My Life

Why I Stopped Talking About Church

I cringe while reading old posts of mine regarding the church body.

You may notice the blog has been fairly silent (for a few years, really) discussing church. If you’re a follower of a few years (I think I still see a couple of you out there *squints), you’ll know what I mean. In the past, I felt like it was so important to talk about spending time with the Lord outside of church, which we should. I felt it was important to spend time with others outside of church walls, which we should.

I constantly had to prep my posts telling people I wasn’t against church. There seemed to be a lot of misunderstanding. Those who agreed with me often were ones who had previous pains of church experiences. I also felt I had a toxic church experience, which looking back really wasn’t that bad, but perhaps that’s for another post.

The inspiration for today’s post came when I read one of the first posts I did on church in 2018. I even dubbed these posts “posts against church” because that’s how so many people took them. While my intention was to point out some truths I still hold true, I can now how see my previous pains and struggles clouded my discernment. As I warned in many of these posts, I, too, experienced a cloaked sense of pride. And boy was that pride hidden well.

Little recap, if you’re new. I think a large portion of my misconceptions come from the fact I came out of the Seeker-Driven/Emergent church movement. Basically, these movements are heavily soaked in Christian Mysticism. I valued my relationship (Note: including spiritual experience/knowledge) with Christ over anything else. I strived to make that a point in my posts about how important our relationship with the Lord is, and yes, our relationship with Him IS so important. However, I was elevating my relationship with Him over others to the extent I was blind to:

  • Pride.
  • Not loving others like Christ.
  • Judging others based on how they made me feel.
  • Ready to nit-prick what people said, simply out of my own pride, to feel justified about my own beliefs – not to lovingly try to help them see error.
  • I was putting myself first in many ways.

Ironically enough, while I THOUGHT I was putting my relationship with Christ first, I truly was not because of how I was misunderstanding the Lord and the Gospel, and therefore, looked at people wrong, too.

I grew up in a Nazarene doctrine, and followed teachings that encourage emotionalism, which you can read about more here, if you like – I Didn’t Always Understand The Gospel Well | My Plea To Pastors. I love the church I grew up in, but while I thought I was spiritually mature, I was extremely spiritually ignorant. It wasn’t really until late 2019 and 2020 that the false beliefs I was under from the Seeker-Driven movement and the legalism I grew up under began to get sifted. My full testimony you can read here.

Basically, I was not understanding scripture the right way because I was reading incorrectly, and treating scripture like a magic 8 ball (again, mysticism). I tried to make scripture about me, when instead it was written FOR me, not TO me.

Changes began to happen, and the Lord opened my eyes, not through the experiences I had once craved so much, but through His holy word, through Christ. If you are interested and want to look more, check out these posts on the changes.

Within several months, I was seeing a need that even if my church experience wasn’t the best, I am called to serve others. I am called to love others when people are hard to love. Just like reaching out can be awkward for me, I need to understand it’s awkward for a lot of people, too. I had a lot of expectation on the shoulders of others in the church body, but I had little on myself. I wasn’t loving. I was unrighteously judging. (There is a time to judge. See: If We Cannot Judge, Then Convos Are Made Void, but I was not righteously judging for the most part.)

I certainly wasn’t forgiving! I mean the bitterness I had from people not being perfect and not doing what I had hoped they would – it’s just as sinful to wallow in self-pity.

When people challenged the older (and now mostly private) posts and kept pressing how important it was to go to church, which I always restated (multiple times) how it is important to not forsake the body – truth was, my main focus wasn’t on how important church was. My focus was back to the old sin of “I feel the need to try to justify what I’m trying to say and people are misunderstanding.”

The need to feel right is like an annoying buzzing of a mosquito that never, EVER goes away.

In the comments, it is honestly sad to see how many of us just stopped trying to go to church because of the sin of others, which led to our sin of bitterness, pride, and the need to be right and feel better than those who hurt us. – Our behavior is not Christlike, okay. We need to repent and seek forgiveness. Stop fooling yourselves, we are not the humble ones here, either. Getting hurt doesn’t allow us to sin and it suddenly be ok.

NOTE: There are legit toxic church experiences, and it can be really hard to heal. But Christ promises healing. I do recommend checking out Spiritual Abuse And The Church | Alisa Childers & Teasi Cannon. No where am I saying we should stay in a toxic environment.

Even from toxic experiences, we might sin from bitterness. We may have sins we will need to repent from, and we should. It’s not right for people to sin against us, but it’s not ok for us to create sin because of another sinner.

What Have I Learned

Leaving churches, having emotional strains with people we care about, feeling unheard and unreached, it can be tough. But here are some things that I hope encourage you:

  • We are commanded not to forsake the body. Which means we need to find a solid church that teaches the Bible correctly.
  • If we find a church that teaches God’s word right, but there are problems with the people, maybe we can be the first to start to minister to others.
  • We won’t always get along with people, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t called to love those who are difficult.
  • Pray for those you struggle with.
  • Pray to love those you struggle with.
  • Pray to find ways to show the love of Christ to those you struggle with.
  • Examine yourself for prideful thoughts.
  • Try to be at peace with everyone best you can.
  • Certainly try to meet outside of church. Build individual relationships, sharpen each other, encourage each other, ask hard questions, listen, listen, and listen.
  • If I’m struggling, but I know my church is solid – what can I grow in? What is there that I need to learn? These are things to pray about.
  • Is there one person you haven’t spoken to, yet? Try to introduce yourself.
  • If you see someone stand offish, try to introduce yourself.
  • Don’t judge first encounters harshly. People can be awkward, just like us. People may not be a people person, either.
  • Don’t take first encounters emotionally, try to avoid me, me, me. Focus on them, them, them.
  • Feel awkward – try these questions: What kind of scripture have you been reading lately? What did you think of the sermon? How has the Lord ministered to you recently? If you ask about their week, see if they say something that might further more questions to get to know them. *Not everyone is a talker, that’s ok. We all aren’t a talker, either, right? We never know what someone is going through.
  • You are commanded to love others. You don’t have to be a people person to love others. You might experience anxiety, I do. But God can use our weakness for His glory and our good.

I’ve since found a church body that preaches the truth and explains scripture through expository preaching. Our pastor has spent over a year slowly going through the book of Romans, and it’s been a true blessing.

The Gospel Message: With the Good News means there’s bad news. We all are sinners and condemned. We all deserve the just punishment of God’s wrath. Christianity is unlike any other religion because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. God saw the weakness of man and his utter depravity. Yet, He showed us grace. Jesus, God, One Person of the Trinity, became God in the flesh, the God-Man. He was always perfect and sinless. And His humanity was perfected on the cross, living the full sinless life. He became our atonement sacrifice. Dying in our place, taking on the wrath of God upon Himself. He died on the cross, and He was resurrected because death could not hold Him. Jesus is the answer. We, as guilty sinners, need His blood to pay off our debt of sin. For all who put their faith in Him – meaning eyes are opened to the Gospel, we see ourselves as a sinner, we see the need for Christ, we desire our Savior, and we see the ugliness of our sin. Putting our faith in Jesus, we seek HIs forgiveness and repent from our sins, we turn away from our old way of life. We, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continue to become convicted of sin daily. Our eyes will never be the same again. We see things in a different light, and the truth of Christ affects how we live and serve Him. Christ tells us to count the cost. Salvation is a serious topic, it is not to be taken lightly. For a breakdown of this powerful message, understanding how Christ could be God and Man, why God required sacrifices, and more -please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)

If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?

Scripture To Meditate On – (ESV) John 15:06 – If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Community Prayer – Feb ‘23

Christian Topics/Series Covered
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Second Blog: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching 
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights 
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer 
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From
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Luke 11_39-40, careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and wickedness. Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside_

11 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Talking About Church

  1. Thanks for the good exhortation, T.R. There are toxic churches and heretical denominations out there. We need knowledge of the Scriptures and spiritual discernment. But the Lord requires us to assemble together and there are good-not-perfect churches out there. The Lord led my wife and I to a good-not-perfect church three months ago and it’s been a blessing. One of the drawbacks of not going to church is what to say to an unbeliever you’re witnessing to or a brand new believer? Oh, just buy a Bible and read it and you’ll be fine? That’s not going to work for most. I do think that good-not-perfect churches are in short supply and the number is dwindling. And some people live in sparsely populated areas where a good-not-perfect church is just not available, so one size does not fit all in this discussion. I could not attend a Catholic church, or a liberal Protestant church, or a Pentecostal church if they were the only one in town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! We are told to be with the body of Christ, for good reason like you mentioned. Being encouraged, exhorted, and equipped. Finding a decent church that preaches the truth and the Gospel regularly is difficult. Sometimes people might need to create their own church in their home, and as they meet people invite them to their home for study, etc, to meet regularly. Perhaps, the Lord will have them minister in that way. Maybe they are the ones to bring the church to town. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, I think more and more believers are regrettably having to resort to home church. One good thing is isolated believers can now stream Sunday service from solid churches, but of course the optimal is to be with other believers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely! I am so beyond grateful for the blessing of the internet and godly men who preach. I also appreciate the godly women that I’ve learned from as well from their platforms. But it’s not the same as you said. If we have a real need, the internet cannot provide for us in ways a physical body of believers can. We can’t fully minister to people the way we can in person.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. It reflects the ‘growing pains’ of Christian maturity that most Christians experience. I am now 72 years old and went through this many tears ago. The lessons learned from these experiences must be passed on to others, as you have done, to stop them feeling alienated within themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Growing pains is a great way to say it. If our eyes are truly on Christ, our eyes must get off of ourselves. Daily I need the reminder, Who am I looking to? How can I submit to Him right now? We are commanded to glorify God and part of that is through serving and loving others. Absolutely.


  3. I’m so thankful God is patient and merciful. He didn’t leave you in that pride and misunderstanding of Christianity . He did the same for me. 💕I wrote about my transformation from a judging Christian to a loving one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s something a lot of Christians experience, especially when we are spiritually ignorant in the beginning. What a conviction for the wall to be broken and finally see the pride within. To be able to look beyond our own hurt and realize people are sinners, they, too, are going through things. While there are genuine Christians at church, that doesn’t mean everyone is, and the Lord could use us to reach Him. Who knew that being a servant means…being a servant, you know? Being willing to show love and compassion when it’s uncomfortable. And I praise the Lord so much for His truth and redemption in Jesus Christ. He tore down what no one else could. He is the Rock I can stand upon. I still have much to learn and grow in. ❤

      Praise the Lord for moving your heart from one of a stone to a heart of flesh!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen . I think the church should be more careful to make sure people understand this idea of , get dummy , just because you’re saved doesn’t make you better than other people.🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know our current church does 🌹and I am so thankful for the humbling truth of the Gospel. But yes, churches can build up and encourage pride. Being set apart isn’t meant to create pride but humility, as we were wretched sinners without a Savior, but now we have been bought. It’s only through Christ alone, nothing we do. Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in ourselves if we are not careful, not accountable, and certainly not having the Gospel preached from the pulpit.

        Liked by 1 person

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