Your Best Life Now

Your Best Life Now

Hospital or Hotel? What IS the Church, Anymore?

posted by smcswain

hospital“If we devote ourselves to the effort to be real, the Universe in all its forms will find us, the way that wind finds leaves and waves find shore” – Mark Nepo.

“The effort to be real…”

That is my greatest ambition. Which is why I try very hard to write what’s in my heart, even if it is risky to express or painful to read. I want authenticity.

It’s so much easier to hide, isn’t it? You cannot imagine how many of my minister friends write me or say to me in a whisper, “So much of what you say I agree with but…”

And I know what’s coming next…

“If I said the things you say, I’d be without a job.”

And I want to say, “You think it has not been risky to me, or costly, to seek to be authentic…to be real?”

It would be much safer to be silent…to pretend to be and believe something else…

What should alarm all of us is that we have managed to create a Church where being authentic…being real…being yourself…is no longer an ambition to seek…a virtue to pursue…but an action that might just get you practically “excommunicated.”

So why would anyone be surprised that those who long to be whole…who wish to become complete must leave the Church to find health? Instead of the Church being a fitness gym where you can stretch and struggle and work out and get into spiritual shape, go into almost any church today and what you find is fast food, cappuccino Christianity.

Instead of hospital for sick souls, has the Church become a hotel for superficial saintliness?

Oh sure, there are exceptions to this. So drop the desire to defend your Church. I love the Church, too. But, I love authenticity a hell-of-a-lot more.

Shouldn’t we all?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    Dr. McSwain:
    I do totally realize that he has predicted the end of the world more than once. I was one of the ones who handed out a whole bunch of flyers to lots of people regarding that. At least he apoligizes and admits he was wrong. That is more than I have ever seen in the church.

  • Dr. Steve McSwain

    Noreen, you may not know this but the Camping fellow you have such fondness for is the gentleman who recently in an through the national news predicted the end of the world. When the date came and went and the world was still here, he apologized nationally and said God told him he misunderstood and that the end would actually come in October – that fall – a year or so ago I don’t exactly remember – but he predicted another date. When that October came and went and, again he was embarrassingly wrong, he sort of faded into the woodwork. Discredited, as of course he was, Jesus, as you know, said “Don’t believe in those who predict the end” – so, I think enough said.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Noreen

    Dr. McSwain:
    I have gone to church for 30 plus years. My husband was a head deacon and sunday school teacher. We raised our children in the church. God has told me to get out of the church and I finally listened and it has really been the best thing that I have done besides having a relationship with God and getting married and having children.

    I have been listening to Family Radio out of Oakland California for about 12 years now and they do not believe in the church anymore and I don’t either. You all need to listen to Family Radio also at

    They have been is business for fifty plus years. They broadcast in fifty languages. Harold Camping has been CEO and President of the station since it began and has never collected a penny from the station. He is 90 plus years and really knows the Bible. He, like many other people, were born and raised in the church and were leaders in a church and have left the church on Biblical grounds. You all need to listen to Family Radio and Harold Camping.

  • Dr. Steve McSwain

    Gina, I can appreciate the pain and difficulty you faced. The Church is to be like a hospital where the sick and hurting may go for help. Unfortunately, it has become for many people a luxury for paying customers. Whenever this happens, abuse is the unfortunate consequence. I would encourage you to give your energies God-ward; forgive the Church; forgive anyone and everyone, including yourself, if need be. And, live into the love and grace that is God.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Gina M. Weston

    I agree with what you have said and have taken some of the greatest abuse I have ever experienced through the “church”. I have friends that tell me they know about deliverance and yet they suffer drastically in that area in their own personal life. I have a mom that taught growing up that family was top of the list and does not practice what she tried beating us with. I know that myself and two younger sisters experienced the rent(tear)when you are not covered or protected by those responsible to do that, thus violation occurred for all three of us. I know God can use that and two of the three of us are shakily on our way to trying to mend. I am having trouble just trying to cope with everything – any suggestions?

  • smcswain

    Thank you Bill, not only for reading the post, but for leaving a comment. Have a blessed day my friend.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bill Sperry

    Well said, Steve! It takes courage to speak truth. I appreciate what you bring to the table.

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