Organized Religion: It Isn't For Me
I've found it no longer works for me. I didn't even know I was involved with Organized religion when I started attending my church. I was just doing what everybody else did thinking that's what christians do. I was eager and ready to take everything in blindly.
I accepted Christ in June of 1999 after realizing how much I needed Him and, became a member of a church I felt comfortable in. I attended regularly 3 times a week and participated in church funtions etc. I was having a wonderful time learning and growing in my faith but after a few years I began to notice some things and have been struggling over some difficult questions.
One being the ever argueable Tithe. I had been taught by my pastor that you can't just take one verse and make it fit what you want. You must read all verses before and after to get the context and no matter how many times I read the usual verse this same pastor uses about ".....giving and it will be measured unto you....", I don't see any relevance to present day tithing in any way shape or form. Besides Tithing is old testament and we are no longer under the law but under grace. This also taught by the same pastor. See any conflict here?
If you want to give that's fine. I see no problem with that and I did but to be told that if I don't tithe I'm not a good christian and should be ashamed or even that I may not even be saved if I don't willingly give or God will not bless me doesn't sit well with what Gods word already says.
Is it all just about money?
I've also sat through sermons telling us our troubles are brought on by Satan attacking us because we are Christians and then a few weeks later hearing our troubles are because we aren't walking right with God. Which is it? How much more right can I be as one of His children? Born again and sealed.
I'm dealing with several dibilitating and one terminal illness now. I have felt guilty for years since I got sick. because apparently I'm not a good christian for I should be at church every time the doors open and I can't. It got to the point I quit talking to God or even reading and praying because I thought, He won't hear me I'm not right with Him I can't get to church so His face is turned from me because of my disobedience. I went when I could but now I don't go at all simply because of the mixed messages I've gotten from the pulpit and I'm no longer feeling guilty.
No where in Gods Word does it say we must go to church three times a week or much less every Sunday morning, evening or Wed. evening. It's a man thing. Yes we are not to forsake the gathering of the saints, and I love being around my fellow Christians but don't judge me based on a man made requirement of attendance. and don't lay a guilt trip on someone that harms their relationship with their saviour simply because you want them there to put money in the basket. Sounds like works to me and works don't get you anything.
As I read more and more of the Bible on my own instead of listening to "a man" I have seen some things I had taken at my pastors word that simply doesn't jive with what God says. I'm sure my pastor is not intentionally being misleading but then he is preaching things the way he was taught to preach it by another man and his interpretation. Many will argue that the whole bible is interpreted individually but I disagree. If you read it carefully God is very plain on His meaning for everything. How it's interpreted by someone is their selfish choice to meet their own wants, which brings me to my other reason for getting out of organized religion.
Why have so many denominations? Isn't picking up Gods Word enough? Isn't preaching right from the Holy Bible enough? Can't it be read and taught His way instead of the Baptist way, Church of Christ way, Methodist way etc. Are denominations really teaching Gods word as it should or following a mans desire to meet certain monetary or controling needs? To come up with a "Popular" doctrine that has nothing to do with Gods Truth but a man made truth that's more appealing?
If we were all honest the truth really isn't a popular thing you know. We're all wretched but people don't want to hear that. Is that where all these so called denominations come from.? A desire to feel good and still believe we'll get to heaven simply because we attend a church where some man makes us believe twisting Gods word is ok.
I want to know Gods Word and His meaning, so I have chosen not to feel guilty about not being part of an organized religion. I want to know the truth about myself from Gods eyes and Word not mans.
I'll soon be sent papers saying I am no longer a member of this particular church because of my absense which is another sore spot for me about organized religion. Does God just throw us out of His family like that? I think not!
I'm a Christian and will always be a Christian because I called on Christ and was bought with His blood not because I sit in a church pew or work every church function. I know what God expects of me as His child and I prefer to answer to God not a man. All I can do is the best I can to be pleasing to the Lord and do His work. He will tell me if I'm not. I have chosen to read His word and His word only. To live my life being peculiar from others not better than. I choose to accept people as they are and to witness when I can and to minister to those in need. I don't need a church building but only Gods word. For He is all around me and there when I call on Him. Do I need more?