is a collection of some of the most unlikely characters & biggest screw-ups in history. Hmmm – maybe there was hope for me yet. I mean – none of these people would have been “good enough” for the “church people” I grew up with. That realization has shaped so much of who I am as a pastor, and of the church I lead. All talk more about this in coming blogs – but one of our mottos at Eagle Pointe Church is – “I’m messed up, You’re messed up, We’re all messed up!” (Stay tuned for more…)