About the Book
Book title: Wounded in the Church
Authors: Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward
Release date: March 14, 2017
A church should be safe, right? Then why do so many get hurt there?
Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward combine their years of ministry experience to address head-on the elephant in the room: church members and church leaders hurt Christians. All the time. And the long-lasting effects—rejection, shame, despair, loneliness, fear—can be devastating. The authors have witnessed the rise of the “dones,” those who are just done with God thanks to scars from a church.
With first-person stories of hurt and loss, this book is a wake-up call for any who deny woundedness in the church but is also a redemptive message for any who hurt from church wounds. Leaders and laypeople alike will learn how to grieve over abuse, to leave unhealthy attitudes and patterns that cause pain, and to trust in God’s real, delivering work through churches that build up, not tear down.
Thanks to the grace of God, there is always hope beyond the pain.
When I first saw this book, I wasn’t keen to read it.
Yes, I have been wounded by a church but how could anyone really understand?
“God’s divine nature is offered to everyone. God added to Christ the human nature that we might have the divine nature added to us.”
Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward have nailed it!
This book is the first I have seen that covers the many issues that exist within and out of the church (no matter what denomination one belongs to). Ray and Chris have dealt with this subject in the most respectful and humane way possible. Mere human beings as we are, don’t think the same way that God does, therefore it would be unreasonable to assume that we can ever achieve divine perfection while stationed on this earth. It would also be irrational to assume that what people say, especially many people’s interpretations of the Word of God (The Holy Bible), are correct.
There have been many different interpretations of the Holy Word, some due to ignorance, others due to that human need to be in control. More people have been hurt badly or even been damaged by human applications of the Bible by the church, than the entire number of hairs on my head, that I will have during my lifetime.
There are too many types of wounding discussed within this informative book for me to cover them here, so I have decided to cover Ray and Chris’ words on ‘Guilt and Shame’.
With guilt comes shame. It shouldn’t be that way, we do need to feel guilty when we have done something wrong, have the opportunity to show remorse, and endeavor not to make this mistake again. We most likely will make the same mistakes repeatedly, because we are imperfect human beings, and the power of the enemy is strong. But in His wisdom, God knows this and always gives us the chance to return to Him.
Shame is an entirely different player in this life struggle. With shame comes fear and blame.
“The first blame-game in human history occurred when Adam implied that it was God’s fault that he was in a mess, for having given the woman to him.”
We have continued to blame others for our shortcomings ever since.
Ray and Chris discuss the various forms of shame: hereditary, personal, generational, inflicted, induced, discriminatory, and unwarranted or false shame. “Unhealthy leaders may use shame for the purpose of manipulation. People will do almost anything to avoid being shamed.”
“Shame only becomes a horrible thing when it is activated by sin.”
Then there is the issue of ‘secret shame’. The secrets we keep to ourselves, but God knows of our remorse because we have confessed directly to Him, and by the power of Christ’s Blood we are forgiven and saved. Both Ray and Chris agree that to be a good Christian or follower of Jesus, we do not always need to tell all.
“Righteousness has nothing to do with performance, but with who we become.”
Ray and Chris eloquently point out the dangers of our tendencies to judge and shame each other, and the damage it has done down through the ages. Their book is interspersed with personal testimonies from good people who have been treated badly by the church, whether by church leaders or fellow followers of Christ. This book doesn’t fix any problems; however, it is comforting to know that if we have been hurt, we are not alone.
“Sin and grace are the crux of the practical Christian life” we sin and it is only by God’s grace that we can be forgiven and saved. It is never up to us as members of the church community to place judgment, punishment, and shame on others.
“Perfectionism is the result of focusing on sin.”
“Wounded in the Church” is a wonderful tool to bring us closer to realizing that there is always hope beyond the pain.
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
~ Matthew 16:21-23
I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed reading “Wounded in the Church” the same way I would reading a romance novel, however, I must say this book held me until the end because I was able to relate to many of the discussions and testimonies. It was a painful read, but a comforting journey.
I was provided with an ARC by the authors via CelebrateLit in return for an honest review.
About the Authors
Ray Beeson is the director of Overcomers Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. Ray teaches seminars on spiritual warfare, prayer, and Christlike living and is the author of numerous books including Signed in His Blood (Charisma House, 2014) and The Hidden Price of Greatness (Overcomers, 2000). Ray and his wife, Linda, live in Ventura, CA.
Chris Hayward has had over thirty-six years of pastoral ministry and is currently serving as president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, a discipleship ministry that works with the local church around the world. He is also the author of God’s Cleansing Stream (Chosen Books, 2004) and The End of Rejection (Chosen Books, 2007). Chris and his wife, Karen, live in Castaic, CA.
To celebrate this tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize: Kindle Fire and Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward
First Place Prize: Walking by Faith mug with matching pen OR Bouquet of Blessings mug and Wounded in the Church
Second Place Prize: Walking By Faith pen and Wounded in the Church
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Giveaway
Guest Post from Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward
When we tell people we’ve written a book entitled “Wounded in the Church,” many nod knowingly. Sadly, the pain and heartache that happens in churches is all too common. Collectively, the two of us have spent more than 70 years in ministry. During that time we have seen neglect, tactlessness, and blatant insensitivity fostered by some leaders and congregations resulting in the wounding of others. We realize it is not prolific in every church, but the wounding is significant and it needs to be exposed. That is why we wrote this book – we share real stories of real people who were wounded in church, a place that should be a shelter of God’s love and peace. Sometimes people are abused by leaders or church members. There are also times when leaders are abused by people within the congregation. As you read, perhaps you’ll identify with some of the situations described. If so, be assured you are not alone. If you have been wounded, it is our hope and prayer God uses this book to facilitate healing. Because of Jesus Christ, there is hope beyond the pain.
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