when the church lets you down

Remember Who God is When the Church Lets You Down

when the church lets you down

This is part one of our ten part series on: What to Do When the Church Lets Your Down. You can read the introduction here.

I once heard that if the rug you are standing on gets pulled out from underneath you, then you were standing on the wrong rug. Throughout the last year, I’ve thought a lot about the rugs I have been standing on – self-sufficiency and approval of man to name a couple. If God is the solid rock on which we stand, the cornerstone of our faith, then when all seems to go wrong, we shouldn’t feel as though everything (our rug) just got pulled completely out from underneath us.

Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. ~Deuteronomy 4:39

When the church lets you down, it’s important to remember that the church is not the solid rock on which you stand. Your solid rock is God – the one and only true God.

As I walked through the trials of this last year, and as I walk down memory lane with my parents, the thought crossed my mind:

God if this is who you are, if these are the very people who are supposed to love you and they treat others this way, then I don’t want anything to do with it anymore. I’m done with this. I can’t trust a God like this.

Christianity is a vulnerable thing. When you enter into the peace of Christ, you’re admitting all your failures and inabilities. You’re confessing your depravity and ugliness. You say I am nothing, and Christ, You are everything. Every ounce of self-sufficiency is laid at the foot of the Cross and you accept the work of another on your behalf. You give nothing and receive everything.

Confessing faith in Jesus Christ is a humbling, vulnerable experience. Complete faith in something you cannot see but in which you hope. It’s absurd, which is what makes it so utterly beautiful.

Yet the temptation quickly becomes to leave the Cross and the work of Christ at the point of conversion. We replace Christ’s finished work with our own sullied efforts, and we replace Christ as Lord and allow idols to move into His rightful place, one idol of which easily becomes the church. We allow the church to move into the place of God in our lives. So when the church lets you down, you’re tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water. You equate the church’s failures to what you believed was the perfection of God.

I’ve seen many professing Christians walk away from the faith altogether because the church let them down. This tells me they had more faith in the church (sinners saved by grace) than they ever did in Christ. This is not God’s way! I know the temptation to think this way. I yelled at my husband less than six weeks ago that I’m done with Christianity. I don’t even know if I believe in God anymore. By His grace, my faith was restored to its rightful place – in God alone and not in sinful man. The same weak faith that accepted Christ six years ago was all Christ needed to lead me back into the fold (1 Peter 2:25).

So when the church lets you down, take time to go back to the basics – remember Christ, remember the Great I AM, remember the one true God. The church is not your god and it is grace that an idol has been dethroned. Praise God for His grace! We serve a jealous God who allows nothing to stand in His children’s way of worshiping Him in all fullness and truth.

The next time your rug gets pulled out from underneath you, consider the rug on which you were standing. Was it the solid rock or your own sullied idols?

[The Lord] drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. ~Psalm 40:2-3

 What idols have replaced God in your life?

Part 2- Remember What Jesus Did When the Church Lets You Down

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  1. I keep needing to hear this. I feel I am doing right by God and my children but our church doesn’t get it. Have felt validated recently by my childs wobbles improving and my friend who has similar issues and I getting our heads together to see if we can make a round hole worship group for the families with little round pegs instead of still trying to squish them into square holes. I feel encouraged by this. Also we are seeing a couple of different mates outside of church and they support us. Perhaps it will trickle down? I don’t know but I know I will not sacrifice my sons sanity for people at church and I know that God would expect me not to. I guess it is all testing and growing for our faith. I love how God takes care of us. This series comes at the perfect time for my family.
    We still pray and include God in our day to day. We still look at scripture and think about what we can do for others but I so miss being able to worship with others but I don’t think it will be forever and if it is, well then, it is.
    My prayer is for God to gift them with understanding or for me to find peace with their difficulties with my decisions.

    1. I like how you said this: “We still look at scripture and think about what we can do for others but I so miss being able to worship with others but I don’t think it will be forever and if it is, well then, it is.”

      We miss it too, and I believe the Lord will provide as we seek Him above all else! Praying you are filled with peace that surpasses all understanding!

  2. Aww, Thank you and you, too. It is hard to lose what feels like family, isn’t it?

    My 5 yro heard the bit about being filled
    with peace while I was talking to my husband. He said ‘as long as they
    aren’t mushy peas, I don’t like them even for God’ and wandered off. Lol.

  3. Well said! I had an eye opening experience related to this when we left our church (it was the first church we had ever been involved in as a family)~ I felt naked, alone, vulnerable, alone like I had no “covering” or protecting from evil – so many different emotions and fears raced through my head. The fact is, I looked at the “building” and the people in it as my protection/covering instead of GOD – sometimes I think I had to travel down that road to really have my eyes opened to who God really is and where He needs to be in my life. He is my everything – my lifeline!

  4. Great perspective Leigh Ann. So often when we are hurt by the church, our focus turns to how the church is made up of sinners. I believe you have directed our focus right to where it should be–back to God–the only one able to help any of us! Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your journey with us.