Secret Walls Within the Church

Some recent comments that I have received from other believers has really gotten me thinking that there are secret walls within the church.  These walls represent those things we stand divided on, yet many times we aren’t willing to be honest about.

One person in particular mentioned how her daughter was attempting to talk about a delicate topic.  Because she was questioning some things and stating how she felt, the “leaders” were quick to shush her because in their eyes it wasn’t lining up with scripture. 

That was a secret wall that was erected.  The wall represented the topic and the secret was that we can’t talk about that…we can’t acknowledge your feelings because they don’t mesh with what is believed. 

Yes, some things are pretty black and white but if we were to be real honest, many things are not.  I have been recommended movies by Christians who stated they were “clean.”  But then something in the movie would happen or language would be used and I would wonder what their idea of clean is. 

We all have our views on issues like books, music and movies.  What one person might think is fine, another doesn’t.  But then we go so far as to put a “sin” label on them.  We think that watching a particular movie is a sin or listening to music that isn’t Christian is a sin.

A few years ago my oldest son who was in middle school at the time was disturbed by what a Sunday school teacher told him.  He was told that watching “Star Wars” is sinful.  It’s amazing how some of us can box in things like that.

These are all secret walls.  We don’t like to talk much about them.  They ruffle feathers.  They cause division.  They result in judgment.  Yet I have to ask, are these really issues of salvation? 

Could it be that for one person an activity might not be best for them, for whatever reason…but for another, it could be completely fine?  Yet we go around erecting these walls and they tend to divide yet we never really talk about them. 

What secret walls do you see going on in the church?

One Comment

  1. Joe_Sewell said:

    Coming in painfully late on this, but… You ask if something can be OK for one person but not for another? Paul goes on about just such a thing in his first letter to the church at Corinth. The topic there was about eating meat offered to idols. He said that he saw no problem with it, but if he knew someone else, especially one with a weaker faith, he would refrain from doing so to avoid becoming a stumbling block to that person. The most common modern-day equivalent brought up in such a context is alcohol. For someone from a country where a glass of wine with dinner is commonplace, alcohol holds little temptation. A recovering alcoholic, however, would probably fall hard. A friend of mine had another area which surprised me until we talked it over. He couldn’t listen to any music with a rock beat … not even Christian music. He told me that he had been so deep into the “sex & drugs & rock and roll” scene prior to salvation that he couldn’t even deal with contemporary Christian music, as it would pull him back there. Different people have different sensitivities. Some like loud music, while others (like me) suffer physically from loud music. Still others might have a connection like my friend. It’s hard to say what can be a stumbling block for someone, as our enemy knows all too well how to hurt us with everything God has given us as a gift. Yes, even the cross and the empty tomb can cause pain to those who experienced abuse in the church. We all need our boundaries. The problem, as you point out, is when those boundaries are forced onto someone else. Too often *that* becomes the spiritual abuse that drives people away from churches and even God.

    February 13, 2012

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