Following God is Easy, Sometimes Church is Difficult

Sunday, May 3 |

I don't go to church anymore. It was time to take a break because church was no longer a placed I received inspiration and support but instead I would leave feeling burdened and sad. My thoughts told me that I needed to do everything that I could to stay in church, get the spiritual counseling that I needed and to help the church grow in areas that I thought it was weak in. However when I considered "taking a break" a surprising feeling of peace and joy came over me. There was a hope of getting back to the basics in my relationship with God and taking time to explore what I believed.

Sometimes I consider returning to the church that I still consider my family, but I know it will not be the same. I am now a stranger, or at least a distant relative. I've tried to attend other churches with my family but it is just weird now. I know that everyone is well intentioned but the strange culture that exists behind the church doors can be a little exclusive: members can seem unworldly and standoffish, and the lessons can make you feel God is exclusive too. Right now church is a distraction from my relationship with God. I would like to find a Church home in the future, but I no longer feel the need to have a church membership to complete me. Leaving church helped me discover the true nature of God and I learned to fully trust him again.

Today's post is called Perfection is Not a Command, Love is all. If you're interested you can read the post on Spiritual Sunday. I think church is a wonderful thing for a lot of people, but it can sometimes trick others into believing that having a relationship with God is too hard. There are all these rules and doctrines you must follow, beliefs that you must maintain, and critical judgments that you must make. Letting someone else dictate what you believe can be a dangerous thing. It is important in all things that you make personal observations with open awareness so that you can see and learn for yourself. I've learned that God does not except us to be perfect but he created us to need love: to receive it and give it. If we love God and we love our neighbors we are following all the commands. So if you stumble upon a church that seems a little odd or makes you feel uncomfortable it's okay, just remember Love is All You Need.

What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable.

Do you have a church home? Why or why not? Have you ever felt distant from God because of a doctrine or a church member?


LazyKing said...

Today posts are so inspiring.
Plus I can relate to this one. I think I told you before.
Lately I was talking with one of my friends. He is now "atheist", i might mispelled that, lol.
Anyway, he is really into it. He made some great points about his non-religion and it was convincing.

I should send him Spiritual sunday link.

Amusing Bunni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amusing Bunni said...

I totally agree with you LL:
I don't go to church anymore either. Over l year ago, when I ended up at the hell hole where I work, and I see the hyprocracy coming out of people who are supposed to be "holy"...well it just totally disgusted me and it does to this day. They are mean, evil, cruel, worse than heathens...2 of the supposed leaders actually screamed & yelled at me & made me cry. Needless to say, I'm totally disenchanted & neusuated with the catholic church and now I know why everyone hates them so. Their rules, rituals & history is designed to subjugate people, squeeze money out of them, and abuse them for their own ends.

I find I can be spiritual and just as in love with GOD watching TBN on TV. In fact, I am closer to GOD now! Watching the array of great preachers on TBN, and listening to lovely singers, hearing testimonies. It just can't be beat. And you don't have to put up with back stabbing snakes who pretend to be holy just cause they park their lazy butts in a pew once a week. As Joyce Meyer has said, "Just because you sit in a garage, doesn't mean you're a car"!

God Bless you and have a wonderful SUNDAY! BTW, tonight on TBN @ 7 pm central, you must watch Joel Osteen. His sermon today was tailor made for those dealing with jealous, lying jerks! I watched this morning, it was a blessing!
Bye, Bunni

Haley said...

I am not a church goer, that does not mean I do not believe nor do i believe it makes less christian. I will admit there were times i questioned God of all the bad in my life, and I even came to a time where I pushed him out of my life, but lately have accepeted him back. I feel more at peace again with him in my life guiding me through the hard times. Church for me was never good, everyone there always judging! Trying to instill their beliefs into me. If the holy ghost truly lives with in us, then we feel what we believe by his guidance, i dont need someone else doing that for me. Religion is not a subject i normally talk about nor politics, the two can surely ruin a friendship, but my beliefs are mine, others have theirs..I wont try changing others beliefs because I dont want them changing mine.

LLnL said...

@LazyKing- I hope your friend likes but I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I'm so happy that I have not struggled alone.

@Amusing Bunni- So many people give church a bad name. Church should be a place warm and comforting but sometimes a nightclub is more welcoming. I don't let it get to me anymore though, i know that hurting people have a tendency to hurt back. When life gets the best of you and feel you have to fight to be respected you see others as enemies or as needing your help. Its not right, but its okay. If I have God who can be against me.

@Haley- I don't know why Christian is a completive sport. It should be about our individual relationship with God that brings us together, not looking to judge who is a better or worse Christian than yourself. I think that we are suppose to question God, most of the prophets did from time to time. David, the man after Gods on heart, was constantly asking God why he left alone with his enemies ( Psalms). It was through asking God why he allows things that we can see how he has helped, loved and protected us through out our life. When we silence are doubt or anger with him, that's when weakens our faith.

I use to talk about religion all the time and I lost a lot of friends that why. I'm too scared to talk about politics, besides I don't have strong opinions so that would be boring anyway. But my faith is a big part of me and I want to express my beliefs without others feeling disrespected or challenged. My spirituality is ever growing and changing so I hope that people can see that I know that I don't know it all. Maybe that will help people not feel attacked if I believe something different than they do.

kiss my black ads said...

I have begun attending "chuch" again. I love it. Because it's a pretty decent match. There aren't many churches that Black people attend that aren't subversive fashion shows. I love fashion or I used to, it's not so important anymore. But it's a turn off when it becomes an unspoken mandate in the church. But it's a non-issue in my new church. New? it's been like 7 years now. Dr. Barbara King in Atlanta. You can wear shorts and sandals in the dead of winter and no one would comment, unless it was to ask if you were interested in a coat. We meditate in service, we invite Buddhist, Hindu, etc and incorporate many diverse principles. It's pretty cool.

LLnL said...

Pretty cool? That's sound incredible. I hated the fashion show aspect of church too. Like you I use to be into it but I did not feel like church was the right venue for dressing to impress. I don't like churches where only the sharp people get noticed and all the hard working , self sacrificing people get ignored. Wish there more churches like that out there.

Expat From Hell said...

I like your blogs. I will be back again, my new friend. I attend a church, but it is difficult to call it a "home".
Just moved back to the USA after three years away, so it is difficult to think of anything as home these days.
Thanks for the thought provoking posts.