Another thread got me thinking about this. I've been in a number of churches across the country and noticed how many times, a pastor tends to feel safe preaching on a particular topic, seeming to think he is "preaching to the choir" and getting a lot of amens, lots of agreement, coming down harsh on one particular sin, without having to worry about preaching the truth in love because it's not really an issue in that particular church. For example, if I sit in a church and listen to a sermon on drug addiction while in a large church central Los Angeles, I'm likely to hear a pastor speak the truth in love. If I'm sitting in a small country type church in Indiana, I'm more likely to hear about those "dirty rotten sinners." The same is true of other issues. I've watched women cringe in shame and fight back tears as pastors railed against abortion, men bite their lips, and other yelling out their amens and agreements while the people in pain sat there in shock. Every church, every work place, always seems to think there is at least on problem that nobody in that particular place suffers from. I doubt that. If they don't now, they did or will, so long as humans continue to be humans. It's not that people don't know the difference between right and wrong, it's the way it's presented. The way people get lambasted and certain sins taken out and beat on, those who commit them held out as examples of just what is wrong with our world today, so often without the additional discussion on forgiveness. Love. Where to get help. Where to get support if you have been forgiven but haven't healed. And this isn't meant to bash pastors, because there are also many that don't do this, but to say to those that do...you are NOT preaching to the choir. There are always going to be people in your congregation that have been touched by these issues, whether it was them, or a family member, or whether it will happen in their future or their children's future, and if they can't trust that they can come to you or someone else in the church because they believe they will be met with a violent level of unforgiveness, where will they turn? Who will they go to for support? Who will they trust? What does that teach them, but that their church family isn't who they can turn to? Those are my thoughts today. Brought up by the thread, which got me thinking about a sweet lady I talked to some years ago, who sat for years feeling guilty about an issue in her life. Listened to it being railed against, never felt strong enough to admit it. After we talked, I've been so proud of her. She actually started a ministry. And sometimes that is all it takes. To have someone let you know you're not pond scum. To walk you through forgiveness instead of constantly walking around feeling like you deserve being lashed. And taking that lashing from the pulpit and that scorn from everyone sitting around you. People know what sin is. They need to learn about forgiveness. Why give them hell when you can offer them Christ and His healing?