• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.

Healing from Church Hurt

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Gentle Lamb, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Gentle Lamb

    Gentle Lamb "Let there be sheep!"

    +597
    Christian
    Single
    What's the best way to deal with church hurt? How to heal broken relationships and move on from hurts? Church hurt seems to go deeper than any other hurt... The broken relationships/broken fellowship are sad. Would like those to be dealt with...
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Old Lady

    Old Lady ...yet not I, but the grace of God that is with me Angels Team Supporter

    +10,933
    United States
    Protestant
    Widowed
    Sometimes we are extremely sensitive when we run into negative people. There are non-Christians attending church and new Christians who haven't learned how a Christian should guard his/her words.

    James 3
    1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

    Ephesians 4
    31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    I've hurt others and others have hurt me. I learned over the years to pray for those who were unkind to me. Forgiving others and asking God to help them has helped me and made me aware of my own imperfections.

    God will strengthen you so that you can be a blessing to others. :heart:
     
  3. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

    +6,169
    Australia
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    Hurts than linger are invariably a result of unforgiveness. Sometimes it is impossible for us to forgive, yet we cannot be at peace until we do. This link is to an article that is the best teaching ever on the subject. It is the real answer to a real problem. Can you forgive from your heart? - Christian Life Frankston
     
  4. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

    +8,239
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    There's a lot of baloney and history I could give you here. But the tl;dr of it is that I struggled with this same thing years ago.

    Basically, I was appointed to a kind of leadership position and, not long after, was a political struggle ensued. This took place at my former Southern Baptist community. Obviously, this was before I converted to Catholicism. It was a long time ago.

    I won several battles but ultimately I lost the war. Worse, the chicken you-know-what "pastor" didn't even give me a chance to tell my story. It was all so painful and unnecessary.

    There were other indignities but I'll spare you. It's enough to say that I ghosted everybody from that community. New phone number, blocked on social media, the whole program. I've even moved a few times. They have no chance of ever finding me again (especially the ringleaders who created all this chaos) and that's how I want it. I bear them no ill will but I don't owe them my time anymore (if I ever did).

    After a while, I started reflecting upon my situation. I had never really fit in with the evangelical world. I'll spare you the details but it was never a good match. I only stuck around for as long as I did, at first, because of inertia and, second, because they needed me. But suddenly, I was a free agent. I could go anywhere, do anything.

    So I ended up not only leaving the evangelical world but leaving Protestantism entirely. I'm not saying that my path is your path. I'm only saying that drastic change was necessary, overdue and (at the end of the day) right.

    They say that living well is the best revenge. Idk about that. But I can say that I later discovered that the committee of which I had been the leader was unable to find a long term replacement for me. They were rudderless for quite a while. Finally, the committee was disbanded altogether. Someone in a position to know has told me that other would-be leaders saw (or heard about) what happened to me and that scared them off. Who wants to put up with what I went through? And so, the political struggle achieved nothing, any "victories" were hollow and short-lived, lots of people were hurt and the final result was destruction of the committee. There were no winners there. Only losers.

    But I'm quite happy and content having made such a big change. I'm Catholic and can't imagine ever being anything else.

    Maybe it's time for you to make a drastic change? Maybe you need to shake the dust off that place and find somewhere near? Restoration is not always possible. Hurt feelings, long term grudges and lingering regret are likely in these kinds of situations. Forgive? Sure! But restore? That might not be realistic.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a people-person. Happy to have them, don't need them. It usually means absolutely nothing to me to completely and eternally sever a friendship. I don't get "lonely" and I don't need other people. Thus, it is possible that the steps I took are impossible for some people. My lack of concern for friendships (even long ones) is a big reason why this whole experience was as painful as it was. But I was able to completely cut those people off because, bluntly, I don't need them and don't especially want them. You might not be able to cut people out of your life as easily and that's no reflection on you. But I do think eliminating any association with your old community will do a lot to ease your pain.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +1,552
    Catholic
    Single
    Forgiveness helps a lot
     
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +30,577
    Anglican
    Married
    Gentle Lamb, it may depend on how widespread it is.

    If you're speaking of former friends, an direct effort at mending fences may be worth the effort.

    If, however, the congregation has become one of backbiting, contentious, unkind people--as does happen and as people here have asked us about--changing congregations is worth considering and nothing to be apologetic about.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  7. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +7,888
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    Depends on how wide that wound is, and how long it takes depends on how deep that wound is.

    If it's specific enough to a personal area of life (i.e. one or a few Christians hurt me when I confided ____ with them), you can work around it by steering clear of sharing that area in a new fellowship. And you should never allow yourself to feel pressured to let people in there before they have earned your trust. It can take years for that trust to be built up, and that's OK. This is what I have had to deal with.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  8. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,811
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    There is no' best way ' of dealing with church hurt.

    I assume this is a church split by a divisive argument.
    Whether it is or is something else someone in authority should assess the situation and take steps to heal it.
    If the falling out involves church leaders then someone from outside needs to come in and start the process.

    No one is ever wholly innocent, there is always wrong on both sides and there has to be repentance for hurtful words, acts etc by all parties.

    If this is not possible, if feelings are too hurt for reconciliation than leaving that church is the only solution.

    Don't wind yourself up trying to generate feelings of forgiveness, be honest with your self and with God.
    Hand the whole sorry mess over to him,the whole story of what happened, what was said, your feelings, retreats etc etc let God deal with it.
    Then comes the hard part. Pray intelligently for there benefit pray regularly, seek in prayer the best for them, pour out your love for them.

    God will honour your compassion.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  9. Psalm 27

    Psalm 27 Well-Known Member

    593
    +276
    United Kingdom
    Christian Seeker
    Private
    Easy to do right?
     
  10. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +1,552
    Catholic
    Single
    Why not? when I think about my sins and how I've been forgiven it helps me forgive others. I suggest you do same
     
  11. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

    +14,350
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    GL,

    Lingering pain is usually the result of unmet expectations. We thought the person would behave differently and they've disappointed us or violated our trust in some way. Forgiveness is the answer as is much needed introspection. Difficult experiences provide lessons for growth and betterment. We shouldn't repeat them again and again if we've taken the time to learn the first go round.

    I don't know what you mean by "church hurt" but I've witnessed a lot of things in religious settings often influenced by immense trust given in circumstances they'd never place outside of that environment. I've seen immediacy in connections and sharing personal experiences which blew up in the person's face later on because they didn't check their character.

    In short, I've seen Christians forgetting they're dealing with strangers and relating with one another like they've got decades of connection and being surprised when their lack of discernment has negative consequences. It takes a long time to know someone. Truly know them. That requires time outside of familiar settings to see their character and moral compass.

    There's a difference between friends (people who've proven their love and loyalty) and familiar strangers. Grasping the difference will save a lot of hurt for most in the long run.

    Yours in His Service,

    ~Bella
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  12. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me Supporter

    +1,908
    Christian
    Married
    It really depends on how you have been hurt, as to the direction to take. But generally, forgiveness is the key, keep on trying to forgive those that hurt you. So you can see them face to face without feeling angry, or distant.
     
  13. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

    +2,256
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Married
    UK-Independence-Party
    Yes forgiveness is easy to do once you realise what the word means.

    Unfortunately in the English language, we all associate the word forgiveness with having to first feel good about it.
    That's why so many people say they cannot forgive, because it hurts too much, the pain is still too raw, etc.

    So in the west, forgiveness is invariably linked to feelings, but that's not what the scriptures mean when it uses that word.

    Aphiemi is the original Greek word usually translated as "forgive".

    Here's what Strong's Concordance tells us-
    aphiémi: to send away, leave alone, permit
    Original Word: ἀφίημι
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: aphiémi
    Phonetic Spelling: (af-ee'-ay-mee)
    Definition: to send away, leave alone, permit
    Usage: (a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, (c) I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.

    As can be seen, there is no associated baggage of emotion anywhere in the definition.
    In English bibles, forgive and forgiveness are really crappy translations because of how we see those words being used daily.

    In my view, it would be far better to translate the Greek word Aphiemi with such as Forego, Let go, Release, Send away, Give up etc.


    When Jesus says he cannot forgive our sins till we forgive others, it makes no sense given the compassionate nature of Jesus, nor does it balance with the concept of grace not works. Its almost like Jesus is being petulant in refusing to forgive us until we jump through some hoop or other. I've seen it many times where people are desperately trying to list all their misdemeanours in order to placate Christ's wrath!

    But once you realise that forgiveness is a judicial decision, not an emotional one, then what Jesus says falls into place.

    If we have been badly hurt by anyone, our suffering tells us that that person owes us something. That might be an apology, reimbursement of damages, etc. or even a lost childhood. (How can that be repaid by the perpetrator)
    All the time we look on that person to recompense us, it's like we have a chain around them holding them spiritually captive until they pay in full.

    However, we fail to notice that the chain we throw around them, also shackles us to them.


    So when Jesus says he can not forgive us till we forgive them, it can be better understood as, "I cannot set you free, till you release your hold on that rope"

    For those who are still suffering within themselves from abuse in the past, forgiving your abuser is a judicial decision that will set you free, and enable the Lord to pour out his healing balm into your hearts. It has nothing to do with your emotions and pains.

    Don't waste a day more waiting for the pain to stop so you can forgive. Issue that declaration of forgiveness before the Lord in order for that pain to stop.

    This doesn't have to be done in front of the person who caused the pain, this is done before the Lord.

    "Lord, I bring Tom Dick Harry, my boss, my pastor, the government, before you. I am angry/upset/hurting deeply inside/ but I choose before you to let them go (ie. forgive). I no longer seek recompense from them to heal me. I open my heart so that you can deal with me as your own son/daughter.!

    Every time the thoughts or pain comes back, then let go again, and again, and again etc.

    And finally, in the words of a well known teacher, unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
     
  14. Junia

    Junia Well-Known Member

    +1,360
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Private
     
  15. Junia

    Junia Well-Known Member

    +1,360
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Private
    focus


    This is probably the most helpful encouraging thing I have read on this subject thanks so much
     
  16. Psalm 27

    Psalm 27 Well-Known Member

    593
    +276
    United Kingdom
    Christian Seeker
    Private
    :) “Take every thought captive to obey Christ” thankyou
     
  17. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

    +2,256
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Married
    UK-Independence-Party
    Absolutely.
    Taking every thought captive, as opposed to letting every thought take you captive.
     
  18. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

    +731
    Christian
    Single
    Just some books that might help:

    Healing Spiritual Abuse: How to Break Free from Bad Church Experience
    by Ken M. Blue

    Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, The
    by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen

    When God's People Let You Down: How to Rise Above Hurts That Often Occur Within the Church Paperback – May 1, 1995
    by Jeffrey Vanvonderen (Author)

    Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve
    by Lewis B. Smedes

    I recommend these books because God used all of them in my process of healing. You can always go to Amazon and look up books on Spiritual Abuse and Forgiveness. The process can be painful but if you allow Him, God will bring you through to the other side healed, renewed, restored, and strengthened in your Faith.
     
  19. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

    +2,256
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Married
    UK-Independence-Party
    A couple of days after I was (very wrongly) publicly denounced and thrown out of my church, a good friend gave me this book-

    Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, The
    by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen

    It was the start of my healing journey.
     
  20. Gentle Lamb

    Gentle Lamb "Let there be sheep!"

    +597
    Christian
    Single
    @quietpraiyze I really want to thank you for making the recommendations of these books. I have ordered all of them and have completed reading the 2nd one listed. It's helping me already. God bless you, thank you for your concern.
     
Loading...