the church as family

I think this is partly what happens: Some churches don't pretend to be a family and some people don't want it to be. That's well and good. But some people consider the church a family a good family one that is healthy. And the certain church offers to be one to the member. We are brothers and sisters. The pastor may even play a parental role.
  1. A healthy family is one where there is guaranteed unconditional love that can be safely and consistently assumed.
  2. A healthy family is one where, even though there is a strong sense of unity, diversity is encouraged. You are allowed to grow up to become your own unique person with encouragement and applause from your loved ones.
  3. A healthy family is one where you will not be made to feel stupid, where you will not be disrespected, where you will not be treated like shit, and where you always come before any ideology, agenda or plan.
  4. A healthy family is one where openness, honesty and authenticity are nonnegotiable, and where quality always trumps quantity and content always trumps appearance.
I could go on. So when one of these qualities is broken, because the member feels and has been encouraged to feel like a part of a family and not just any family, but a spiritual family which sometimes even overrides their biological family the feelings of betrayal are overwhelming. The hurt is so severe and the wound so deep that many people, many of whom I know, are simply unable to recover. And this explains why it is almost impossible for them to recommit to another spiritual family, no matter how intense their desire to is or how glorious the promises are.
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