A church is supposed to be a safe place where a group of fellow believers can congregate to sing hymns of worship, to study the Bible, and to encourage one another. That is how church would be in a perfect world. Even so, it’s been said that a church is like a hospital, Christians are like the patients, and God is like the doctor. So it should come as no surprise, given such an analogy, that imperfect Christians who seek to follow the teachings of a perfect God will stumble and fall…a lot, actually…. along the away. Sometimes these mishaps can be relatively minor and merit hardly a comment, but other times the embarrassment can be so major that it could make mishaps like falling into a sinkhole or slipping off a high embankment seem like child’s play.
There is one instance where I was shamed a great deal in church, and the tongue lashing came courtesy of the pastor. First off, I arrived at church late, which is often frowned upon. The pastor was mid-way through his sermon when I opened the doors to the packed sanctuary. Apparently unimpressed that I had derailed his train of thought, the pastor said loudly into the microphone that we need to show God the same respect that we would our employer, which included ensuring that we were on time. After he said this, with me still in the aisle looking in vain for an empty seat, there was a hush over the congregation and all eyes were on me. I was so embarrassed that I seriously considered making a beeline for the exit and going back home, but I swallowed my pride, ignored the people staring at me, and finally found an empty seat. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
What hurt the most was the judgmental attitude displayed by the pastor, who didn’t know the circumstances behind my lateness. That said, I tried very hard never to be late again, if only to avoid being singled out for rebuke in a house of prayer. My faith, however, was stronger than my embarrassment, and I can now look back at this incident and chuckle in spite of myself.
I can definitely relate to your experience of suffering severe embarrassment in church. Like you, I’ve been late before. I don’t typically like the Sunday School portion, so I tend to only come for the sermon in the late morning. Being singled out by the preacher in the midst of his sermon is not the sort of experience I would wish on anyone. In fact, I wouldn’t wish it upon my fiercest rival or most ardent foe. Since I’ve been through something similar as you, I know where you’re coming from. Wouldn’t it have been better for the pastor to request a meeting in his office at some point in the near future? That way, he could explain why he was offended at people coming in late, and you would have had the chance to explain why you come late. At any rate, I assume that your pastor and my pastor’s heart were in the right place. It’s just that people sometimes go about things the wrong way, and I’m not sure that they fully understand the embarrassment they cause – and the impact it has. I’m glad to see that you, too, didn’t allow this embarrassing situation to shipwreck your faith. I worship God, not a pastor. And while the pastor is God’s messenger, he is still an imperfect being. So I suppose it’s best to assume that our pastors are doing the best they can despite their human frailties.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
You’re not alone when it comes to being embarrassed by something someone said in church. I’ve also heard church members criticize people for apparently not dressing appropriately for church. While there should be some modesty when coming into a house of worship, though, there’s no need to go out of one’s way to embarrass someone. It should be up to the pastor to speak to members whose zeal needs to be kept in check. You say that you haven’t been in church for a while due to the judgmental attitude there, but I encourage you not to let others discourage you. If religion and worship are important parts of your life, you shouldn’t let others get in the way. Perhaps it would be best to find another church where the members are less critical, and are more loving and welcoming. I wish you luck!