Church leaders refuse to listen. What is going on here? Is this the church of the Bible? Is this the Body of Christ? Does Jesus hear my prayers? So why can’t my church hear from me?
I am both Catholic AND Protestant. And right now, this very moment, my church is behaving very badly and turning a deaf ear to those it victimizes.
The Catholic Church is in the news, making headlines around the world with sex abuse scandals. The Vatican is hosting a meeting of bishops from around the world today, but the hottest issue the church faces is not on the agenda, and the sex abuse victims claim that talking to the church is “like talking to a wall”.
That’s my church! I am a certified member of that “Body of Christ”!
Meanwhile, I also am a member of the Churches of Christ. And in Lubbock, Texas, the Churches of Christ take a lead role in serving and helping the homeless. I joined these efforts years ago. During my time serving, about a decade now, this ministry has grown to more than a million dollar budget, a network of ministries and support staffing, and partnerships between churches, businesses, governing agencies, and private funding organizations. And also during that time, I have been kicked out of this network when protesting the practice of throwing the poor out of our church-house doors to freeze to death in the winter cold.
Yes. Kicked out.
At first we were taking the poor in – on a very limited basis. I was one who volunteered to help. But suddenly, and arbitrarily, “leadership” stopped this practice. The ministry I was offering was blocked by powerful people in powerful positions of “leadership”. My ministry was walled off by the church.
I called to verify. I made appointments to talk to leaders who blew me off.
Then I traded emails and text messages that did not yield even an inch. (I literally was told, “It’s a leadership decision, and you just have to accept it”.)
I became a founding member of a group of homeless prophets, and suddenly I was summoned to a series of meetings. These meetings were civil, but fruitless. Again, there was no reasonable explanation and no compromise. “Leadership” did not yield one inch. I was still walled off from the ministry I formerly shared with my church.
I held a communion service with the other prophets under the security camera at the church and ceremonially knocked on the locked door quoting Revelation 3:20.
Soon after that, I was banned.
In subsequent years I have joined church classes (other congregations) and confronted this practice with other leaders in the network.
And I am shunned.
Meanwhile, in the last three years, two homeless people on the streets of Lubbock have frozen to death.
And leadership tells me I can “scream at the top of my voice, but [I] will not be heard”. My “voice has no volume”. Talking to me is a “waste of time”.
Talking to my church is “like talking to a wall”. That is what I hear on the CBS Morning news. See the link for more:
I am a member of two churches. One rapes children and the other throws the poor out to the cold of night to freeze to death. And talking to the church is “like talking to a wall”.
This is truly a sad day.
If I belonged to some secret organization, a clique from school, or a gang, this would at least make sense, and I would leave such a group outright. In fact, such groups should be disbanded.
But I am talking about church here! And there is a terrible phenom at work here that victimizes the powerless and stonewalls the voices of confrontation.
Addressing these things is “like talking to a wall”.
Truly a sad day.