Churchless Christians


 

The connection to a church has been as a normal part of my life since birth as breathing. I went to church schools and even when I had the option, I thought long and hard and chose a Christian college attached to my current denomination. I deduced that it was better to not surround myself with all the worldly temptations of being exposed to debauchery with a bunch of young adults celebrating the first taste of freedom and independence. I wanted to skip the rampant sex and partying that came with a secular college and become closer to God without any interference.

Years later, I am not having a crisis of faith in God (been there done that!) but a crisis of faith in church. Church meaning an organized religious institution. I am thrilled for those who have found their place in a nice cozy setting but my luck is not that good. I think I am somewhat tired by the prospect of church hunting and is now on the why-go-to-a-church kick. From my current perspective, they are all the same: self-serving to a point and adding bits and pieces of what they consider ‘teachings from Christ.’ This is not to say that there are not churches that do good works mixed in.

A friend and I were having a conversation about chosing partners from different religious groups and she was very clear on staying in our denomination (this definitely cuts down on the conflict that comes with having two different belief systems) which decreased the dating pool. I think that touched a major undiscovered nerve with me because my thoughts were why should two Christians be unequally yoked? Why is it that as Christians we have such differing beliefs and religious practices when we all study one bible, with one Christ, and one teaching?  When did it all go from I am a Christian to I am a (insert denomination here) Christian?

This is not a new phenomena because when the bible started out, there was just one God and one set of laws and expectation as a people. However, by the time Jesus showed up, there were a number of Jewish sects who had their own ‘this is important to get to heaven additions.’ Interestingly, Jesus rejected them all and essentially said they all have strayed.  If I had a $100 dollar bill for every religious institution that believes they have the truth and theirs is the only way to heaven, I would be Oprah rich. The last time I checked, there was only one way to heaven and it was through ONE Christ (not through the Anglican, or Catholic, or Seventh Day Adventists, or Baptist… Christ ).

I understand the importance of fellowship with other Christians. There is something so invaluable in that and this is the reason why the bible talks about “where two or three are gathered in my name….” I guess at this point, I may only want just two or three not a whole religious institution. So until I have a crisis intervention, I think I will be a churchless Christian for right now.

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14 thoughts on “Churchless Christians

  1. Fantastic blog. This blog really speaks from my current place. I have been in church over thirty years, and love it. I have also seen its changes and find myself disappointed at times in the lack of depth and the progress of secular presence. I’m engaged to be married and we have talked about church homes but I’m currently churchless and have been since May 2010. I miss it, so I revisit the old church every once in a while but I am so disconnected it is not comfortable. It is wonderful to reconnect with people who love you however.

    Any who, I wrote a blog about christian dating, engagement and marriage. In your blog when you talk about the different denominations and beliefs I knew I wanted you to read and comment on my biblical findings.

    Thanks,

    Ressurrection
    http://ressurrection.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/what-does-the-bible-say-about-dating-courtship-engagement-betrothal-marriage-sex-before-marriage-and-living-together-before-marriage/

  2. If you live in Dallas I’d love to meet! One of the few things I miss about attending a church is being around people who share my beliefs. Here’s to “churchless” Christianity! 🙂

  3. “The last time I checked, there was only one way to heaven and it was through ONE Christ (not through the Anglican, or Catholic, or Seventh Day Adventists, or Baptist…”

    I think it’s wise to note that there are very significant doctrinal differences between Catholic, Seventh Day Adventists, and Baptists–and those differences are there for a reason, demanding that one take a close look at Scripture to see what it says. There are some beliefs that are arbitrary (e.g. working on Sunday), but there are some that are foundational; is salvation based on repentance and faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, or is the work that Christ did on the cross not enough, and so I also need to work for my own salvation?

  4. First of all I just found your blog and have been reading each and every post and I LOVE it!!!! You say all the things my friends and I have been thinking and feeling as young christians.

    I’ve been a part of a nondenominational church all my life and they kind of have the ‘perfect christians’ thing going on too. But I’ve never really felt connected to them. These were all people who grew up in upper middle class neighborhoods and who basically had the saqme beliefs/socializationn as far as the bible. So me, gorwing up with a very different background, always felt a little left out and i’ve always had diff opinions/view points than theirs. But this is the kind of church where opposing viewpoints aren’t really welcomed. They have a very “our word (interpretations of the bible) equals the word of God” view of the church. But I never understood how anyone could be so self assured that they can say their way of thinking is equal to Gods. kind of a bold statement.

    Ok that was a slight tangent. But my point is I’m churchless at the moment because the church wanted me to put my faith in the people attending the church rather than in God himself. Also they kept telling me my fiance and i are unequally yoked because he is baptist (not in the same denom) so I should marry someone within the church.

    And I’ve been wondering if Church is necessary as well.
    I understand that a certain bible passage says this, but it also says (im paraphrasing and I’m not sure the verse): one man believes one day is Holy while another man view days all alike because each comes from God. Do not condemn either man because he’s doing what he feels will pleases God and God judges the man by the content of his heart.

    Sorry I dunno chaps or verses so some ppl may not believe that the verse exists lol. but it does i promise

    1. Trina, thanks for reading. 🙂 don’t worry I do know the passage you are taking about. Church does have great value for a christian when you can find the right one that shows that Christ like love; the problem is it’s always hard because no church and their members are perfect christians. I guess it’s up to how each of us feel comfortable in the church of our choosing. I am still trying to find one that fits.

      1. I am currently trying to find a church that i feel more comfortable with but I agree the search is hard. I think the important thing is to maintain a relationship with God in and outside of church.

  5. I understand your sentiments dear sister. And yes, I agree… there is only ONE WAY, ONE TRUTH, ONE LIFE. And that is IN CHRIST. I am an advocate of UNITY IN CHRIST… WE ARE CHRISTians… WE ARE ALL ROOTED IN CHRIST… it shouldn’t matter what congregation one is from.

    ‘Do not be unequally yoke’ – I think this is not in the context of being united with a fellow Christian from a different congregation, but with an unbeliever.

    1. I do understand that the text was specific to unbelievers; however, these days the vast difference in how and what people worship can create such conflict at times.

  6. I can understand some of your frustration about church. Church people can sometimes be very hard to deal with. We have to keep going on anyway though, because you never know who you may be in a position to bless. The Bible even tells us that we must continue to go to church “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. ” –Hebrews 10:25 I did not feel like going to church one Wednesday night, but decided to go and ended up speaking with this young teenage boy that had NEVER attended a church service before. I was able to minister to him and he decided to give his life to the Lord that day. I thought about what may have happened had I decided to just stay home. Hopefully, someone else would have spoken to him, but you can never be too sure. Church is also a place where I can give financially and I know that money goes to help the community both locally and abroad. I look at church also as a way to get encouraged and to get rebuke from other christians so that I can stay on the right path. I want God to use me in any way that he can and I always want to make myself available for him. Just pray and ask God what church you should belong to. I actually attend a non-denominational church myself (WorldChangers) because I do not like getting caught up in denominations either. I know that church is not a building. Church is the person or people that have Christ living on the inside of them. The church meets in a building. I pray that you find a place that you can come together and worship with other born-again believers. It might not seem like the perfect place, but perfect people don’t go to church. People that need help go to church. Lord knows I need all the help that I can get. I know that you will find the right place to attend. I will be praying that you do. God bless!

  7. I totally get where you’re coming from. I’m SO tired of the church-search, and I’ve only been doing it for a month or two. The thing I keep coming back to, though, is that the church is the bride of Christ. That’s the thing that keeps me in the church. I try to revere her as I ought to, even when she isn’t what she ought to be.

    1. I can definitely admit that my vision is a bit muddied when it comes to church gatherings at this time. I think it’s one of a few struggles that I need to get through.

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