After years of Sunday Morning attendance, I finally found the answer to the problems I had with “church” – I stopped going.
For those thinking that this is your usual intellectual rebuttal of Christianity and everything holy, I’m sorry to say, but you are sadly mistaken. For any rebuttal bold enough to be opposed to truth is indeed standing on a foundation of complete fallacy. However, this blog is a direct, bold and much purposed objection to the practice of religion or what I call, “going to church”.
I must admit, for years I myself have gone to church. But I’m not talking about your average Sunday parishioner, oh no, I was in church all the time. Like some, I’ve had the experience of the Tuesday Night Prayer Service, Wednesday Night Bible Class, the every so popular Friday Night Saints Meeting, not to mention the Saturday Choir or Youth Night and following it all up with three Sunday services that set you up to do it all again next week!
Please understand that going to church introduced me to a source of redemption, rebirth and rejuvenation. Without parents and grandparents bringing me to church, I would have never discovered what it was like to experience true love and fellowship. My time spent going to church allowed values a principles to permeate my life in a way that as I became a man those things imparted upon me cultivated me and never departed.
Because of my going to church, I developed a love and deep appreciation for this God that I heard of and later came to know for myself.
However, in all of my going to church, I began to discover some issues I had with the institution of church as I knew it. As my love and devotion to God grew, I could not help but to recognize some things that, at times, pained me about “church”.
I was not a fan of Christian hypocrisy or unfair and hypocritical standards. I had a hard time with the harsh criticisms of those without proper apparel or church edict, while looking over those with sticky fingers and feminine qualities in authority. However, the most heart-breaking revelation was the fact that learned church-personification and self-exalted fan-fair seemed to outweigh a pure heart and true relationship with God.
So it became very clear that the only way I was going to come to terms or change my perception of church was to completely stop going altogether.
That’s right; I would terminate my long-standing membership with the church and join the body of Christ.
You may ask, what’s the difference?
Here it is. The “church” is the body of Christ or those who truly follow Him and have a true relationship. This concept transcends buildings, temples, local assemblies and even mega-church facilities. It goes far beyond practices, traditions and denominations. This church is located within every heart of those who are born-again believers of Christ.
If I placed the totality of my walk with God entirely on the four walls in which I merely practiced religion, I was in big trouble. I realized that I was only a spectator and not an actually member of the true church.
If all I saw was the hypocrisy, greed and countless contradictions, I was certainly looking at the people and not the God whom they called upon. It was important that I made a separation between God and human beings, so that I might truly understand what my purpose was.
If I was not already a member of the church, I would be simply frequenting a building with many other patrons of the same mind.
With this understanding, I was able to view the church experience in a totally different way. I understood that the church stopped being perfect the moment you and I joined!
We are all imperfect beings, in need of constant redemption, rebirth and rejuvenation. The road to sanctification, holiness or redemption is an ongoing process within the relationship that one has with God. This is a precept that can only be measured by the parties involved in such a relationship!
I am grateful that I was able to come to the conclusion that we are all in need of God’s grace and mercy. Every trip to church is like a visit to the hospital-and just like the emergency room, you are bound to discover others who are in need of help just as much as you are.
When I stopped going to church and started pursuing a relationship with God, I was able to see things a lot more clearly.
I can say with much assurance that my relationship and walk with God changed the moment I stopped going to church.
What are your thoughts?
You’re the Change.