It’s Not About Church | If You Haven’t Seen It

(Written in the summer of 2016. The first time I ever got the nerve to discuss my views on church. I’ve grown more confident since. However, I still have been saying the same things about church. 🙂 Enjoy!) 


My hands shake and my spirit trembles as I hear God ask, “Will you write this piece? Not later, but now. You know your calling.”

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As I open my Bible for guidance, immediately it opens to (NKJ) Philippians 3:12-13 “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear, and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

I had started to work on a new post for the continuation of Layers of Prayers, however, through praise and prayer, God revealed something very deep in my heart. Something He has taught me since I was 4 years old, something that I’ve struggled with since I was 13.

Related Post | My Calling | Maybe You Were Like Me

Speaking about issues that believers simply do not want to hear.

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I ask with humility to hear me out. And dear God, please take over the pen.

Yesterday I wrote these words that you have read above. And as I started to dive into the blog, God directed me to cover part of my background when He first moved me when I was 13. Explaining how and why I say and think certain things. My calling, I believe, is to reach out to believers.

But still the original push for this blog wasn’t completed. So that information became its own blog post. With my explanations being said, now, together, we tackle what God pricked my spirit to write about.

Purpose Of Church

Let it be clarified, this blog is NOT in any sort bashing church or the importance of church. Church holds a large part of a believer’s life. So let’s go over that first. Why is church important?

Community

The church provides an environment for us to find others who share Someone in common. God is an amazing icebreaker when meeting new people.

(BLB) Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling together of ourselves as it is custom with some, but encouraging one another, and so much more as you see the Day drawing near.”

The church community is meant to encourage and uplift each other. We can keep each other accountable. It helps us not backslide in sin. It is meant to be a safe environment.

(It isn’t always, but that can be another blog topic for a later time.)

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Since there is a large body of believers scattered throughout the world, we need shepherds to help lead the body. One of the main jobs for a pastor is to help and encourage the flock. Pastors can answer questions and protect the flock from wolves.

This is important because it is very common for those who struggle attending church due to bad experiences from a toxic church they left. So the discussion about God, Jesus, and what it means to have a relationship, may very possibly, be answered by people who also do not attend and therefore have a weaker understanding. The bond of believers should be strengthened together, not have us pinned against one another.

*Let it be noted that being a teacher of Christ, of any kind, we are held to a higher standard with God.

(NIV) James 3:01 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

Therefore, whatever your calling is, remember to pray for pastors and teachers of Christ. We are all accountable.

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Now, this was noted with community, but I want to touch on it a little bit more. In the right church, fruit will be shown. In the right church, God will speak to His people. Differences will occur in the lives around us. We will be able to see and hear about those experiences. We have access to more than two believers who can pray for us.

(NIV) Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” We have elders, church leaders, who can anoint us. (NIV) James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”

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The Bride Is The Body Of Believers

The goal of the church is to be surrounded by other believers. Lifting each other up and praising God together in the name of Christ. What we learn in church we need to take out of church and reflect it back. The true Church is not a building. It is the body of true believers.

Scripture talks about Christ and His bride. The bride is the Church. Not a building, but the body of believers. Christ gave His life so that all can enter a relationship with Him.

(NIV) John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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We Are Not To Only Grow In Church

Jesus didn’t give His life for a building. He gave His life to the individual. And it is the individual that this post is written for. Church for centuries has become a crutch and not a good one.

We are to fellowship with each other and we are to learn together. Discussions together often help us grow. However, it is not purely for socializing. If church is the only time we see people, then we need to change. We need to see the people we talk to in church outside of church.

If the words, “We should hang out,” ever come out of our mouth we should be sincere. Act upon the words we say! Do not say something just to “sound” like we care or because that’s the “Christian” thing to do. False!

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Security Is In Christ Not In A Building Or People

To be Christ-like means to be accountable to every single thing, above all else, Jesus kept His word. God keeps His promises. If we do not have time to give to another person, do not give him or her a false pretense. This leaves bitterness in the ones that find we have given them false promises.

Do not find sole security in the church. Find sole security in Jesus Christ. This is crucial because, on the day we die, we will meet Him. We will not have a building, a community, or even close friends to “speak” on our behalf. No. We do not need that because Christ is always around us. INVOLVE JESUS IN EVERYDAY LIFE!

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Where Is God On Our Priority List

He sees us. He knows us. Get to know Him! Don’t wait for another person to teach on a Sunday. Let God teach. Don’t let a sermon become the only lesson that is learned through the week. And don’t let a sermon be the only exposure to scripture.

If we want God to work in our life, we have to get to know Him. We cannot set a specific day and time for Him, why because He never does that to us.

So what if we feel rushed, we don’t have access to one scripture? We can’t talk in our mind to God? We don’t use the bathroom? We don’t use the shower? We don’t prepare and eat food? We don’t do chores around the house? What are we slobs?

Definition of slob: Good for nothing, waster.

Is this how we want our time management to be with God?

(Note: I need to do the dishes.)

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Church Does Not Have To Refuel Us

We need to acknowledge Him and give Him the time of day. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel refueled by going to church and fellowshipping with others. But I caution please do not let that be consistent in waiting to be refueled by church. God can and WILL refuel us through prayer and worship one on one. We should never rely on anyone else to give us that, except Christ.

When we meet Him, may we know Him. I urge you all and myself to have more memories and more lessons with God that are not church related. (Say what?!) Keep growing in the church and the body of believers, but grow with God one on one.

The memories where you are hidden behind doors and only God knows you personally. Don’t let God see you only in the midst of other believers. Let God see you and just your heart. Because in the end…

It’s you and God.

In the end, “It’s me and God.”

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What are your thoughts on church? 
Don’t forget to let me know any prayer requests you have or want to be continued for the month of July! 🙂
I know a lot of people have shared their opinions before, and it seems there feels to be a need for defending the church in responses past. I want to reinstate. I’m not against church, as this post is the first of the topic, I went into why I’m not against church. I’m against people using the church as a crutch. I’m against our focus being too much on the body of believers than on Christ Himself. 

And Remember...Be The Salt Of The earthAnd The Light On The HillWe Are His Branches1

Month Scripture (NIV) Job 2:10, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

***Community Prayer Request For June – Join Me In Praying For Each Other And If You Have A Request To Add Let Me Know. A New Prayer Request Post Comes Out Every Month And Is Updated As Requests And Updates Come In. 

Second Blog: Peeking Beneath

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39 thoughts on “It’s Not About Church | If You Haven’t Seen It

  1. Points well taken– I definitely agree with everything here! It’s not the church that will save us but our own faith and relationship to Him. I loved reading this one. Thank you so much for sharing, T.R! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Reading this blog brought out answers to what questions I was struggling with. That’s obsessing over finding the right church for my family and I. Eventually God put in my heart that I shouldn’t depend on church to have a personal relationship with God. Sadly to say, until this day I still have not found the “right” church. I gave up finding a church, as weeks and months went by it finally clicked! I needed to work on my one on one relationship with Jesus/God. Before, I thought by going to a church once a week I was doing the right thing. But that wasn’t enough. Which is why I can relate so much to this blog, you said it best, its all about having a relationship with the higher power. And most of all having faith.
        Thank you for sharing…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you for sharing what was on your heart, Gracia!

        Church absolutely encourages others to have a relationship with Christ and gives us a place we can bond with other believers and encourage each other. But the actual relationship 99% of that will be outside the doors of the church building. It will not be happening around other believers.

        I’m so glad for you that you have seen how stepping out into your relationship with Christ is what will get you where you need to be. I’m sad at this point you have not found a place you can worship with other believers. However, I am thankful you can worship and discuss these things with the body of Christ on here 🙂 Praise God for allowing the body of Christ to be in many places!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Its about finding and building a relationship with God, we can’t follow what other people are doing. so we can be seen as godly Christians we have to work on that by our self’s first to be in that path.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen and amen! I’m so glad to see Christians like yourself coming out and pointing out problems within the church’s institutions! 🙂

    Hehe that is why sometimes scholars refer to churches (small c) as local churches/ local gatherings and Churches (big C) as Christendom at large.

    And whatever happens to the church or the Church, know for certain that the faithful elect will stay rooted in Christ for nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. 🙂

    I’ve seen how churches persecute believers and I’ve wrote about them in http://diaryofngbaoyee.wordpress.com/ and I’ve also wrote about the workings of a church, Church, and the invisible community in http://themanifoldwisdomofgod.wordpress.com/

    Hope my sharing is a blessing!
    Keep sharing and shining for Christ!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely believe the body of believers is the true Church, also the true Bride of Christ. And it’s important we gather together as scripture encourages us to do for sure. But yeah, we definitely need to be aware and always make sure our walk with Christ is first 🙂

      Unfortunately, you are totally right. In some churches, believers persecute other believers and sinners.

      And praise God that nothing can separate us from Him, amen! God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been in many churches in my 40 years of life and I have to say, in all honesty, I’ve never felt encouraged in any church setting–only judged. I haven’t been back to church for 3 years now. I’m trying to figure out exactly what I believe about God these days after being a really abusive church environment and told what to think, feel, and act. Being a church has only made me lose my way. So I hope God is ok with the fact that I am done with church–I’ll never go back. I have Christian friends and there are plenty of ways for me to serve others around me. Naturally, people want to be around me so why do I have to force myself to be around a set of people who happen to meet in a church building. IMO, that’s not what the NT was talking about when they created “the church”. The church isn’t a building, but a people and Jesus should be the leader, not some guy with a seminary degree who is only concerned about his image. I have no love for the institutional church, but I’m trying to sort my way through the weeds to figure out my love for Christ and what that means for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Above all else, no matter what anyone says, the most important thing that matters is your relationship with Jesus Christ. Your time with Him including prayer, talking to Him, worship, and Bible study to draw close to Him. That is what matters the most. A lot of times people use church as a crutch, and too many times people stumble others up by making their salvation about their church attendance, tithing, involvement with the church, etc. God will always go first, no matter what, not a church building, and yes, not even the church body.

      Truthfully, I don’t blame you. I think it would be an amazing blessing down the road should God direct you in the arms of a church family who is part of the body of Christ, but as scripture says “you will know them by their fruits.” There are many churches and many believers (whether they go to church or not) who stumble others. And it’s hard and hurtful because the actions of others I think often times stumble our own walk with God. I know in my experience when I was at a church during a time I was really seeking fellowship and friendship because I was isolated, and the experience was toxic, bitterness had definitely taken root in me, and at the time I did not realize it. God gave me a dream in which I woke up and just knew I was bitter because of the hypocrisy and the hurt I felt.

      The church body, the true Church is the Bride of Christ, and you are right you definitely can serve outside of a church building’s walls. You can meet with the true church body without being inside a church building. And I agree, the NT when talking about the church discussed the gathering of believers, and sure they met under roofs, but nothing like the church we have today in most countries around the world, not just America.

      If interested, I know two bloggers I follow are pastors and they share awesome material.

      Pastor Winters – https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/20810446

      Pastor Aldtric-https://beblesstified.com/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I probably sound bitter. I probably am. I just feel confused by my faith and I feel the church made it really hard for me to know Christ. I follow a lot of people on WordPress but honestly, that makes it hard too! Some are atheists, some are Deists, some are hurt by the church, and some are so confident in their faith–I envy them. I wish that was me, honestly. My faith has crumbled and is holding on by the tiniest of threads. Somedays I don’t even know if God exists. But maybe that’s just me. I’ve been seeing a Christian counselor and that’s sort of helped, but I think my heart has to be ready to hear and right now it’s probably not. I know God can reach the unreachable, or at least I’ve always though he could. I hope he can reach me someday too. Thanks for the links. I’ll check them out.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. From what you have opened up to, I definitely feel like you’re like the woman who desired healing. She knew if she touched the robe of Christ, she would be healed. I don’t know if I have an inkling of faith, I want to. But I also know my desire and belief in God is strong. And you are right, He reaches the unreachable. That’s why Christ said He came for the sick, not the healthy. He came for those the believers of that time period scorned and ridiculed. It sounds like you are someone He absolutely is looking for and wants to spend time with. 🙂 Truthfully, I have no confidence in my faith, but I have all confidence in my Lord because He is everything, and He keeps His word. He keeps every promise. And if that is all you can hold onto, I promise you He can reach you with just that bit. And you are wise and right, your heart has to be ready, for sure. Pain, the ache, the wondering of what if, I’ve realized the more vulnerable and hurt I’ve been, Satan and darkness will be the first to cast the stone against me. And I’ve seen God use music and pieces of scripture to defeat those lies with gentle reminders that He is still there. 🙂

        If you are interested, no pressure 🙂 here is my toxic church experience, it’s in four parts, but this is the first part. He really taught me a lot through it, and if you happen to read it, I hope something stands out to you. ❤

        https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/a-toxic-church-made-me-bitter/

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Michelle, I’ve so been where your are at and can relate to what you wrote. If it’s any encouragement everything I thought was godly, right and true crumbled to nothing and Jesus was the last one standing in the rubble. I left church because He wanted me to know that if I never did another thing in His name he would love me the same. It’s taken 6 years but now I’m free in an open space with Him and people are going to be really, really surprised at who’s at the head of the table in Heaven. He will hold on to you. That’s his job:)

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Amen! Thank you so much, Kate for sharing! A lot of fallen believers make it about works and put pressure on others. Jesus does encourage us but not in this same manner. I know when I was hurting He directed my eyes to Him and not how I thought a congregation may judge or think of me.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I think I can’t really “get it” because of all the trauma… I just wrote a post yesterday about how my upbringing turned God into a Boogeyman. I’m still trying to get him out of my room, so to speak. Eventually we will see what comes of it but right now I can’t really claim to know anything. It’s a very lonely feeling when you are attached to nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s very true that people can influence us, and especially if you are referring to being a child and growing up in fear of God, that is not what godly fear means. It’s a shame because people want to be the voice and play “God” when it comes to others. The judgement, the isolation, and perhaps manipulation takes away a true relationship with Christ because you never got to actually spend time with the real Him. You got the burden and weight of this man made “god”.

        You deserved better, and you still deserve better ❤

        Like

      7. It’s really hard, and I can understand especially if your heart has been broken and stomped on for so long. You would be the woman and child Jesus would stand in front of, and call them out for hypocrisy, stumbling you, and rebuking them because they too have sinned and are not perfect. That’s who Jesus is. Not this horrific manifestation of legalism and man-made flaws. But I totally see why your spirit is fragile and why it hurts so much.

        I sincerely hope these people who have done this to you get their act together and seek forgiveness because vengeance is His, and Christ already sternly warned against stumbling little children.

        Like

      8. Thank you. One of the biggest influences was my mom. She died 8 years ago. At the time, she had changed so much, I couldn’t be mad at her anymore. But now I feel a lot of anger about my upbringing and if I’m honest, abuse. It’s so confusing when the person who you buried was such a great support as an adult but as a kid, she was downright horrible to me. How do you reconcile that? Not to mention the experiences of growing up hearing God was pissed at me. You can pretend you are over it and remind yourself of how she changed, but it still happened. Anyway sorry to blab. Thanks for replying.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Blab??? BLAB?? PSSSH!!!!! ❤

        We're writers, so we obviously have things to talk about 🙂 and if I did not want discussion, I would not have comments. Yeah, it does not seem like you are mad at her, but like you said, just everything you went through, and the lies you were constantly told.
        There is hope that the power of true forgiveness releases these chains, and at the same time, it does not take away or lessen what you went through. I know in my own life, and by no means what I went through was the same, but I had really toxic friendships. I really didn't like my high school years. I was used a lot by people. God got me through that because a lot of times I only had Him. I did wonder a lot though how He would use the pain because when I was a teen I just did not understand why I kept getting hurt and my emotions twisted and used against me. I was manipulated a lot and lost complete self-confidence. One particular person, I was best friends with for six years, and she just faded out of my life, yet kept trying to come back when it was convenient for her. I had a lot of anger and bitterness built up over the years, but steadily I started to give it to God. I was able to completely forgive her and let go.

        And I hope she changes for the better. I think someone changing from the horrible person they were in the past is so much better than remaining the same because then you're still trapped in that manipulative cycle, at least in this sense you're free from it, and I'm glad you are. But the damage has lefts its claw marks on you. Major hugs! Again, you deserve so much better, and I hope your heart heals because you don't deserve this burdens and chains.

        Like

      10. I just read your post and loved it. It was the most relatable one on God I found yet. It’s raw and honest. I can truly understand why you struggle with God after reading that. When a child is abused in any way in the name of religion it is so much worse. I agree that you would have been better off “unchurched”. You wouldn’t have to un-do all those lies. Don’t try to “get it” just be. I am going to pray for you because I just want to:) I pray you see you are loved ‘as is’. You have an awesome blog btw!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I just want to add too, thank you so much for opening up because so many people have had those experiences, and before my toxic experience with a church, I didn’t get it before. Because I had a home church I grew up in, but the truth is most people don’t, and even if they did, people move, and times change. God really opened my eyes in my experience why people struggle with church, and how corrupted believers are and how toxic they can be to others. But praise God He is not like that, and woe to the leaders who strike the sheep.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sometimes I still blame myself. Maybe I was the bad one. Maybe I wasn’t loving, forgiving, or serving enough. Maybe I was making too much of everything. But then I think about it and no, it was subtle, but it was still abuse. And yes, I probably handled all of it wrong, but how else are you supposed to act when hurt? Thank you for letting me share. It helps to share and not be told I’m going to hell. LOL.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yikes, I hope people are aware how Jesus warned against us judging others. I do not ever want to try to sit in His throne and figure out someone’s judgement or salvation. That is in His hands. Not mine. Not theirs.

        You also spoke of leaders, and if you have experienced leaders and not people properly guiding you with kindness and gentleness it is hard not to know what to do. We need examples, that’s one huge reason why Paul constantly visited different churches. So he could guide, rebuke when needed, but still give God the glory. We all need each other’s help. We all need encouragement. There is right way to speak to one another, and there is a wrong. But the beauty of God’s healing is that it surpasses everything. And it is strong enough to heal this and the lies you’ve experienced 🙂 even if it takes time.

        Liked by 2 people

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