Outcast

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? …
James 2:1-13

Sometimes I wonder how you can feel you are right where God wants you to be and yet feel so out of place. Feeling like an outcast is never easy. I would guess that most, if not all of us, have felt like an outcast at one point in our life.

One thing I have recently realized is the feeling of being left out among the body of Christ. If there is one place we should feel loved an accepted it should be among our fellow believers. But a lot of people don’t feel accepted or even good enough. They struggle with their love for God and the desire to be in fellowship with other believers, but find that acceptance may even be more difficult to find within the church than it is outside of the church.

I will admit that I could not see this point of view for so long, but I’m glad that God has opened my heart and eyes to this problem. As a church we open our hearts to the non believer and the successful Christian, but shut our doors on the ones that are kind of stuck in the middle. The ones who love the Lord with all their heart but they don’t have the life you have, or they don’t dress the way you do. It seems that our churches these days are either geared toward the non believer or helping leaders become better leaders, and in the mix we lose sight of so many people who are yearning to serve the Lord with the gifts the Lord has given them.

Today I understand the pain of what it feels to be a Christian who feels like a total outcast among their brothers and sisters in Christ. I understand the desire to run away from the problem because it is too painful, and quite frankly it makes you angry. But I don’t believe in running away from the problem. As fellow brothers and sisters in Christ I believe we are called to hold each other accountable according to His word. Running away will never provide us, or whom ever we are running from, the opportunity to grow in their faith.

I think as a body of Christ we need to realize the importance of every single member. Reaching out to non believers is good, but lets not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ. Every single one of us is blessed with a gift, it’s wrong to shut the door on a believer that is seeking to serve the Lord and His kingdom.

I think the feeling of being an outcast is a huge problem within the church today, and I refuse to bash anyone or even judge them because we are all sinners! However I feel the problem needs to be addressed. There are so many people who LOVE the LORD, and who attend a church, and feel that the LOVE they feel and the heart they have for the Lord is not good enough. So they leave the church. It’s a problem that needs to stop being swept under a rug and stop being over looked.

I just hope and pray that we can learn to soften our hearts and release the pride that is keeping certain believers blocked out from serving the Lord and their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ…

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Comments

  1. This is so true and sad. I’ve seen people in my own church circles leave because they weren’t able to get connected. We are all family in Christ, seems like we should all be able to love one another. Great post!

  2. S.B.

    I am going through a hard time right now. Feeling ugly and unattractive and like I do not fit in.
    I am not a brand new christian. I’m middle aged and a mother and grandmother. Seems like this would not be an issue anymore for a person my age. But this is where I am right now. Thing is I love God with all my heart, but because of being abused in my church verbally by my pastor I am fighting to make my way back to where I should be spiritually. One thing that has not helped is when I hear other preachers speak they never admit that it is possible for a pastor to do that to someone in his church. Or that even if he does, it can’t possibly be his fault, it must be the fault of the layperson in the pews.There is this underlying thing that makes it sound like a pastor cannot do any wrong and if he does, even if he is unrepentent and will not confess his wrongdoing, that everyone should just turn away and pretend it did not happen. The thing is some things were said by him publicly to me on more than one occassion, and after years of this happening I could not take it anymore and had to leave. I am trying to adjust to a new church but feel out of place there too. I am determined to stay until and unless God tells me to leave. This was not an easy decision to make. I prayed about it and got confirmation from another believer that I should leave the abusive church. I have chosen to forgive this pastor but having to attend a funeral there recently that he presided over showed me that he has not changed at all and probably never will. But now I have nagging doubts about whether I should return or not. Please pray for me. I will go back if I know for sure it’s God to do so, if not I need the confidence to knowl I made the right decision. P.S. A word to any pastors or preachers out there: The bible says that not many should be teachers, for they will be judged more strictly than others. As teachers of the word of God, your words have the power to heal or to kill a persons spirit.
    Believing accusations against believers in the pew without actually confirming the report with the person in question, and giving them a chance to defend themselves, then accusing them before hundreds of people in a congregation, is not only a grevious sin, it is totally unscriptural. Just because you have the power to do it, does not mean it is right or that God approves. Remember, he said to never lord your “power” over the sheep. You will be accountable!!!

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