Yeah, I said it. You read that word correctly. I said “stupid”. Let’s face it folks, there are a lot of stupid people out there. They’re on our highways, in our workplaces, and they even find their way into our churches.
Merriam-Webster has a definition of “stupid” to help us understand what we’re talking about here. Their online dictionary describes “stupid” as “slow of mind … given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner.”
Have you bumped into careless, slow thinking people at church? While every pastor is quick to say yes, most churchgoers can probably think of one or two or a dozen people fitting stupid’s description. So can a lot of former churchgoers. Most of those former worshipers can probably tell you a story of how stupid got between them and the church, and ultimately between them and God.
Aside from a lack of interest in living God’s way, stupid people are a big reason people walk out the door never to return. Please, don’t do that. Don’t listen to the lie telling you stupid people aren’t worth sitting in the room with. To walk away because of them is unbiblical, and will actually do more harm than good.
[Tweet “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a warning sign on the front door of our churches?”]
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a warning sign on the front door of our churches? We post warnings for high voltage lines, missing bridges, washed away roads, and trespassing on military bases. Why not post them on churches?
Real People Inside
You Won’t Get Along With All Of Them
Enter At Your Own Risk!
Though we think we walk into church without a warning about people that will rub us the wrong way or just plain act against the direction of Scripture, Jesus told us they would be here. In one place He describes His return to setup His glorious throne, and at that time He will separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-33).
A better example is when Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a man who went and spread seed to grow wheat, and afterwards his enemy spread seed for weeds. As both wheat and weeds grew, it was apparent someone had sabotaged the field. But instead of aggressively uprooting the weeds, the wise farmer held his workers back.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'” (Matthew 13:28-29 NIV)
Sometimes we look around at church and wish we could toss a few people out. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a person or people get so disruptive or unhealthy that action must be taken.
But those aren’t the ones Jesus was talking about. He wasn’t telling us to put up with people who are directly opposing Scripture or leadership. He’s talking about those who mostly blend in, growing as others grow, but who aren’t part of the crop they think they are.
[Tweet “Some #church attenders blend in and grow like others, but aren’t part of the crop.”]
Stupid people fit into this category. Most of the time they think they are wheat, receiving the same food, water and sunshine. They’re all in the same field, after all. Who can tell the difference?
It may not be obvious to everyone, but wheat and weeds are very different. Jesus said the workers in the field knew the weeds from the wheat. The field owner certainly knew. I’m sure if the stalks of wheat could look around and see what was growing around them, they’d know.
Don’t Make Things Worse
What you may not know is how the pastor and church leadership have prayed for people like you to come through the doors. Every week they see the wheat hungry to grow in the things of God, and they see the weeds taking up space.
Good church leaders want more wheat in their fields. They are trying to be careful, not to harm the wheat by ripping out the weeds, but earnestly desire more wheat growing to outnumber the weeds. You are an answer to their prayers. It is only when more wheat grows that the effects of the weeds will be weakened.
[Tweet “It is only when more wheat grows that the effects of the weeds will be weakened.”]
To give up on church or God because of the stupid people in the pews only makes things worse. If authentic seekers leave only the corrupt are left. Pastors get more discouraged. Stupid people gain more control. And eventually the church won’t be welcoming to anyone who recognizes their need for a relationship with God and His people.
If you’ve walked into a church to honestly seek God, learn from His word, and enter into community with His people, you have done a good thing. The Holy Spirit has led you on the path to be united with those God has prepared as a gift to you, the Body of Christ, the Church.
With that in mind, why would you let anything stop you from staying? When you are truly committed to God, His Word, and His people, nothing and no one should be able to scare you away.