Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Why are the sick treated like they are sinning?

My mother and I had a very hurtful thing happen. The church that my parents helped to establish, and helped to keep going, with multiple jobs for over 50 years, soon became the church to avoid us when we couldn't get to church anymore. Probably because they don't know what to say to us or what to do for us, and I know that every household has their own set of crisises right now, so there is less time and energy to reach out to others. We have accepted this isolation from them, though we continue to get closer to God even without being able to go to church. A large percentage of people living here are people that I have known all my life, so it's not that we are strangers here.
What hurt is this: The new phone directory of the church was printed, and WE ARE NOT EVEN LISTED AS CHURCH MEMBERS!!! It's as if we have been excommunicated or something. I know we haven't, but it feels like it. I know this does not mean we are not members of the LORD'S church or family, and that He knows us more intimately than the church does, but it just hurt us to be deleted from the church we so actively served all our lives.

Christians are supposed to look out for the sick and the widowed, and just care for each other in general! It seems as if being chronically ill is a "sin" in the eyes of most average Christians. The Dalai Lama said about Christians "I like very much their Christ, but His people are so unlike Him!" That's sad if that's how the world sees us. I heard another quote that said "Christians are the only group that punish their sick before offering help." I have seen instances of this. Telling a sick person that they just don't have enough faith, they don't pray enough, they must be sinning, they must have a demon, they are just not thinking positively enough, etc. etc. and then when the sick person has explained things to each person a hundred times, THEN they MIGHT offer a minimal amount of help. I think the Lord is very sad with how "HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE" in general, are acting. Of course not every Christian fits this description, but it is rare to find very compassionate, unselfish, giving people these days.

Every support group I belong to, I hear the painful story of isolation and insults and misunderstanding from family members and friends and church members. I understand that no one can understand what another's pain feels like, but it is evil to tell people they have no pain; that they are faking or lazy; that it's not possible for them to be sick, or THAT THEY CAUSED IT THEMSELVES! That is a NEW AGE belief that is creeping into many churches. It's natural that people want to find a reason, someone or something to blame, but about blame for illness, Jesus himself taught:
John 9:1-3 " 1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that
he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works
of God should be made manifest in him.

The truth is...average people stop caring if you are not well after 2-3 weeks. When you have a surgery or a baby, or a death in the family, the questions of "How are you doing?" come at first, then a couple of dishes of food, and after that, they don't want to deal with you anymore. You should be cured of ANYTHING within 2 weeks. (In North America this seems to be the habit or culture, anyway. Maybe other countries are different.)
I know they are not all hard-hearted people. These are the last days. Everyone has multiple crisis in their home, and limited time and strength, so they are just trying to keep their head above water and keep surviving and have little time or strength to give to others. Its just a frustrating situation. There is also a scripture that says in the last days, love for each other will change, grow cold, become unnatural. Matthew 24:12 & Romans 1:31 & 2 Timothy 3:1-4.
I no longer believe "what goes around comes around". I see some big hearted people give and give and give all their lives, and when they finally need help, it doesn't come. Life is not fair. "What goes around comes around" would mean there is fairness in the world. Our family gave thousands of hours to serve others during the past 50 years, and yet we can not find anyone to even help mop up when we were flooded, or help to move boxes, etc. or spend an hour or so with me occasionally to help prepare my house for my husband's homecoming, or get someone to go to the emergency room with us.
Our church has a program where 2 people are sort of "assigned" to check on you once a month and report any problems to the leadership. They say "Is there anything you need?" We always say no, because each time we have said "yes", those people stopped calling or coming over. The last one was when I was in the hospital and I just needed the lady to pick up my hospital suitcase from my mom and bring it to the hospital. It was just before Christmas, so I thought they would be a bit more in the charity mood, but I never heard from her again.
I bet the Christians outside of North America help each other like family, don't they? They check on each other to see if they are alive, don't they? Maybe the churches in advanced countries are different than in third world countries. They seem almost spiritually dead here. Very little service, few people who feel and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, and those who DO feel the Holy Spirit, use it only for their own benefit, not to help others or to create the miracles that the Lord told us to do. "For you shall do greater works than you have seen me do here." John 14:12
Right now I am preparing another post about a church I am friends with, across the world, in India. THEY do the TRUE work of the Lord, with the orphans, widows, lepers, sick, poor, etc. In the "advanced" countries, you probably would almost never see the old traditional sects open their doors to people who are so poor that their children are naked, or can't afford shoes, or to homeless people with dirty clothes, or drunks or addicts or those with leprosy or AIDS. That might "defile" their nice clean church building. Churches that don't serve, are "hearers of the word, not doers", James 1:22 and the Lord says that "faith without works is dead." James 2:26
People seem to have forgotten the joy of helping others. They don't understand that helping others has a built in reward! You feel GREAT when you can help others! The majority of member of churches like these are the people who think they are going to heaven, yet the Lord will say "I am sorry, I never knew thee." Matthew 7:23

Belonging to a church is not just for our own benefit. It is to serve others, which is the Lord's main commandment. We are supposed to be like HIM, and serve others. He said:
"The first commandment is to Love God with all your heart, soul and mind,
and the second commandment is like unto it, love your neighbor as you love
THE PROPHETS!" Matthew 22:36-40
What is the test of a Christ-like church? A TRUE church of Christ? "By this shall men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35

I called the church leadership and asked them why our names were not on the membership phone list. I was told that they decided to only put the names on there of people who regularly attended. So if the Lord were to inspire them to call someone who needed companionship, or who were too ill to go to church, or who might need some spiritual guidance, now they can't even call those people, because their names are not on the list. If a person was thinking "I want to do something for someone in the church that needs something. Let me look through that membership list"....well, those who need love and help the most from the church are not on that list, so they will not be reached through inspirations like that.
I shared these concerns with the church leaders, and they had not thought of those things, but said they would not change it or make a new list for about 2 more years. I wonder what the Savior thinks about that list of "only regular attending members"....leaving out everyone else. And how often do you have to attend to be considered "regular"? What if you missed half the meetings due to illness? Are they also left out of the circle of "regular attendees"? Its just like a stab in the spirit, but I know it is from imperfect people, it is not from my loving Savior...who is with me always. Sometimes we need an "angel with skin"....a person willing to do the Lord's work.
So now, we feel like outcasts from an "organization",

but I am sure we are not outcasts

from the Lord's heart.


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