Book Review – Wounded in the Church by Chris Hayward and Ray Beeson
We’ve all heard sorrowful tales of how certain Christian leaders and congregation members practice hypocrisy, psychological manipulation, shaming, criticism and rejection towards newer church goers.
This feeling of hurt, dejection and betrayal of the most often heard reasons why people leave the church and shun organized religion.
“Wounded in the Church: Hope Beyond the Pain,” by Chris Hayward and Ray Beeson, was written to address these issues.
The book is rooted in Biblical truth and the Gospel, and authors Beeson and Hayward have done an outstanding job researching and writing this, and present the material in a way that’s easily understood by all.
“Wounded in the Church” is a refreshing look at something that is often neglected but happens all too frequently in today’s church circles. Yes, many unbelievers may use the lazy “hypocrisy” excuse not to engage in Christianity or attend church, but there are legitimately thousands who had sincere hearts, sought out God and companionship in the church yet ultimately had gotten burned by bad leadership or misguided Christians, therefore they turned their backs on God and are “done” with religion.
Beeson and Hayward first present several examples of people getting hurt by flawed religion and give the who, what, when, how and why; and then in the second section of the book, offer hopeful solution both for scarred individuals and for church leadership who might have committed the offenses.
This book is a great read for various groups:
- Those who have been hurt by the church, therefore they shun Jesus Christ, fellow Christians, or religion in general, and are looking for healing in their lives from this. They may still also be seeking some deeper meaning in their lives, and not realize that Jesus can more than adequately fill that void. The authors even address Christian leaders themselves who have left the church after having gone through stressful bouts with unscrupulous believers or fellow figures in authoritative positions.
- Those with friends, family members and colleagues who have been hurt by the church and Christians and need to understand the pain these people are going through.
- Church leaders who need to keep their actions, teachings, and church staff in check to help avoid losing congregation members to abuse, hypocrisy and getting offended.
- “Wounded in the Church” is also superb for Christ followers who want to reach out to people with love and grace, because we need to realize that often the only “Jesus” people will see is us in how we act.
There are people in all those groups who are “done with church” and could benefit from a read of this book, especially skeptics who think that abusing Christians equals Christ.
Upon reviewing “Wounded in the Church,” I found myself compelled to watch my actions more. I need to make sure there is love and grace and mercy in everything I do and say.
I’m happy to recommend this book! I’m incredibly surprised more books like this haven’t been written.