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Monday, February 28, 2005

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» One in Three Adults Is Unchurched Means 1 in 3 Adults Don't Church Speak from Heal Your Church Web Site
The Barna Group Reports that "Despite widespread efforts to increase church attendance across the nation, the annual survey of church attendance conducted by The Barna Group shows that one-third of all adults (34%) remain "'unchurched.'" They go on to ... [Read More]

» You might be practicing a vacuous faith from Wizbang
I've chronicled my frustrations (just keep scrolling) with organized religion andI've done the same for my need and desire to stay connected to a faith community.It's a struggle I project... [Read More]

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Dionna

I was saddened to read your post because what you say is so true. And I know it.
I am a Christian - but I have been blessed with a wonderful church that has helped me grow in the Lord. Through it I have looked over my life and realized in what areas churches fail us or even push us away. But overall - we need to keep striving to find the good churches who are doing all they can to stay the course and work in our lives on behalf of the Lord.
Yes - we can be a Christian without church. But it is tough. You find it easier to start compromising on certain areas of your life; easier to stay away from church the following Sunday; easier to not fellowship or have others hold you accountable.
God wants us to be a part of the church - to serve the church and help it. If you plug in and give of yourself, you can make an impact on your church in a positive way and help others because of it.

virginia

I really wonder how different things are now to what they were 50 years ago, except that back if you wanted to appear to society that you were a good person, you went to church. Church back then was often boring and irrelevant, and a lot of the preaching wasn't that good. And the problems--there were so many hypocrites. I know; I was there. That's one advantage of being over 50! I'm in a wonderful church now. We have problems, but what church doesn't? I have no plans to leave, but if I HAD to leave my church for some reason, I'd find another, and jump in and start serving.

Catez

Very interesting post. I have had my seasons... In my case because the church disbanded. Of course people have different reasons for going through those seasons. But I think there comes a time when God prompts them back into fellowship. I've observed some people I know becoming bitter - which makes me sad. Too long out of church isn't good. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Allan Svensson

Glory to God and his dear Son Jesus Christ, the great Revival is coming.

Revival is a hackneyed word. Many have used this word to gather people
around themselves, instead of around Jesus. And people think any revival
is not coming. They refer to 2 Thess. 2:3 and tell about the great Apostasy.
But this Apostasy has take place a very long time ago, and is still continuing.
The great Apostasy is NOW!

The great Apostasy happened a very long time ago. The entire Christendom
was lead astray by false shepherds and preachers, which preached false
doctrines. Since then, God's people have been slaves under lots of
denominations and churches. Before Jesus comes, God's people must be
released from all denominations and churches, the great Babylon. Therefore,
a real Revival must come before Jesus comes.

Rev. 18:4-5 is an extremely powerful revival message from the Lord.
Very few Christians have obeyed this revival message of the Lord, and
left the great Babylon. Before Jesus comes all Christians must obey
this command of the Lord. Otherwise God will judge them as partakers
in the sins of the great harlot, and they get their part in her plagues.

During more than 40 years I have written about this.
Please, read more on my Website.

What is a revival? How does a revival rise?
http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE86.HTM

The Body of Christ, the most valuable that exists on the earth,
but the people lack knowledge
http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE91.HTM

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE92.HTM

God's Law and God's Gospel
http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE15.HTM

Greeting in the name of Jesus Christ
Allan Svensson, Sweden

Mike

I'm a recent "apostate" as many would see it. I left a church that I had been a member of for the past 12 years and I can honestly say I have not had this much peace in my life in years. I realized that the church once had a genuine passion for Christ but has long since left this passion to embrace a worldy value system. Why can't we just love Christ and celebrate Him in church? Why does it have to be about me and my needs and wants or the Pastor and his needs and wants? I just want to know Christ and continue to love Him. I'm not interested in embracing a worldly system cloked in a Pseudo Christian Community. Let's get back to Jesus and being his followers!

Mike

Personally, I am sick of churches consumed with becoming the next mega church. I am also tired of the church leaders being someone who owns a business or is big in the community being slick in their words and smooth in their moves. What about the average working Joe who has a heart and a passion to serve Christ? Check your own church leadership and I'm sure you'll find the car dealership owner, the doctor, the insurance agency owner, and the occassional lawyer. Just spend some time and talk to the people who work for them or know them in the business world and the truth will soon unfold. If they want to run their business and life a certain way during the week that's fine but don't come to my church and make decisions for my family and me based on the way you've ran your business by hoarding and gorging yourself on a diet of dollars.
It also nauseates me how minister after minister has become this mortician type of personality always supportive, always encouraging, never negative, always with the best wit and right words. Come on, be real with me. Why is that so hard? What about raging anger, powerful pride, true passion, and a host of other things that we all struggle with. Just because you're a minister doesn't mean that you have conquered those things so stop acting like you have.
I could go on and on.

PattiinOklahoma

re: “un-churched” Christians

A very excellent book "Reclaiming GOD'S ORIGINAL INTENT for the CHURCH" by Wes Roberts and Glenn Marshall provides the reason most genuine Christians are rejecting "Christendom." The premise is that most of today’s leadership are climbing the church ladder. They are not called; instead they are in it for the career; and a career demands that they advance financially and numerically. The first 200 years after Christ ascended into heaven, the "Church" grew 40% every decade for 200 years. They used none of the tactics and promotional methods used today...yet it was phenomenal growth. Why? The transforming power of the Holy Spirit was in place. Jesus never changes. He is the same then as he is now.

First of all "un-churched" is an oxymoron. The "Church" is the body of Christ and is not contained in any man-conceived denomination. We are born again containers of the Holy Spirit the very temple of God, a dwelling place of the most High in human flesh.

If these are truly the 'last days' as many believe, I believe that while Christendom continues to grow mega churches with feel good doctrines..."seeker sensitive sermons"...or follow the erroneous..."Purpose Driven - Whatever" writings of Rick Warren (which any fairly literate theologian should easily expose his ridiculous conclusions) ... in other words those who espouse another gospel, these false teachers will be fishing for people and dragging nets full in only to find out that most of the take is worthless for the Kingdom of God.

This is the luke warm church - believers in name only spoken in prophecy. "Come out from among them...and be ye Holy (separate)." We shall return to small church fellowship in the home. No more playing "church."

The greatest rebuff of today’s denominations is the woefully lack of spiritual food. There is no sound doctrine. There is no "rightly dividing the Word." When the scripture says ... "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse." Why? "That my people may have food." That is the purpose for giving. Jesus himself said to Peter, "Do you love me? Feed my sheep." That was the original intent of the Church. What we get today are canned sermons sent out by the denominations. What we get is unsound doctrine that says projects the Armenian view that man is the saviour and man can save himself. What we get is "another gospel." II Cor 2:14 "Thanks be to God who ALWAYS is leading us in a triumphant procession in Christ and everywhere spreads the knowledge of God. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ. To the one who is being saved it is the fragrance of life to the one who is perishing it is the odor of death. Who is able to do this? For we are not like those who peddle the Word for profit...on the contrary, we come before God with sincerity as those sent out BY GOD." -- (loosely paraphrased)

Broad is the way to distruction; narrow is the way....and few are called.

Dale Baker

What is wrong with the church? The answer to that question is not complicated.The church left the traditions of the apostles and followed the teachings of the church fathers.

Celia

Lately I have been leaving my church on Sunday afternoons in a very depressed state. It all started when I started getting notices that my "pledge account" was in arrears. There had been an error - I had never "pledged" to the building fund. I was offended by this - and asked for it to be corrected. When pledge time came again, I did not fill out a card. For the next year I gave cash in an unmarked envelope. I gave what I could - more than 10% if my monthly income. I began to get letters telling me that I was behind in my pledges and so forth - now the pastor and most of the "leaders" of the church have begun to treat me differently - they will hardly speak to me or even acknowledge me in a group.

Rick

Celia,

I pray that you won't allow God's flawed messengers to dilute God's message... one I believe is articulated well in a book I've just completed and that I write about here and here.

May God tangibly make His presence known in your circumstance.

Jon Christian

I am reading allot about the shortcomings of the church, and I agree, however, I am wondering what everyone thinks about the works of the faith? This is where church is failing.
Matt. 25 is a whole chapter about christians, many christians think this chapter talks about saved and unsaved, but in fact, all were saved, but now half are going to hell because they did not do the works of the faith.
We all come to salvation through mercy freely given, but our salvation does not end there.
We have an abligation to be the good samiartan, and why is it that Jesus made an example to the preist and levite? Supposed men of God? They passed by on the other side, according to what Jesus said to the young lawyer, the preist and the levite are going to hell, while the heathen samaritan is going to heaven.
The works of the faith is what is lacking among christians, and christians ought to be working hard for the faith, our faith is a talent given to us, what we do with it is important.
Now, how many of you have looked the other way when a homeless person asks for help? Or ignored him? Or were worried about giving your money, or judged him saying get a job, you chose to live like this.
Hey folks, I was one of those homeless and I can tell you from experience I was abused by chritians more then anyone, the people who helped me were heathens, gang bangers, hard core bikers, only a small number of christians would help.
While other christians and churches were judging, no one, including me knew that I was suffering from SEVERE Post Traumatic Stress disorder.
I still suffewr from it, and for 20 years I have asked the church for help and for 20 years I have been turned down, WHY?
I could have been healed a long time ago and I could have lived a much better 20 years, but instead I have suffered beyond reason and my family too because of the effects the PTSD has on me and my ability to make good decisions.
Church has been too preocupied with its money, and making people happy, people pleasers, lets not upset the neighbors, lets not divide the congregation.
If you have a problem with helping hurting people, like the chronicly long term homeless then you are not a chritian.
These people have suffered un-imagineable tragedies in their lives, they come from abusive enviornments, the drink and do drugs to make the pain go away, I know, I was them, I was there, I did the same thing.
Now, complain all you want about church, when is everyone going to get off their butts and start healing lives that deparately need it.
They can be healed, weather or not they say they want it, when I was in that state I didn't want help because I was afraid, and I didn't wan't my security broken down, the alcahol made everything go away, of course all the public saw was a drunken ass, but what Jesus say was a broken human being.
Wake up EVERYONE, start doing the works of the faith.

Andrew

Thank you for writing this. I have been blessed to find a pretty good middle of the road church but was once involved with one I would now consider a cult. The leaders are lifted up as flawless and empowered by God, defying all of the principals of Christ while berating the conversation of those "under" them. Money, power, and social Darwinism reigns and the flock of God has been appropriated for personal gain. The whole book of Galatians is written to the modern day church and contains much strong warning against the fate of the self-righteous, the scribes, the pharisees. Jesus doesn't value dress clothes, hours of hypnotic music, droning mindless repiticious sermons vomited to a captive audience of diametrically opposed scared sheep and self-righteous followers herding them. It's all posturing, theatrics, and hypocrisy. The blind leading the blind. Revolution is obviously afoot through the Internet but it's bound to remain a sub-culture.
Glory to God.

bondservant

It is time for us to repent and pray and fast for the Body of Christ. we must be in deep prayer and seeking Gods Will for our lives. God is moving, just not in these buildings we call churches.We,(man), has made a monster, todays chuch.Its time for us to take the limits off of God, and let Him be God.Go to your scriptures in the Gospels, Find the real Jesus! Live as He says to live and do what he says to do!

jonathan

im glad there is people who really look for god.
i was there once, but im glad i found the truth.
not the truth of what someone, or some church says, but the truth that the bible shows, and all i have learned, i learned it for the bible itself not from someone else's mouth.
the jehova witnesses are the real christians, and all they teach, they do it from the bible itself, every word, every single thing, they prove it with the bible, so there is no way to deny them something, they trully have god's word.
if anybody has any questions about biblical matters, please contact me.

huntington_dude@hotmail.com

Tim

Hi, im 16 and i've been a christian for 6 months now. ive been goin to church and even went on a mission trip to south africa last month. i so longed to get stuck in serving jesus and others, but there was one thing that really held me back. I felt completely unwelcome, before i was christian i was out partyin, drinkin, doin some weed, hangin round on the street corner, maybe the people we afraid of me or summin! ive almost left the church so many times, i read the bible and see the community the early christians had, AND I LONG FOR THAT! oh, how i long for it! Tim

denise

When you read your bible you see that these things were fortold. 2thessalonians 2:3 Let no man decieve you by any means for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed the son of perdition. the churches are not preaching the gospel of jesus, but that of the world, have you not noticed the world globes in place of the cross? 2timothy 4:3 for the time will come when they will not endure "sound doctrine" but according to their own desires,because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables

Jacob

Jesus said that the time is coming when we will worship in spirit and in truth. It is no longer required to go to Jerusalem to worship God. He said where two or more are gathered there he is also. But two is not regarded as a fellowship according to today because you all need to be in church. But Lord you have declared that I am part of the body of Christ. Who is correct? It is man who is still trying to push us around to make us go to a building to worship or will we listen to Jesus He said that "We" are the "church". Each one of us is the house of God. We find that in the church of the New Testament, no one was lacking of anything. Everyone provided to the need of his brother! Jesus said that we are to all be regarded as equal, as brothers. Today we find a hierarchy in the church that is not biblical. We find that the people are no longer there for eachother but there for the building and the staff. Where is the encouragement for believers. The church needs to be clearly defined. The church or we who believe are what its about. Our very lives are lived to God in worship and by grace we are saved through faith. The institution has turned into a place that draws people in in order to create jobs and heap great loads on the backs of its congregants and with no pay while the leaders get paid for what is just expected of the congregants. The church always made me feel like a failure because I could never "kick" sin. We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God and though we accept Jesus, we still live in this body of sin. We sin everyday but our sins are no longer taken account of. The only way we can be saved is by confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. There is no backsliding or getting away from the Lord. We who believe are sealed and thankful that so much grace has been given. Church institutions are fine if you can go into them and know who you are in the Lord and no man, word, sin, or anything can take away your salvation.

kerry mccall

Hi everyone, I too left a church I had been at for a decade. there was an incident that caused my children to be greatly hurt and they wanted me to come to the elders and in front of the church and say it was my fault and i lied and it was not true. this was because my childrens father, my husband of 24 yrs. told them i "made it up". it was later confirmed to be true. theres been no apology forthcoming, they did nothing to make amends, in fact they have excommunicated me and told my husband everything was my fault, this way neither he nor they have any responsibility. this is the PCA (very conservative not the liberal one) so stay away from those! there have been cases upon cases where a child was being abused in the church by someone there and the family was paid to move away and keep it quiet. its so sad because most likely the victim will never get any "counseling" except that they must "forgive and forget it"- which as you know victims live with this to some extent the rest of their lives.

SoCalSarah

The idea of church in general for years has been wrong.

I have been to many different kinds of churches and have the firm belief that just because I choose not to go does not mean I am not a believer or sinful.

Church changed the moment that "man" interpreted the bible as a means of worship and stopped living in the foot steps of the apostles. Over the course of decades men were written about in the bible many years ago - where are our stories? I believe Jesus as well as the many others that contributed to Christianity meant for us to contribute as well; and did not want us to stop cold and rely on stories of old. We need to find faith in the past and tell stories of the future.

The enemies of Christianity defeated us long ago when they were able to manipulate us into believing the wrong things.

The Bible was created as a means to hand down stories of old to learn from and grow from. They were written by man - why did the stories stop so long ago? The Bible should be a continuous conduit of growth and unity developing every decade.

Hopefully that makes sense. I had strange dreams about this and woke up with a horrible cold.

Allan Svensson

Hi.
I found your Web Site by Google
And I wish you the best you can get,
the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

Welcome to visit my Site.
Allan Svensson, Sweden

Why does the revival tarry? It is because God's
people tarry to obey the powerful command of
the Lord in Rev. 18:4. This is the most powerful
revival message of the Lord to his people in our time.
www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

The coming revival, a nameless revival
www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/POWERFUL.HTM

Why was the Pentecostal Revival stopped?
www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM

As in the days of Lot, it is now. Lot was not interested
to leave Sodom. God sent two angels to rescue him.
One of the angels said to him: "Flee for your life sake ..."
Just like as Lot, God's people are not interested to leave
the great Babylon, but finally they must flee for
their life from there.
www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE88.HTM


joe

hmm,worthy comments all. I'm over 60 now,and I must admit I feel the frustration. But most problems can usually be traced back to a general point in time when things really started getting screwed up!..for Christians, we can partly thank people like Constantine,who(yes)freed us to be able to practice our Christianity in the open(debatable whether for personal,political,etc,gains or not)..But ever since we decided to meet in ornate buildings in the ex cathedra setting,and abandoned the biblical elder/deacon style of governing, for the more PC-let's have 44 committes to get together and take forever to decide nothing--we've grown to be dismal at best! In short, the more man has 'tinkered' with it, the more it gets screwed up!!...The problem is we've tinkered so long,and the problems are so myriad,that there is NO quick fix(short of the Lord returning in a few seconds). Christians have all but forgotten how to let the Holy Spirit lead in church,in their personal lives etc. And unless we realize what state we're in...repent..and get back to seeking God for everything from the most simple matters to the major ones, we'll be the dog chasing it's tail until the rapture...as A.W.Tozer states, we're all(personal and church wise)in a state of Rut,Rot,or Revival....realize which state you're in and seek Gods face for the solution. Man cannot,nor can any other group of people show you solutions to this. Prayer is a lost art in the Christian world--revive it!

Steve

I would never belong to a church that would have me as a member. (Hat tip to Groucho Marx)

Glenn

Great discussions here!

I'd like to share what I think is the root of the problem. I call it the "Pastoral Virus"

“With scripture mixed with the teachings of men …. is True evil accomplished …for true evil …is evil masked in good.”

Pastor’s have an evil seed in their souls, this deception about their role. This seed has taken root and causes much destruction. This destruction will continue thru a Pastor’s career until they start really seeking and listening God; until they really start seeking the Truth. This virus blinds them from seeing their sin (the pride selfishness and greed and it’s consequences). They can not see that they are stealing form God’s flock. They can not see the death and destruction that this causes.

If they were truly seeking God, seeking his will, building on his word, following his Holy Spirit they would know that they are sinning, they could see the devastation of their work and they would repent. Unfortunately the are relying more on what their teacher told them, than on what God’s Word and his Holy Spirt are trying to tell them. Remember All scripture, not just the easy parts, is God Breathed and good for rebuking correcting…

What’s Really Going on?

Today’s Pastors have been given a corrupt view of their roles in the church. They’ve totally lost the concept of the leader as the slave. They’ve ignored Paul’s tentmaker example in favor of a paid priesthood. They’ve abandoned the believer gathering command in 1 Cor 14 along with its warnings. They’ve never followed Jesus example of washing the feet of those he led.

full post:
http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/pastoral-virus/

josh

Here's my two cents worth. The contemporary Christian church has become a dual personality. Half of it is spirit led while the other half is forced by humans.

I've been a Christian my whole life and have attended church for most of it. But recently I have started to wonder why I feel less of God in church than I do when I'm with a bunch of believing buddies sitting around a campfire talking about the love of God.

I think somewhere along the way we started to become more concerned with paying for the upkeep of the church building and all those people on payroll than we have with following the Holy Spirit. As human beings we jump at the opportunity to extinguish any lack of control we may feel when in reality it's only an illusion that we have any type of control to begin with. In place of what we perceive as chaos or faith that God will provide, we systemize everything. From the exact time we are going to worship, to the amount of dollars we need to raise for a new "church project". The focus has gradually gone from listening to the Holy Spirit to maintaining a system that justifies the paychecks of church staff. ISN'T GOD POWERFUL ENOUGH TO UTILIZE GIFTED BELIEVERS WHO AREN'T FINANCIALLY REWARDED EVERY TWO WEEKS. (Apparently not)

What I want to know is HOW MUCH MONEY IS GOING BACK INTO THE CHURCH TO PAY FOR NEW SEATS OR NEW MONITORS OR NEW STAFF MEMBERS AND HOW MUCH IS ACTUALLY GOING TOWARDS SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS.

It is so easy for a church leader to forge a path for the church instead of letting God guide the way, which as you know may mean not having anything planned for the following Sunday. LET THE SPIRIT LEAD. A church meeting may not even happen next Sunday, it may happen tomorrow in the middle of the day when most of us are at work.

My point is WE ARE CONTROLLING THE PATH OF THE CHURCH and the results have proven disasterous. That's why so many of us are leaving the institutionalized church - It's leaders are lost and pressured with paying the bills.

I am looking for a church with no agenda, low overhead, leaders that aren't paid money to preach (duh), and followers that want to live in the Father's love and spread that love to others. When we experience the Father's love isn't that the light that shines so brightly from within us? Isn't that the light we're supposed to share?

BroKen

Josh, as a low-level leader in an "institutional" church, I want to tell you that I share many of your concerns. I would just remind you that God can (and does) use institutions as well as individuals. I would also remind you that even spontaneity is not always Spirit led. One hopes and prays that the Spirit is in both the worship and the planning of the worship.

But yes, we long to see the church return to its roots as an organism rather than an organization. I suspect that the problem is less in the fact that preachers are paid, than in the fact that they seem be paid to "do it all" and so the gifts of the Spirit in the church are stifled. I pray that God will use your gifts to build up His church. God bless.

James Marshall

The biggest thing I see about church? Church is about money, butts in the seats, making sure the pastor, Church or institution is supported flush with cash.

Church today is about words, not deeds! Words are words, but giving a starving man a sandwich, visiting an old widow, bring healing to the sick was what Jesus Christ was all about. Not making sure the pastor drives a BMW.

Isaiah 29, "My people honor me with their mouths and with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me."

Words only, come from empty hearts. Action comes from the Christians who really care!

Words are pie crust promises, easily made, easily broken. Action on the other hand is real sacrifice. Real people taking real risk, real effort, real sweat, real emotional work. Real action can be scary, dangerous, but wonderful in reward.

Today I see a church of empty words. A church that only gives enough information to keep people coming back for more, not because they want to come back, or because they've been ministered and healed by Jesus.

But because they're desperate and have no where else to turn. Just enough truth is taught to keep people being led around by the nose, like the donkey being led by the carrot. The Carrot of eternal truth always close, but just out of reach.

If the church were doing their job right, Christians would not need to go to church as much. Healing is about helping all men find spiritual freedom and independence.

Healing is about gaining ones strength back. Finding the power either from within you, or from without, to gain your strength. God is real.

It's a shame a single man like Abraham thousands of years ago, could have a relationship with God, but not go to church. But today, if you listen to most Christians and their Pastors, church is most nessesary? Why?

What church did Adam and Eve go to? Or Abraham, Issaac, Jonah, Isaiah? Did they go to church? What about the Prophet Daniel? Did he go to church? Or did he pray and relate to God on his own?

Christ's true church does not need an institution to tell them how to worship. God's people just figure out how to worship God on their own.

While there is a need to teach, and good church teachers are needed, they need to remember they're in business to put themselves out of a job. Otherwise they're milking the church system for their own rewards and not for God's greater glory.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000327878048

As I sit reading these posts I find that in some form or another there is indeed some form discontent with modern Christian churches, especially those in America. I recently, after many years of struggle and conflict have come to one conclusion, corporate church’s as they are called are simply wrong. I have known Christ since my early teen years. At 37 I have found new freedom in the discovery that church has nothing to do with a building. Set religious procedures executed at designated times offer nothing to the soul in need of spiritual ministering. Church as we are discussing here is nothing more than big business and if Jesus were on this earth today you better bet He would be flipping some tables with righteous anger. Today’s idea of church is nothing more than providing a sort of country club for the Christian elite. All are welcome to join but you better conform and fit in or you will be isolated and ignored out with the most very cold indignation. Many have left before that because churches today are just plain bizarre. It seems when you walk in those doors everyone starts talking and acting abnormally. There is only so much one can take being in awkward situations with un-genuine people. I do not speak for myself alone. Most of you feel the same way that is why you are reading these posts. No longer do I have to be in turmoil and guilt thinking I would much rather not attend church services. Church is not a building you go to and drop money in a plate to pay salaries, heating, electric and other useless and greedy overheads. Church is where two or more are gathered. Jesus promises there He will be also. Gather with fellow Christians in your homes to study God’s word and praise him. Heck don’t feel guilty, have a beer sing songs and be free responsibly. Keep it small and practical. Better yet go out to park where the walls of manmade structures won’t hinder you from seeing that it is God who has built His Church. Resist the temptation though to turn it into a business. If you decide to give money do it privately not publicly. Everyone sees who puts money in a collection plate, what is the point in that. There is your reward. World Vision is the only worthy organization that I will give my money as a Christian. Quite lining the pockets of these washed up car sales men, retired lawyers and business owners. They are scamming you. Be free in Christ instead of subjecting yourself to brainwashing. Don’t have money to give? Give your time. This is great to because you can actually show the lost you are willing to walk beside them and love them. Be careful of scams there as well.

Fernand

After 12 years of having been saved i can say that i'm worn out and tired of all the hypocrisy in the church. I know that Jesus said that we (his children) would be recognized by others because of our "love for one another". That's how people would know that we were his disciples. I've been to hundreds of churches while working with missionaries in Central America... and i've been to churches in the States as well. In the beginning i was so enthusiastic to see more people being added to the church... but now my question is: "why do we pray that God will bring more souls to our church?". I think that churches in the world need first to learn to love, and church members need to know God, and be transformed by Him, before we go out and try to bring more souls to our spiritually malnourished congregations. I've seen so many harts broken... the harts of people that want to know God, and want to be saved by Him. For example, prostitutes and drug abusers that came to the church looking for Christ's love, and only found rejection and isolation. Do you think those souls will ever want to come back to church? and most importantly they won't want to come to Jesus, because they think that church represents Jesus, therefore He must as cold hearted and uninterested as His church goers. I'm tired of pastors and deacons being more interested in status and in the money that comes in form of tithes and offerings, than in the condition of the sheep. Also, it seems like congregations are very proud of their buildings, size of their parking lots, fleets of buses, etc. When i read the bible, especially the book of acts, i find descriptions of what the church used to be like: loving, nurturing, completely dedicated to God and sharing his Word. But when i compare what was then with what is now, the difference is like an so great... it's like an abyss.
I feel healthier not going to a church. I feel healthier not listening to all the gossip and criticism that "Christians" speak against Christians. It's all the same, everywhere i go, any church i visit... like a valley of dry bones, lacking the Spirit of Life, but those bones have been deceived into believing that they're full of righteousness and life! Worst of all, they have been deceived into believing they can judge their brothers and sisters and those in the world. I'm tired of it... i don't have any more patience for it!

Sarah

I think many of you have some valid points. I've been seeking a church for my family, and am starting to believe that I am going to be stuck in a church that doesn't provide opportunities for the Spirit to move. It seems that the younger married couples with children like myself don't go to churches where the preacher is truly annointed by God. Another issue I have with the church is that we have thrown away our hymnals that reminded us of what we've been delivered from. We traded our precious history away for watered down worship that is empty and void of any true reason to give praise. Don't get me wrong some of the music is truly great, but a lot of it is just empty worship. God is mighty, but we as people need to be reminded of why he is so mighty and great.

CHRISTINE jOY


People love Christ....follow him and him only.....read the word and act on it.....know this CHURCH IS NOT GOD..ITS A PLACE TO FOLLOWSHIP WITH EACH OTHER ABOUT JESUS...THEREFORE LETS NOT FOCUS ON CHURCH GOOD POINTS AND BAD POINTS.BUT RATHER LETS FOCUS ON JESUS CHRIST.......WHEN JESUS COMES HE WOULDNT ASK US WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CHURCH.....HE WOULD WANT TO KNOW THAT WE WERE FAITHFULL TO HIM....I LOVE YOU WITH JESUS LOVE...JUST STAY IN HIS WORD.

Glenn

Sarah (2 comments up) asks an interesting question. How can you find a preacher that is anointed by God. We have all these men who are anointed by men!

God tells us how to distinguish, by obedience to the word.

NLT Mat 17:20 Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, you can identify people by their actions.

If leaders are obedient to the call of the bible, they are of God.If they follow Jesus' foot washing example accepting lower status than their flocks they are of God, but if thay exalt themselves preaching their weekly sermons, pulling the flocks eyes off Jesus and his Holy Spirit, they are of men.

Good And Bad Preachers, Know God’s Distinction
http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/good-and-bad-preachers-know-gods-distinction/

Preacher Bruce

God has cleaned the un-cleaned before and He will do it again. Look at all the hate in this world.
Maybe you should come to church everyday on our web site.
http://www.ourchurch.com/member/u/ULCW/
I will pray for you!

Michael

Read the gospel of judas, it has been found. There is also many other lost gospels, lost because they were called not important. What if i was to tell u that going to church and worshipping was not part of the message that was suppose to be conveyed. Calling it a religion is the same as calling it a cult, its the same because they are both actively pursuing members to make themselves feel like they are the right answer to truth. Look into the past to make sense of the present. Look at your belief with open eyes. The message that the people of ancient times have died for is lost by those who sought popularity over truth. i can see by some of the posts above that in your hearts you know what i say is true.

Michael

Don't label yourselves

Brenton

Praise God! I'm not alone!

Guest

I wanted to be find a Church where I could be a faithful participant not just a spectator. Unfortunately it was Church politics and pleasing the elite members to be in the accepted in the in crowd. It was just like in the work place. I felt no love or sense of the Lord's presence and had 3 Pastors in a row get fired for misconduct and adultery! I'm so done with the going to a Church building and the politics involved but I still love Jesus with all of my heart.

Guest

I think the Prosperity Gospel, Celebrity Christians on Christian TV have gone Hollywood on us with their materialism and self-centered theology. This has devastated the message of the cross and self-denial in Christ, like termites and rats.
The Church for the most part has caved to the seeker friendly, unregenerate, unrepentant, material seeking population. we need to get back to being Christ centered and Christ focused! Drawing a big crowd does not mean God is present. The late Michael Jackson & that crazy lady gaga can draw a big crowd. Mega Churches are no indication of a changed heart surrendered to Christ.

collette


I am a litte short of one year saved, I have been in the same church since I was saved. I also start reading the bible, I am at Ephesians now. A few months after I was saved a worker of my church asked if I wanted to be baptised, I really didn't have any interest in being baptised and wanted to spare her feeling so I told her "I'll think about it". After church service on a Sunday morning the worker told me she signed me up to be baptised. She smiled at me and to be honest I was 100% offended but didn't say nothing. When it came to the day to be baptised, I had to tell everyone I didn't want to do it and they did not say nothing else to me.

However,even doe the church worker made a mistake, I hate that church. I find the pastor arrogent, boring and narrow minded. I have remained in that church six months after that incident and I hated every day of it. This week I plan to leave and go to another church, this will be the last week I see them.

Matt

Hi,

Even though I am a deacon in the church I agree with a lot of what is being said on this site. I am Southern Baptist by denomination but because I am also in the military there isnt always a SBC around especially overseas. So, mu family and I are currently members of a Fundamental Baptist church and the week after we joined we were sort of offended by something that happened. Now to be honest, I agree that people should dress modestly both in church and otherwise, I dont however, think it proper to tell someone (my wife) that "I'm not sure if you are going to be able to sing with us [in the choir because] we have a
dress code." My wifemwas wearing a full length "pants/skirt" not pants but not a dress either... and a collarless, sleeveless, shirt. By all accounts it was modest. It did not accentuate her figure in the least. I was offended that they had the gaul to state that she couldn't sing for the Lord because she wasn't wearig a dress or skirt that was the correct length or because her shirt had no sleeves. That was a choir PRACTICE not service. Later that night at service they printed and handed out copies of the "rules or code of conduct" for all "workers in the church." My wife feels and I agree that it was that incident that lead to them publishig the rules later that evening. Again I have no problem with requiring Pastors or deacons to wear nice clothing even suits if one can afford it, but puting the yoke of social laws back on the necks of the people, I have a huge problem with it. These rules also forbid listening to ANY kind of Contemporary Christian Music.. stating that the entities behind then are less interested in spreading the Gospel and more interested in making money. That may be true but hey people, I learned the Roman's road from the group called the Appologetics. They do parodies of pop songs! I memorized scripture because of that song which was a parody of "That Old Time Rock and Roll." I agree much of today's "Christian music" simply isn't...much like many of our churches...."Even so Lord..come!"
Thanks and God Bless,
Matt

Phillip

I've recently and up until now have been feeling a little down because of what happened to me at what was supposed to be my church. I've been baptized and was in the RCIA program for months and thought that everything was going ok when the director of the program called me in to the church office for a meeting. I was told by her that I was too mean and that I'm being asked to step out of RCIA until I find God. Now I've been deployed several times and seen action a lot so I tend to be a little rough at times but not to a point of rudeness. I do ask questions which I now know is a no no within the church. Like I questioned as to why when the priest gave a sermon on addiction that he didn't enlighten us on the fact that he still smokes which is an addiction. How dare I question a priest who is way more holy than I. So I was told that if I don't conform to their way of worshiping God that I wasn't ever going to find him or become a member the the church community. Now I'm thinking to myself that if I can't ask the hard questions about the church or how it is run, where else am I going to find the truth to which the church is supposed to be the repository of truth according to the priest. So now I go to a different church and just don't get involved with anything all the while asking myself does this new fat priest ask for forgivness for his sin of glutney? Sorry I need to let go of my looking for what's wrong with things so lets let that one go. I once questioned as to why the word hate was in the bible and got no real answer from the RCIA cheat book that the councelors used. See these types of questions burn within me and I look for the answers that sometimes take me years to answer but still I look. And as for the other church I used to go to I now realize that some of the posts here hit the nail on the head when I remember that the priest drives an Audi. You see I think that the church has gone from preaching to profit in a few short years. I see this everytime the priest hands the wine and bread over to the helper during mass and he takes the collections basket. Goes to show you that even they are either trained in this behaviour and don't know better or it is showing everyone what has priority within the church these days. I once went to a little church to which I loved the priest but what turned me off is that since his church didn't collect much money that it was always broke, so in every sermon he would ask for money, now what am I thinking? That the church should sell some of their gold trinkets they keep in Italy to help out the problems facing the church. Oh, and in my opinion why is it ok now to use condoms to prevent the spread of dease but not let two very much in love gays get married. God loves everyone the same and even states to love thy neighbor as you would love me. So if your neighbor is a gay couple why can't the church love them as they love God? Or do they? I'll stop my ranting now and please forgive my spelling.

Randy

It seems to me that the thing that has done the most damage to believers is arguing over doctrine.
Each of us should share our actions and insights with each other of how we go about learning from the Holy Ghost, and pretty much confine it to that. If someone comes in and wants to act like they are your dominate eye (sight giver) pluck them out. If someone comes in and act like they want to be your right-hand man, by their actions, then cut them off. We should be opening our heart to the Holy Ghost and allowing the Holy Spirit to raise us.
The thing that has done the damage to believers is arguing over doctrine. I stay away from it and try to pass it on to others to stay away from the same temptation. That is "EXACTLY " what the leaven of the scribes and pharisees seems to be!
Yes, I know, we all have our pet personal insights ( and often they change throughout our own spiritual walk....but that is between ourselves and God Only. It's personal. Those beliefs are not to be force fed to anyone.
We are to preach the 'Gospel" only... What is the Gospel?
Simply this: God sent his only begotten Son to us to do what was necessary to accomplish the forgiveness of our sins so we would be able to receive the instruction of God Himself (the HOLY GHOST).
I like sharing with other believers, but I hate walking into organized religious sites where doctrine is continually swung around like a baseball bat.

Phillip

Well I've just been emailed by the leader asking why I've not come to church. She stated "Putting RCIA on hold for now doesn't mean putting God on hold." So I told her that I've been going to a church where I'm not known to do services and not get involved with anything else. We will see what happens next, stay tuned.

Phillip

Well here is my answer;
"It takes faith to comply with the Church when she wants you to make hard decisions."
This sounds like the borg on star trek. I must comply or else. This is the typicall answer for those who don't want to see change within the church and are happy to oust anyone who doesn't comply. It takes faith to worship God not the church like it is an entity or the borg queen like a hive. Well I have my answer and will keep worshiping God and not the church. Love & Peace be with you all.

Jesse

This is a great discussion and one that needs to be talked about. It is so true that church is incredibly boring, no matter what denomination you attend. Denominations or divisions in the church are part of the problem but more so the problem is their is a separation of clergy class and lay class. The New Testament teaches of no such separation. Hebrews tells us that we are all in the priesthood of God. Meaning, their is no mediator or ultra worker between God and us. This started shortly after the apostles left the scene and is even mentioned in Revelations in the letter to the 1st church and the 3rd church. It is what is called the Nicolatians in those letters. That word means 'having victory over common people'. Christ tells us in those letters that He hates their deeds. As such, so must we. The Nicolatians are the elite in the church. Their should be no elite, no one or few individuals performing most of the teachings and baptisms and the like.

This even causes our so-called meetings to be disjointed. Our meetings were intended to be more of a participation by all, a discussion if you will. Where some will participate with a song, a prophecy, a word of encouragement or what have you. Read the end of 1 Cor 14 for evidence on that one. However, since their is a clergy, we are only fed by that elite group of christians, meaning, the person in the seat next to you will not benefit you in any way like he should, he just doesn't have the opportunity to. Instead of a 1 way dialogue from pulpit to pew, it was meant to be more of a round table discussion and participation. Think of the growth the church would achieve if that were the case and how excited you would be to meet with the church in that setting. The church would turn the world upside down for Christ like it did in the apostles day.

We need to get out from these churches and meet in our homes, coffee shops, restaurants, parks and have true fellowship sharing God's truth and encouraging the brothers and sisters in Christ. What you see around you is only man's church and we prop it up by paying tithes. Where in the New Testament does it say we should pay tithes? No where. Even Paul spent time explaining that he never asked anyone for money to keep his ministry going. But he taught us that he who works in the gospel should live by the gospel; meaning that God would provide for all their needs. That is the reason Christ sent his 12 disciples around Israel without any money, so they could completely rely on God. When a pastor gets money easy with tithes, it totally removes the faith component and they are then downgraded to relying on man for their ministry.

Those are the problems, the solution is to get the message out to your brothers and sisters around you and meet with them teaching with each other, singing with each other, praying and prophesying with each other. God will bring blessings on you as He did with the church in the Apostles day. May he truly bless all of you who read this.

Guest

When Jesus Saved me and became my Savior & Lord I did not stick my big toe into the church doors or go in half-way but I jumped into the church world to assemble with the so-called faithful with my whole heart, mind, body and soul. I've never been a half-way person when it comes to my passion for anything and esp. when it comes to loving Jesus. However, just like in a loveless marriage that you tolerated years of coldness or abuse- my relationships with the people inside of the church walls has taken its toll on me. It disappointed and hurt when 3 in a row Pastors I held in high esteem were dismissed for adultery or unethical conduct. It was just as hurtful to watch various church members treat others good or bad based on their titles, money or education. There is a bible verse (Luke 16:15) that says "what is esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God".

I tolerated abuse in the church for years but when my beloved mother died I could no longer pretend church people were my (spiritual) family any longer. I got a total of three phone calls or cards, with only one church friend attending the funeral, after years of my encouraging & reaching out to these people when they were hurting. There comes a time when one must face reality that these people were not people I could depend on to really care about me or be there for me, therefore what is the point of being around them when I can read my bible at home and volunteer to serve others in some charitable organization serving others which is actually being Christ-like.

I'm not as bitter as this might sound just being realistic. I know there is no such thing as a perfect church or perfect people. I've even heard the analogy that Churches can be compared to (Spiritual) hospitals for the sick to come in and get well. However if any hospital has a track record of making you sicker than when you went in then its not worth being in, in my opinion.

Pew Research conducted a survey and the majority of people labeling themselves as Christians failed to answer the most basic bible questions correct. How can someone be serious about their faith if they fail to understand what their beliefs are based on and what is written in the Book (Bible) it is all about? If most Christians have never read from Genesis to Revelation, line by line what does this tell you about organized religion?
Try sharing with church folks what hurts you when Christians behave badly and the likely response will be "don't judge and that God said touch not my anointed". I have trouble believing real anointed people are insensitive and hurtful. As far as the don't judge comment I'd like to know when does any problem or behavior change if people are in denial or enable others to behave badly? Time out for excuses when Christians behave badly. The Early church held others accountable and encouraged Christians to love one another, not excuse one another for their unethical or wrongful actions.

I doubt a large percentage of persons sitting in the pews on Sunday mornings even believe the bible based on their UNChristian behavior. We are to forgive and not judge but Jesus said to know them by their fruit (behavior). I'm looking for a charity I can serve in to really help others but no thanks to church membership for now.

Richard

I agree for the most part on what you have written. The Church today is one made up of Programs without sound teaching. For years the Lord has had me speak against what the present day Church is doing. One the main reasons the Church is where it is, is because they or we have destroyed the very foundation the Jesus laid. In Ephesians 4: 1 – 6 the scripture tells us that we, that is all that confess Jesus as the Son of God who died and rose again and sits at the right hand of the Father and that only through Jesus may we be saved. I do not see anywhere in God’s Holy Word where there is a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Protestant, and on and on. If we confess that Jesus is Lord, then we are the Church, and it is by “… One Lord, one faith, one baptism”!!!
Also in Ephesians 4:11 it says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”. We the Church along with Satan, have destroyed the hierarchy that Jesus himself set. Most Church’s do not believe there are Apostle’s and Prophet’s and verily use the office of Evangelist correctly. We now have a “Pastor” doing all the offices! That is wrong!!!
Also the Church has failed to make sure the Family unity is what God says it is and the order that He set it. It is the husband that is the head of the house, not the wife and they are not equal in that sense. The children are to obey their parents, not be rebellious and do whatever they want. The Church has failed to do discipline and correct what is wrong, the leaders, which are not leaders, have close their eyes and mouths and have allowed Satan to walk in and destroy what God had established.
I have been ridiculed, put on a black list, lied about because my position is to stand and minister what is correct by God’s Word through the Holy Spirit. But the Church does not want to hear the truth, in Isaiah 5:20 it says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Woe unto God’s house!!! In 1 Peter 4:17 it says, “For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Woe unto the leaders that are hirelings and are doing what they do for pay, being propeller, issuing feel good messages in fear of losing their pay!!!
I apologize not for being so bold, I have been fighting a long time and as the time of our Lord draws near, the battle must rage on until the end even though they will not listen. Those of us who know the truth, need to stand together, and we need to lay between the …porch and alter… and cry unto God, that the Church repent and turn from their wicked ways and be the Church which we have been called to be, the Head, not the tail.
Lord Bless you for your article, always stand and never give up!!!!

Pam B.

I agree with most of the posts. I've been called hard and unjust because I tell people the truth. So kudos to you guys for standing up and being bold. What more is love than to be honest for their good? My family and I were part of a foursquare church in KY. When we joined we didn't realize everything about it and when we started noticing some biblically unsound doctrine and brought it up we were told we could leave at any time. We didn't...and much to my chagrin it was b/c we (thought) had such good friends there and could still be used in a good way to serve the Lord....but we should have. Later we were falsely accused of verbally abusing my daughter (who lied to the youth pastor was interrogated by the elders and youth leaders). During an intense meeting with the new husband/wife pastors, elders, and youth leaders it became evident to them that she lied and they admitted that if we hadn't had been elders, they would've called social services for our kids to be removed from the home. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. They explained that they could lose their licenses for not reporting the "suspicion" of abuse. The church has given itself to the world in more ways than I can count. Since that incident we have moved and not been back in a church. Who wants to be part of a state-run body of believers? Shame on those that are no different than the Pharisees. But I know that God used it for his own purposes and I see the man-made church for what it truly is now. Unfortunately, my children group Christians into the category of hypocrites who can't be trusted.

Rick

Though this post was written in a place I am no longer, all I can think to add in the place I am today is that Jesus loves The Church… even when she falters, fails and is less than perfect…

We should do the same I think…

DAVE

I THINK IT'S BEEN UPSIDE DOWN FOR YEARS. WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT WE MUST BECOME CHRIST LIKE, WE MUST LET JESUS LIVE THOUGH US. fROM THAT I GUEESS GOD DON'T LIKE WHAT HE MADE. HOW ABOUT THE OTHER WAY JESUS DON'T WANT US TO BECOME HIM, HE WANTS TO BECOME US! I AM GOING TO LEAVE IT AT THAT FOR ANYONE WITH OPEN HEART TO PONDER THE REST WILL JUST TOSS IT ANYWAY.

Pierre Basson

I read every comment here, and almost want to cry. I have 30 years in church and seen a lot of abuse. However the shining light of the real gospel of grace in Jesus Christ is more than enough. However sometimes the Christians get to us before Christ does and sour us to God.
I am writing a book on how to experience God within 24 hours, without having to go through the religious church thing first. Without a life changing personal experience of God, we easily become the hurt victims of Churchianity.
Book will be released in June- costs only $3 (so no one will get rich from it) but a lot of people will get all the church benefits without the church agony.
Click link below if you want to help me gather opinions on your church experience to include in my book or just want to read it. No weird stuff, just plain old Gospel.

Ed

Leaving church was the best thing I ever did

Marie

Ephesians 5:25.

joseph r godleski

dear sir i have read the above posts on this site and agree that the problem lies in both the protestant church that you attended and those who posted comments you were expecting to high standards in a man made church started by men from the 1500's to today who main goals are to attract the adults and teens who fell awayfrom the church and to attract those that some reformanist feel are unsaved because they dont get overly emotional at church or things found the bible well i must say i am a member of the eastern orthodox church which was founded by christ apostles is biblicaly based worships in a liturgical style the hymns were formulated from the scriptures and sung acapella not using drums or electric guitairs we follow the bible church traditions taught by the apostles who handed those traditions down to the church fathers to our bishops who are their succesors

Jason Mccabe

The problem with Christians is church the Christian faith is so mixed with interpretations from early church fathers far from Godly men. Responsible for Torture, murder Genocide, to put it mild the teachings in everyday Sunday attendance are so far away from the original teachings from let's be honest a fully observant Torah keeping Jewish individual with exstreamly high moral fabric nothing I have ever heard in 25 years of research even partly resembles what is recorded in the ordest manuscripts we do have .

Just being honest

guest

joseph godleski grow up ur a fake you dont even know what christianity is callin people names is not what a chrisitian is go back to church and read a holy bible

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