Friday, June 30, 2006

I Love Restoration!

We moved to a new city about 7 years ago, and found a church home group almost immediately. The leader was smart, passionate, loved debate (which was good because we disagreed a lot!) and the group had a measure of community that I found attractive.

Well about 3 years into it, the leader got hurt by the church -- I think it was largely his fault, but that is neither here nore there. I actually see a lit of myself in him, and understand his feelings of being slighted, as I have at times, as well. My reaction has always been to pray for forgiveness and realize my sin, but his . . . . well, his was to leave the church.

And he didn't just leave the church, he started his own thing -- which included pulling about half the group with him. He became founder/leader/pastor of a group of disaffected believers who wanted to restore first-century, home church koinania.

I ran across him a few times over the next few years, and he was shocked that I was still with the church, as it had so many obvious problems, etc . . . he was very negative, and I had a hard time speaking with him at all, because it always came around to this subject and him hammering my church and pastor.

Well, I saw him in passing a month or so ago, and struck up a conversation. I didn't mention church, for fear of being pounded . . . but he has stopped his thing and joined church again; although not in the same body as before, he is in a church plant from that body. We chatted about five minutes, he talked about working through his issues and his pain, and I left smiling.

I ran across him again a week or so later at a social event, and we takled about 90 minutes, and it was good. He is still an iconoclast, which I respect, but he recognizes the value of church, which I also respect.

I love restoration.

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