Do you feel the church has used you up and thrown you away?
That it was a bait and switch experience? You got in, and then they threw the rule book at you?
You were promised a life of happiness, victory over temptations, and a new power and control.
Instead you were more miserable, your vices got worse, you failed more often, and you felt stuck and helpless.
And if you dared to speak of these things, instead of receiving support you were told it was your fault. You weren’t doing enough of the things (rules) sincere Christians were supposed to do.
Like more bible study, deeper prayer, being more committed to church and community group.
So you put your whole heart and soul into being more disciplined in the disciplines.
Only to crash and burn even more.
You eventually concluded that this Christian thing didn’t deliver. And you felt betrayed and angry.
You know what? You’re right to be angry!
You have a right to expect to hear the gospel preached every Sunday.
You have a right to be reminded that your sins are forgiven, that you are accepted in Christ, that you are a new creation in Jesus, that it’s not about your performance, but Christ’s that has merited heaven and God’s affection for you.
So go ahead and be angry at the church because it prefers to dole out rules for living instead of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray and ask God to change your pastor or find another church.
What you need to see though, is that your anger is directed at the church, not at Jesus. He’s your life and freedom and joy. He has kept his promises.
You are justified. All your sins are forgiven.
You are sanctified. You are wrapped in the righteousness of Christ.
You are loved. God chose you in love from before the foundation of the world.
You do belong to God. He loves you as much as he loves Jesus.
He’s not the one who has betrayed you!
Go ahead. Smile!