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This Christian Journey:

 

I Don't Go To Church Anymore

The following letter was received:

Hi there:

Thank you for your message.  Please understand that I do understand grace and my complaints about some Christians are not meant as judgments, in essence.  I am disagreeing with their behavior, just as Christ does.  I am still so puzzled by the fact that many claim to be Christians but they are so evil.  I was turned off by the church because there were too many folks that seemed to have demons inside of them instead of Christ!

I do not condemn <this man> or the <para-church ministry> for their dishonesty.  I question their commitment to Christ and truly doubt they have the Holy Spirit.  Did I ever tell you that <another man> presented me with a typed letter when I left that said I had to promise not to tell anyone what happened in my situation or else I would not get the one month severance they offered me?  (I should send you a copy of that infamous letter!)  And, I had to sign the letter!  The dismissal was quite abrupt and the loss of income for us was going to be very difficult, especially because I could not file for unemployment (a non-profit organization with less than 50(?) employees is not required to carry UE insurance).

Walt, I almost never, ever, EVER lie.  But, sometimes it happens to protect someone or protect my privacy.   But I absolutely NEVER lie if it is going to harm someone in a significant way.  <This man>, on the other hand, lied to everyone about everyone and about everything.  It was sickening.  It was quite sad to have <my daughter> watch me get let go from the <ministry>.  She witnessed that the employee who never came to work, lied all the time, was irresponsible and had bad Christian behavior KEEP his job, while the one who worked her tail off, had to take nearly all the responsibility of the organization, never lied or did anything dishonest and strived to have Christian-like behavior LOSE her job (ME).  It was not a good lesson for <my daughter> or a good message to send to a young person. 

The main reason that I do not go to church now is because I find too much evil or folks that seem to imitate Satan rather than Christ.  I have no desire to commune with Satan or his demons and you find them in the church!  They lurk within folks. I am convinced of that.  I experienced enough demonic activity at the <ministry>.  I cannot handle any more.   I was looking for a Godly place; I did not find it.  In my opinion, if the church is not a Godly place, then where is God anyway?

I am sure you have all the answers to my sad questions and you will send them to me!  LOL   But, you really should forgive me for not going to church anymore.  The only thing I know for SURE is that I DO have the Holy Spirit and it gives me the desire to NOT sin, every minute of the day.  And I am quite successful, too.  So, those who can sin constantly without a blink of the eye are strange to me.  I do not want to associate with them.  They have the Holy Spirit?  I really doubt it.

That's all I have to say about that.  (Forest Gump)

Warmest regards,


<signed, a dear frined>

 

My response to my friend follows

Dear <friend>.  I did not say what I said to you about Church because I am personally judging you.  Therefore, you do not really need my forgiveness.  But if you feel you do, then you have it.  I absolutely forgive you.  I said it because God wrote it in His Word, and I am called to minister His Word at all times.  It is God who says, eternally through the Bible:

Hebrews 10:25 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.

Why did God say this?

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

I whole heartedly agree with everything you have written.  There are evil people in Churches, and they do evil things.  But Christ did not say, go to Church if everyone is perfect, He said get in Church, and serve in Church, no matter what!   

I too have experienced very hateful and hurtful things at the hands of people who claim to be Christians, and it caused me to question and wonder as well.  The truth is that Jesus also suffered torment, persecution, and death at the hands of people who were supposed to be God’s chosen people, the Jewish religious leaders.  The Bible forewarns us that these types of people would be in the Christian Church.   The New Testament is permeated with such warnings when it says,

2 Timothy 3:1-7 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

There are many biblical passages that speak to this same horrible biblical truth.  In these days, just as in the history of the Church, there have been many who call themselves Christian, who are in Churches, who do the wrong things, and may not even know the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior.  For those who suffer at their hands our Lord says,

1 Peter 3:12-13 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

Even after God records the many terrible things that will occur, in the name of Christ, at the hands of these ruthless folks, God does not say, “because of them leave the Church.”  Instead, God says, don’t forsake the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ, continue to be a part of the Church and continue to be a part of growing God’s Kingdom. 

I concede, it is not easy to find a good Church.  The search for a Church is often long and tiresome.  Just when we think we have found the perfect Church something happens to remind us that there can be no perfect Church, because there are no perfect people.  Yet we are asked by God to endure the errors for the sake of God’s kingdom.  We must continue to fight the good fight, and we cannot effectively fight any battle if we stand alone. 

2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 4:3-5 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The biblical truth is that no Christian can be all that God intends for them to be apart from the body of Christ.  Also, whenever you work with or around other human beings, who all wrestle with sin, you will sooner or later get hurt.  We ought to expect this.  But you can not, you must not, just stop.  If we, the people of God, who carry the message of truth, hope, and righteousness stop, then our enemy will prevail and wickedness will take over.  Seems like that is just what is happening in our nation and world.

Christian’s must endure.  Christian’s must fight on.  God’s people must continue to be used by God as a part of His mighty and victorious army, the Church of Jesus Christ.

 <friend>, we can not just stop because the enemy won a battle.  We may not understand why they did what they did, but the struggle is just far too important to just stop.

 Again, I do not mean this to be judgmental.  But I must continue to do what God has called be to do, share His Word and its truths with all people, especially when difficult issues arise. 

 

In Christ, Until He Comes, Perhaps Today . . .
Walter D. Huyck Jr.
, D.Min., D.R.S.

 

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