As the church is ecumenical and benevolent, every church should be tolerant and forgiving, which are spiritual characteristics every Christian should be.
This article shares three moving stories about how the church is tolerant and forgiving.
Elderly sister "sleeping" during services
After a church service, an elderly sister who suffers from serious insomnia told her senior pastor that she slept through the whole service because she could only sleep for two or three hours after taking pills every night. She was tormented by a lack of sleep at home and also being too tired during the worship services. After she shared this, she and some other believers next to her were expecting criticism and a lecture from the senior pastor.
However, he said to her with a smiling face, "Thank the Lord ! Don't worry. It is not a sin, but a good thing. When you are in church, you are at home, in God's arms, in God's household. You feel comfortable and secure. The Lord healed your insomnia. You should thank God that He has healed your incurable disease. Come often to the church and sleep when you feel tired. You will be thankful and bear better witness and work for the Lord."
Those next to her were convinced of this and the older sister felt relieved and had a smile on her face.
A middle-aged "trouble-maker"
Due to a mental disorder, a middle-aged woman was known as a "trouble-maker". On important occasions such as baptism and communion services, she walked around her church's main hall, praying and singing hymns aloud. But the sound disturbed the church's normal activities. Consequently, the congregation had a problem with her.
The church's senior pastor explained to the congregation that she should feel free in the church to yell and sing. If she could not express herself in the church, where could she go? In the church, God knew her suffering and would heal her. He urged the members to pray for her and show her more comfort and love.
The congregation was "shocked" by the Lord's love. Since then, each time the "troublemaker" shouted aloud, the speaker led the believers to lift their hands in a short prayer for her, then continued on listening to the sermon.
God's grace is amazing. Recently, during a Sunday service, I found her sitting in a pew, fully dressed, quietly smiling. She has recovered.
A brother and sister involved in sexual sin.
Two group leaders in a church, a brother and a sister, were seen by the church as having an earnest attitude and being very capable. However, over time, they became attracted to one another and eventually had sex.
After this news was disclosed, persons knowing about it got it an uproar and began to condemn them. The brother and sister, having regretted their actions, retreated to their homes and were afraid to attend the church.
The church's senior pastor very calmly counseled them in a meeting, sharing Jesus' teaching about the woman caught in adultery in John 8. The pastor exhorted them and spoke about giving them a second chance. The brother and sister were so moved that they repented of their sin.
Administratively, the church also had them each attend different churches. After some years, this brother and sister continue to attend in their respective church and have not again committed this sin. One of them is now a volunteer in a church group.
- Translated by Karen Luo