It's been a hundred and eighty two days since I last went to church. I have never been more free. It's not the body of Christ church that made me suffocate, it was the four walls and a roof called church. Now that I've stepped back, I feel that I'm free from everything that comes along with religion.
I started going to church again about five years ago. I started volunteering and eventually got a job offer with the church working full-time with them. After 2 years, I ended up giving my resignation to the board.
There were things. Religious things. Morale things. There were things I spoke up about but was only ever answered with an eye roll. It didn't sit well in my spirit and eventually boiled over into every other area of my life. I spoke up and I kindly asked why these issues everyone knew about were not being addressed before I resigned. The response was hostile. The pastor and other staff members were so angry that they went and told everyone how bad of a worker and person I was.
A shepherd who attacked and ostricized his sheep. I would say I was shocked, but I actually saw it coming. I'd seen it so many times before in my 5 years.
we are not meant to look out from our windows of our church building and tell people "hey you're doing everything wrong"
Everything in life since not going to church has been better. My spiritual life has never been better. I am actually around people who need Jesus rather than sitting in my building and telling people that if they don't come to our service or prescribe to our way of life that we can't talk to them or we can't associate with them.
I had people that I worked alongside, lived life alongside, considered family for 5 years just disappear and when people's doors slam in your face because you don't attend the same church, you start to realize what you were actually a part of.
Is this really church? Sitting in my building and telling people that if they don't come to our service or prescribe to our way of life that we can't talk to them or we can't associate with them?
There's so much more that I could say but it doesn't matter. What matters is that my marriage, my family my life, are all better not dealing with religion. I miss belonging to something that I thought was actually helping people and doing God's work, I do.
Religion and churches make me feel like we are helping the unfortunate to make ourselves feel better, to make ourselves feel powerful, to make a purpose for religion, regulations, rules, and a platform for ourselves.
But something hit me over the past one hundred and eighty two days that really changed the way I view and think about it. That's the fact that we are not meant to look out from our windows of our church and tell people "hey you're doing everything wrong". What God DOES say is not to conform to the things of the world. God made this world for us. We are meant to live in this world, we are meant to be a part of this world, we are meant to be among people who are not believers, we are meant to be among the most needy, among those that need Jesus. This is what we are called to do.
Religion and churches make me feel like we are helping the unfortunate to make ourselves feel better, to make ourselves feel powerful, to make a purpose for religion, regulations, rules, and a platform for ourselves. But all Christ calls us to do is to go into the world and make disciples. If you walk through this world and live your life and you live it with love, joy and forgiveness people are going to want what you have. People are going to want to be around you. People are going to want to be a part of what you have and that’s Jesus.
This pastor I know always used to say, "would your community know the difference if our church wasn't there?" I've asked myself this almost everyday for a hundred and eighty two days. Do I know a difference that the four walled church isn't there in my life and the answer is yes, I am happier without the church.
What I DO want is the body of Christ. I want the REAL church. I want the people of Jesus who come together and just love people and do what Jesus asks them to do with no personal gain or ulterior motives. I want the original intentions for the Church, the things Jesus died for. And that's what I am forever going after.