Here Slums the Bride

I sometimes feel like the church is getting slut-shamed.

Slut-shaming is putting the onus of a sexual abuse crime on the woman instead of the criminal.

What preposterous justifications do they come up with?

  • “She was asking for it.” – Women and their firtatiousness, amiright! They just don’t know their own mind.
  • “She was dressed like she wanted it.” – Nope. A woman wearing a spaghetti strap top may mean something crazy like it’s hot outside, not that she wants to be molested.
  • “She put herself in that situation.” – Sigh. No, just no.

The western church has lost influence on the culture, and it’s natural for theologians, pundits, and bloggers to try to figure out why people are leaving the church and what we can do to stop it. Now, I am not saying that the negative articles about the church are on par with a woman being abused. I’m only drawing attention to what looks to me like the same victim-blaming language.

  • “The church deserves it.”

Maybe if she stopped using the phrase “love on” and such, millenials wouldn’t be driven away.

While I would agree that “love on” is a creepy term, to those that write that there are five, six, or seven phrases the church needs to stop saying, I have one phrase. Shut up.

  • “The church dresses like she wants it.”

Oh, church. If only you made your outward appearance more alluring. Your hymns are too old. Actually, no wait, your worship is too casual and shallow. Or, maybe if you stopped meeting in a building that was old-fashioned and formal, you’d have more people in the pews.

  • “The church put herself in that situation.”

That church, focusing too much on rules rather than community. If you would just keep up with what the world believes you wouldn’t be so out of touch. It’s not the 1950s, you know. Outmoded, losing the culture wars…the Church is adrift.

Honestly, I’ve stopped reading articles about what the Church is doing wrong until I get my blood pressure down. Because you know what, the Church is going to be fine. I believe that. It doesn’t always look like it if you focus solely on the western, anemic limb of the Church, but we’re just one small, insignificant member (I picture us like the pinky toe of the Body of Christ.)

In many places, the Church knows that by preaching the gospel, members could be shunned, imprisoned, killed, and yes, even raped. Despite the danger, these men, women, and even children decide that their Bridegroom is worth all the pain and degradation and persecution this world can dish out.

Most of all, I believe the Church is going to be okay because Christ has promised it.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (II Corinthians 4:8-9)

2 thoughts on “Here Slums the Bride

  1. There is a difference between the visible church and the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ will be fine for forever. The visible church–the institution/buildings/programs/etc–will fail miserably. It’s made up of humans, many of whom are not in the Body of Christ. All human institutions fail.

    It boggles my mind why so many are stunned the visible church is failing. It has to, all human things do. The visible church is a whore–give us money and we’ll make you feel like big spiritual man; the True Church is the flawless Bride of Christ. We are much confused by conflating the two ideas.

    I do not care to further the visible church. I care much more for building up the Body of Christ. Typically, the downfall, persecution, and struggle for the visible church results in growth for the Body of Christ. Let it burn. It’ll all be burned up in the end anyway.

    1 Corinthians 3:11-14
    For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
    13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
    14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jeff. I wanted to process through it before I answered, but I also wanted to clarify what you mean. When you say “visible church” do you mean “organized religion/Christianity”? Or do you mean the numbers of church-goers and congregations in the United States.

    I just want to make sure I’m not misreading your statement, when I think we would probably agree with the idea that the church does not need to be palatable because Christ is in charge of growing His bride/church.

    Thought-provoking comment and I know I’ll be pondering it for a long while.

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