The Church as a Therapeutic Community
The Church as a Therapeutic Community
The power of the Church as a healing community to deliver the suffering soul from gilt, condemnation, and shame is a focus of wholeness. Wholeness is spiritual, emotional, and physical. External behavior is not always a reflection of the health of the internal environment. For that reason, the dilemma for the Church has been upon its remedy or treatment of the consequences of sin. Should the spiritual message be filled with the notification of sin and its characteristics or should it focus upon the healthy alternative? A historic message entitled “Sinner in the hands of an angry God” sound fiery and fearful for anyone outside and inside the Church. Such a message would magnify the wrath of God toward sin and those who practice its vices. It would point out the judgment for patterns of thought and behavior that contradict standards of righteous conduct. But would such a message bring repentance or fear? Would it provoke a love of God or an awesome fear? How about the title of “Sinner in the hands of a loving God?” 

 The problem with guilt and condemnation are the symptoms. Paul wrestles with the inability to live a perfect life where external behavior is compatible with internal conviction. In the epistle to the Romans he writes that when he would do right there is something within that prevents him. He is not always able to perform at the level of behavioral expectation demanded of the law.