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After I left the Church System (not True Church)

54 Comments

After I left the Church System

(not True Church)

Out of the Church System

Being new to California, most all my friends and social life was wrapped up in the church we were attending – besides people I interacted with at work. My husband and I had met some nice people and were very plugged in to the church life. Leaving wasn’t easy but we knew what God was leading us to do. The more we read and sought in the Word, the clearer it became to us what would become of the church system (not true church) and we started to see it happening around us. It wasn’t our reasons but God’s leading through His Word. On the flip side, He was drawing us deeper into His Word. In brief this is some of what we read and saw, the church system as a whole is leading people to depend on the system not God, to cultivate and nurture a relationship with the system not God, to trust in the system for spiritual nourishment not God. The church often tries to play the role the Spirit should be playing in people’s lives.

Once I started to see what was happening in the church and how blinded I had been to it all, I had to follow God’s lead to another fellowship. As an old church goer, but fairly new true follower of Christ, I needed to establish God as my foundation, something the church always had been. I had trusted the church for my spiritual growth, to “feed” me, my source of truth, and so on. I thought God was my source, but honestly my relation to Him was through the Church. But now a shift was occurring in my life. I had been greatly influenced by others, but now my influence was God’s Word. I was new at cultivating a relationship with God, but I was on the path to building a foundation in Him, something I desperately needed, we all need.

After we left, there was one woman who beside my husband and family was my “fellowship”. It was that way for several years. I prayed about being in the fellowship God desired for me, but nothing manifested. I resolved to trust God that He was able to lead me where He wanted me. During those years, God and I developed a tremendous relationship. He truly became my Rock, my Teacher, comfort and counselor. I needed those “alone” years so that He truly became my foundation, not someone or something else. Over time, my beliefs shifted from being grounded in human teachers words to God’s Word – and that changed everything.

Once that foundation was established, then God started to bring into my life other godly women for me to “fellowship” with. It wasn’t the formal gathering of being inside a church, but souls hungry and desirous coming together real, open and honest. We talked about the tough issues, scripture, what God was teaching us. In that environment encouragement, prayer, exhortation, praise, and worship from the heart came alive. I began to understand what true fellowship was about. I think we get too locked in to how we think fellowship should be and we don’t trust God to truly lead us to what is best for us and those around us – and that various for each one of us.

Many of us have been so ingrained about what fellowship is that we are blinded to other true fellowship that God has in store for us. We get wrapped up in being in the “right” one because of what others have said that if we aren’t in the church system we’ll fall away. We don’t trust God to protect and provide. We push, seek and all the while neglect to trust God and develop a relationship with Him. People are often more concerned about being in the right fellowship than cultivating a real relationship with God grounded in truth – crazy how backwards everything is.

Our life is one of faith and faith is all about trust. The question is who is our faith in really? Those years alone with God put all that to the test as well as refined it. God knows what we need. But we need to follow His lead not man’s “should dos” . We need to abide in His Word. We need to trust that He can provide and protect us no matter where we are – and that level of trust comes from taking time to develop a relationship with Him.

This is a bit of side note, but relevant. I’m having an emotional morning . . . last night I had a horrible dream. It was weird and futuristic, but the basis is there was an earthquake and I was separated from my two cats. It was days before I could get to the place where they were. My heart felt like it was torn in a million pieces. I went searching for them among all the madness as everyone was trying to take care of their own. I finally found Malcolm curled up sleeping in a corner. I hardly recognized him. Dirt covered his white fur. I picked him up. He was much smaller because he hadn’t eaten or had water for days. He was weak and limp in my arms. I was trying to find him some water, but couldn’t find any and at the same time find Sophie, his sister. She is the more frightened one. I looked everywhere. I found a cat I thought was her, but wasn’t. I carried Malcolm around running looking frantically for her and I woke never finding her.

My heart is still aching in my chest. Its amazing how dreams create real emotions in you. But the thought of them so helpless, dependent, defenseless, and needing me to care for them and not being able to was overwhelming. Even telling my husband about my dream this morning tears started to fill my eyes. I love those little guys.

The love I feel is a nit compared to the love that God feels for us, and this is where this is relevant to this topic. We are just as helpless, dependent, defenseless, and needing His to care constantly. God loves us so incredibly much. But so often we doubt His love and don’t trust it. We trust man and those around us more. We don’t trust that He will really care and protect us. So, in our beliefs, we never fully step into that place under His wing. It was a hard dream, but reminded me about the depth of His love for His children.

I know many are struggling with this whole church situation. God loves you so much. We can trust His lead and that wherever we are He will guard and protect if we seek and abide in Him and His Word. The end is upon us. These days are tough. Things are changing just as Christ warned us. But God promised to always be there and protect and provide and He will not let His promises fail to His children who He loves beyond words. The journey God has lead me on has been exactly what I needed. It has been incredible. But I needed to trust Him and I was able as I understood His love for me, which came from abiding in His Word and cultivating a real relationship with Him.

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Author: Rachel

My passion is cultivating a deep relationship with God and helping others to do the same. I LOVE sharing with others insights that God has taught me and hearing what God has taught them... thus my blog, Stirring the Deep. My focus is on a relationship, not a religion. Life is in the relationship. I believe in a balance and unity of body, mind and spirit. I feel it's important to nurture all three for they all affect each other. I try to live in the present, where the Holy Spirit is. And I try to do all with the motive of love. I've come to believe life is a journey and not a destination. It isn't about perfection, is it about growth.

54 thoughts on “After I left the Church System (not True Church)

  1. It’s amazing to me that less than two years ago, I would have been telling you how wrong you are–that you need to be in a church.

    Well, we do need to be a part of the church, but my definition of “church” has so drastically altered.

    I notice now how I read things so differently. Like a news report of a “church” being vandalized. Though I’ve always said “the church is the people,” yet I wouldn’t have thought before, “No, the ‘church’ wasn’t vandalized. Only the building.” Now, that’s the first thing I think. We really are the church. Really.

    The church came to our house yesterday evening. We ate together, shared our portions and experiences of Jesus, sang together, told stories together. Tomorrow part of the church will get together at another sister’s house for a little fellowship and study and listening in Matthew. Wednesday, the church will get together again as one of the teens gives piano lessons to a couple of the little ones, and the moms fellowship, pray, share Jesus with one another. And etc. The church really is the people of Jesus. It has absolutely, positively nothing to do with a building. Really.

    How cool is that??

    Love, Cindy

  2. Good post Rachel.I feel a lot of Christians are getting away from traditional church,and the real Church(believers) are meeting together in many different places sharing and loving God.You’re so right so many times all we do is church,but the Holy Spirit and God’s word bring change,not going to church,and when that is taught many are dissapointed after going to church and still not seeing any change.It’s because the teaching is wrong.

  3. I really do not know where to begin. Your writing about the true church stirred up my past experiences in GA before moving to MN with my daughter, son-in-law and their children.

    My family were members of a small non-denotational church which had broken off from a Pentecostal foundation. I never knew why in those early years from 1975-1989 why that was the case. But the incidents I am about to tell were linked to the things I experienced that caused this pastor to leave that specific denomination.

    All of the same characteristics were there in this church. We, the body of Christ, had made our Pastor into God, and we were listening to every word that came out of his mouth. Spiritual Authority was preached big time, which finding out later on meant “do as I say,” instead of a spiritual covering for the members. No decision was made until you went to your pastor with a problem or questions and they would have the final word. Not you seeking God for answers to your dilemma.

    My family attended every service available. Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Tuesday morning’s women prayer service, Wednesday night bible study, and on top of that my husband was a deacon (even though he was abusive to me and my children) I taught Sunday School and was on staff. On top of that, there was in place covenant communities set up where the flock that was assigned to the deacons would meet at our home every other Sunday after church. And let’s not forget all the meetings with the Pastor assigned to us and all of the deacons placed under him. By this time it was fully a mega church, so in order to relieve the burden of the main pastor, pastors were assigned to the many members to help out and deacons were assigned members under them to help their Pastor out.

    There was always bragging about the numbers of members….lots of boasting about lots of things. And then there were the snide comments about how great our church was and how we were touching Atlanta, and we were not just a “little church on the side of the road.” That little church on the side of the road could very well been exemplifying what the True Body of Christ was meant to be.

    In the later years when I started to “sense” something was going on behind closed doors, as a result now of becoming an employee for the outreach department, something was going awry.
    That’s when women started coming out of the woodwork to speak about this new revelation that the main pastor had concerning relationships based on the old testament, (now given the title of Bishop), believed in, which was certain women were to submit to having sex with certain pastors, or having sex with a couple who were having difficulties in their marriage. These women ranged from being married to being in a single status.

    At first I was in shock, and thought to myself these women are crazy, just trying to stir things up in our church. In fact, this church was on the national as well as the local news.

    Well, this was not the case. My ears were truly open as were my eyes (spiritual eyes) and I started seeing and hearing things for myself that had gone unnoticed for years. I started reading this book entitled “The Toxic Church,” and I felt it was written about what was exactly going on in my church. It was then the Bishop began to criticize anyone who was reading this book. I read it anyway.

    Another biggie was that women were to submit to all things with their husbands, and here I was submitting to an abusive man, and was even told by one of the pastors, “if I didn’t submit, it would be better than a millstone tied around my neck!” I left devastated and once again this was another layer of information that just added to all of the other contradictions I was experiencing. After all, Jesus called husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church…right?

    The final blow was when the daughters of this Pastor and their families left and were admitting to sexual abuse from their father, and their daughters, the pastor’s granddaughters, which were small, were being “groomed” to take their place in this incestuous environment.

    Long story, but I said all of that to say, it took me years to recover from that experience and to begin a new relationship on my own with God. The betrayal and hurt was tremendous. I feel like I have forgiven all of these people that were Pastors who were meant to be our covering and yet were living the very opposite lifestyle that the Bible expresses.

    Since leaving GA and moving to MN with my daughter and her family, I have joined the Lutheran church and go each Sunday. But my relationship with God is based on a personal, intimate connection with Him and Him alone. That is not to say I do not honor my Pastor here as I should or ask for prayer etc. I just don’t rely on him to speak to God for me.

    Thanks for writing this. I find myself in a position of rethinking that question, “have I really let go and forgiven?” I know I haven’t forgotten, for there were many lessons I have learned from that experience.
    Jane

    p.s. Sorry about the lengthiness of this, and I hope you don’t leave after reading my comments that I was being negative for the sake of just holding on to that part of my life, for that is not the case.

    • Jane,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. And don’t apologize for the length – it is very good to share. Your experience was indeed horrific and I am so sorry you had to go through what you did – it burdens my heart and I know God’s so much more. But I am SO thankful for the relationship that you now have with God and that it didn’t turn you away from Him as it does many. The church even when not as extreme as your experience causes so much separation in our intimacy with God – it is a heavy weight in my heart. May your experience be the passion to always have God as your Rock, who will never fail you.

      • Hi Jane, I’m so glad to see you over here on Stirring the Deep! I wasn’t aware of this situation with your old church… this is so disturbing that anything like this would happen. What an awful reminder that Satan really is that roaring lion waiting for any way to tear down what God would build up and contort what God would straighten.

        I think I’ve mentioned to Rachel on another post that I’m currently out of the “church system”. It’s been a wonderful time, but a somewhat pressure-filled time explaining to others why I am where I am. Still, this is where I’m supposed to be, I think. As I’ve prayed for God’s guidance, He hasn’t led me back to the church system, but He has led me to fellowship in different kinds of ways with friends and family (who are all God’s family, of course)!

      • Ruth – thanks so much for your thoughts and sharing your heart.

  4. Im glad your cats are OK and that it was just a dream. We have tornados out here. i do like the idea of house churches.

    • John – thanks I’m glad it was a dream too! Yeah, I think house churches and that kind of fellowship is where a lot of God’s people who are seeking for Him and to live in spirit and truth are headed. The structure lends to a walk more in line with the entire Word of God.

  5. The move from Tenn. to Ca. is dramatic at best. Going from the Bible Belt to the Sunbelt is two different worlds. The church as we know it was actually destroyed by Jesus. The new church is in ones heart. We seek God in buildings, yet it is His Word and in our DNA. The message of Love and Grace are the keys to the Kingdom. The Word of God will out last any building. We must love the Lord with all our mind, body and soul. The Real Church is The Love of God.

    • Dr. Lee – It has been different externally TN from CA – you don’t see the number of churches you do in the south – but in terms of the heart and soul it isn’t that much different. The “Bible Belt” should really be the “church building” belt – on one stretch of road I passed 8 churches, a big ones! It was amazing. But if that reflected hearts truly connected to God and time in God’s Word – then the south would be a much different place. You made a great point – we get caught up in the system, the buildings when actually that can distract us from our first love. It is about the heart and do we seek the kindgom of God above all else.

  6. I appreciate your honesty with this blog.

    Talking about leaving church is not an easy topic, but it is helpful for myself and others to read about your experiences and reflect on God’s plan for our lives.

    • Slamdunk – it is a tough topic and it isn’t easy to write because you know it can bring up conflict. But I feel compelled and it is so important these days. I really appreciate your comments.

  7. Hi Rachel. There’s something that transpired a few years ago. It was in the winter of 2004 when the Lord brought me out of a backslidden state. Shortly thereafter, I began looking for a church (after all; that’s what Christians do…get into a church) but none seemed to “fit.” Things that, prior to the season of rebellion, I would have seen nothing wrong with, now seemed fleshy and scripted. I finally found one where I fellowshipped for six months.

    This church had a mindset that one must be with them whenever the doors are open or you are out of the will of God. This mindset carried over into other things whch could not be backed up with scripture. It’s sad that we take “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves” and turn it into a program. (fellowshipping takes place whenever 2 or more saints are together)

    One night, I missed an evening service due to complications at home. Later on, I went out to burn trash and had a time of fellowship with the Lord like I hadn’t had in years. It was a very wonderful eye opening event that wouldn’t have transpired, had I gone to where I was “supposed to be.”

    Since then, I’ve never felt “tied down” to a church and I’ve moved about much. Oftentimes I would wonder if I was the one with a problem. Nobody else seemed to be moving here and there. I’m now understanding it better. We curently fellowship at a church in Three Rivers, but if the Lord were to instruct us to no longer do so, it would be ok. My trust is in the Lord Jesus; not other saints or the empires that they construct.

    It is VERY VERY liberating. Without a doubt, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. I’m closer to the Lord in my driveway at 12:30 am, after returning home from work, than most of the times spent at church. I love the saints at our church, the preaching is sound, and there’s a heart for the lost, but I don’t have an element of dependancy.

    You touched on something very profound that I’ve noticed, but never been able to place into thoughts or words without feeling like I’m being critical. Saints place a lot of trust in an establishment and it can unwittingly take the place of the Lord. Like the Ephesians, they leave their first love without even realizing it. (There’s a post coming about this sometime…I think…it’s been on my heart for over a year)

    The account in the book of Revelation, reveals that the church at Ephesus appears “perfect” on the outside but they have left the Lord for institution and if repentance doesn’t come forth, their candlestick would be removed. Of the seven churches in Revelation, Ephesus had the most dangerous condition because it was invisible from the surface.

    Awesome Post! Without a doubt, we need to lose our religion and get in close to the Lord Jesus.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob

    • Timbob – thank you so much for sharing your experience. The idea I think is to move away from what we judge right and good and instead put our focus on seeking the guidance of the Spirit and follow His lead – like you spoke of. When we do that I think we are where God wants us and not only do our spiritual lives prosper but so do others – because the the state of our souls affects others 🙂 It is a tremendous thing and as you said truly liberating to have God as your Rock and foundation – and when He is we are more willing and able to follow where He leads – which is right where He wants us.

  8. Hi. Popping over to thank you for visiting me and leaving an encouraging comment. Your post has a lot to digest. It’s true. Even the Bible says many will come in His Name. We must focus our eyes on Jesus alone so we can discern what’s true or not. If you don’t mind, I’ll add you in my blogroll so I can come back again 🙂 Blessings to you and may the Lord continue to guide you and protect you and bless you richly!

  9. Pingback: C L A R I T Y « Grace County

  10. I woudn’t worry about them. Rag-doll cats always land on their feet despite their torpor.

    Yeah it’s hard to believe 3 years ago the Lord was telling my wife and I about the abuse and idolatry of the IC, and now I am reading similar opinions on Facebook (The Free Believers Network, The Heresy etc.) I believe He is drawing many people into a fish or cut bait decision, and they are starting to move toward a vibrant, intimate relationship with Him.
    So when the the churchies screw up their eyes and say “you need a covering” just say “I have one thank you, Jesus Christ!”
    He’s my shepherd! Psalms 23 John 10

    • Nathan – thanks – it is true cats are very resilent 🙂 – it is interesting isn’t it – we had a similar experience of being called out 2004 and now I see more and more people hearing that call.

      And funny you mention covering . . . I was just thinking about the idea of covering this morning – indeed our covering is Him.

  11. Hi Rachel

    “The church often tries to play the role the Spirit should be playing in people’s lives”

    I was just talking with my father-in-law about this yesterday! He is reading a book by Watchman Nee which quotes this nearly exactly!

    I was attending a pentecostal church up until just over a year ago. The relationship I now have with the Lord, could never have been fostered following their “programs”. One is encouraged to get so busy in ministry and distracted with so many morning teas and social nights that there is little room left for the Lord.

    There is no substitute for time spent under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, confirmed by fellow mature believers. Sharing the Word and God’s works in ones life brings more growth than years spent listening to a man’s spin on the Word to make it relevant.

    Thanks for posting on a topic that is becomming more and more essential. Believers everywhere are hearing the call to “come out of her my people” and need to know there are others who share their concerns but have discovered the life that comes with obedience.

    Blessings to you. 🙂

    • fivepeasinapod – I love when that happens. But when you have the same Teacher, the Spirit, then you get the same truth and sometimes phrasings – so fascinating.

      Thanks for sharing your story. And that is what I’m seeing is that people all over are starting to hear the call out. And that is why I love you guys commenting on your experience. It is so encouraging.

  12. Hi again Rachel. Great post and thank you for it. Here in the suburb where I live in Melbourne, Australia, I’m surrounded by religious institutions.

    The sad part is that those involved seem to like it that way. My daily prayer for us all is that we would hunger and thirst for righteousness.

    When God answers that prayer – Ya just have to get out!

    I also pray that they would be released from the fear of man, believing that God has revealed this to some, but they’re struggling and coming under all sorts of condemnation.

    • Roger – what a great point and prayer – I too will make that my prayer – that others are released from the fear of man – when people are in fear then you can control them.

  13. Good word Rachel as always you bring a message that speaks from the heart to ours…God bless

    Mike

  14. Rachel great post. I’d saved it to read and got to it today. We recently left our church for reasons which by the sounds of things you’d understand. We have visited many churches and have one we think we’ll be going to regularly, but to be honest I have really found God in my day to day life more since we’ve been absent from “church”!

    • Sue – that was my experience – ” I have really found God in my day to day life more since we’ve been absent from “church”!” thanks for sharing!

  15. Hi, Rachel!
    My family and I have been out of the “I.C.” for about seven years or so (although I was only in for about, personally).

    Your insights concerning the issue are important and the Body of Christ needs to hear them.

    I hope that you will not mind my dropping off a couple of links that you and your readers may find beneficial concerning this issue.

    http://brotherjohnny.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/the-church/

    http://brotherjohnny.wordpress.com/2007/11/10/the-church-ii-digging-a-bit-deeper/

    Grace to you and yours in the Lord Jesus Christ!

  16. Rachel… an excellent testimony… Far to often we get caught up in a “”church culture”” as a substitute for a first-person relationship with Jesus. The denominational “”club”” becomes our focus, and with it comes all the religious hoops to jump through.

    How refreshing to be out of that and have the joy of a daily, living, Spirit-led walk with the Lord…and to have fellowship with like minded folks-how did Paul put it.. leaving old things behind and reaching for the upward call of Christ… what a Journey! What a Life! Blessings,
    Martin

  17. Just read your article, Out of the Church System.
    There is just one issue that concerns me at the moment, it is that all we are coming across that are out of the church System seem not to want to gather and build relationships with others who are there also.
    We need other parts of the body for encouragement.
    Am pleased you have others, where we live it is not happening yet.
    All one can do is wait and I know Father God is in control.

    There is an article a man from your country put together back in the early seventies, you will find a copy on the web site forgiveit.com called
    What is Christian about it?
    Down near the bottom on the right hand side.

    Roy Waldrom Taupo NZ.

    • Roy, thanks for sharing your thougths – I have found those coming out are being drawn to God in His Word and to others in true fellowship – that they hunger to be in both in sincerity. I’ll check out your article 🙂

  18. Thanks for your post. I have been struggling from torment of leaving a toxic faith environment. They had such a hold on me.. they, meaning the leadership. I’m still terrified of them and I’m always afraid to run into the people there.. when I do, they try to get me to come back.. and not in a kind and loving way.. more like, ‘we’re in the one true church and you’re lost if you’re not a part of it’.

    They have such a hold on me to this day, and I left four years ago. I go back an forth thinking I should go back versus staying where I am.

    It was like a miserable prison there. I hated it yet kept coming back for more cold and rigid teaching because they kept telling me I was ‘home’ and it was always inferred that theirs was ‘the one true church’ and everyone else was wrong and likely going to hell. I was doubting the salvation of dear friends who truly loved the Lord.

    I became a legalistic zombie.

    The one thing I do miss is the amount of scripture I learned there. But I don’t miss being told what to do in every detail of my life.. I would never match their standards.. which in my opinion was nothing less than perfect.

    I’ve been afraid of God since this experience and have a broken heart because of this disconnect. I’ve been in despair because I don’t know if His word will ever melt my heart the way it did when I was in that congregation..

    Anyway, I was so encouraged by your affirmation that we need to be in relationship to Christ and be in His word. We’re lost and in limbo without Him.

    He is good, I know this for sure. He is real, I know this. He is my savior, this is true. He is my daddy, for real. I follow Him, even though I’m scared..

    because in the end, there’s no where else to go but Jesus Christ.

    • Hi Dania, I’m so sorry for the horrific experience that you have been through. I encourage you in your relationship with God – because as you draw near to Him in truth (abiding in His Word) and spirit (the new creation you are in Him) you will find truth that will set you free and great healing from those experiences.

      There is nothing to fear with Him. I had many fears, but as I’ve continued to draw near – God has instilled His truth and presence in me – and I realized those fears weren’t grounded in truth, but lies. I posted some videos on cultivating a deep and real relationship with Him that truly changes your life on this blog – here is the link https://stirringthedeep.com/2010/01/09/stir-the-deep-with-me-mentoring-program/ — The videos are based off of a mentoring program that I do with others. You may find them encouraging in growing in your relationship with God. I’ve found as I’ve cultivated this relationship, the Spirit offers much rich instruction – much deeper than teaching I got in the church. It really is quite incredible. And God has connected me with others outside the church to fellowship with. He knows our needs. If we trust and seek to whole heartedly follow Him, He will supply every need.

      By the way, if you are interested I would be happy to talk to you further about my mentoring program . If you are interested, we’ll connect and talk more about it. Either way, thought I would offer – and it is free of course :-).

      I commend your bravery for separating yourself from such a place. I’ll be praying for you.

      Rachel

  19. Dania–That sounds absolutely horrible. I know you’re probably gun shy, but don’t hesitate to check out Rachel’s videos. They’ll bless you. I’ve benefited greatly from them, and I’ve seen several teachings on this subject. Hers are the most gentle, unassuming, and helpful I’ve encountered.

    Knowing the word is one thing; knowing The Word–Jesus–is something else all together.

    Love in Him,

    Cindy

  20. Rachel,

    I watched your videos and found them to be free.. meaning, you can start anywhere in the bible you want.. just start reading and take it one day at a time.

    In fact, on my lunch break yesterday and today I followed your 40-minute approach and found it to be easy! I started reading in Numbers and Romans. It was nice to hear you say it’s okay to not read in the books you’ve already read. How many times have I read Genesis and Matthew in hopes of ‘starting again’? Too many to count!

    So refreshing. Thanks!

    • Dania – so glad!! I’ll be praying for this time as you draw near to God in truth and spirit. It really is simple – seek God and live. We make is so complicated by focusing on the wrong stuff- when we should be focusing on the fundamental activity that changes everything else – seeking God with all your heart, soul and mind. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

  21. Currently I’m still in the church system physically sad to say no one in my family believe me right now. But spiritually I’m out of this Babylon system and hoping that someday me and my family will be out as our Lord works in each heart. As I came to realize that something is going on in what we had believed for very long time that these church system have long been planted into our very own belief system, I started to doubt that the doctrines that they continually feed in to our hearts every Sunday is inconsistent with the word of God – the Bible which is so subtle that no one can easily notice. It is so remarkable that God has revealed this to us that we should be aware of. As for now I continually seek God by His truth through different blogs and articles like this and began to realized that God is working in his own church spiritually that we can have fellowship with true believers who seek God sincerely through their heart not based on the worldly principles. Thank you so much for bringing insights that help me grow deeper in knowledge.

    • Hi Elmer – thank you for sharing your story. I’m so thankful that your spiritual eyes are opening. You will be in my prayers this week. Feel free to email me anytime.

  22. Hi Rachel
    After spending many years in a church system (same one Roger Williams mentions on his blog but in a different state in Australia) we left after a very long struggle seeking the Lord, but it wasn’t until we actually left this church that our eyes really opened.
    The church we were part of has a strong “look” of godliness in looking back I think it saw things in the main stream churches and tried in its own strength to fix them and I think this is what drew us in in the first place ie women dressed modestly children well behave etc, but it was all external and controlled.

    We left this church with every intention of joining another, but we visited a few and some weekends we just took of in the car for a drive, we were both so battered and bruised. Our whole life as we knew it changed we were very involved in this church and our life came to a complete holt.

    But the seeking that I had done had created in me a yearning I was reading the scriptures to all hours of the morning, the scriptures became alive and I began to meet the Lord I began to know him.

    During this time the Lord gave me a scripture at the end of Habakak(Hab 3:17) NIV Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,(Hab 3:18)ESV yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
    And I knew that I might be the only sheep in the pen (the only one I know of at the moment)this has given me comfort. I know that I can trust him to provide the fellowship that I need, at the moment it is predominantly him and me. In actual fact what I share here of what I am seeing is one of only a couple of places I feel I can.

    It is very hard to share these things without coming across as judging others and another verse the Lord has given me is
    (Son 2:7) I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.

    We cannot stir or awaken anyones love only the Lord can when He pleases.

    I was reflecting this morning and an overwhelming grief for all my brothers and sisters a longing for them to know God in this special way and knowing that he is not far them. You see the brokenness the sickness and your heart aches for them to “see”.

    He stands at all our doors and longs to enter in and when we open the door to him and let him lead you, nothing can compare.

    I hope you don’t mind me posted on your older posts but I am reading through your blog mostly from the beginning and going through though I keep loosing track of were I am up to. But I love the way the Lord shows me something and I read your blog (loosing where I am up to) and what I read adds or confirms what I am seeing. I remember when I was reading Isaiah through to Malachi and I was thinking is this speaking about the church today?.I then read one of your blogs and you had a small sentence saying something to that same effect that Isaiah through to Malachi is the church today, I don’t think I read your blog again for about 5mths reading and rereading those books of the bible. Wow (not that I wasn’t reading your blog it was just that I wasn’t reading anything but the bible.)

    • Hi Leanne, I’m so glad you took time to post … it is good to hear your story and for those who will read it. It is a great encouragement to those whose spirit’s are being stirred.

      My experience has been the same in which you said “We cannot stir or awaken anyones love only the Lord can when He pleases.” — And I love that you were reading nothing but the Bible. It establishes a foundation of truth in our lives, so that when we do read others ideas, we have discernment.

  23. I have a question for you or rather I am just curious

    I find there seems to be something very special about my time with the Lord in the mornings and I wondered if you also have found this.

    “The Israelites had to go and collect the manna for the day every morning”

    (Lam 3:22) The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;(Lam 3:23) they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (just love this verse)

    Son 7:12) let us go out early to the vineyards and see whether the vines have budded, whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love

    I often see things in pictures and for the verse in song of Solomon

    I picture the Lord and I early in the morning with dew on the leaves wondering around the vineyard as excited as a child searching the treasures that have blossomed over night to “see” what new things he whats to reveal to me the secrets of his Love.

    Oh what a treasured walk we can have

    I also love your line
    “But God promised to always be there and protect and provide and He will not let His promises fail to His children who He loves beyond words.”

    • Hi Leanne – sorry about the delay, last week I was unplugged and with God. …yes I heartedly agree there is something unique about the morning and the ability to hear God’s voice unlike other times. Lately, God has been teaching me about this difference and it is stated throughout scripture about seeking God early. Jeremiah 35:14 “… But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me.” Putting God first in your day states many things … He is your FIRST love, you put Him above others, you trust Him above other things … and in that God rewards us with opening up our ears and eyes to His deep truths. Heb 11:6

  24. An invitation given an excuse gently given
    My head on my pillow, repeated words still echoing

    “There church always comes first”
    “There church always comes first”
    “There church ALWAYS comes first”

    Awaken to the early sounds of the morning my thoughts turn to another invitation given so long ago.

    A banquet is prepared a feast is laid. Who will come to my feast?
    The Spirit sent to those of His own.

    “I have bought me a field.” Is ones reply. “My followers, I must attend”.

    Another chimes up “I have given myself to much bondage & chores much work to be done.” “Please may I be excused.”

    ” Another pipes in I have married me a wife, she’s called Harlot you know full of true treasures. I find I can not come I belong to another.
    I cannot see you are the one.

    The Spirit moves out of the city mans built.

    He finds a poor man a poor man who gives no thought to his life, his own way. Already embracing and enjoying the banquet prepared.

    He spots a blind man, blind to his own ways his hand firmly holding His master he sees.

    Another he finds cannot walk by himself thats His master he see holding him up.
    His servant His Spirit with His message to bring, goes to the highways and places unseen to any who would hear & to any who would see.

    His Banquet still prepared for all who would hear.

    But many words does He hear.

    “My………………always comes first”

    Luke 14:16-24

    • Hi Leanne – powerful truths stated in this, thanks for sharing. The church system is an image of God & presenting an image of God and is worshipped (served) above God.

  25. Hi Rachel

    What you write here is what I wanted to say for years, people have often told me we need to be in a Church, all i see is plastic christianity with artificially created clones that reasons even though you may find that all churches has its problem’s you will not find a perfect Church, whilst stating the obvious many people who have been in my situation have gone down the road as damaged goods, they are actually saying “give us your kids, so we can currupt and abuse them psysically and spiritually”, I do not find churches safe places, but quite the opposite they can be dangerous places to be, even when persicution comes, the sheeple will not know what will hit them, the “churches” are going to be the first place they will come looking, as a husband myself I often tell Christians I am duty bound to protect my wife and children, whilst their responce is if you do that you will never take them out of the four walls of your house, how I feel inside is that I desprately want to screem in frustration.

    They seem to forget marrital vows, I, (name), take you, (name), to be my friend, my lover, the (mother/father) of my children and my (husband/wife). I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. ——–>I promise toprotect you<———-, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity.

    I promise to protect you is the point, both psysically and spirtually how soon we forget.

    I made a solomn promise, is this wrong??????

    Infact often I find Churches more dangerous than out their in the world, the reason for that is you do not expect anything other then the fact that you can trust that the world will always have its dangers and so you can prepare your children for that, but you are told the last place you would expect it, is in the church.

    After my own experiances having more than one occurances in diffrent churches the problem boils down to, many are on a power trip believing they are apointed by God and many are paid pasters this is not in the Bible.

    One of the main problems is we have forgotten the true meaning of what Church is, as a Christian man who believes that I am truely born again and in 8 years I have seen alot and reported on allot of what is going on in the UK amongst 97% of churches we have moved away from the Bibical new testiment model of Church.

    I am also a street preacher and met many people from varied churches who hate street preaching to the point where I have been mocked, vilified and critcised not by unbelievers but from so-called christians, I have even been imprisioned two times by the police simply for reading the Bible.

    and all I get is God bless you, we will pray for you.

    I am sorry to rant on but I can only express what your article has touched on.

    Even when I was trying to highlight the problems we as a family are faced with, I have found this to be a bone of contention for many, as this is never my intention, I have much disillusionment and personally my reaction is this, "I apreciate your concern for my self and my family, but I have no intrest in partaking in a system when I believe I am aready part of a Church called the body of Christ."

    I do not believe like many that because you do not attend a church that this is some how a moral sin.

    I would like to speak to you more on this Rachel by e-mail or skype as it is refreshing to see some simularities in this area.

    I would like to encourage you that you are not alone.

    in Christ

    Miguel

    • Hi Miguel — I truly appreciate you sharing your experience. Feel blessed that you have the eyes to see what many still can’t .. the dangers in the church system and how destructive it is to our souls. Feel free to email me anytime at rachel@stirringthedeep.com … the number of people is growing in this awareness but still very small compared to the masses who don’t. But we are to put God’s words to us above all others no matter the rejection or persecution it brings .. for He has the words of life. – Rachel

  26. hello, my name is andrew, from manchester. i was brought up with a catholic dad, a seventh day adventist mother, then after years of drug abuse and crime, i cried out to god, then met these guys on the street, this guy said “you dont have to live the life your living” then he told me of a church based ministry that could help, the mens home!! this place was a god send, at first i thought, im in a cult. so i found my mother and she said she had prayed with my sister and beleived i was where god wanted me. i do still beleive this to this day, god used this place to get me out of madness!! i then went to another well known christian rehab and i ended up working there , doing something god had laid on my heart years before!! i was also in an evangalistic ministry and would travel to many churches to raise funds and outreach!! i had always known about the church systems, wether catholic of penticostal, and though they did good things i knew it was not right!! i then went to work for a man that had been involved in church sytems , then he was blinded by a hospital accident, but his eyes were opened to the false system of religion. after spending time with him and meeting some of his close friends, i would find we would have a better time with god sat around the kitchen table talking about life and just asking jesus what he wanted us to do. this then led me to the discovery of people like yourself, people that practiced simple church, or house church. i then met a guy called peter farmer, from mission britain, and his mission is in a sence to expose , educate then get rid of this mad “SYSTEM” called church!! there is much work to do, but it is gods work and i beleive he will open eyes and hearts to HIMSELF!, using people like yourself!!! from myself, in HIM, with love.

  27. The final straw for me came when a Christian friend of mine literally almost got me shot and killed or at least stabbed due to nothing else but his christian arrogance. This guy is from a small town at the northern tip of wisconsin and lets just say he was a handful. He is super pharisitical and even letting him ride in your car is a pain because every time u get a bit over the speed limit hes got something to say about it. Hes one of them kinda guys………..

    Anyway, this guy ends up moving to Milwaukee and so i go to visit him in Milwaukee. For those who dont know Milwaukee is a large city and like any large city it has crime issues ( gangs, shootings ect…….). The day I went to visit him I ended up taking him and his roommate to a McDonalds drive thru at around 10:30 at night. So Andy did not live in a bad neighborhood but he lived kinda close to some semi bad areas. And Andy has a big hang up about cuss words. So we pull into this Mcdonalds into the drive thru……..and in the Cousins parking lot nex t door there happened to be about 20 or maybe even 25 gang members hanging out in the Cousins lot. You know what……I will spare you the rest of the details and just tell you that Andy ended up deciding to roll down my back window and shout at these gangbangers…….all be cause he didnt like the fact they use cuss words. He did this while we were in the drive thru. The didnt hear him but when we got him home he exhibited no remorse for putting me, himself, and his room mate in a very dangerous situation. He still has no remorse. Feels totally justified in what he did. After that i reconsidered the church thing. There were many hurts before that but that was the final straw for me.

  28. Wow! So refreshing to hear this…very confirming. I have been saying this very thing to anyone who would listen.

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