Betty hates church

I have this friend that I’ve been close to for more than 10 years. She is one of the most genuine and loving people that I know. Years ago she went to college in hopes to change the world and show the love of Jesus to others. Fast forward to now and she struggles to believe that God is real.

Angry woman

If we are the church and it’s our goal to share the gospel to people who are lost, perhaps we should start by reaching out to the people who have been most hurt by the church. At one time they knew the truth and instead of the truth setting them free the church created bondage, passed judgement, created rules that shouldn’t exist according to biblical standards, and by doing those things they questioned God and walked away. At church we’re often told to bring an unsaved person to service but yet we can’t have any unsaved friends because bad company corrupts good character. Now the person who has been shunned by people at the church no longer feel wanted or loved because their church friends can’t be friends with them because of their sin. I’ve been asking friends who’ve walked away from the church why it is they they’ve left. Their answers are honest and raw. I am hurt to the core that I’ve been part of a system that is failing these friends and former believers. Sure the church says they love at all times but these friends that left the church have not felt the love. I asked my friend Betty why she left and here is her edited reply.

I prayed for years not to struggle with over eating and I decided that either God wasn’t real or that he didn’t really hate gluttons. I have extensively read the bible so I had to choose the first one. If he was really a loving father he would have helped me out and delivered me from this sin that he and I both hate. The church sucked at helping. Jesus was a friend of sinners. Never once did he cast someone out or disown them or even make himself better than the rest of them….instead he washed their feet. I guess I don’t believe in church and what it stands for but I do believe in God.

When she was in height of her questioning and struggle she visited a church where a skinny pastor was preaching….

He referred to me as “one who looks lazy and unkept” because I was overweight. His stereotyped statement while preaching was the final nail in the coffin. I used to be¬†someone who wanted to change the world for Jesus, and now I just want to show love. I’m still going to change the world but with a different message.

I confessed to Betty that I was coming up short in how to adequately express that gratitude that I have for her and her willingness to always be honest. She said that one of the only reasons that she still believes even a little is because of me and another friend who has stood by her even when her church “family” failed to remain her friend. I sat on my back porch with tears in my eyes getting the best sermon that I’ve heard in a long time from someone who left the church because of the condemnation from the pulpit. I asked her how I can be the one to make a difference and her reply forever changed me.

Be a friend, no matter what. Don’t force God and give all the verses that oppose people’s lives. Let each person hear from God on their own. Wash their feet, be you, and they will see him through that.¬†


3 thoughts on “Betty hates church

  1. Oh just some guy

    Betty should get the heck over herself. I don’t run like a crybaby everytime my preacher steps on my toes – i use it as a chance to improve myself.

    If he’s not preaching from the Word – that’s his problem and you should leave.

    To characterize EVERY church in the world as being judgmental and mean and cruel to your fat little body is ridiculous. Go find a church where people welcome you as you are – the way you are.

    But to think that a Pastor should never address sin – and should always just be loving and gracious – that is the worst of our modern church movement. The Pastor should preach against sin – and sloth, gluttony etc…..are SINS! Yeah, it may hurt to hear it (I am a fat guy too… don’t try to turn it on me) but it is for your betterment.

    To say you believe in God but not the church is asinine. The church was started by Jesus Christ – who is God the Son – and you can’t believe in him and not His church at the same time.

    1. Carrie

      Hey Someguy,

      It appears that you didn’t read the blog all the way through. Or perhaps you skimmed over key phrases just to inspire your dribble. Either way, it’s clear that you missed the point. Not only did you miss the point, you also probably aren’t that perceptive. It’s also clear that you either don’t have a formal name and real email – or you are afraid to identify yourself. That’s probably because you are a coward, but if it’s not that, it’s because you don’t want the readers and writers of this blog that might happen to know you to be aware that the real you would say such ridiculous things.

      I did a search using the nifty “command+F” on my MacBook and typed in “every” and I was able to confirm I did NOT say “every church…” at any point in my blog. While we find commonalities across the American church, it is obviously a spectrum ranging from one extreme to the other.

      Another thing I want to point out to you, Sherlock, is that Betty is not really named Betty. The name “Betty” is a placeholder for “any person”. And “glutton” is a placeholder for “any unacceptable behavior”.

      Someguy, maybe you’ve been busy, but when you get done riding your high horse, why don’t you read Matthew 23. It was words from Jesus as a matter of fact. He pointed out to the Pharisees (The Church you said he started) about how they “tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders” and they “shut the door of heaven in people’s faces”. This, Someguy is what I am talking about. My friend “Betty” had the door shut in her face. I know many Betty’s.

      This kind of thing is all too common. When people focus on behavior management, while not examining their own heart condition, and recognizing the lack of love they have towards others “less moral” than them – it just shoves people away. And you and your self righteous “get over it” statement is most certainly doing the same thing.

      Thanks for your comment

      1. Oh just some guy - Bob Nolan

        Dear Carrie,

        There. Now you know my real name. No cowardice here.

        The problem with your asserting that you never said ‘every’ church – is ridiculous. Sure, you didn’t use the words, but the entire point of your article is how mean churches are to people. Surely you didn’t single out one church – but were to cowardly to write the name of said church, did you?

        No, you were writing a commentary about churches – not just one – and trying to tell the world that we should stop the way we preach, teach and confront sin.

        That is an affront to the gospel. Pick any sin – no matter how it is approached from the pulpit, the “Bettys” of the world will ALWAYS be offended.

        Did Jesus confront the sins of the Pharisees? YES! Did he pussyfoot around it by just preaching that God is love? NO!

        The “Bettys” of this world will never be happy with ANY church unless a milquetoast version of God’s word is preached there. Ever.

        I highly doubt that “Betty” had the door shut in her face – but rather that she closed the door on her way out. That’s what the Betty’s of the world do – or should I say “Betty” – they get so upset by real gospel preaching because of its convicting power that they walk out the door and shut it behind them. The “Bettys” shut the door – and only a true work of the Spirit can re-open the closed door.

        Furthermore – I am the dirties of sinners in this world. I am nothing more than a sinner saved by GRACE – and nothing else. The very fact that you think you can judge my comments as either my character or my conduct are laughable. I feel for “Betty” – but “Betty” has to leave her personal distastes behind, get right with GOD and get over HERSELF before the Holy Spirit can EVER make a move in her life.

        I stand behind my comments as originally posted – and to help assuage you into truly believing and reading my comments as more than just paint blasted on the wall, I have even revealed my name to you.

        The issue here is that “Betty” chose to be offended. The statement that she was “lazy and unkempt” is in quotation marks – but then referred to later in the sentence as “a sterotyped statement while he was preaching” – so what I gather from that is the Pastor chose his words poorly – and then SHE CHOSE TO GET OFFENDED!

        That’s why – and I conclude the same way as before – SHE NEEDS TO GET OVER HERSELF!

        When you get offended at work – you quit? You give up your paycheck? You besmirch the company name? NO! You might confront the person or report them to HR – but you don’t go to the lengths that “Betty” is here in your example.

        Best wishes,

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