Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Churches: Walk the Talk, Take the Risk

encouragment Pictures, Images and Photos

By Neil Schori

Have you noticed that most people don't have a problem with talking too little?  It isn't too often that you have to ask a suburbanite their opinion about something, is it?  We talk about how our bosses are unfair and how the political system is so corrupt.  We also talk about all of our big ideas to make everything better and the latest cause we've adopted and how we are going to make a difference in our families and in our schools and in our churches and in our lives. 

But how much really changes?  Not a whole lot, really.  Bosses are still good targets for complaints and politicians are never short on corruption for the most part.  Churches can start to care more about songs on Sundays instead of caring for people on Mondays.  So what's the deal?  Is it that our world is past the point of redemption?  I don't buy that for a second.  I see small incidences of redemption all the time.  So what causes change?

The Bible talks a lot about this very subject.  James 2: 14-17 says this:   

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James is telling us what most of us really already know in our hearts: that our actions show what we really believe.  If we truly want to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of other fellow strugglers on this journey of life, then we need to act.  And we need to do it now! 

What does that mean for me?  Over the past week, God has shown me in so many different ways that the church (all churches) has been complicit in relation to the treatment of women in horrible domestic violence situations.  We talk about justice for the oppressed, but we're scared to do the hard work and praying and planning that it takes to make changes in the lives of victims.  Many of us are fearful for the implications that standing up against the abusers could have in our own family.

Are there risks for me and Naperville Christian Church in saying 'yes' to what I know I'm supposed to do?  Of course there are.  But at this point the risk of NOT doing something far outweighs the risk of doing something.  So what is that you need to do? 

If you are being abused, call me at the church and we will help you.


Neil Schori

Neil Schori is the Pastor of Naperville Christian Church.  Follow Neil on Twitter!  @neilschori for all the latest!


  1. Very nice work! Great article and a much needed message!

  2. "Over the past week, God has shown me in so many different ways that the church (all churches) has been complicit in relation to the treatment of women in horrible domestic violence situations"

    Totally true, and add to that the entire legal system where judges order abused women to go home and obey because of that religion.

    protective mothers who come forward loose their children to the abuser in 75% of cases- a sad reflection on the entire patriarchal system.

    An article based on my experience in Catholic country.

  3. patriarchal lead society will always fail. The finer species is subdued for a reason. Oppression!!

  4. God Bless you Pastor Shori. We should all take a lesson from Susan Murphy Milano in Oklahoma she is on the journey. Our prayers out to the Garvin 3 in oklahoma-

  5. The churches have failed in many ways. Some have even minimized God's word. The Bible is very clear on how married couples should treat each other. Ephesians 5:21-33. If more ministers taught what the Bible teaches your flock wouldn't need to buy all the self help books out there. If young people were taught the Bible from infancy they could develop and true love for God. They would not want to displease him in any way. But how much Bible reading and proper explaination really goes on in church. The sermon usually doesn't reflect much from the Bible only the pastor's ideas. When you get out of politics and stop begging for money and back into teaching the truth you may find people coming back to church.

  6. It waqs great talking to you about this and you already know that we are all in with you. I've already talked to some people at LifeBridge and we are all in.

  7. The failings of the churches are not hard to find and the suffering of women impossible to overstate. That said, some churches are making a huge difference and are trustworthy. The conscious choice to stand with women and anyone oppressed is a freeing decision, for both women, men and communities of all kinds. I serve a congregation that has grown into the kind of maturity that it takes to clearly state the boundaries and to walk with women in life giving ways; all too often, however, we still walk straight into the brick wall of police and Sherriff's officers as well as the personnel of the justice system who are so poorly educated on the issues of domestic and other kinds of violence against women that to face the system's re-injury is more than even the most centered women can bear. The "mission field" of education and training for law enforcement and court system personnel is begging for intervention! Anyone have stories of sucessful ways to make headway in these systems??

    The power of this article for me is in the personal commitment in the last line -- this issues is personal and public. I applaud your making yourself directly available. I'd like to think that all of us in the churches or temples or other communities of faith who are committed to being present with women who are abused are ready to do the same.

    I follow your lead, Pastor Schori,...
    If you are being abused, call me at the church and we will help you.

    Pastor Janet Hansted
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    805 492-1234


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