PTCD/Post Traumatic Church Disorder
Defined: a condition of persistent mental, emotional, and spiritual stress occurring as a results of injury from a church or religious group, typically involving distrust of organized religion, deep cynicism of religious leaders, and a resistance to involvement or commitment to anything resembling “church”, with a constant recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.
Matthew 10:17 (KJV) “But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in the their synagogues.”
To all the Christian soldiers out there who have been used, abused, and thrown away by a system that seemed more man-centered than God-centered: there is HOPE!
THINGS TO KNOW
- Don’t assume it was all for nothing. Hebrew 6:10 (NLT) “For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.” Obedience and heart are rewarded, not success and results. We till, plant, and water. God gives the increase. Leave it in His hands.
- People maybe crazy, but Jesus isn’t! Isaiah 42:3 (NLT) “He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.” He is always faithful and good. When we don’t understand circumstances or why things go the way they do; we never turn on or accuse God. He isn’t on trial. You now qualify to walk with Jesus in a special way by understanding the “sufferings of Christ”. Betrayal, gossip, malice: He endured all these at the hands of those closest to Him. Been there!
- Forgive. Luke 23:34 (NASB) “…forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” You knew this one was coming. Love is always the appropriate response. How do you know when you have forgiven someone? I love the response I received when I asked a couple who had been through quite the church bloodbath on how they knew they had forgiven those who had hurt them. The response went like this…When I think of them, they have safe passage through my mind.” I don’t know if it was originally theirs…but brilliant! Forgive out of your mouth and heart. Scars may remain, but the pain will go away. You will learn to love people again.
- Learn from it. If it was partially our fault, let’s not do it again! Or, do it better. I like the lessons learned the easy way, but sometimes we only learn from the school-of-hard-knocks. Luke 22:32 (NASB) “..but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” You are going to be a great teacher.
- Get back at it. Ok, maybe not in the same environment or circumstance. There is a normal process in healing and recovery. Resting and taking a break are both wonderful, but if we stay in this mode too long, it turns self-centered, destructive and negative. The medical community is now saying that inactivity is the new smoking. This is true spiritually as well. Cry your tears, then get about the business of living again. 2 Kings 7:3 (NASB) “Why do we sit here until we die?” Jesus is too awesome and His kingdom too important for you to sit at home and gripe about hypocrites and organized religion. You may accurately see the problem, now go be part of the solution!
Good days can be ahead for you. I have every confidence in our Great King Jesus Christ.