Of all the blogs I have written, I know THIS one is going to ruffle some feathers. Let’s dive in shall we?
I grew up in Houston, Texas as a church going choir nerd. I accepted Jesus as my savior at a young age. I wasn’t allowed to be friends with other kids that didn’t go to church. The first half of my adolescence took place in the southern baptist church, with the second half in non-denominational churches. I have wonderful memories from youth group and church. I’ve been on several missions trips, tithed regularly, and by all accounts, was a model Christian. From 20-30 years of age, I ran from God, denied Him, and never went to church. It wasn’t until I lost everything that I found Him again at Hope City church in Houston and nothing has been the same since.
Now I know that most people who read my posts about my experiences with Jesus probably think I’m a wackadoodle and are saying extra prayers for my mental health and that’s fine. Believe me, when my mother would share her experiences with me years ago, I thought she was crazy and/or seeking attention, so I completely expect others to think the same of me. I don’t blame or judge them at all.
With that being said I’ll step onto my soap box now.
I stopped going to church in 2017 for several reasons. I believe the “church” as we know it today; a big expensive building, a pastor, a worship team, etc, is NOT what God intended. I believe He meant for churches to be small groups in homes, and I believe He meant for US to be the church, not a formal assembly.
Now I am by NO means shaming or judging anyone who attends church, nor am I saying that churches are evil or wrong in general. I feel this is a personal decision for everyone and you have to do what feels right to you. Churches do amazing things in our community and for peoples lives, I am not discounting that.
I think denominations have divided Christians. While one group of people, such as Pentecostals, might feel convicted to not wear makeup, others to not eat pork, or not drink - it does not mean that people who do partake in these things are wrong, yet this is what some denominational churches teach. These things are personal preferences and what the Holy Spirit is moving them to pay attention to, it does not mean that we should divide ourselves into groups of people who agree and disagree. Again this is dividing Christianity and segmenting people into groups that think and act alike instead of embracing others in love and living our lives by the conviction of the Holy Spirit for us individually.
1 Corinthians 9:20-22 The Passion Translation (TPT)
20 I became Jewish to the Jewish people in order to win them to the Messiah. I became like one under the law to gain the people who were stuck under the law, even though I myself am not under the law. 21 And to those who are without the Jewish laws, I became like them, as one without the Jewish laws, in order to win them, although I’m not outside the law of God but under the law of Christ. 22 I became “weak” to the weak to win the weak. I have adapted to the culture of every place I’ve gone[a] so that I could more easily win people to Christ.
I believe that when churches adopted the 501c3 status (which relieves the burden of paying taxes), they traded the covering of God for the covering of man. Under 501c3 the government has the right to sensor the messages spoken at churches. The church of satan, pedophile associations, and planned parenthood also operate under a 501c3 status.
When a church accepts the 501c3 status, that church:
Waives its freedom of speech.
Waives its freedom of religion.
Waives its right to influence legislators and the legislation they craft.
Waives its constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Is no longer free to speak to the vital issues of the day.
Becomes controlled by a spirit of fear that if it doesn’t toe the line with the IRS it will lose [revoke] its tax-exempt status.
Becomes a State-Church
I believe that being co-mingled with organizations that defiantly go against the basic Word of God and harm, even kill people, has subjected the church as we know it, the leaders, and the congregation to the powers of darkness and the consequences that come with it. I believe things are being brought to light now such as sex scandals, fraud, and fakeness as evidence of evil influences having reign over the churches.
Old Testament Law
There are plenty of denominations of Christians out there that operate under Old Testament laws. Don’t eat pork, don’t wear makeup, tithe 10%, chanting prayers, sitting standing, etc. All works based, which saddens me because that’s living in bondage. God gave laws in the Old Testament to expose sin. These laws were made to help the people adopt the right ways to live and be. Then Christ died and His blood covered the law.
Galatians 5 The Passion Translation (TPT)
4 If you want to be made holy by fulfilling the obligations of the law, you have cut off more than your flesh—you have cut yourselves off from the Anointed One and have fallen away from the revelation of grace!
3 For God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature.[c]
Yet God sent us his Son in human form to identify with human weakness. Clothed with humanity, God’s Son gave his body to be the sin-offering so that God could once and for all condemn the guilt and power of sin. 4 So now every righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled through the Anointed One living his life in us. And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit![d]
The law was replaced with grace. We no longer have to sacrifice animals and tithe to cleanse ourself before the Lord, Christ did all that for us. Then why does every church preach that God calls us to tithe? Because many churches have become businesses, and businesses need money to operate. Tithing was part of the law to teach people to put God before possessions, not to build mega new buildings.
A Warning Not to Love the World 1 John 2
15 Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world[q] or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible.[r] 16 For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance[s]—none of these things come from the Father but from the world. 17 This world[t] and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to[u] do the will of God live forever.[v]
I believe God has called those that are able to give to help others, to do so. We should always place God above all things in life. Instead of tithing to a church, my family financially supports other families who are suffering and to missions - to me this is what He meant. This is christianity.
Romans 3:27 The Passion Translation (TPT)
27 Where, then, is there room for boasting? Do our works bring God’s acceptance? Not at all! It was not our works of keeping the law but our faith[a] in his finished work that makes us right with God.
Who’s the Teacher?
I have learned more in my few years of one on one time with Jesus than I ever learned in Church. Don’t get me wrong, for new Christians and children, church is great to learn the basics, meet other Christians, and learn how to adapt your lifestyle. But the church leaves out SO much vital and powerful information. We don’t NEED to go to church to learn, we should be doing that on our own with Jesus. Talking to Him every day, while doing the dishes, folding laundry, driving in your car. Constantly talking to Him and involving Him in your life.
The Bible says there is no need for anyone to keep teaching you. We’ve replaced the source of our information, instead of Christ, we’re looking to a man or woman to guide us. I can honestly say that by tuning into Him, pursuing Him, and by listening to the Holy Spirit, I feel confident that I will know how to address anything that comes my way.
1 John 2
26 I’ve written these things about those who are attempting to lead you astray. 27 But the wonderful anointing you have received from God[af] is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you.[ag] His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in him.[ah]
Now don’t get me wrong, I still listen to messages on podcasts and YouTube. I do believe God gives others messages to share, just as He is guiding me to share this post now. These messages are great for inspiration, or providing a different perspective. Often times they bring me to my knees with conviction. However, I always check what I hear with my spirit for discernment. Ultimately the Lord is the filter for my ears to expose what is true and untrue. Often times it is HE who is leading me to find a message at exactly the time I need it - that’s one of the ways I know I’m in tune with Him.