Almost everyone who knows me, knows that I am a calm and collected individual. I just don’t get angry or have outbursts of uncontrolled emotion. Yet over the past few weeks, I have had an anger growing within me.
As I am starting a new ministry, I am spending time with many new families as I learn about their past and the connections they have had with Christianity. Many of those who are interested in this new fellowship are Christians who believe in Christ yet have been out of the established church for over 5 years.
The anger I feel comes from hearing their stories. Church after church, reason after reason; the Bride of Christ is continually providing a false representation of who Christ is by their actions. It fact is, the Church has been purging endless amounts of believers by the actions of their selfish hypocrisy.
And the list is always the same. Money grabbers, cliques, people of influence protecting their stuff, elevating leaders above others, sin within the pastoral staff, favoritism, not preaching the real Truth, not accepting someone that is of a different station in life, redefining what God calls sin, getting too far into the weird mystical practices, not allowing conversations about theologies that go against doctrine or just not loving people in general.
And yes there are still plenty of Good churches out there, but there continues to be so many more that fall into the categories above.
In reality, the only way these precious souls are going to find good pasture now is outside of the established Church and that is sad. We have broken their trust, and we have taken the Lord’s Name in vain by bearing false witness as to what a life filled and led by the Holy Spirit looks like. The millstone was only used for one purpose in the scriptures. To punish those who “knew the Lord” yet caused others to stumble. I fear that as many of us sit comfortably at the Lord’s table today, we may not have access to Him after Judgement.
As I mourn and pray for those who are spiritually alone because of our sin, the only thing that gives me comfort is knowing that God has called me to serve and reconcile these bruised and battered families to God and His fellowship. The demographic of those who now claim the title of “once churched” are numerous and everywhere I go. There is so much work to do; so many conversations and dinners to have. I pray the Lord will send me some to help bring in this harvest.
If you are one who has been hurt or broken by the Church we who love God are praying for you. We can’t change what happened to you and your family in the past, but some of us are learning from our mistakes.
Our family is one of many pastoral families that have left the established Church for you. We don’t want your money, we have no building or church positions to fight over. We just want a chance to show you what the real Gospel is all about. We are not perfect people, but we will love you no matter who you are.
The truth is, those who have left the church in many cases are now raising children that have had no real introduction to the Gospel. If that is the case, let us be the ones to introduce those you love to our loving God. Let our relationships and our actions share this Gospel with your sons and daughters. Eternity is still a long time, and we yearn for all of us to sup with Christ forever. We know your pain, and we want to honor your boundaries.
You are not alone. The Church is entering a time of great reform. More and more families who share similar stories are coming together to become a new type of church fellowship. We are more of a family than a Church. And we only hold to one guiding principle. Logos “Scripture” Alone…
Our family has stopped going to church so that we can be the Fellowship of God. And even though our fellowship may use a building here or there, that building is only a tool; not our identity.