Sunday, October 16, 2016

My First Year away from Church


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It has been over a year since I have been in church on a consistent basis. Am I going to hell? Am I a sinner? Has my relationship with God become non-existent? Does God hear my prayers? Have I forsaken the gathering together of the saints? Will God punish me for not going to church?

We can answer some of these questions within this blog. First, why has it been a year since I have consistently gone to church? Well, I work for a living and don't obtain monthly support from hardworking believers. My current job does not allow me to be off on Sundays and even Wednesdays. Therefore, my chances of going to church are limited in today's western Christianity.

To be honest, I have not missed the Western church processes one bit! I have not missed the ritualistic worship and praise time which always proceeds the 30 to 45-minute lecture or " Message". I have not missed church goers who fail to remember who you are and that you have been going to their church for a long time. I have not missed the bulletins and the 15 minutes talks which beg for money.  I don't miss going to a multi-million dollar building and seeing funds for the needy being less. Don't get me wrong. I love the body of Christ, but I don't love man's way of serving God. Man-kind is helplessly fickle and ritualistic.

Jesus warned us about having a Pharisaical spirit.

Mat 23:2-5 GW
(2)  "The scribes and the Pharisees teach with Moses' authority.
(3)  So be careful to do everything they tell you. But don't follow their example, because they don't practice what they preach.
(4)  They make loads that are hard to carry and lay them on the shoulders of the people. However, they are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
(5)  "They do everything to attract people's attention. They make their headbands large and the tassels on their shawls long.

Western Christianity is strongly legalistic. Many churches have fallen to the Pharisee spirit. On Sundays across America, sermons are preached and altar calls are given. Sadly the messages being preached and listened to are not followed. Many legalistic practices are performed which in turn put a heavy load on believers and non-believers alike.
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I am not angry at the church or God. I am upset on what we have become. God has called us to a deeper place. My year away from church has taught me a lot. 

1. I have learned that I need the Lord more than ever.
2. I have learned that church rituals are the same everywhere in the Western culture.
3. I have learned that the enemy has fooled many believers into falling into the Pharisee trap.
4. I have learned that believers need each other but at a deeper level. Something you can't get at a Sunday Service.
5. I have learned that God is calling all believers to return to a deep expression of church life. 
6. I have learned that God is not mad at me nor is He upset at my lack of going to " Church."

The First Christians did not meet in buildings. Church buildings did not come until a couple hundred years after the Apostles died. When a "church" wasn't a building 
These early believers did not have church buildings to meet in. They met mostly in homes. The first church buildings did not start to appear until the early 200s. ( Taken from http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/a-look-at-the-early-church-11629559.html) 

There is nowhere in scripture where God says it is wrong to meet in or building or that it is wrong to meet in a home. However, the first Christians wanted to distance themselves from the pharisaical spirit. Sundays were their day of fellowship and the rest of the week was their days of relationship building. Believers are meant to live life together. They were meant to fellowship and reach the world for Jesus together. Church life should be organic and shared with those who need Christ. 

My first year away from " Church" has been interesting. It has really increased my passion more as to why Organic church life must come to pass. Those in traditional church settings are not evil or ungodly, but their form of worship is not God's desired way. I will still fellowship with the traditionals but will seek the Lord on how to move more towards the Organic church life. 


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