I read a quote once, which read, "The Church is like a battered woman. The more bruises she has, the more make-up she puts on."
This is very common with those who are abused. In an attempt to protect the abuser, but more detrimentally, in an attempt to hide their obvious need for help, battered women will put on a lot of make-up in order to cover the scars and bruises.
Eventually these battered women start to look fake with all of this make-up. As these women hide things more and more, nobody realizes anything is wrong. Nobody cares about her. Why doesn't anyone care about this woman who is abused and battered? Because nobody realizes she is abused. Nobody can see a need for love, for care, for protection. She becomes fragile but artificial. Nobody takes the time to care for her. She covers her pain, but more importantly, she covers her need.
The church and God's people have become battered women who cover up their hurt, pain and reality with spiritual cosmetics. We all have wounds and pain, but we cover them up and keep anyone and everyone from seeing the reality of ourselves. In so doing, we have come to appear frighteningly fake and artificial. We become people who nobody wants to approach, because we aren't real. We are artificial, have-it-all-together, battered men and women whom deflect people who could be there to come alongside and help us heal the wounds we are inflicted with.
We have neutered the Gospel when we mask ourselves with spiritual cosmetics. We become a sect of people who deny our pain and wounds, and in so doing become people nobody wants to relate to. Humans know pain and relate to those who can come alongside each other in pain to heal. But we cover up our pain and our wounds, we appear naive. Humans do not desire to relate to anyone who is naive to pain.
The Gospel is one of a God who hurts when we hurt, and weeps over our wounds. We verbally believe a Gospel, which claims a belief in a God who created a people who would operate as a body. When a part of the body is wounded, it (the body) begins to heal. That is the body we were created to be...the body the Gospel rings of, but we neuter the Gospel when we cover our wounds. We don't' expose our wounds for the body to heal. We cover it up with make-up and keep anyone from seeing that the pain is real. When we hide ourselves and our wounds, we hide a Gospel we SAY we believe in. We hide a God we SAY we believe in. We also hide the Gospel and God not only from ourselves, but also from the needy around us.