THE CHURCH TODAY has lost its credibility in the community. Incidents of child abuse by members of the clergy have tarnished congregations of all denominations. Reports of domestic violence within supposedly “Christian” marriages are increasing. And the teaching of many churches simply bolsters their particular theological brand rather than focussing on the Gospel message of God’s love, grace and mercy, and how we should live for him.
For many decades I had struggled to find a spiritual home where I could feel loved and accepted. However, trying to find a church to belong to was a painful, futile experience that eventually came to an abrupt end when vivid memories erupted of my being sexually abused by the State leader of my particular denomination. That betrayal affected every part of my life – body, soul and spirit. It took all my determination to process the many issues that surfaced, in particular aspects of my spirituality and my sexuality.
Although I had many questions about what had been done to me, and why, I could not turn my back on God. I knew he would once again see me through this difficult time, just as he had with the many other challenges I had been through over the decades.
However it was obvious that there was no way I could belong to a church that had caused such offence. The church had robbed me of my right to experience the reality of a loving, living God and had replaced that reality with their restrictive, legalistic teachings that I had soaked up for years.
As I worked through the many issues stemming from that spiritual abuse, I began to understand something of what it means to live an authentic Christian life, one that is genuine and which attracts others to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is aspects of this journey that I want to capture in my blog Authentic Christian Living.
Many people have been wounded in churches. Many have either lost their faith or are struggling to hold onto it. It is for them, in particular, that I address this blog Authentic Christian Living. I pray that it will be a source of comfort and healing for all who read it.