To the women of the Church,
Please stop beating the bruised bride of Jesus every time she fails you.
Please stop blaming her for your sin and for the wrongs of this world.
Please stop ejecting on her when she disappoints you and is unable to live up to the standard that only Christ can meet.
Please stop holding forums to discuss the flaws of this messy and broken bride of Christ with intention only to dissect, not to help her grow. Please stop gossiping about her issues as if she’s some far away celebrity who will remain unhurt by your rehashing of her failure in such a public and degrading way.
Please stop pointing out how fat or ugly she is. Please stop publicly shaming her.
I know she has hurt you. I know she has failed you. I know she has shamed you and spoken lies over you more times than you can count.
She has hurt and failed us all. She has shamed us all and spoken lies to us all. We don’t have to deny that.
I will be the first to say that this bride of Christ’s is a wreck. Because she is messy and living organism made up of sinners; made up of us.
We are the church.
And we are not perfect. We say the wrong thing. We grow and we change and the words we spoke in the past are words of which we now repent, but that is the nature of sanctification and there is no one exempt from that process.
You will never find a church that is perfectly like Jesus, because the Church is not Jesus. It is His blood brought bride, redeemed and still as much in need of a Savior today as you are.
And the same blood that covers you, covers her.
Know this: your accusations are not the first to be leveled at this broken bride.
There is one who points at her all day and whispers to her of all her sins, all her failures, all the ways she has failed to accurately reflect the heart of Jesus. He recounts them one by one and tells her that they are too horrific to be forgiven.
But that one is Satan. God forgive us for fulfilling Satan’s job description.
And know this as well: she has a husband.
He will come riding to her defense on a white horse, and all of Satan’s accusations and all of our accusations, even if every single charge leveled her way is true, will fall on deaf ears. Because Christ has paid the debt for His bride. He has bought her at a great price, making her desperately valuable and infinitely precious.
The Church cannot stay as she is. She must grow and must change.
She must repent and be transformed to a closer image of her husband, but that will not happen by dragging her out into the streets and publicly shaming her for her whoring ways.
If you stand ready to condemn her, know this – there is one who will intervene and ask you some very pointed questions about that rock you clutch in your hand.
The Church will change when we – who are the Church – raise our hands, take responsibility for her flaws. The Church will grow when, instead of spitting on her as she lies on the dirt, we lovingly lift her off the ground and offer to walk through this life making her into the most beautiful bride she can be.
May God make it so.