Why I Stopped Going to Church
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.
This Realm is Not Reality
That’s right, I’m going Matrix on you. The spiritual realm is the real realm, not the physical that we experience day to day. Today most people live body first, mind second, spirit third. We care about our physical comforts, then our emotional needs, then our spiritual needs, when it should be in reverse. We are spirit beings, and should be living spirit first. This video I’m sharing by Neville Johnson explains it much better than I can, plus he has the most adorable accent. He’s a great resource if you’re looking to learn more about energy, living in the spirit, and tons more. Again check what you hear against your spirit (usually your gut feeling).
God is more than just a super old dude up in the clouds contrary to popular belief. He is a spiritual being made of pure energy which is love. When we accept Him, He lives in us and we in Him, literally. We have a force of pure love energy existing inside us, waiting to be tapped. And when we tap into that power, the possibilities are limitless. We are no longer subject to the physical realm, sickness, disease, or other physical and spiritual attacks. Now subject they are to us as long as long as it is God’s will.
5 Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities.[e] 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace.
7 In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction,[f] because it cannot! 8 For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. 9 But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life,[g] you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him.[h]
10 Now Christ lives his life in you! And even though your body may be dead because of the effects of sin, his life-giving Spirit imparts life to you because you are fully accepted by God.[i] 11 Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, he will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you!
12 So then, beloved ones, the flesh has no claims on us at all, and we have no further obligation to live in obedience to it. 13 For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life.
By now I know you really think I’m crazy :) Again there are others that can explain better than I. Chris Blackeby has a great way of explaining living in the spirit and not being subject to the physical realm. Who is he? An accountant. Who am I? A marketing manager. Who is my mother? A stay at home mom. All of us who have ascended to this new way of living and revelation are not super christians or special. We are ordinary people living ordinary lives with an unordinary love for the Father.
You Aren’t Alone
Last week a woman I sit close to at work approached me; “Hey Taylor, I came across your blog and I sent it to my friend, because she has experiences like that too. She didn’t know if it was real or what do with it or if she was crazy, she’s so happy to hear there are others.”
There are TONS of people out there, men and women, having encounters and revelations with God. If you’re one of them, you are not alone and you are not crazy, well, I’m guessing about the crazy part :)
If you haven’t had an experience like the ones I’ve written about yet but want to, there is no magic, ritual, or way of living that will bring it. How it happened to me, I sat and prayed for God to show himself to me. After hearing so many encounters my mother had, I wanted one too. I asked the Lord to give this to me, focused on Him, my love for Him, and thanked Him for everything He has done in my life. I quieted my mind, opened my heart, and sought Him. And then it happened, I saw Him. THIS is the kind of relationship He wants with all of us.
He doesn’t care about special rehearsed prayers, monthly communion rituals, acts done out of tradition or religious duty. All that is hollow to Him, He wants a personal relationship with you. Time every day all day. And He’s there waiting for you every day, waiting for you to seek Him out because He’s a gentleman, He won’t force Himself into your life if you don’t want Him there.
I meet once a month with a group of 20 women ranging from 30-80 years old who all experience Him like I do, and you can too. If you have questions, you are more than welcome to reach out. I hope you take the time to watch the videos I’ve included, and I hope they are as much of an epiphany to you as they were to me.
I’ll hop off my soap box now.