I know what you are expecting. You are expecting to read another blog post from an angry millennial condemning the church. That is not what you will find. I believe with all of my heart that the local church is the hope of the world. The problem is we are not the church Jesus intended us to be. When Jesus looked at Peter and said, “On this rock I will build my church,” I wholeheartedly believe that the church of today is not what He intended. Instead of loving and engaging people, we condemn and judge with prejudice. Jesus came to seek and save what is lost, not judge it and push it even farther away. It pushed me away.
I am done with church.
I am done with religion.
All I want is Jesus.
How did I get to this point?
If you will I want to share my story with you. My entire life I have been fully committed to the church. I have 20 years of living life as a preacher’s kid. My family has served selflessly for years, yet the very thing we served chewed us up and spit us out, leaving us for dead. So after over 20 years, we are disowned and rejected. No longer are we held in high esteem, instead we are rejected to the shadows to wallow in our mistakes.
Where did the church go wrong?
- When the “Church” became more of a political organization than a group of people trying to serve the body. When a church becomes more concerned about numbers and quotas than reaching the lost, the devil has won. All the devil has to do is grasp the hearts of those in the church, turning it away from the heart of God, and the rest simply falls into place. Once this happens, the church will rip itself apart viciously. No survivors are left. It is a blood bath of self righteous debauchery and condemnation.
- When the “Church” is more focused on perfect facades than true redemption and healing. People are scared. We are scared that if someone sees who we actually are that we will be discarded and thrust into the shadows. This is due to a culture of condemnation and fear that we have bred into the very DNA of the 21st century church. However, this is the direct opposite of the DNA Jesus imprinted upon His church. Galatians 6:1 is clear, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” Though this verse is clear, more often than not the church responds with brash roughness that further wounds and injures the person that needs to be restored. All the church will produce is brokenness and an ever continuing cycle of hatred and condemnation.
- When the “Church” forgets the weight of grace. We have all experienced grace, yet many times we simply do not recognize it. Today you came face to face with grace. The sun is still shining, your lungs are still working, and earth is still in orbit. These are all major examples of the magnitude of the patience and grace of God. When we forget the weight of grace it is harder to extend grace. Grasping onto power becomes more important than releasing grace to some. For in order to extend grace, you must first lower yourself and release all power you have over that person. You yourself become vulnerable because you are relating to a person in their brokenness. When Jesus addressed the woman caught in adultery, He did not point His finger at her and scold her. Instead, some believe He bent down and wrote the sins of her acccusers on the ground. As He did, the sound of stones hitting the sand rang through the open air. Her accusers were leaving.
Jesus did not go, pick up the stones and start driving them into the woman’s head. Instead, He looked at her with grace and said, “No one accuses you? Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” The idea that Jesus would even do anything remotely different seems appalling. Why would Jesus pick up the stones and drive them into the woman’s skull? I don’t know. All I know is that is exactly what we do the majority of the time.
So now what?
Am I falling off of the deep end?
No. I don’t think so.
Am I running from church? No. I just refuse to be a part of the cesspool that I have lived in for years. I am actually a part of a church that exemplifies the family of believers I have been searching for. It is a church that is a thriving habitat of the culture we tried to cultivate as a family in ministry. Where I am today, doesn’t look like anything like the church of the 21st century. I refuse to be a part of another religious institution.
Am I disowning God?
No. I am closer to the Father than I have ever been. My adventure awaits and it is in His hands.
So then what was the purpose of all this?
Well, it is rather simple.
I am done with the politics.
I am done with the backstabbing.
I am done with the facades.
I am done with the pseudo-vulnerability.
I am done with fear.
I am done with condemnation.
I am done.
All I want is Jesus.
And that is why, this preacher’s kid, has left the church.