Is the Church a place for the broken?

Is the Church a place for the broken?

Is it a place where men and women who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses, who were molested as children, who struggle with same-sex attraction, can come and feel welcomed and accepted?

The easy answer to this question is a resounding yes!

Of course the church is a place for the broken! Aren’t we all just that, broken. Of course the church is a place for those who have been marginalized by society, the misfits, the outsiders, the ragamuffins. Is that not what we’ve been called to do, to be a place where broken and tattered souls can find their way?

But what if it’s not as easy as that? What if the answer isn’t just a simple yes? What if by opening our doors and arms wide, by using catch phrases like “come as you are” we can do more harm than good?

And you may ask “Cary, how could that possibly be true?” “Didn’t Jesus welcome the broken and the outcast?” “Didn’t Jesus love the unloved?” “How could you say something like that?”

What if by creating an environment that focuses solely on making “un-churched” people feel more comfortable and relaxed, we also risk creating a church atmosphere that leads nobody to conviction and repentance. What good does it do to have a bunch of sinners sitting in the pews if they don’t know that they’re sinning? We can be so overly concerned about providing an experience that everyone can appreciate, and that no one would be offended by, that we’re left with a sub-par entertainment piece that changes no one for the better. If that is all church is supposed to be then I would rather stay home and watch Netflix.

But we all know that that isn’t what church is supposed to be about.

Is the Church a place for the broken?

Yes, of course the Church is a place for the broken.

A place for the broken who wish to be healed.

Where the lame come because they long to walk again. Where the blind come because they want to see. Where the sick come because they’re sick and tired of being sick. Jesus said “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.” And in that repentance comes healing. In admitting our brokenness God initiates the healing process. A long, lengthy and painful one, but a good one.

Have we lost sight of the fact that many of those Jesus healed came to Him? That many followed Him to the Mount to hear His sermon? That many shouted out His name as He passed, begging for His attention, for even a chance at being changed. That many of them were lowered through the ceilings of buildings by friends? That many simply wished to reach out their hand and touch the hem of His garment? Have we missed the words Christ said over and over again “Your faith has healed you.”

Repeatedly in God’s Word we find that awareness of our brokenness and a desire to be healed is paramount in the miracle of us actually being changed into the likeness of Christ. Repentance is key to true life change. A repentance that comes from the grace our Father has given us in the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.

So is the Church a place for the broken? Without a doubt it is, but let us be careful in the way we welcome those who are living in unrepentant sin. The doors to our churches must always be open to those who are broken, but they must not be so open that sinners gather and never change.

May we preach a gospel that helps people see their reflection as shattered and broken. But may we also preach a gospel that never forgets to mention that the only person who can put the pieces back together is Jesus Christ. May we always work to cultivate an environment in our places of worship that brings more awareness to our sinful condition, while at the same time displaying the awesome transformation that comes from a God given desire to be healed. Repentance and forgiveness go a long way in healing our broken souls. And God has promised that we will be healed if we desire it.

Is the Church a place for the broken?

Yes, a place for the broken who wish to be healed.

Do you know that you are broken?

Do you wish to be healed?

Believe in the one who can heal you.

Then go, your faith has healed you.

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