Leaving Organized Religion
Why outside the church system? Because it has become something other than what it was intended to be. Starting out with a pure motive and purpose, two thousand years later the church has grown into a host of things that it wasn’t meant to be like it did with the Pharisees when Jesus walked this earth. At the core, it has become man’s trusted haven instead of God. It is depended upon to nourish the soul, comfort the spirit, provide truth, and protect the soul among other things. Yet beneath the smiles, hugs, and jovial community, in general it has become a business that feeds on the souls of those who enter its doors, which I think many leaders are blind to. Those inside are spiritually starving, hurting, sick and depraved. Isaiah 1:6-9, Jeremiah 8:10-11, Jeremiah 5. With hearts deceptively wicked we have an incredible ability to justify and rationalize what is going on. Jeremiah 17:9 It is hard to see clearly when you are in the midst of the fog.
As I read the Old and New Testament, one thing is clear; God does not tolerate idolatry, putting our trust in something other than Him. No one perfectly trusts God, but as His children we should be moving toward trusting Him alone. Faith without works is dead. If we want to trust Him then our actions will be; abiding in His pure truth, making time in His Word a top priority, putting His Word above others, and relying on Him as our teacher not man – all the actions that take us to our goal. Our actions reveal where our faith is, in man or God. It isn’t about having all the right answers, but about putting God first. Only God and His Word is pure unadulterated truth. The rest of us are mere men trying to figure it all out. I want to rely on the One who knows, how about you?
Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Our trust comes from knowing Him and knowing comes from abiding and drawing near to God.
When it comes down to it, what most people in the church believe is based on some man’s philosophy and interpretation of the Word. This is exactly what I did and I knew many just like me. We didn’t fully agree with any one leader but we combine a host of them together and that formed our truth. Having been solely in the Word now for several years the difference is clear. I use to rely on others to tell me what I believed, which they supported by a couple of verses. I wasn’t abiding in the Word so there was no way to test what they said, as the Word instructs us. I trusted what I felt my deceptively wicked heart resonated with. Let me tell you, it was off on many accounts. It matters what comes first, the Word of God or the word of man.
I thought I trusted God, but when I honestly examined what I believed and why, I found most of it originated with man. But I was doing what the masses did and believed so it must be true, right? How about the masses that killed Christ? Masses are known for being deceived and easily misled. With the numerous warnings from Christ and Paul about false prophets, teachers, angels of light, and that many will be lead astray we are in a dire situation if we are relying on any man. Where are the priests, prophets, teachers and ministers? In the churches. It is interesting how the Word is available to just about all nations when we need it the most because deception increases with time. God always provides. He has given us everything we need, His Spirit, His Truth, and Him. We are called to trust Him above all others.
Having once trusted man, I see where that road leads and it isn’t good. I grew up in the church. According to each preacher I heard I was living the life of a Christian. The only thing that mattered is that I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But one problem, He wasn’t Lord I was. Jesus can’t be divided. If He was my Lord, I would have put my trust in Him. As a result, for years I lived in lack, not experiencing abundant life, trapped in afflictions, without God, without power, yet with all that I never questioned my walk. After all, my life looked like everyone else’s. The church provided me with a false comfort. It led me to believe I had life when I didn’t. Therefore, it stole my life. Isaiah 5:7, Jeremiah 6:6 With the church and man’s words as the foundation of my truth, my house was built on the sand.
As a whole the church system has brought distance between the believer and God rather than closeness. And because most tie the church to God they don’t see what is happening nor question it. My heart pains me because I see many on the road that I once was on. They are living in depravity when the fountain of life is right before their eyes. Their trust is in the wrong place.
We need to take an honest look at ourselves and not be afraid of what we might see because that is the first step to finding the truth.