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The Disappointing Church An Honest Look At The American Church

Dec 8, 2007
How can an organization that claims to be the ambassador of the creator of the heavens and earth become so ineffective at a global level? How can an organization that claims to be the ambassador of the one who created life lose so much influence over time? How can an institution that claims to be the ambassador of the one who is intimately involved in His creation be so divided? How can an organization that claims to be the ambassador of the one and only true God create such a disappointing church?

It would seem that the only people who haven't figured out that they have lost influence in the world would be those that claim to be such ambassadors. At a surface level it would seem that the church has chosen to close itself off. It would seem that the church has created its very own bubble of self denial and smugness.

I have lived and worked in the church for the past 14 years and I have to say that my eyes have been opened to a world that I never knew existed. I have experienced and seen things in the local church that would make your stomach turn. I have heard and witnessed things in the "bride of Christ" that would cause any rabid fan to run away. I have seen people hurt, lives destroyed, people crushed, and arrogance abound. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of the local church and let me say, there are reasons why the church has become disappointing to so many.

I have seen to many people turned away from the church to remain silent. I have heard too many sermons of sincere pastor's talk about changing the world with no real impact. I have read too many reports of how the church has lost influence in our world and seen to many variations of worship and practice of religion that the church ignores. It would seem that the entire world has moved on leaving the church behind, and what is sad, is that everyone knows it except for the local church. We have lost our right to be a viable option to those who are hurting and broken. We are a joke to the younger generation, and we have taken ownership of something that belongs to God.

I am not an atheist or one who thinks the church is dead or forever washed up. I am someone who has lived in the church world for the past 14 years and finally came to the conclusion that we are unable to accomplish what we claim. We are unable to translate what we believe into a reality.

I can not imagine too many pastors picking this up and reading it. For one reason, pastors could never be that honest with themselves. We are called to motivate and inspire people to action. We have to believe what we preach or we would all be doing something else.

To be honest, if we were for one instant to verbalized what I am going to share in this book we would loose our jobs and be completely ousted from our congregation. We have worked way to hard to risk reputation and pension for the sake of being brutally honest. And for some they would say I am completely wrong and lost my mind. Then enter into prayer, praying that God would change my mind and bring me back to a place of sanity.

Just the thought of writing this makes me feel like a traitor. I feel like I am turning my back on the one thing I have loved for so long. I have lived in a false reality for so long that it is like walls crashing down around me with the realization that the Church is not what it claims and promotes itself to be.

I am not saying that pastors are feeding us with lies and false hood. I'm not saying that pastors know what they are saying is false. I am not saying that the church doesn't change people's lives and doesn't do an incredible amount of good. What I am saying is that the church has fallen short of accomplishing the mission God has called it to.

Wake up church and take responsibility for the condition we find ourselves in.
About the Author
Phillip Longmire is a pastor taking an honest look at the local church. Come and share your thoughts at his blog. The Disappointing Church
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