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A Response To Christians Who Are Done With Church

You hear it all the time.

I’m done with church.

I don’t really need to go to church…my relationship with God is personal.

I’ve had it with organized religion.

The church is a man-made invention, not God’s idea.

I completely understand why a growing number of people are bailing on church. Even people who used to lead in the church often stop attending (here are 9 reasons why church leaders do that).

We’ve spent a lot of time working through the issue of declining church attendance (and growing disillusionment with the church) on this blog and in my leadership podcast. (For a summary of the issues, here’s a piece on the 10 reasons even committed church attenders are attending church less often).

I get it.

The church is far from perfect. Life is complex. There are growing options. And the post-modern mind distrusts most things organized or institutional.

But as trendy as the idea of writing off the church may be, it’s a mistake.

While writing off the church passes as sophisticated thinking, it’s actually the opposite; what if it’s a simplistic and even reductionistic line of thinking that leads nowhere constructive?

The church isn’t even biblical, is it?

People argue the idea of church isn’t even biblical.

So let’s start with the basics.

First if you’re a Christian, church is not something you go to. It’s something you are.

You can’t disassociate from church as a Christian anymore than you can disassociate from humanity as a person.

You don’t go to church. You are the church.

Second, the church was not a human invention. Half-reading the New Testament with one eye closed will still lead you to the inescapable conclusion that the church was God’s idea.

In fact, most of the New Testament is not about the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the work of the church that Jesus initiated and ordained. I won’t fill this post with scripture verses that prove my point, because, quite frankly, you’d have to get rid of the majority of the New Testament to argue that the church was a parenthetical, made-up organization.

If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus.

You can’t have one without the other.

Maybe what bothers you should actually amaze you

I understand that the idea of the church being imperfect makes some people despair.

But rather than making us despair, the fact that Jesus started the church with imperfect people should make us marvel at God’s incredible grace.

That God would use ordinary, broken human beings as vessels of his grace, and delight in it is awe-inspiring. He’s proud of how his grace is beating through your imperfect-but-redeemed life and through the church (have you ever read Ephesians 3: 10-11?).

The idea that God would use you and me is pretty amazing. He had other options.

He could have spoken to the world directly, but instead chose to use broken people to showcase his grace to a world in need of redemption.

For sure, community is messy.

People sin. Leaders are sinful.

Most of the New Testament is not a story of an idealized church where everything worked perfectly all the time (just read 1 Corinthians any time you’re frustrated with your church).

Most of the New Testament is a story of Jesus using his followers to spread his love in spite of themselves and as they overcome obstacle after obstacle.

The fact that Christ uses flawed people to accomplish his work on earth is actually a sign of his grace, not a sign of his absence.

The church’s story, as twisted as it gets at times, is a beautiful story of God’s grace, God’s power and God’s redemption.

So, by the way, is your life, which reflects the story of the church more than you would want to admit.

The church gives the world a front row seat to the grace of God.

The ultimate consumerism isn’t going to church…it’s walking away from it

People criticize the church today as being consumeristic. And to some extent, churches cater to consumerism—often to our detriment. I agree that consumerism is a problem for Christianity.

But ironically, much of the dialogue about why people are done with church pushes people deeper into Christian consumerism than it pushes them into deeper discipleship: Here I am, all alone, worshipping God on my schedule when it’s convenient for me.

Listening to a podcast of your favourite preacher while you’re at the gym or on the back deck and pushing three of your favourite worship songs through your ear buds does not make you a more passionate Christ follower.

It usually makes you a less effective one.

Disconnecting yourself from community is actually less faithful than connecting yourself to a flawed community.

If you think the church today isn’t enough (and arguably, we need to reform it), then do what the early Christians did.

If you want a more biblical church…don’t gather weekly, gather daily. Before dawn.

Get up before the sun rises to pray together with other Christians before you go to work. Pool your possessions. Don’t claim anything as your own.

Be willing to lose your job, your home, your family and even your life because you follow Jesus.

Then you’ll be more authentic.

And notice that the early church did indeed gather. 

Gathering always leads to some form of organizing.

To pretend the church doesn’t need to be organized is as logical arguing that society doesn’t need to be organized.

Because community is inevitable, organization is inevitable.

Our ability to organize and to accomplish more together than we can alone is one of the crowning achievements of humanity, and our ability to work together makes Christian effort far more effective. 

It’s also part of God’s design for how we should interact while we’re on this planet. Come to think of it, heaven is a community too.

The only one who wants us to believe that we are better off alone is our enemy.

If you really think about it, it’s actually a very clever tactic.

The church has helped even those who resent the church

Finally, if you’re reading this article and you have any modicum of faith in Jesus, may I suggest your faith is actually the result of the mission of the church.

Very few people come to know Jesus because he appears to them supernaturally when they are alone and calls them by name.

Does that ever happen? Sure. But not to 99.9% of us.

Almost all of us who follow Jesus have had our lives changed by a flawed body called the church that Jesus so passionately loves and calls his own.

Think about that.

We need more church

Do we need more churches? Yes.

Do we need more humble churches? We do.

Do you we need authentic, transparent leadership? Absolutely.

Does the church need to change? Without a doubt.

The church needs continual reformation and transformation.

So what will the future look like?

Will we gather in quite the way we do today in the future? In some ways yes; in others, no.

Hopefully we gather more frequently and work through our differences at a deeper level and impact our communities more powerfully.

These two posts offer 10 predictions about future church attendance and 11 traits of churches that will impact the future.

But regardless of how the church gathers in the future, we will gather…we need to gather.

We Christians need each other, probably now more than ever.

And even if you don’t think you need other Christians, I promise you you do, and so does our world.

Now, more than ever, the world needs Christian working together humbly under Christ to lead people into a growing relationship with him, in whatever innovate and fresh forms that takes.

The church is not dead.

Far from it.

Maybe it’s just beginning to take shape for a brand new era that desperately needs it.

350 Comments

  1. Jim on September 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    The author said,

    “If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus.

    You can’t have one without the other.”

    NOTHING BUT A LIE! Go back and read your bible! I’m so glad I’m disconnected from you idiots.

    A person can be a Christians without the body of messed up believers. You guys all suck.

  2. Shirley Lockhart on August 23, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    My marriage has been a blessing until few months ago when my life almost get sucked. A strange woman took my husband’s love away from me. He left me and our 3 kids to this lady. I was in shocked because i know my husband still loves me. I tried all i could to get him back but the more i tried the more he went far away from me. All my effort yielded nothing. I lived in pains for 3 good months without any plan of getting out of this mess. Till I met an old school friend who showed me to dr_mack@yahoo. com, he restored my marriage and brought me and my kids happiness. I never believed i would get my husband back, My husband came back with apologies for all the pain he has cost me. You can contact DR MACK for relationship or marital problems

  3. Karen on August 18, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I absolutely love this. You have explained everything so well and plainly. Church is an absolute must, flawed or not. I just wrote a post on how to maintain your passion for God over the slow summer months, and I included attending church. I will definitly be leading my readers towards this article.

    Thank you so much!

    • Lisa Hammond on August 20, 2017 at 7:27 am

      I thought this article covered it all. To the people who bash the church i say this : There is no perfect church. Perfection is only in Christ. But we must remain faithful in obedience. He set the foundation for us to belong to a church. If you are not happy or have been hurt by the church then find another one. Yes they all have flaws but that does not mean you get a free ticket in disobedience. Pray for Him to lead you to the right church. It took me going to several until ai finally found one and I couldn’t be happier. God is so good and He answers our prayers. It is His will that we are in community and fellowship, tithing and worshipping. There are many churches out there and its not one size fits all. Ask, and you shall receive. It is His will for us.

      • Ally on September 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        Hi, I to have left church after attending the three different ones. I found them all to be unloving, control freaks for the most part. I still believe in God but know if I would attend a church again for the fourth time. I pray to God and believe in his word.

        • Ally on September 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          Hi, I to have left church after attending the three different ones. I found them all to be unloving, control freaks for the most part. I still believe in God but know if I would attend a church again for the fourth time. I pray to God and believe in his word.

          • Aaron House on September 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

            I grew up in the Jehovah witness cult. I always knew that God was real but even as a child I knew this “religion” was false. I grew up and my heart began seeking after God but my heart became like granite to organized religion. So I did the only thing I knew was true my prayer and the bible. And I listened to Christian sermons on the radio. God let me go on like this for over a year and then he slowly started to coax me into the body of Christ. I adamantly refused to follow the Holy spirit. There was no way I could trust any religion. Finally the urging I had in my heart became too great. So I set out to find a true church of God. He led me to one and although it is not perfect and all of us are flawed, when I walk in I know I’m in the house of God. People genuinely help and love and seek God. They are out there. Satan loves and lives to keep us out of God’s protection that he gives with a church family. You listen to God and pray for him to guide you and you will get to the church where he wants you.



      • Bruce Halstead on September 12, 2017 at 8:47 am

        Sister I’m not looking for perfection God’s people need to get back to praying the church was built on prayer fasting and Bible study

    • Tj Woods on September 7, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Hi I want to go to church but I can’t because I work on,Sundays to keep payments on,my apartment will god still accept me into his kingdom if I can’t make it to church I truly believe and trust him but I feel guilty not going to church bc I have to work what do I do if I can’t go to church but have faith and truly believe in Jesus and the heavenly fathet

  4. Diana on August 8, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    This post is not what i thought. I am/was a christian and been away from God for almost 10 years now, although i still attend church. Recently, i feel that i hate God a lot. My sister, supposedly, is the biggest offense in my life. She hurt ne a lot n continues too yet she is involved in church. I think if she hasnt been involved itwould have been better. I now hate the fact that i was bon to be her sister? So alonee…
    N offended……. I cant get rest even physical….stuck in cycles….i feel and see that. god hates mee

    • Alana on August 12, 2017 at 3:07 am

      Hello

      I understand your Sister should be your most loyal friend and be there for you. You seem very hurt and I don’t know what she has done to cause you this pain and hatred but you can’t change the person she is. You need to set yourself free by forgiving her and rising above all this nonsense. You can’t continue on like this, it’s no good for you and no way to live. Please don’t blame God or hate God, he gave us all a free will to live our lives the way we choose, we are not puppets. It’s not his fault and he does not hate you one bit, he has unconditional love for you. Don’t turn your back on Him. I pray God will heal you and give you peace within yourself so you can enjoy your life again.

      Kind Regards
      Lani

    • Vickie on August 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Offences will come…..don’t take them!

  5. Melinda on August 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I don’t doubt that the church was important to Christ. Scripture makes that pretty obvious. What I do doubt is the traditional version of church we have created and the judgements placed on those who look beyond the traditional and suggest that if we are to be good Christians we must attend said churchs.

  6. John Doe on August 1, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I think this post is a little like defending the institution of marriage to someone who has been married to an abuser. Yes, you can defend the institution in those circumstances, but in doing so, you completely miss the point.

    • pradeep ivon on August 1, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Hello John your analog of the institution of marriage sound very accurate. Yes we must agree when the marriage turns sour and begins to give pain then society recommends to walk out of it although the Lord does not approve of us walking out of marriage, instead we must introspect and try as much to adjust and repair at least that is what we indians have learnt in our society, and besides not getting along does not abuse the institution as such, which the Lord has laid down for us. I am quite concerned about the new generation (my marriage is 26 year old, not by just adjusting to each other but may be we are lucky as a compatible couple, chemically perhaps- i do believe in Linda Goodman’s zodiac signs and see it works in most of the situations; new generation needs to learn a lot perhaps as they are quick and impulsive to get in and out of relationships, may be the it is the sign of ages, the end times are close and so the love and compassion has to decline as the Bible says in 2 Timothy.
      But yes again i compliment you for your use of the analogy!

  7. christine carlton on July 29, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    I was called out of going to church buildings about 16 years ago and my faith has not diminished but I believe has grown stronger and deeper. When I was attending the meetings in the church building things started to feel very wrong when I went and I did not have real fellowship there but did not fit in and The Lord gave me a picture of a man standing on stilts and then one man upon another stood on the shoulders of each one beneath him until there was a tower of men one upon another and then they were covered in a gaudy clowns dress that made them look absolutely ridiculous , the word that was given as an explanation was….. this church was being built from those that were more interested in promoting themselves and they were trying to outdo one another in one upmanship. I was told it was a travesty of the real Church and to leave for when the structure they had built up fell many would be hurt. I have not been directed to go back to a form of religious meeting that is organised although I am open to the Lords leading and would go wherever He sent me but He has recently led me to find others that I do fellowship with and many of whom have also come out beyond the walls of religious organisation, although this is informal my regular everyday fellowship is with Jesus.
    The True Church the one that Jesus is building,is the one built up of living building stones.
    1 Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

    Institutional and organised Religion can bring doctrine, teaching, and religious belief. Some of it may be morally excellent and good. However, religion cannot impart Life. Why? Because it has no Life to give. Jesus Christ is the Life. And Jesus does not live within organised institutional religion, although He may be found by the earnest seeker anywhere this is because God looks upon the heart but GOING TO church is not a scriptural requirement. Jesus is described as the author and perfecter, and finisher, of our faith in Hebrews 12:2. You don’t have to go to church to find God. God’s favor doesn’t depend upon the church’s favor. Religion is fear-based, and Relationship is love-based, and we can abide in that relationship right now. Only Jesus can give Himself as our Life.

    JOHN 14:6 KJV “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    The most any man can do is point people to Jesus as the sole Source of Life. They may contact Life through us, but we cannot give them Life. To those bound by Organised institutional Religion, Jesus cries “You search the Scriptures, because you think in them you have Life. You are content to read about Me, but you will not come to Me that you may have Life (John 5:39,40, paraphrased).” Come to Me! Not, “Memorize these Three Easy Steps and attend the Church of your choice this Sunday.” Come to Me! He is Life.

    The True Church is built of living building stones it is The Lord’s Ekklesia, it is made up of individuals who have the Revelation of Jesus and have come to Him to receive Him as Lord of their life . Here is where the confusion begins. We glibly use the term “church” to describe things which are not The Lord’s Ekklesia. A building devoted to religious meetings is called “the church”. Attending a religious meeting is called “going to church.”

    I do not “go to church,” I believe I am part of The EKKLESIA The Body of Christ on Earth . Once I caught sight of Jesus Christ many years ago I never let go of Him and He never let go of Me. Come to Jesus Christ not religion……..He said I am The Way The Truth and The Life and no one can come to The Father except by me. It is all about a relationship not a religion or traditions or any other man made doctrines.

    When people touch Christianity today in the institutional organised visible church it is so often more of a religious way of thinking or living or acting or talking and more often in these latter times it is not Biblical Christianity, but mere Churchianity. They are touching external things such as where, when, and how church services are to be conducted, what rota or programme is needed, they set up worship teams standing at the front even on a platform or a stage all lights on them and they receive more admiration than the one they profess to worship all get bogged down with things such as which church doctrine is correct, and so on. But seldom do they touch the real Person, Jesus. So lets all reach out to Him and touch Him and we will be given new life in Him that will heal and bring wholeness and unity to His Body and it will be free from the shackles of religion and any false guilt that comes from not subscribing to it. There may still be congregations meeting together in buildings that have remained Biblically sound and standing firm in these latter days but they are in the minority as these are the days of Apostasy.It is not the ones that have left the institution of religion that have fallen away into Apostacy for the most part those that have come out in obedience to The Lord, they are going on following Jesus and they worship Him in Spirit and Truth. As for the meeting together of believers who are called out beyond the walls of religion . They are led by The Holy Spirit and there may be a time in the wilderness (alone with God) and it can be a long time just as it was for the apostle Paul when He first had the revelation of Jesus but there will come a time when guided by The Holy Spirit they will meet other Christians. Believe me there are many who have and are being called out beyond the walls. This is not a new phenomenon but has been noticeably gaining ground over the last 20 years . Many such Christians fellowship via various means but often in The Spirit and virtually through the internet, blogs, forums, online communities, christian you tube video’s ,many are available from those led to do so and who have been led out beyond the walls of churchianity themselves. There are opportunities to subscribe to Podcasts, attend webinars, and meeting others through these means and other ways is possible as The Lord leads. I have made contact with many other believers throughout the world in these ways.
    I recommend reading this book for a better overview of what I have sort to describe here. – The Remarkable Replacement Army written by Stan Firth
    you can download it free on His site the remarkable replacement army – Google Search or purchase the Book. The Remarkable Replacement Army – An Allegory, from the pages of history, for the Christian Church of the Future

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    • pradeep ivon on July 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      thank you Christine, i admire you and praise the Lord for giving the wisdom and the determination to seek HIM alone and coming out of the ‘churchianity” mindset. Pray also for us to become strong and able to educate others through the Holy Spirit however we would still keep visiting the so called church, if not for the pretense of worship, at least to commune and have fellowship with others, as this also is a necessity i believe and opportunity to express ourselves to others and same time to be able to help the needy among our own community. thank you again and i like everything you have expressed. God bless you Christine!

      • christine carlton on August 1, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        pradeep ivon I thank you for your gracious comment and will indeed pray for you and yours. May we all be a Holy standard throughout the Nations in these times and know love, peace and unity in The Body of Christ on Earth wherever we fellowship with one another.

    • Sami Ellen on August 20, 2017 at 2:08 am

      I’ve had a very similar experience & mindset over the past 16 years. I have always felt that Jesus called me out, as I was showering in preparation to go to a church service when the Lord spoke to me saying that my time (at that church) was up. So I stopped. I felt that I needed to stay connected to the saints (other Christians) and always have remained open should He direct me to attend somewhere, but I felt that He called me out in preparation for the upcoming days of persecution, when Christians will go into hiding even in this nation. It’s just that Christians today are so “going to church” oriented that they may be devastated should the government lock the church doors. We all need to know that we can serve the Lord even in times in persecution and we can still be connected even in extraordinary situations, to exhort, comfort, and worship with the real church, us. I have sometimes felt that it would be nice to attend church services and worship with the crowd, but it just never feels right for me to actually do it. I just feel that God has a purpose for those of us who have gone this way, which is not completely manifest yet—and it is sometimes a bit confounding.

  8. Murray McKaska on July 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

    When my wife and I became empty-nesters about 6 years ago we began to prepare for our future. We downsized our house, and we assessed all the time and money commitments in our life. Over the years we had become terribly over-extended and it was the perfect time to close that chapter and begin a brand new one. So we resigned from all civic and volunteer positions, including everything ‘church’. We only have one weekly volunteer commitment on our schedule now, which we do together, and it’s wonderful. We made the healthiest choice for our lives and we couldn’t be happier as we rediscover our relationship as husband and wife, and recently as grandparents!

  9. Matthew Fitzpatrick on July 23, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I agree with everything else but there’s just one problem I’m not a drug that God can use He partners with His people on this earth satan uses God partners

  10. Ros on July 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    The church started at Mount Sinai with Moses and the giving the 10 commandments. Not with Yeshua. Yeshua fulfilled the the idea of church. I’m done with regular church because it’s so unbiblical and teaches replacement theology and fails to recognise the Hebrew/Jewish heritage of the faith. For one the Sabbath is the day of worship – not Sunday. But that’s just the start. There so much about the church that’s unbiblical that it’s actually unhealthy for my faith to be involved in one.

  11. […] A Response to Christians who are Done with Church Don’t know the guy, don’t agree that Jesus is coming to people supernaturally still (Hebrews 1), but overall, a fantastic read! […]

    • Jen on July 21, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      I’m in the process of leaving Christianity, I haven’t attended church for over a year now. Over a lifetime, I’ve struggled with being a woman in the church. At aged 60 I’m leaving because Christianity has no relevance to me as a woman and I can’t keep up the pretence of believing otherwise. An all male godhead, women as an afterthought in creation, not made directly in the image of god, to keep silent, to be submissive, not have thoughts of ones own, to be treated as a child – at best. I’m sick and tired of it all. A male saviour can only save men not women. Jesus is for the boys only. Christianity is truly damaging to women and I’m so glad young women are keeping away from it.

      • Aaron House on July 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        Dear Jen, please think about what you are contemplating. Oh how Satan loves to see this. Everything you said has a brilliant and conniving twist that has his name all over it. Half truths mixed with high emotion equal rash decisions. I think about all the people who he’s tricked and it’s sickening and heart breaking. Yes man is made in the image of God but in no way does that translate to women as an after thought. Do you really believe it’s possible for God to have an afterthought? He knew who his children would be before earth was created. Do you really believe it’s possible that the means of salvation would come through a woman and God made all of creation and says “ohhh dag nabbit I forgot to make that woman! ” I am a man a married man for a long time and every day I thank God for my wife. She has fibromyalgia and can’t do a lot that she used to but I see our God’s love and see God when I look at my wife. There is nothing domineering in our marriage but a mutual love and respect. Satan poisons the well so badly and perversely you see men killing, beating and otherwise abusing their wives in the name of God! It’s sick and perverse and an abomination that God defeats. And it goes the other way as well with women perverting the word to for their wants or needs. Please don’t give the devil the satisfaction of claiming your soul and breaking God’s heart.

        • Bruce Halstead on September 12, 2017 at 9:02 am

          She told the truth I don’t blame her at all the elders don’t teach the young anymore when I was sleeping saw this warehouse then u saw a giant broom where ever it swept it was cleaning house whoever wasn’t praying got swept away he said watch and pray always

      • pradeep ivon on July 25, 2017 at 3:49 am

        Jen please don’t leave the community of christians that Jesus founded. It is the noblest and more sincere faith and the ONLY WAY TO SALVATION & LIFE BEYOND THIS. Of course Satan will be happy & joyful when any one of us gets into deception about our belief that is based on the ALmighty GOD who is beyond Male & Female categorical mindset- he is both and above all! Did Jesus not give the cry of anguish in Jerusalem in his last days when looking at the city & the hypocrisy of the pharisees & people alike when he said “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” is it not the cry of a loving mother! Please don’t leave, have faith and find someone in your neighborhood who can guide you sincerely about christianity-path of salvation for whole mankind, not just men and women, jews and greek but for ‘anyone who trusts in the Lord Jesus, eternal life is assured to him or her’

      • Nina on July 25, 2017 at 3:20 pm

        I’m not actually replying to the above comment, I just couldn’t figure out how to start a new one. Carey, I hope you don’t actually read the comments to your blog, but just in case you do, know that you are dearly loved by our Savior. You definitely got me on meeting daily before sunrise. But maybe it counts when my four children sit down to breakfast and want to thank God for the new day and read God’s word together. Our organized church meets in our communal home of tens of thousands of square feet, and shares in joy and in sorrow, births and deaths and all the crazy in between times of exhaustion, anxiety, silliness, and the list goes on and on. They show me the hands and feet of Jesus all the time.

      • Kris on July 27, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Jen, I hear you. Your experience is like a lot of other women (I’d like to say women with experience, but that doesn’t sound right! You know what I mean, I hope). There are some Christian churches who preach equality and inclusivity – perhaps you will find one of those. Keep searching for your community, though! Peace, Kris

        • Aaron House on July 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

          There’s a common denominator to all the negative comments towards the church and Christianity. The denominator is me, mine, I, my feelings, what I get, fair,equal, my rights,my expectations, my treatment. All this makes one wonder what would draw all these people who are so concerned with themselves to Christianity in the first place? Which in a word is servitude. And grateful servitude at that. Did someone lie to you and say everything is supposed to be fair in this life? Or that you were to “get” all the time? being a Christian is being a servant of our Lord, getting tread on and allowing our Lord to make it right if he chooses. It is putting yourself last. It is a life that completely revolves around God and serving and loving. It is being an example of what you would like your brother’s and sisters to learn. To me it seems that what a lot of people are looking for is to be put on a pedestal of fairness and get there needs and wants met and in return they’ll crack their bible a couple times a week put a twenty in the plate and get the honor of looking down their nose at a struggling brother or sister. I hope that people see what true Christianity is and quit letting the devil whisper in your ear. If your in a good bible teaching church that has a few flaws make it better…in love not disgust or self righteous behavior. If you are in a church that teaches how important you are supposed to be run! And pray that God guides you to him.

      • Coady on July 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

        I got sick of the same “Ceremony” that took place in the Catholic church, every Sunday the same thing. I could sit home and recite the whole thing myself. SO repetitious. Who wants to hear the SAME thing week after week. Got tired of it. I don’t believe in what I can’t see nor hear, and if it is so “Supernatural” I went faithfully until my Grandmother died. I have never had any peace, or have had a “message” in all my life. You have peace when you are dead, and in the ground. It is falling asleep and NEVER waking up that’s what it is. It is more so for people that are afraid of death, of non existence. It is a soother for people that want to believe there is something more, and you know what something more is? It is that you are dead, another is born. It is the cycle of life period. A door closes another opens to replace. This planet is the only place. We live we die, and others take our place.

        • Al on August 2, 2017 at 1:42 am

          I think you said exactly what i was thinking.
          If there is a god, then he has abbandoned me.
          I have prayed to god, but he’s not listening and never has

          • christine carlton on August 2, 2017 at 3:07 pm

            God has not abandoned you, our sins separate us from Him so we don’t feel or recognize His presence with us. Please read my personal experience below.
            The Good News is that The Father Almighty God sent His only begotten son Jesus to be the Saviour of the world so all who out their trust in His Son and have faith in Him will be saved from all the terrible consequences of Sin which is eternal separation from God and death. Jesus is the gateway into The Kingdom of God and all who enter through the proper gateway and don’t try to get in some other way will brought into a loving relationship with God.
            I came to know Jesus in a personal way when I was convicted of my sin as I read through the 10 commandments in the book of Deuteronomy in The Bible. When I knew without any doubt that I had fallen short of pleasing God if judged by His Holy law I was undone ! I remember coming under such a weight of conviction of my sinfulness I knew I had failed miserably and that I must either try to get through the rest of my life convinced there is no God, or maybe if I live my life in such a way from now onward without any fault totally perfectly then perhaps the good will outweigh the bad and I will get to heaven when I die? However, The Holy Spirit did not leave me in that condition of feeling condemnation for my sins because both my considered options would have been totally impossible for me to fulfill. The Holy Spirit enlightened my heart through the scriptures and gave me spiritual understanding as I read the Gospels in the New Testament, I came to understand that God in His Mercy had provided a way for Sinners to be fully reconciled to Him and it was by Faith alone in the Son of God,,, Jesus Christ It was by believing in my heart that He came to Earth lived in the flesh as a man, suffered and died for my sins and that He rose again from death I was saved from the penalty of my Sin. I learned that Jesus Christ was the spotless Lamb of God and because He was God in the flesh and totally sinless He alone was able to provide the atonement for my sins and those of the whole world. I understood why that He was without Sin so death could not hold Him and so in exchange for my Sin I could have His righteousness accounted to me. Jesus said He was the Way The Truth and The Life and none could come to The Father except through Him. I realized that if I tried to save myself I was in effect telling God that Jesus and all His suffering was totally unnecessary for me and that I could make it alone! What an insult that would be!
            I realized I needed a Saviour and I knew God had provided one , so when I called upon His name…Jesus, in repentance, willing to turn from living life for myself and follow Him, I found Him! He came into me (the Kingdom of God is within) and He has never left me. Jesus made it possible for me to know God in a way I had never been able to do before. I was raised up from spiritual death, (the condition we all inherited from the first Adam) to Spiritual life in Jesus the last Adam. I was Born Again.
            It is all God’s plan of reconciliation, for God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son so all who believe in Him shall not die but shall have eternal life. The first step in the journey is to admit you are a sinner in need of saving then seek Him earnestly, knock and the door shall be open to you. Jesus stands outside the door of everyone’s heart waiting to hear our knock, then He will open the door of our heart from His side and will enter in and share our life with us from that moment onward we will be in relationship with God and will know His answers to our prayers and His presence within us.
            May you know the peace that He brings!



          • Jim on September 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm

            I agree with Jen. The church stinks. It’s the followers of Christ that stink. Christians can’t agree on anything, and then when you do disagree, they condemn you.

            The most destructive doctrines that have ever entered the church are the trinity, preterism, and pretribulationism.

            Why is the trinity destructive? It’s the devils doctrine and his way of dividing the Church. Trinity is a fabricated Catholic doctrine Protestants have accepted. It’s destructive beause peple who believe in it have no clue what they’re believing and then have the nerve to say PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN IT ARE NOT CHRISTIAN.

            I can’t stand Christians anymore. They’re nothing but a bunch of hypoctical judgemental idiots,
            and no wonder why there are so may divisions in Christianity. I’m out, and so are millions of others. Christanity is Satan’s religion just like Islam.

            I burned all my bibles and resource books because of people like John MacArthur. I hate the man. Yes hate! Why? People like him are Satan’s handiwork. He condemns people for not believing in false doctrine of the trinity. What a Jerk. You’re all jerks to continue with this religion that Satan has his hands in. I’m done with it BECAUSE OF ITS FOLLOWERS.

            Christianity is going down the tubes, and it’s followeres are all going with it.



        • christine carlton on August 2, 2017 at 4:19 pm

          Cody
          I do not “go to church,” but I do believe I am part of The EKKLESIA The Body of Christ on Earth… we are the Church. Once I was found of Jesus Christ many years ago I never let go of Him and He never let go of Me. Come to and through Jesus Christ not religion……..He said I am The Way The Truth and The Life and no one can come to The Father except by Me. It is all about a living relationship not a religion or traditions or any other man made doctrines. Enter by the Gate (Jesus) don’t try to climb in any other way. All that is required is faith . God paid a ransom to save you……and the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver, as you very well know….. He paid for your sins with the precious lifeblood of Jesus the spotless Lamb of God. It is finished . so let your faith rest in Him alone , not religion or religious practices don’t try to earn your way to Him just believe that He came in the flesh, lived, died and rose again. All who call upon the name of Jesus shall be saved. So call upon Him and don’t stop until He comes and makes Himself known to you. When you receive Spiritual Life in Him, He will give you The Holy Spirit as your guide to lead you into all truth and you will find fellowship with others who share the same Spirit wherever they are in this world, you will belong to God’s true church the Ekklesia the called out ones, called out from the world ,whether believers are meeting together in a building or not….. no matter ……. just trust in Him and He will show you where He wants you to be in fellowship with Him and other believers.

      • Sami Ellen on August 20, 2017 at 2:19 am

        Jen, I understand your disgust with the way Christianity has been served up to you. I have been in places like that & it is entirely frustrating because you feel that you cannot be who God has called you to be because of the male chauvinist attitudes that prevail there. But there is good news! Not every place you go is like that. And please understand that this nasty, fleshly attitude is not Christianity at all! It is ugly earthy religion and God will set you free of this and set your feet in a place where you can love and be loved by others. Christ is love. That’s the bottom line. If you have not experienced this I am truly sorry but the good news is that you can have it all—you just have to search for it elsewhere. Ask God to lead you to the right place for you. And BTW, man and woman are both made in God’s image. They are two halves of the whole. We were never an afterthought. God always created male & female of every species. Please don’t give up on Jesus, because He is the only hope for this world and He loves you.

        • pradeep ivon on September 17, 2017 at 10:52 pm

          i agree Sami our only hope is Jesus christ and it is to him we must look up to and not to any substitute messenger or preacher, if the preachers, through their messages are not pointing to the real reason for our hope the Lord Jesus, the congregations they are addressing will be doomed and greater sin will be of those preachers. To those who are hating christianity i would humbly say they have not met a true disciple yet and have not visited all the churches, not all are same. Here in India we live in a hetrogenous mix of various cultures and religious practices with our faith being just a minoring of 2%, yet we are able to mingle among all despite the hatred we suffer due to mind set of hindus the major faith, who consider us outsiders but i believe that is our challenge and Lord Jesus will still expect from us compassion and mercy for others. Please come back and do not discard your bibles, which is the Voice of God and this God Almighty, spreads his love for ALL on this earth provided they believe in Jesus. Walking with him is not easy but with him by your side any challenge can be surpassed. Have faith!

  12. […] First, gathering together was Jesus’ idea, not ours. I outline that (and much more) here. […]

  13. pradeep ivon on July 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    thank you Carey for a thought provoking and stirring article i needed very much at this moment while struggling with the present scenario being faced in the church i have been attending with so much politics in the pastoral committee which i am member of. Just because the people who call the shots, are not sensitive and time conscious we waste much time in our meetings. Being from a executive background i find this frustrating because the meetings that i am aware of are result oriented, focused on who, what, when with clear communications- that i do not find here, besides there are elements of personal whims of the elders that are randomly supported with some bible verse here & there by our pastor. Please guide and advise me.

  14. Done with church? – Pastor Ben's blog on June 15, 2017 at 11:06 am

    […] (The following post originally appeared here: https://careynieuwhof.com/a-response-to-christians-who-are-done-with-church/) […]

    • Marcelle on July 6, 2017 at 6:10 am

      People that say things like this article are 1 of my many reason to be done with the church.

    • Rivka on July 6, 2017 at 8:02 am

      I would love to attend church, but in my location they are either mega churches or post-modern “lets not offend anyone by mentioning Jesus or the bible” churches. I should have grown up in the 50’s in the bible belt. But here I am in the new millennium and living in Oregon, the most unchurched state in the nation. A divine appointment that I don’t take lightly, but do wish I could find a strong bible “thumping” church for me and hubby.

      • Lynn on July 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

        Hello Rivka, I am west of Portland. I think there are some good small churches in the area if you keep looking. God bless you, sister.

  15. Matt on June 14, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Christs’ message has been twisted to meet the elite’s agenda. We all should be striving for enlightenment Hebrews, Chapter 6.
    A Call to Maturity
    1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.3And this will we do, if God permit. 4For it is impossible for those who have been once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit. 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.

    The word enlightenment means just that. Not some “alternative fact” that the higher ups deem it to mean.

    • Bertski on June 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Sounds like you’re aware yourself. Judaism, Christianity are only man made names, being Moses was fallible and lacking, Christ came in the spirit of God teaching the full faith. But so many focus on do’s and don’ts but don’t know about live, which is caring, kindness, good things.
      But there’s this heathen sects with heresies that harp and loan so much, they neglect to teach those who give another hell, whether harassment, taunting or otherwise won’t go to heaven, they’re called revilers. The passive aggressive, they may as well slice a persons’ throat open as they’re still being violent. Then pieces of trash that steal, vandalize, with jealousy and envy. Then the pieces of trash that always try to antagonize and provoke.
      Where personally I’d rather live in the wilderness if I could have got out of here when I was younger instead of being subjected to Brain Washing. Where society is hell, all the little creeps and sneaks.
      Which it’s very suggestive in heaven there’ll be harmony, peace, joy, which one can’t have with the ones mentioned above.
      Again, loving others is important. However Satan plays a negative role pretending all of us are fine and able to care for others, where we barely have it together ourselves.
      Which I would guess is why many desire communities, many regarding to agrarian lifestyles. Getting closer to nature, void of society imposing amoral immoral ideology on us. Or seeking out our every flaw. Or some pieces of trash that intrude into our homes looking for things with which to accuse us. Or others impersonating us to deceive others, then playing on others tendency to partake of others sins as gossip and rumor mongering to attack us.
      Give me the wilderness any day, in a hospitable region. Provided I have ailments cured.
      Plenty of fresh, clean water, ample wildlife. “The Wilderness Family” was a pretty good movie.
      Which I’ve never heard any sermons on the image of God referenced in Galatians 5:26, which Christ manifested in the flesh. Which the list is partial and by no means exhaustive.
      But then again, who’d be interested?
      Which there’s many who hate us. Loving amoral and immoral ways.
      But if we separate ourselves from the world like others are doing, it’s be easier.
      Just like the Bible says to avoid foolish jesting. But there are those that do such, pushing someone elses buttons wanting to get a rise out of someone, which smite a scorner and the simple will beware.
      But society is toxic to the faith, any number enjoying life beyond measure simply because they’re Americans, I doubt it having anything to do with christian, though some might.
      Again when churches teach not to do foolish jesting, revoking (riding someone’s case, giving a person a hard way to go, insulting, demeaning, belittling), these finer qualities, then there foolish things nurtured from childhood where I’m astounded by the number of adults that carry juvenile mentalities into adulthood. Then respect is taught though not said directly, regard, considerateness, etc. Hospitality. The Bible is simply topical not going in depth about anything.
      Yet if we strive to see what’s being said, we’ll be better all the time.
      I also love the story of Sampson. Where he was going out, but he was taking the oppressors home and with him. Then the book of acts, it’s almost like the Leprechaun. Fake priest confronting a demon possessed man, saying we cast you out in the name of Christ who Paul preached about. Demons reply, we know Christ & we know Paul, BUT WHO ARE YOU! Then unleashed a can of whoop butt.

      • jay on July 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm

        your comment is just another reason to believe God’s Word. God warned us of those who would fall away! Look the whole message is, is that God wants us to have our eyes and mind on Him not others! Our Lord Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for worrying about what the
        Apostle John was going to do, Jesus said, what is it to you? Jesus continued with telling Peter follow me! The children of Israel failed often looking to others and when it came to their end and no way out they cried to the one true and living God they always knew and said these words, “neither know what we to do: but our eyes are upon you (2 Chronicles 20:12). When our eyes are on God He gives us sight to see in the light of Him. Looking at sinful man distorts our vision and darkens everything!
        I want to encourage you to read the Bible especially the “Epistles of Paul The Apostle” who gives Jesus’ instruction and command on the order of His (Jesus) church. The parable of the “Wheat and the Tares” is clearly what is going on today and the Lord is saying to us in this parable to stay planted among those who are “NOT” because it is God who know’s those who “ARE”! It is God who uses the good and the evil to bring about his perfect plan for His perfect will! We are His servants and we are to be “Unprofitable Servants” as it is written in (Luke 17:10).

  16. Donna on June 8, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I’m amazed at the believers who have stopped attending church and justify that decision with whatever excuse they feel is worthy. Is the church full of hypocrites? Of course! Is it filled with liars? Yes! How about adulterers? Without a doubt! In fact, there isn’t a single sin that doesn’t show up in church on Sunday mornings. Why in the world a person would think that the church is pure is beyond me. It can’t possibly be pure because it is filled with man–fallen man!

    Every single day each one of us are faced with people who cheat, steal, lie, lust, gossip, cause strife, or whatever–you name it. These things even take place within our own families, even our spouses, yet we accept them for who they are because we love them. Oh and guess what? Each one of us also have these traits. That’s right. But we try, or at least we should try, to overcome these faults–with God’s help.

    So here we are, slamming the church because it is full of sin. Never mind the fact that we too are full of sin, we feel compelled to throw stones at the church. Yikes…

    Sure, bad things happen in the church. Bad things happen in our families. Bad things happen with our friends. And yes, Christians do bad things. So does the world. Do you remove yourself from going to the movies because of what is shown on the screen? How about removing your children from public schools because of what they’re teaching? How about removing yourself from family members or friends because they don’t act “Christian?” My gosh, I could go on and on.

    The church is flawed, that goes without saying. It will never be spotless or pure because man has his hand in it. BUT, God still loves the church regardless of how screwed up we make it. Same with our lives–we claim Christianity but yet screw up on so many different levels. But God can still use a screw up (as each of us know all too well) just as he still uses the church.

    Scripture tells us to continue meeting together, to encourage one another, to love each other, and to build each other up. Can we do these things without church attendance? Sure, but it’s unlikely. How many believers who do not attend church seek out other believers to build them up, to encourage them? How many believers who skip church but actually spend quality time learning about the scriptures each week? How many believers who’ve decided against meeting with God’s people on a weekly basis actually sing praises, devote their talents or gifts to someone, or unselfishly give of their money on a continuous basis? I’m sure there are some, there always are, but the majority do not.

    Instead of looking at the flaws of the church, instead of honing in on the sins of others, instead of viewing church as an evil force in the lives of believers, why not take a different stance? Why not choose to see the beauty of God’s church? Forget the people who are attending…why not focus on yourself and what you might get out of attendance if you had a different attitude.

    Each song you sing can actually be a prayer between you and God. When shaking hands and greeting others, why not say a quiet prayer and thank God that you live in a country where you are allowed to meet others publicly who claim to be a believer? And the sermon–instead of thinking how boring the guy on the pulpit is or the kind of sinner he is, or whatever, why not realize that for the next half hour or forty five minutes you actually are holding and reading the word of God!

    Bottom line, church is what you make it. It can either be a place of evil (such as some of these comments make it out to be) or it can be seen through God’s eyes, as holy and unblemished. It should be a place where you actually make an effort to set aside some time for just praising God through song, or listening about how great he is through a sermon, or by meeting some his followers no matter how flawed they or the church are.

    It takes either a foolish person or an arrogant person to slam God’s church and hold judgement over something he’s created. Our judgments are often wrong and unfair and we are not qualified to offer a discerning judgement about anything because we lack God’s ability of knowing the hearts of anyone. But once we do start to judge, then we’ve unequivocally declared ourselves to be God’s equal–a sin of pride and arrogance if there ever was one.

    • Jay on July 2, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Donna!
      This is a very well written article and encouraging! Thank you for defending God and His people! This is a powerful message all should hear!

  17. MeWiebe on June 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    So sad that this artical is even out here. Please know that a lot of Christians who don’t go to the institution we now call Church are still part of the body of Christ, still fellowship with other Christians, and are healthy, Christ followers. Please stop analizing and start loving people where they are at in their walk with God.

    • Donna on June 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I’m amazed at the believers who have stopped attending church and justify that decision with whatever excuse they feel is worthy. Is the church full of hypocrites? Of course! Is it filled with liars? Yes! How about adulterers? Without a doubt! In fact, there isn’t a single sin that doesn’t show up in church on Sunday mornings. Why in the world a person would think that the church is pure is beyond me. It can’t possibly be pure because it is filled with man–fallen man!

      Every single day each one of us are faced with people who cheat, steal, lie, lust, gossip, cause strife, or whatever–you name it. These things even take place within our own families, even our spouses, yet we accept them for who they are because we love them. Oh and guess what? Each one of us also have these traits. That’s right. But we try, or at least we should try, to overcome these faults–with God’s help.

      So here we are, slamming the church because it is full of sin. Never mind the fact that we too are full of sin, we feel compelled to throw stones at the church. Yikes…

      Sure, bad things happen in the church. Bad things happen in our families. Bad things happen with our friends. And yes, Christians do bad things. So does the world. Do you remove yourself from going to the movies because of what is shown on the screen? How about removing your children from public schools because of what they’re teaching? How about removing yourself from family members or friends because they don’t act “Christian?” My gosh, I could go on and on.

      The church is flawed, that goes without saying. It will never be spotless or pure because man has his hand in it. BUT, God still loves the church regardless of how screwed up we make it. Same with our lives–we claim Christianity but yet screw up on so many different levels. But God can still use a screw up (as each of us know all too well) just as he still uses the church.

      Scripture tells us to continue meeting together, to encourage one another, to love each other, and to build each other up. Can we do these things without church attendance? Sure, but it’s unlikely. How many believers who do not attend church seek out other believers to build them up, to encourage them? How many believers who skip church but actually spend quality time learning about the scriptures each week? How many believers who’ve decided against meeting with God’s people on a weekly basis actually sing praises, devote their talents or gifts to someone, or unselfishly give of their money on a continuous basis? I’m sure there are some, there always are, but the majority do not.

      Instead of looking at the flaws of the church, instead of honing in on the sins of others, instead of viewing church as an evil force in the lives of believers, why not take a different stance? Why not choose to see the beauty of God’s church? Forget the people who are attending…why not focus on yourself and what you might get out of attendance if you had a different attitude.

      Each song you sing can actually be a prayer between you and God. When shaking hands and greeting others, why not say a quiet prayer and thank God that you live in a country where you are allowed to meet others publicly who claim to be a believer? And the sermon–instead of thinking how boring the guy on the pulpit is or the kind of sinner he is, or whatever, why not realize that for the next half hour or forty five minutes you actually are holding and reading the word of God!

      Bottom line, church is what you make it. It can either be a place of evil (such as some of these comments make it out to be) or it can be seen through God’s eyes, as holy and unblemished. It should be a place where you actually make an effort to set aside some time for just praising God through song, or listening about how great he is through a sermon, or by meeting some his followers no matter how flawed they or the church are.

      It takes either a foolish person or an arrogant person to slam God’s church and hold judgement over something he’s created. Our judgments are often wrong and unfair and we are not qualified to offer a discerning judgement about anything because we lack God’s ability of knowing the hearts of anyone. But once we do start to judge, then we’ve unequivocally declared ourselves to be God’s equal–a sin of pride and arrogance if there ever was one.

    • Jay on July 2, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      MeWiebe,

      What is sad is that you can’t see the truth in Donna’s article! I have had my disobedient, defiant doubts against the church/Christians and with prayer and repentance the Lord always brings me back into the assembly of His saints. When I look to Jesus he takes my eyes off others and the flaws that many are not aware of it of themselves because they may be a weaker Christian in their growth. The Lord reminds me of where I used to be when he found me and that he is my Righteousness and all my righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

  18. Wayne on June 4, 2017 at 8:24 am

    If Jesus was a Christian..then I’d be one too, but he wasn’t. He didn’t bring Christianity…that was a religion baring his name that was created after his death for people to follow.
    The best books to read are the books that christ was always banging on about when he was here on earth, and those books are Moses and the Prophets (Genesis- Deuteronomy &Isaiah -Malachi) & I would also include Psalms Proverbs & Ecclesiastes Jesus didn’t bring yet another religion, but he did bring the words of the father, and with the father being spirt…Jesus brought spirituality…not religion, which is something completely different.
    The church follows its own idea of what it believes is truth, but in reality Isaiah 4v1 says it all. The above named books are not time related and will never be governed by time, simply because they are SPIRITUAL BOOKS and were never meant to be taken in the literal sense of the word..therefore with the above example, the women represent the church, the bread represents the doctrine, the apparel represents, knowledge, and of Course the man is the Christ. The truth has been buried within its pages, for the chosen to find its secrets

    • Jay on July 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      Wayne,
      Are you serious? This is so rediculous and of absolute no sense or truth! I mean really! The book of (Isaiah 4:1) is in no way what you have interpreted it to mean! Look if you would read the Bible you would know that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. See scriptures: (Acts 11:26 ; Acts 26:28 ; 1 Peter 4:16).

      • Wayne on July 3, 2017 at 9:31 am

        The most important books are (once again) Moses and the Prophets…period, if you do not understand them, you will never understand the gospels or indeed the books that follow.
        You will only understand them according to their ‘churchy’ mass produced meanings…you literally become one of the many…and not one of the few.

        For example do you not see the link between Jeremiah 13v1-11 and what Christ was telling you where the son of man would not be found in Matt 24v26? ….Now going back to my statement about Jesus not being a Christian…he set up his church on the rock solid truth of peters knowledge of him being the
        ‘The Christ Son of the living God’…and that was it…religion does
        not come into it…I simply said he did not bring religion, he brought the words of the father..the father (God) is not of any religious persuasion..he is a spirit to be sought in spirit and in truth..in other words WITHIN..Now going back to the books of the prophets and Isaiah 4v1 The phrase ‘in that day’ is related to the ever present (or) the now..its not meant to be looked at in a historical sense….(i mean you DO realise that the flood mentioned in Genesis is still here? Because if you don’t then it means even NOW you are drowning) The seven women mentioned in Isaiah verse relate to the seven churches mentioned in the books of revelation…what happened at Antioch is irrelevant, what’s really relevant is what’s happening now on the spiritual plain. Not who turned a Christian, or who became a damn pope…but what’s happening now!

    • Ms. Jackson on July 16, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Amen!!! I agree

  19. Lisa Donald on May 30, 2017 at 6:32 am

    This is excellent, although I disagree with the first part of the statement “You don’t go to church. You are the church”. Saying “You don’t go to church” in an article that argues that you should be gathering seems to feed anti-church sentiments …

    • Barbara on June 3, 2017 at 10:40 am

      This is a reply to all comments…Revelation 17&18 = America? Babylon?

    • tony on June 3, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      the modern christian churches are the creation of the roman empire constantine combining paganism, Christ teachings, and yes, judaism.. it is full of occultist beliefs, for instance, dec 25 was the pagan holiday ‘lord of misrule’, when an innocent man, woman, or child was murdered as a sacrifice to strengthen the sun they worshipped. it is obvious through scripture Christ was not born in december. it is also obvious in john 5:37 that nobody has seen the Father nor heard his voice, eliminating yahweh, the 2nd creationist in the old testaments book of genesis. also, easter was a pagan celebration of fertility long before the romans had heard of Christ. your b.s. chruches are falling apart fast because they are b.s. the real church of Christ isn’t finished being built yet, but the christian church along with judaism will be the 2 witnesses.

  20. […] Before you start to rail on the organized church and argue that ‘nobody needs church,’  read this. […]

  21. Melanie on May 29, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I completely disagree with this article. I no longer go to church, though I am a Christian. There are numerous reasons for this. Mainly it’s because church involves socialising, which I absolutely hate. I have no desire to mix with people.Another reason, is that church is so boring. Most churches are teaching false things which oppose the Word of God. I probably read the Bible more now, and feel closer to God, than when I was a regular church goer. Going to a chapel and singing songs on a Sunday, had nothing to do with believing in Christ.

    • justin on May 29, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      If you cannot mix with people here on earth, what will you do in heaven? also isolate yourself?

      • Wayne on May 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        No…he’s simply seeking God for himself, which is what God ultimately requires
        (never mind any apostle)…Isaiah 51v2…Jeremiah ch 31v34…1John ch2v27, and many other scriptures. He’s not doing anything wrong…he’s just not following the counsels of men.
        Oh here’s another one..Jeremiah ch15v17

      • Wayne on July 3, 2017 at 8:56 am

        There are no ‘people’ in heaven…no flesh no ego just purity

    • Alan Clark jr on June 9, 2017 at 3:25 am

      Exactly why I stopped going …from the light shows and unscriptural Bethel Hillsong music to the Prosperity and self help psychobable sermons. I am perfectly fine with people in church having faults as long as they have repented….but I expect to hear the Word of God in church. Not how to have my “best life now” and sing songs about my feelings for God and how much He needs me (He doesn’t…He would be perfectly just and righteous if He burned us all alive). We are living in the time Amos prophesied would come and it has come: “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
      “when I will send a famine on the land—
      not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
      but of hearing the words of the Lord.
      They shall wander from sea to sea,
      and from north to east;
      they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
      but they shall not find it.
      “In that day the lovely virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst.” Amos 8:11-13

    • Jaye on June 14, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      I totally agree wit your response. I am a follower of Jesus, however, I do not go to Church anymore. I do not consider it dangerous not to belong to a Church (building) I am the Church and it is well with my soul.

  22. Elaine on May 28, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I belong to a church that only contacts me if it wants something. They never visited my daughter in hospital when diagnosed with diabetes type 1 at 8 years old and septeceamia at 16 years (or phoned). I spent every Sunday doing Sunday School, Music group and fellowship group since the children were 7 and 3 and never once was there an offer of babysitting or help for anything. i am a single mum. I received pictures from God some lovely some not. they simply dont want to know about the bad ones. I was shown a murky river of trash etc flowing through the Church ‘Dirty Water’. They didnt want to know. I have since then stopped going down there as frequently. I always come back from there in a bad mood. Help!

    • Wayne on May 31, 2017 at 11:27 am

      I know EXACTLY what you mean…I had the same vison of
      ‘THE CHURCH’ many many years ago…water flowing alongside what seemed to be a beautiful white structure..but on a closer inspection the plaster work came away and fell into DIRTY FITHY BACTERIA INFILTRATED LOOKING WATER. When I eventually did join though I found everything to be fine, people seemed very happy, it was a very ‘happy clappy assembly I mean very happy….UNTIL ‘the ‘CRACKS’ eventually began to show and then I realised what was being hidden underneath all the smiling faces…unhappy church members who were being stifled by unclean man made church doctrine…hence the dirty water. Everywhere I went I would always receive dreams (some indicating to me what the topic of the message would be…the night before!) they would reveal the bad blood that was going on between pastors and ministers..behind the scenes…yet once again on the surface (just like the vision) everything seemed fine…what I found MOST infuriating was their interpretation of scripture…or in many cases..the sheer lack of it, and pathetic metaphors intertwined with scriptures…just to hold members captive, including the words “well Paul said it wasn’t going to be easy”. But my revelations were indicating to me that it was all SATAN’S WORK. And like yourself..the good dreams were readily accepted by the ‘brethren’ but the not so good ones were rebuked, and were never even accepted as a possible warning for the church…But hasn’t that always been the case? You only have to look into the books of the prophets, to see how Gods messengers were treated. Believe me I prayed for God to just lead me to a chuch that he wanted me to go to, because I had attended so many and found spiritual iniquity in all, and then one day whilst asing the same question, I just happened to look down on my open bible and immediately focused on Jeremiah chapter 2v27, and folloed the reference’s that flowed from them (I refer to it as ‘following the white rabbit’..words uttered to The matrix character Neo from Morpheus) and thats when the revelation about the hidden spiritual iniquities of the so called ‘church’ came to light..and God is clearly very angry with it.

  23. Mike on May 27, 2017 at 4:25 am

    I stopped going to church a few years ago and it has been the best decision I have ever made. Most churches are luke-warm at best, focusing on prosperity Christianity and life development. Where is the call to repentance? Why are the ministers more concerned about tolerance and not offending anyone instead of calling sin for what it is – sin. Where is the emphasis on the second coming or rapture? These critical elements have long departed the church. Church has become an entertainment spectacle with large projectors, light shows and loud music. How can we hear the ‘still small voice’ of God with so many distractions?

    Not one person from the church I attended has ever bothered to contact me or follow up as to why I have stopped attending. I am simply considered to be an apostasy. One less person to count when tallying up the attendance list. But of course the church will continue to focus on rounding up new recruits to replace the growing list of ‘church backsliders’.

    Yes, I am happy to be labelled a ‘church backslider’ – but I will never be labelled a ‘Jesus backslider’. My relationship with Jesus has only gotten better since leaving the church. This is something that most church goers cannot understand – they cannot reconcile how you can have a relationship with Jesus and not go to church. To many, these are one and the same.

    If you are considering leaving your church then I encourage you to do so, but don’t give up on Jesus – continue to seek him in your quiet time, pour out your heart and soul to him in your prayers and he will hear you. Grow your relationship with him by reading his word and worship him and listen to the small still voice of God.

    Remember, you are loved and cherished by God. He is coming very soon to take us home. Hold fast to your love for him.

    • Nicole on May 27, 2017 at 4:43 am

      I agree! I’m done with church but I am in no way done with Jesus! Jesus is in my heart. We don’t have to put on a ‘show’ every week to love him. I also agree about the church side lining all the tough issues. It’s way too fluffy.

    • Sam on May 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Jesús loves his bride, even with wrinkles and dirt. SO SHOULD I.

  24. Allan Lee Brown on May 26, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Carey,…man you could have done so much better than this had you looked into this more honestly and done more research. There are so many articles just like this out there now. They say the same things. None are written from the other side of the equation. It’s obvious you’ve never experienced life outside of the box and therefore are only speaking and interpreting things from an in-box paradigm. (with a strong need to defend that conclusion)
    I hear and agree with a number of your points but end up at a completely different conclusion. What I’ve found with people who need to defend something is a less than honest approach to understanding. I met with a fellow the other day to talk about the damaging effects of institutionalization on children, his eyes lit up with the input. As soon as I equated this to the church and spiritual life and growth, he glazed over and went on the defence. He had something he felt a need to defend, like it was his spiritual duty (as we’ve all been taught if grown up in the institution). It’s amazing how closed and dim a mind can become when it is not truly honest about exploring all options, when it is agendad or fearful. Faith should take the fear out of doubt, allow honest questions. We don’t need to defend a dying model, we need to adjust, missionally like Jesus did in incarnating, like the best conveyers of faith ‘missionaries’ do rather than insisting on their own interpretations and traditions. Thankfully, these sorts of articles do nothing to convince those who are honest seekers, they only get cheers from pastors or others who are invested in the model and unable or unwilling to evolve. They also have very little effect on those who are done with the old and looking to find honest, real and alive “church” in the true sense of the word, not the old institutional power structure.

    • Aaron House on May 27, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      I truly have seen both sides as I was raised a jw (never baptized). My soul kept seeking God though even to the point of taking several theology classes at school. I kept feeling that the truth was out there… I just had no idea where it was and swore I would never turn to organized religion for I saw all lies and deciet in the jehovah witness cult. Iknew two things to be true the bible and prayer and I thought and did do well with that . I held a small bible study and that was good for me. I cant really put into words how it happend as it was so many subtle things that kept saying “Aaron you cant be a lone ranger christian”. I kept ignoring the pull. For a year till finally I could take it no more, I had to be in the body of christ. There is no doubt in my mind this was the Holy spirit. I am not one when my mind is made up to change it but I couldnt ignore it and researched several churches. Not for high tech facilities or the like but for a church of God. I was led to one that I sought out. I’ll be the first to say there are a ton of looney people out there that are professed christian. I’ll also say that I believe 80 % of professing christians are the furthest thing from it and are in worse shape than most because they know better. You are obviously an educated person and my question is sincere. If you were in my position how could you resist the Holy spirits guidence for me to be part of the body of Christ? because honestly I would have been perfectly happy to never step foot in a church. I can also say that I gain more knowledge in my own studies and feel closer to God every night when its “our time” than I ever have at church. So being a very logical person it makes no sense for me to go as I’m also not a big fan of crowds. All I can say is this I know God wants me there.I also know I have no idea why but its not my life anymore its his. If he wants me there for whatever reason I’m going to go. The only reason I can think of is I am a real christian. I sin just as we all do but I live for God.No I am not a beat you with a bible, looking down nose, scripture quoting, bible toting zealot who cant shut up about God or feels the need to mention him in every other sentence (I cant stand that!). My mind is on our God more moments through a day than not and everything I do I try and make sure it glorifies God . Perhaps someone like you or me or others on here who have a true passion for our Lord and dont see that passion in the church, perhaps we’re Gods handpicked people, his salt and his light for the lost in the church. If the church has no real christians any longer they all left because it was not up to snuff, how could it ever better?

      • Wayne on May 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm

        Here we go again…these made up words..phrases and stuff…I can (off my head) think of three scriptures, where God states that he WANTS to enlighten you as individual..and its what HE WANTS…Isaiah ch 50v2 Jeremiah ch 31v34 & 1John ch 2v27..church teaching (for the most part) runs contrary to spiritaly interpreted scripture..and thats the problem..church gives you religion…yet Jesus didn’t bring religion, he brought the words of the father. The Father is spirit, anf Jesus brought spirituality, which is something completely different. You seek the counsells of men..while others (like myself) seek the TRUE COUNSELLOR within…whilst reading the same scriptures. We are constantly
        “In the air” with the Lord (having reached a state of hightened spiritual enlightenment)
        While the church has believed that its all about “Looking up” awaiting for the fleshy man Jesus to appear though the clouds..when all this time THE SON OF MAN (whom incidentally the church should be lifting up..and not the flesh) is here amongst us delivering people like me OUT from this spiritual sodom (not my words…its in the book!) whilst leaving many behind.

        • Wayne on May 31, 2017 at 12:53 pm

          The Jeremiah scripture above should of been Ch 51v2..sorry

          Wayne

      • Abraham on June 10, 2017 at 5:07 am

        Dear Aaron, what if your being led to that church was a specific direction for you? What if Father has something specifically for you to do as part of that congregation? What if the direction is not a blanket statement that everyone should attend a congregation?

        I think attending a church or not attending a church is not what matters. What matters is whether or not one is growing in the knowledge and love of the Father or not. And that can happen both within and outside the traditional congregation.

    • Paul Heaton on June 18, 2017 at 7:14 am

      the problem is that Jesus said we must be born again. Most churches do not teach this. When we do find this out often by accident and we act upon it something woderful happens. Try it and see. Find a church with lots of born again believers and you have found the real church. It is called the body of christ and is full of lovely wonderful careing people the way Jesus wanted it to be.

  25. anonymous11s on May 24, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I realize this thread is old, but it applies to me now. I must post anonymously.

    I am 60 years old, born and raised in church. I was even a church planter for a while. In the 80/20 rule I was part of the 20%. I poured my time, treasure, and talent into volunteer church work all of my adult life. But I finally reached the breaking point –

    1) As it turns out, the older you get the more you are expected “just sit down and shut-up but quietly and blindly fund every whim. Your decades of experience are out of date, and you stand accused of making the church look too old to the all-important 20 and 30 somethings. You are increasingly expected to stay out of sight, but HEY! The nursery and pre-school sure need help!!

    2) The constant push into small groups. I absolutely despise being pushed into situations where I am expected to bear my innermost thoughts to people I have NOTHING in common with. I resolved to never, EVER be forced into that nonsense again.

    3) I’ve seen and heard more than enough propaganda from the unhinged “Love Wins” or “Love Trumps Hate” reich. I see ZERO evidence of either ‘winning’ or ‘love’ from these intolerant bullies.

    After earnestly trying 3 different churches, we joined the DONES just over a year ago and have no plans to ever return. My Sunday mornings are now coffee on the patio with my spouse, with our favorite worship music CD playing softly in the background, and we are actually enjoying our Sunday mornings for the first time in many years. We made the right choice for our physical and spiritual health.

    • Nicole on May 25, 2017 at 6:09 am

      I completely understand how you feel. I am often pushed into groups to share my prayers aloud. I hate it – like you say why should I bear my soul to people I barely know. Plus since when do you have to shout to be heard? I can pray privately and GOD still hears me. Plus just because I don’t throw a ‘Amen’ or ‘Jesus says….’ in every single sentence that passes my lips, doesn’t mean I am any less of a Christian than those who do. I think most people in churches are 1) busy bodies using their religion as an excuse to butt into people’s lives 2) show offs, throwing around ‘Amen’ ‘hallelujah’ about trying to convince everyone around them that they are ‘proper Christians’ as if it’s a competition!

    • Jessica on May 27, 2017 at 9:55 am

      I am a backslidden Christian but still believe in a higher power. I got so sick of the clickety clique fake “Christians” who pretend to be your friend but really don’t have the time of day for you.
      I work for Sexpo, and have got to know some porn stars and sex workers. I’m telling you, some of those people have the most beautiful hearts, are caring and so much more genuine than the fake churchgoers I’ve known for years.
      It would take a miracle to get me back into church.

      • Wayne on May 31, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        I have to question you though…ARE YOU BACKSLIDDEN? and WHO or WHERE did you get that veiw from? Dont tell me…THE CHURCH.
        For your information the term backslidden, refers to the state of the INNER MAN who has been led astray by false man made doctrine…and NOT when you simply decide to leave an assembly. 2 Peter ch2v14 informs us of those who run amok in the word of God (it uses the word riot. KJV) yet the mere fact that THE WORD mentions it, also indicates that the spirit that resides within its pages has already spotted them.

    • Marcelle on July 6, 2017 at 5:16 am

      I’m with you !!

  26. Mike on May 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I am a Preterist and am condemned as a heretic. I learned Preterism from Jesus. The “church” is against Christ. Why should I attend?

    • Wayne on June 1, 2017 at 3:24 am

      The church will always be against him…yet not even realise it
      Yes they will tell you that you must attend, and conveniently extract scriptures to convince you why you should go. But they are verses that they want YOU to read and absorb, meanwhile they withhold further evidence from you and when you find out what they have witheld from you…they try to explain it away
      So for example they will pull out verses like Luke 4v16 but its up to YOU to read further until you reach verse 29, and thats when YOU go…Ahhhhh..well if his own brethren can treat him like that..etc etc

  27. Rod on May 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I thought “Church ” was the actual building and “congregation” were the people who assembled inside to worship. The problem is that people aren’t “ignorant” anymore. They see the church for what it really is. A power hungry, greedy cash cow.
    Christian’s don’t believe in the Muslim or Hebrew Gods and vice versa just as modern man doesn’t believe in the gods of the ancient world.
    Hindsight is 2020 and that’s what makes it easy to justify and corroborate the Bible.
    Mankind has no clue if there is a God figure or not.
    The Bible’s miracles can all be explained as naturally occurring events in a natural world.
    No matter how much faith one has, it all comes down to a learned mental illness.
    I will never believe a human when it comes to religion.
    The world runs on greed and the church is a perfect example of that.
    When the day comes that I die, if we do in fact meet our maker, of course I would accept. IT.
    However, I’ll also have no problem explaining why IT sucks.
    If God existed as religion preaches, God is not worthy of my worship. God of religion, isn’t a good thing.
    If God exists, and we had absolute proof, I still wouldn’t fear it.
    Religious people are the scariest people. They choose to live in a supernatural world. It’s utterly embarrassing. I’m not afraid to question and
    doubt everything.
    It’s mentally week people who rel on religion. They can’t accept the reality that were on our own, the God figure has become a “parent” so humans feel someone is there to protect them. An invisible friend to console you in times of despair.
    The “pill” of organized religion is not easy to regurgitate with all its guilt and shame, but once you do, it’s like a breath of fresh air, a new day, a huge weight off your shoulders.
    And then it gets real scary when you realize just what a screwed up world we live in, when people who believe in ghosts and spooks and demons are running the world.
    Absolutely mind boggling considering how transparent religion is.

    • Gloria on May 22, 2017 at 10:15 am

      First of all, the Lord is not a religion. Thats how the Pharisees were in the bible. The Lord is a personal relationship.

    • Jay on July 2, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Rod
      Ghost and Spooks and Demons! How funny and Lol! Again, laugh out loud!

  28. Anthony Testa on May 17, 2017 at 8:09 am

    We were brought to God by God. It’s very rare but I’m glad it happened that way. People aren’t leaving church buildings because the people are “flawed” it’s because they’re fake. We’ve searched for a building for years and have yet to find one. We JUST got baptized because now you apparently have to buy a membership, sign a contract, and get approved through interviews. Yes… totally biblical! If a building wants more TRUE followers they should try following truthfully themselves. We’ve decided against going to a building because we’re tired of hearing people mock the bible during service, charge you to be baptized, call you out if you miss a service because it’s “a sin”, and only care about God on Sundays. We went from TRUE followers meeting in homes to “get out of hell free card” followers meeting in buildings and calling it God’s house. THAT is why so many people are not going anymore.

    • Gloria on May 22, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Our church does not give out envelopes with a number designating u. The only thing required where I attend is to bring ur bible.

  29. Denali on May 11, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    You just repeat the same responses you all have been taught through indoctrination.

  30. Jack Sprat on May 11, 2017 at 9:53 am

    This reads like it was written by $omeone with an ageeeendaaaaa! You’ll have to excuse me, BUT it’s the WAY in which the church is ORGANIZED that will always encourage it to be a cesspool for corruption and greed. Church leaders should get their greedy paws off our Money and Children, and THEN maybe this organized FIASCO will work. The best kind of Church service is the one where friends and family (especially immediate family) gather to read and pray and break bread together. A chance for everyone to contribute to the discussion at hand, and NOT to listen to some GOD-like figure who’s going to indoctrinate us with his particular interpretation of things. What’s more, tithes should be given out to whomever we feel needs it most….the local animal shelter, the school…the fellow down the road asking for a handout…it would even be NICE for everyone to share HOW they donated their Money. Now THIS is church.

  31. Antony Schaffer on May 10, 2017 at 10:17 am

    fucking religond lol i aint bowing to no one i follow my own path

  32. Isaac Janai on May 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    NO CHURCH! NO RELIGION!…….JUST GOD! PSALM 83:18

    • Ltcajh on June 1, 2017 at 8:05 am

      I have been a Christian since 1977. Yeah, I’m fed up with a lot of things. BUT- a bunch of free agents will not accomplish what Jesus and the Apostles commanded; don’t fool yourself! My mom and sister are like tthe posters, and are useless to the Master.

  33. Jared Hunt on May 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    It’s not the correct idea of the church that legitimate Holy Spirit filled Christians can’t bear (at least not any closer than from their prayer closets) It’s the rubbish. Pastor speaking from the front = not biblical. Church building = not biblical. Tithing as it stands? Not biblical. Having a form of Godliness and denying the power of? That’s what ‘churches’ major in. Slap a sign out on the footpath saying ‘outreach tonight’ with an arrow pointing in.

    Christians talking about how their gifting isn’t evangelism so they don’t preach or live it out, and that attitude defended by wage sensitive pastors (I would argue that in the perfect church, ‘professional ministers are unbiblical)…

    ‘Churches’ can give anecdotal evidences about what they’re doing, forking out crazy sums for elaborate outreaches, but where’s ‘revival’? Even our concept of it, a building based, inward focussed contraption where people turn to institution by way of experientialism is trash.

    I’ve been a Christian for what, 13 years now? And I’ve seen prophesy ad nauseum about how the final influx is coming, revival is at the doors! Well what I’m wondering is when is the church going to answer the door?

    The base point is, a spotless church ready for the groom won’t be huddled in a building preaching a rousing tithing message that slices ‘worship’ right in half, to cover the overheads of a building that was ‘believed for in faith’ (Since when is God’s promise for a believing Christian debt by the way) teaching a papalesque model of faith (since when did pastors bring the message in the bible, let alone become a one man band?) raping their victims of any sense of duty, ticking ears with the voice of a comfy seat and allowing them to believe that their giving money and funding ‘outreaches’ is their bit.

    The gospel should have people asking what must we do to be saved, or trying to stone you to death (don’t over simplify, take the point) anything less, your message doesn’t have life. The five fold ministry is for the equipping of the saints. That means anyone with a particular penchant for ministry is learning by experience to teach the WHOLE BODY what they do.

    Show me a church where the least is a Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist, Prophet AND Apostle in their own life, with fruit of salvations and lives changed, with fruit of a face set like flint and a course that will not be veered come death or any other thing, and I’ll perk my ears up.

    Until then, Sunday Best Evanjellyfish Churchianity speaking High Christianese and using Mammon as a Battering Ram to the conscience by way of usurping Governmental responsibility off of Christ’s shoulder and into church leadership isn’t for me/Christians.

    Rev 3:14-21, apparently the Emperor has new clothes.

    • Bev Ladrini on May 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you so much for this post. Just knowing we (my husband and I) are not alone coming to this has lifted my spirit in a way I cannot explain just now, all I know is something lifted and I am grateful t
      my Saviour lead me here. Please post again soon, you have a gift.

  34. Antony Amalan on May 1, 2017 at 7:10 am

    These days People are more attracted to consumer culture and want to lead the life the way they want to rather than the way Lord teaches them to , that is perhaps why every kind of activism they do claiming to be this is what actually God wants them​ to do happen to be just tokenism.On the other hand these people’s desertion in large part is aided by hypocritical nature of leaders of church is undeniable neither the life most of them lead nor the kind words they preach aid the people to grow in relationship with the God, rather it put them off.Ironically, throughout his life Jesus fought hypocrisy of priests and corruption of religious life, exactly these are the two things leading causes why people leave churches, will we ever get religious leaders like A.W.Tozer who lived what he preached, will leaders of church and Community stop being judgemental, which our Lord himself refused to do and call spade a spade, only being faithful to the teaching of Jesus can bring back those lost sheep not the costly tricks.

  35. T Carpenter on April 27, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    I can relate about difficulty attending church. I had two vehicles destroyed where I live (ghetto to me)-and now have ride the bus. It takes over two hours to get to my church-and though I did indeed visit cloer churches (when I had a car)-it was the one I got rebaptized in and joined (changing denominations from a ‘cradle’ Roman Catholic to Southern Baptist-& I very much liked how the Southern Baptist Church was/is–however, in days when I had a car-I joined a Celebrate Recovery (due to much abouse from exspouse and family-All family I am estranged from for safety and sanity). I also joined a disciple (small GRP few ladies). However, one lady also in both groups (not baptised/saved-just attending)-gossiped about what I talked about in that to a CR leader (not a Baptist but a CR leader in that Baptist ministry). Well, I caught on real fast when I realized the CR group study was mostly comprised of gossips and addicts/sex addicts/alcoholics that were not interested in recovery (the step group was mixed-addictions and those who had been victims of abuse)-it was terrible. I could not fathom WHY a Church would support such a ministry-even paying for CR leaders (who did NOT have be church member)-who were involved in affair with married men,addictions (active),lesbianism etc–it floored me. In fact, I saw it as a door to evil in that church. I dropped the disc class, the CR stuff & really felt better I except for one friendly acquaintance who was a CR leader-who often kept slipping into conversation about the benefits of that program. (She later moved with her family). I realized I put a Huge amt trust/faith into that Church and its ministries–I should have put that in God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.

    I also realized that people who go to church and programs like CR etc-some go for show,some to find support to sanctify their souls, some to just gossip, some to feel superior. I was Judgmental-perhaps more so Because my ex led a double triple XXX life-complete with males,females,extramarital offspring, porn,gambling, organized drug and internet crime (my adult siblings all involved-my adult children-yes, wife last to know!). He got custody, all assets and literally ran me out of state (police/attorneys/judges no help-part of the cartel crime network). Spilt was Nov 2011, I left state Early fall 2012–been hell-with ongoing phone/banking hacking -even my soc sec pay-only income I have. I ask-why God allow this pornographer (he even said he did child porn-that started fight led to my demise)./NO police,judge,attorney in that state/county or surrounding counties would help me. I ask-how can GOD allow this drug pimp child predator not just custody of my girls (age 13&15 then)-but that sick being was poisoning me (I caught that phone conversation) & he and male lover trying kill me-he had already transferred it bank accr to His new personal-I was penniless and literally Begging him to buy food for me and he girls leading up to the split. Where was God?? How could my adult siblings help and plan this with him? List for drugs and aberrant sex totally eclipse d All family loyalty and All righteousness/goodness?? Guess so. I learned from those church groups-evil people masquerade with the best if em-ESP in churches and church ministries. Always they say “we are all sinners and fall short if glory of God”–yadda,yadda,yadda.

    Well, even those who put on the most self righteous masks will interpret bible to meet their personal agendas. In fact, more they TRY impress Pastors and Deacons-watch out-pride,pride, pride. Competition in church is so disheartening to Me. People use it as just another way to showcase their self believing superiority. Well, that is what happens-and many higher income tithers-oh they are more important than us lower ones. I was a RN, worked so freaking hard so many decades-not until ex got a good job with benefits a few months before split-then he had record bank sent to boyfriend. Well, I just get my soc sec, have bad health and major medical problems-oh well, I cannot afford even luxuries others take granted+car,TV cable, internet,dental, vision ins,better living area–i have walk several blocks to just do laundry. I slept on air mattress two yrs before I could get a twin mattress/box spring-my ex fx my already fused lower spine-didnt heal cause osteoporosis-cervical fusion I had yrs before split I have stenosis spinal cord above it -degenerative joint disease. So gov Failed-BIG time, family failed, and God/Jesus? They didn’t save my daughters (now adults and no attempt contact me-money and sin are better than relationship with Me. Same for my two older boys. Oh, my ex married my first exspouse Third wife. (She was also the mistress when he was married to his second wife). Go figure-all sick perverse people to me. I don’t see no great plan for Me-just a bit player for God’s drama. Jesus may walk by me and all that kumbaya stuff–but NO one is Me and feels the pain in my body nor my emotional pain. No one. It isn’t enough to live-i worked Hard to get degress/education/professional license–just have all my hard work assets handed to a vile monster-including My children. All adults+all under seductive influence of a psychopath predator who is epitome of a Wolf-No, A MONSTER in sheep’s clothing. We may all be sinners-but we are not All Monsters. Be careful-the later group goes churches more than you can ever imagine. I do pray discernmnet a lot because I USE to want to Believe the best about my fellow humans. No more.

  36. James Wheeler on April 19, 2017 at 12:18 am

    My reasons for leaving fellowship with a “church” have been reaffirmed by this blog.

    You “preachers” and “ministers” no longer convey the simple message of redemption. Going to a “church” service is nothing more than listening to a person who cannot get to the basic point of the Good News.

    It’s all prayers in flowery language (as though you want to add to Psalms yourself), and reciting scripture rather than teaching it, and you will use 1000 words when a simple sentence will do.

    It’s as though you want to show everybody how learned you are, rather than simply preaching the Good News.

    That’s why we don’t go to “church” anymore

  37. lilnique on April 11, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I left a church building in January simply because the actions and attitudes of the leaders told a different story then their words/the message. The leaders led with a “do as I preach – and pay no mind to what I do” attitude and if you dared questioned that attitude you were deemed “evil” and “ungodly” — and you sometimes even had a prayer (casting out the demons at a meeting) said in your honor – because you simply ask about intentions behind dismantling an entire ministry.

    The problem with church is not the message – God hasn’t changed and the message is still as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. Its the hypocritical, ego-tripping, holier than thou, power hungry attitudes of leaders that are the problem.. the very people who are supposed to be building up the church – are tearing it down.

    Why would anybody want to be a part of something like this? The world is full of Christians who speak the Gospel to others expecting them to follow it and condemning them if they don’t – all while turning a blind eye to the evil acts being committed within themselves.. not to mention the fact that churches are more known to hate rather then love.. we are so quick to remind people what the 10 commandments say we should not do – yet ignore the very things God commands us TO DO.

  38. Joshua Dale on April 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    You don’t get it. The problem is that it is all nothing but bs and lies. That’s what causes all the problems described above. And you have the same flowery worthless solutions as the next intellectual. It’s all so fake it’s pathetic. There are better odds of a payout from gambling than prayer. Maybe if the product did what it was advertised to do it would be worth the time and energy invested. As it stands, going to church amounts to little more than a waste of time.

  39. Truth on April 5, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Sorry but you are blind and naked. The building called church is an hypocrisy.God alone has to open your eyes to see this truth “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:11

    “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

    The Bible says this is a LIE and the MANY are actually “going” to another jesus (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-14, Galatians 1:6-9) because GOD SAYS it is IMPOSSIBLE WITH MEN to save any souls (Matthew 19:25-25) and GOD SAYS human effort (altar calls, sinner’s prayer) ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING (John 6:63).

    Going through ANY MAN is anti-christ because it opposes the New Testament priesthood of Jesus whom says we must go directly to the Father through the Him in the New Testament Priesthood…YES Jesus as the ONE and ONLY WAY, TRUTH and LIFE…

    John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.

    John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.
    There are many scriptures stating that Jesus (Holy Spirit) is our only teacher, no other, Please STOP your ‘church’ LIES before it’s too late…
    LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU…
    COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE…

  40. Marcass Carcass on March 29, 2017 at 5:30 am

    “What bothers me” is how many churches refuse to pray for the religiously abused, will completely shut the door to such people, some even contributing to their being framed an abuser, by the abusers. “The church” and all its followers need be gotten rid of in our communities. Some are even into blood sacrifices, like the pagan pet shop owners and people of our communities favored by local government. For instance, permission for the Siesta Key drum circle was granted because of blood sacrifice. Also, have any of you actually read Ezekiel? If you think that’s God, you’re no better than a jihadist.

  41. Moana Chase on March 25, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you for the read! found it very interesting and loved the points you made especially about US being the church! Amen!
    I myself have to admit, somewhere along my journey with the Lord, my heart has hardened towards certain churches that profess to be led and guided by the Holyspirit yet their preaching and teaching, I believe, do not adhere to the Word of God. Babies going to hell.. I have a demon in me.. Jesus died a sinner and went to be tormented by demons and angels in hell.. Worldly dance routines etc etc.. I haven’t completely stopped going to church, my church is through the media from overseas. But if there was one around me that I could go to I would. In the mean while, I pray for those people, and pray to have fellowship with other believers. Is it wrong? That I don’t want to go to these churches because of false doctrine? Or should I go inspite of the spiritual death that it brings? I don’t know. I feel like if he’s not in there I don’t see the point in going. Let me know your thoughts xxxx

  42. Dhfalcon on March 24, 2017 at 1:04 am

    My reasons for not attending church began when I became a pastoral assistant. My pastor was a dynamic speaker, but had carnal issues (affairs with both a man and woman). His wife left him and he foisted a lie upon the congregation. We spent an all nighter praying for a situation that was due to his own sin.

    I ended up leaving that church. Wouldn’t you know, the same thing happened at the next church though I was spared a front row seat for this one since I wasn’t his assistant (ironically a traveling preacher suggested to this pastor that i would make a good assistant, but he rejected the idea.)

    The last time I spoke with a pastor, he gave me a brief treatise on how evil the music was while we were having lunch at Chipotle. When we drove back to his church, he apologized to me that his young son (5 or 6) was wearing sneakers with the superhero Ironman’s image.

    I still have faith in God and the Lord Jesus, but until I find a fellowship that can maintain some basic morals and doesn’t teach personal conviction as biblical truth, I have no reason to “play church” anymore. It would be the equivalent of lying, to myself and God.

    Thanks for reading my words.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 24, 2017 at 6:55 am

      This is just heartbreaking. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m glad your faith is strong. I pray the church repents and that we get it right more often than we get it wrong. God bless you—literally.

      • Dhfalcon on March 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm

        Thank you, Carey. Your kind words are an encouragement.

    • Antony Amalan on May 1, 2017 at 7:13 am

      I think though you are far from church, you aren’t not far off from our Lord Jesus.

  43. Emjay on March 12, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I highly recommend this article for people who have been hurt by their church. Basically being part of a church is somewhat like a marriage in that we stay because of love–with love being defined as COMMITMENT. Because, as human beings, we are all flawed, we are going to be hurt at some point by every relationship we have–except by that relationship we have with Jesus. If we ran away from single relationships or group relationships every time we are hurt by someone, we would take our flawed selves and run from flawed relationship to flawed relationship. People can be compared to pipe cleaners. Standing alone in this world is like being a single pipe cleaner. If you hold up that pipe cleaner and wave it, it bends and flops in any direction. If you twist together two pipe cleaners, even though those pieces become twisted and flawed, each in a different way, those two pipe cleaners do not bend and flop around as much as as single pipe cleaner. If twenty pipe cleaners (people) are twisted together, each in their twisted and flawed way, they sway even less than the two did. Each time a pipe cleaner is added (a relationship is formed) the group of pipe cleaners or people become stronger. If 50 pipe cleaners are joined together, every pipe cleaner will NOT physically touch every other pipe cleaner (you do not have to agree with, be accepted by, have a relationship with, be liked or appreciated by, or like and appreciate every other person in your church). If a person can find even one or two people within a church community to relate to and stand with, each will be stronger because of that relationship and be made even stronger by their presence among the members of the group that they seemingly do not touch–even if those certain members reject them.

  44. brent on March 11, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Wow Carey, it is interesting that you have this many hurting people read your articles. This one sure sparked some debate and also pointed out one of our American problems. We have too many people who have only heard a little of the true story of God. It amazes me that we have done such a poor job of telling the story.

  45. Charles Stanley on March 9, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I understand the argument, “the church isn’t perfect and neither are you.” Yes, some people are using the concept of “unchurching” as a license to be lazy Christians. Yes, attempts to restore the New Testament Church are romantic and doomed to fail. On the other hand, what do you say to the families of widespread child sexual abuse in the church, which happened because of the way cronies protected each other? What are you going to tell women, who still have to feel like 2nd class citizens, and continue to observe that almost all successful (mega) pastors are men with shiny gleaming trophy wives? What are you going to say to all of us who are stunned and heartbroken over Church’s incomprehensible support of Donald Trump? It’s not that I don’t love the church. Just show me the church, and I will love it.,

    • Peter Gumaer Ogden on March 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Remember you Islamist anti-American communist whore: Pussy liberal nazis like you have no street smarts. Who has the big guns? The people who voted for Trump in fly over country and if push comes to shove many of them will not hesitate to use them. Go to Iran where you belong seditious traitor! I hope you burn in hell! Kiss my wild boars’ ass. Watch your back.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 13, 2017 at 5:19 am

      Just show me the church and I will love it. Thanks Charles.

  46. Martin Quevedo Barreiro on March 9, 2017 at 12:17 am

    I was actually hoping to read a real reason why I should continue being church… But this article actually convinced me even more that the arguments used to try to make us believe that church is a must to get to God as trivial and completely unfundamented.

  47. postwardreamz on February 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Will the church change? nope. Open your mouth and like the Pharisees of long ago, you will be asked on ‘what authority do YOU have?’

    Church in the West is clique, a private club, and actually nothing like the church of the early Believers. Church praise is an ‘American Idol’ performance. Preaching is usually spineless, weak the “Jesus loves you no matter what / you can’t judge anyone / we need to tithe more / God hates sin, but He will forgive you no matter what / the children are going to perform / my talented daughter is going to sing a solo / here are pictures of my wedding / you are all leaders, use your gifts….but don’t use them unless I approve of you using them”

    People come to gossip more than worship and praise. Also, since God is so Holy…ladies dress like it’s the “Sunday morning nightclub” and men, we’ll belittle you nonstop for not “manning up” and upholding the Doctrine Of Happiness.

    Church? Yeah, sure…….want to know WHY we have not seen a REAL revival in the USA? The bride is FILTHY. That’s why.

  48. Eric B. on February 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Believe it or not, you identified the solution for this evolution of the modern American church.

    As you said:

    “If you want a more biblical church…don’t gather weekly, gather daily. Before dawn.

    Get up before the sun rises to pray together with other Christians before you go to work. Pool your possessions. Don’t claim anything as your own.

    Be willing to lose your job, your home, your family and even your life because you follow Jesus.

    Then you’ll be more authentic.”

    The church was never meant to be as it is today. Pastors, bishops, deacons, first ladies, pastor’s anniversary, suits, robes, sound-systems, stadium-sized facilities, decor…etc. The point is that the sarcastic mentioning you highlighted is in fact God’s intent. The church is a body of people. Each person forming a part of the temple. Thus being an Organism not an Organization. Relationship not Religion. You can actually write down two columns on a piece of paper with either pair of words beside one another and see the clear distinction. How the organization/religious church differs from the organism/relationship church. One requires money, resources, coordination, staff, meetings, production, rehearsal, buildings, programming, scheduling, protocol…While the other only requires people (the body of christ…aka the church). Organizations limit the spirit and interferes with God’s design by putting Him on a metered regiment led by man to fit our expectations, our timeframe, our will, our desires…not His. Organism allows the manifestation of the spirit however he sees fit. God organizes, He controls, He’s at the center, He is the focal point, He leads. You get it???

    Church leadership and discipleship is designed to be appointed by God, led by His spirit, and governed by His will and agenda. Today they have more so become religious figures that are idolized by congregations, revered as Christ-like and take the position of Christ as the center of the church. That is why daily interaction, fellowship, worship, and community was indeed God’s design for his church. Not figureheads that inevitably become God to many of it’s members.

    Great speakers, wonderful preachers, yet often times allows man’s pride to infiltrate when you receive praise, glorification, reliance, celebration, and even worship from people. Pastors become celebrities in their own right within their church, communities, and even nationally or internationally. Making millions of dollars, expansive egos, royal treatment from members or fans. This system of institutionalized church becomes a mockery of what God wanted and still wants. In oppressed and less privileged countries, this does not exist. People are still meeting as the original church did. In homes, or in many cases in secret because of persecution of their faith. They would be shocked and enraged to the see what we consider church to be in America. In modern society.

    The Kingdom of God is what Jesus told his disciples to preach. That is all Christ himself preached. Yet churches say the gospel is the life, death, and resurrection of Christ so people will receive salvation and go to heaven. That is not biblical. He says thy kingdom come and thy will be done on EARTH as it is in heaven. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Another mass mistake created by the church which plays to the stigma of the money grab. That is how the christian church has become known as a “business of saving souls.”

    The manipulation of tithing, good intentions or otherwise, is being used to fuel million dollar grossing churches. Tithing of 10% was initially based from an old testament system that was not to be used or told to be used in the new church established by Christ. Tithing does not solely or particularly mean money or finances. It also means gifts, talents, and resources, to include money but also time, people, love, support. These are equally and dare I say more valuable in the eyes of God.

    Please respond. A bit of rambling on my part, however, I look forward to your feedback.

    • Truth on April 5, 2017 at 11:54 am

      . The building called church is an hypocrisy.God alone has to open your eyes to see this truth “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:11

      “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

      The Bible says this is a LIE and the MANY are actually “going” to another jesus (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-14, Galatians 1:6-9) because GOD SAYS it is IMPOSSIBLE WITH MEN to save any souls (Matthew 19:25-25) and GOD SAYS human effort (altar calls, sinner’s prayer) ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING (John 6:63).

      Going through ANY MAN is anti-christ because it opposes the New Testament priesthood of Jesus whom says we must go directly to the Father through the Him in the New Testament Priesthood…YES Jesus as the ONE and ONLY WAY, TRUTH and LIFE…

      John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.

      John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.
      There are many scriptures stating that Jesus (Holy Spirit) is our only teacher, no other, Please STOP your ‘church’ LIES before it’s too late…
      LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU…
      COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE…

    • Nonsensical on April 11, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      Eric,
      Everything I just read from what you typed is exactly how I interpret His word. On this night, I wish there was a group of men, that are of the same like mindedness as us, who I could just study the Bible with and converse with. I wouldn’t need a building, or all the baggage you listed from the modern church. I would be fine with meeting at a park bench and having Christian discussions to strengthen us in the Lord. I’m currently in central Florida, and although there are millions of “Christians” all around me, I feel alone. That no one “gets it”. I’m surprised that the author, or anyone for that matter, hasn’t replied to your comment. Just know that what you wrote, deeply touched my heart, and have me a glimpse of hope, that there is at least one other person in this world, that shares my belief. For that, I can’t thank you enough. God bless you brother. And more importantly, you continue to bless God.

      • one drop in the sea on April 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

        Agreed. Come out of the little “c” 501C3 church of Babylon and gather together as believers, the true big “C” Church, all taught by God together, helping and supporting one another and those who need help. I think many believers have the desire for this. I believe this will occur the closer we get to “the Day”. Yahweh is preparing those who truly seek him and his kingdom. God bless you all and keep you in his way.

      • Alan Clark jr on June 9, 2017 at 4:04 am

        “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. -Romans 11:4

  49. CatsPaw55 on February 9, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    You just don’t get it. You’re brainwashed. Science can be proven. Faith not.

  50. Mike on February 7, 2017 at 1:56 am

    If you met a true Cristian you would think he’s nuts. We are infiltrated by communism and worldly philosophy.

  51. wyatt webb on February 6, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    The building of a church is not needed. A family talking about beliefs is a church

    • LenaAFoster on March 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      I agree with that. I don’t want to be in a place where I have to listen to some human (pastor or priest) tell me what God wants for me. I would like to discuss with other people, scripture, and work together to find the meaning in the Word. Time and again it becomes substitution of one idol over another with man made churches. Someone or a few emerge to become “rulers” of the faith and the sheep required to follow. One Pharisee replaces another. I think Gods intent was for us to gather together in his name and honor him together. Not to morph that into weekly lectures by the guy standing in front who is glorifying himself as our spiritual leader and pillar of the community.

  52. rick on February 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Religion was created to separate human being rather than to unit. Spirituality unites humans, not church. A Church was created to put guilty in your head, so you can contribute to the bad habits of the nasty pope, priests, pastor, etc etc etc. Your relationship with God is to be private and not shared with any of them so called Church clergy. Last time I was inside of a church, before they even begin the service they had gone around 3 times already collecting money. I am not here to pay for these priests and pope and pastor high life. Go find a f……ng job and stop panhandling.

  53. banislam on January 30, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I’m all done with church. I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with PEOPLE at church…especially the pastors which I use to be!
    I can find better people at the local bar.

    • one drop in the sea on April 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Yeshua did too. =)

      • banislam on May 7, 2017 at 8:44 pm

        Yeshua didn’t go to Church as it wasn’t yet established.. He went to Jewish temples. Try again.

  54. mbillups on January 19, 2017 at 12:15 am

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/faae426a15ce264ed90f5138d9339e105e116ee373748dcbb92351f0ffd5728f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0978a619a4cb1a9d843b471b0377ede2a5a5fb3d2f4e3a63b2da936dc6cfcfa.jpg At Hillside International Truth Center – a “New Thought” Christian church in Atlanta – the emphasis is on instruction in using the teachings of Jesus in today’s life so you can live your greatness now, i.e., live your most productive, satisfying life now. The Hillside experience is engaging because it is not about just sitting their being preached at about how sinful you are and the only way to be “saved” is to bow down and confess that you are not worthy of “God’s” time-of-day but by “His” grace, you are redeemed. Instead, it’s about learning to understand how to work with the knowledge that YOU are the only “God” you will ever see and the full power of creation itself resides in your very being – like Jesus said. The Life Classes at Hillside teach how to awaken that power by learning to bring to the forefront your awareness of it. We understand that the “book of life” is being written everyday in each of our own hearts and souls. This is a much more useful and fulfilling experience that differs greatly from what you normally think of as “church.”

  55. L34 on January 17, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    i have no interest in being a spectator in some religious hirelings version of the church ,no thank you, 47 years was enough…

  56. Dianna Diaz on December 31, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Well I enjoyed the article, Hebrews 10:25 says not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching and for the days we live in I need more community not less. Also the Bible says “iron sharpens iron” is found in Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” There is mutual benefit. God created us to be social beings…thank you for the encouragement, yes it is easy to download a podcast, but I am so blessed worshiping together in one Spirit and one body…we are the body of Christ All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. I Chron. 12:27…i don’t know about you but I need my brothers and sisters for strength. I think about our brothers and sisters around the world who are martyred for the privilege we have to worship openly …there may come a day when we may not have that opportunity

    • banislam on January 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Church people suck. I have nothing good to say about them other than they can all go to hell!

      Church people SUCK bigtime!

  57. Rueben Paulsen on December 30, 2016 at 1:54 am

    I get and understand and agree with your sentiment of church and community. Without community there would be no church and church community should be supportive. I do however see that leaders often not always look to the education and diploma or higher learning of those that are either capable of that degree of learning and then there is the matter of the poor who if wanting an education have to now pay for it and although they, and most often others carry the anointing , churches run after knowledge and theological studies are now a must, like the teaching , leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit along with the signs Jesus said would follow true believers follow some that are not accepted on the basis that now most churches have become like corporations and have jobs listed and a cv must be handed in. Pls understand I’m not criticising the church as I love the church but in my heart I have questions and have put these before our God in Jesus name. The Word,the living Word of God is made up of Father God Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. In today’s modern church we one put money before the Word and it has become a specialist ministry to extract special revalations on preaching about tithes and offerings and that I don’t have an issue with but is it not putting the cart before the horse to preach money before the actual Word of God, this happens in most churches and has become a tradition and once again the practice of traditions of men is not ordained in the Word of God, of course the grace of God abounds much more in any particular situation, but should we from others ask for gifts for a return of gifts and should we really believe what some of the on line ministry’s from churches preach about partnership and what the rewards will be. Church has inriched many a man yet I see that in scripture it states that even though they may have been remunerated they chose to pay their own way and that showed that the preaching and teaching of the Word and the kingdom of God was the priority. Jesus was upset and angered by the church His father house becoming a place for marketing or a market place and I do get that good order and planning and vision is needed but will God not take care of those who leave everything behind and serve Him, seek His Kingdom as He does the birds of the air. Is it not possible that when the man or woman of God goes into their room and prays that what they ask for will be given to them by God, then why appeal to man for provision. The Word says we should test the Word and believe me I do and find that there are many times that the Word is taken out of context and that for the benefit of the church building and staff and not the church of Jesus Christ our Lord and savior that he loves. Men ought to love their wives as Christ loves His church but do we not see well respected men of God not abusing the very directives of the head if the church Jesus Himself. Teacher’s shall be judged more harshly and the Word ought also to be used for doctrine and reproof. Those with the appointed directive from our Lord to warn the church to cease in false preaching and teaching especially when the anointing is not present and the discernment of those that you have rightfully said have been called by name stand up for the Word and then expelled for herressy is all to much happening in today’s church. What of the council of churches and all the secrecy behind it. One cannot be a member if you have no qualification. Who made pastors doctors of the Word, has any man known God to the fullest not even the angels in heaven as they cry Holy Holy holy is the Lord God almighty they receive more revalations and understanding and so how does man become a doctor of the Word. Yes the Word states to study to show yourself approved but does that mean that one must now go through an institution. I believe God raises up leaders and confirms his choices through man but are there not to many anointed and appointed men and woman of so called lesser stature overlooked by leaders seeking knowledge of clever people without the understanding and reverent fear of God present and are we not surrounding ourselves with wise men of knowledge but no discernment as to whom the HOLY SPIRIT ordained by God and man through yes Christ our Lord. Leaders most often today forget to be teachable and then teach those around then the same things. The spirits that enter a church most often enter through the gate of the leaders that open the doors for those particular spirits to enter. No wonder false teacher’s arise in the church and power is put over anointing. Pls understand I’m a church going member and will always be of that their is no Question, what you have written is absolutely true and I Agree, but pls take a look at what image the church is portraying to the world today and I don’t see many brothers and sisters helping their brethren when in trouble and in need giving freely and I’ve observed many churches where the staff are wealthy and do not extend a hand to the needy and poor, now even the poor in spirit those imperfect people that God loves do not receive the love of Christ in most churches today. I needed counceling and was asked to pay at one church and at another God gave me a Word for the church and we were asked to leave or more so pushed until we left voluntarily. My wife and I when asking for help were told that those that were there were not qualified and pointed us to another church which then asked us to pay for counceling. Look I am being the devil’s advocate in a way but leaders and pastors pls wake up as the Spirit of God the Holy Spirit has left the building and Jesus is nausiated by this fact, we preach and teach the living Word of God and the kingdom of God but deny the power of God the Holy Spirit to manifest in our churches, where today do we see the wondrous signs and miricales that Jesus and the old testament states are the signs of true beleivers. Yes it still takes place but worship until praise until the presence of God is thick and tangible, allow the Holy Spirit to manifest and take over and control the sermon. We cut short our worship and praise to be on time when the Holy Spirit is not yet manifested and our sacrifice of praise not yet acceptable a sweet smelling aroma to our God. Church wake up do not fall asleep and always be ready. Yes organisation is a must but sin is intolerable at the level we are seeing toay in our churches. Leaders look toward God and ask Him to point out those that really have been called and chosen by Him and that not on how clever a person is but on the anointing and appointing of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and savior by the Holy Spirit and confirmation of true men of God true prophets of God. Divide the Word of truth rightly and do not deceive yourselves by the doctrines of men. Knowledge puffs up. True leaders are unafraid to stand for truth and defend the faith with their lives. Drop the Manon based incorporated approach and God will bless and enlarge your territory no need to appeal to man for you provision. Let teacher’s teach and let fathers preach with the heart of a shepherd that loves the flock, be sure your armourbearers are Placed there by God and not by your own wisdom and want for things not of or from God as hostile takeovers and destroying of the image of the Church of Jesus Christ and the good testimony is destroyed through pride and undescerning leaders that choose those that benefit not the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, but the building and those that may benefit from it. Give more than you receive live by faith employ the Levite and don’t claim God put volunteers in positions as that’s a lie. Not all are called to be permanent but those that are must be paid and without faith how are leaders to teach faith. Hypocrisy starts at the top where fear leads to failure in preaching and teaching what is not a religion but a faith. Pls hear the Word and obey it as the sacrifice is why this conversation is being had. Yes many have been saved by coming or going to church to seek redemption and find Christ but lets be honest many have been turned away from the faith because of the poor state of our churches today. God is not mocked and pls try not to be offended by this but dead is dead. The church of Jesus is a church alive to the HOLY SPIRIT and sadly there are not many churches left great and small that have the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Leaders pls disciple your flocks as Jesus did and do not hand then over to theology, be sure that the anointing you carry that is upon those that serve you are in line with scripture and may those works praise you in the gates not here on earth. leaders do not become minnie gods to your flock and get rid of the controlling spirit that arises.Be aware of who you appoint as you are not who needs to be pleased but our Father in heaven. Do not gather for yourselves riches on earth. Do not destroy the witness and testimony of Jesus and His church or grieve the Holy Spirit of God by denying Him and trusting in your knowledge. Be aware of why you are here and what love you must show. Be a good servant in order to be a great leader. It’s all about Jesus and His Kingdom not about your church leave that to God and he will raise up your ministry and grow His church . you be the vessel, submit yourselves one to another and to God and He will raise you up in due time. All power belongs to God do not run the church of God based on your will and/or knowledge and allow the staff of God to rule not what is common of man that you may escape the judgement of teacher’s. You make a strong point but let’s also seek to change church to what Christ Jesus originally intended church to be and that starts with the leaders. Be approachable and do not palm off those that have questions onto another as some have hedged themselves in and claim that it’s because they are to busy, well so was Martha. Be at the feet of Jesus and you will serve your flock well. Church is being left and not attended or sought after as children proclaiming to be of the faith taint the good reputation of the church and those little children yet not even in the milk of the word see hypocrisy ,herosy, divisions, infighting, jelousies, wrongdoings and that from those that lead and hold position of influence. Common Church, listen to the word of wisdom and heed the lessor brother or sisters word of wisdom or prophetic word of correction and do not be puffed up in pride. Look to God this day and ask if you are in rightstanding and have you those that God chose or you chose surrounding You, it’s time to seperate the fox that comes to destroy the vine and it takes a disciplined approach. Let’s put Jesus back on the throne of our long drawn out theological sermons which those that are still young in the faith are intimidated by and leave that for teachings not preaching lets glorify God by uplifting Jesus and lets experience God by allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest in every way. Let’s use the gifts of the Holy Spirit and lets do the work of the ministry lets heal the sick and raise the dead in sin first and also literally, cast out demons take care of orphans and widows and love God and our neighbour as ourselves lets feed the hungry and give living water to those that seek to know GOD. Let every man work on his own salvation with fear and trembling and seek first the kingdom of heaven not preach money before the Word of God. Give and it will be given you pressed down shaken together and overflowing. Pls do not destroy the work of the cross by destroying the very image of Jesus Christ and His Church through your greed and hunger for money and power I’m sure we can abstain from owning two jet planes and have one if that is even needed I’m also sure that God can and will raise up leaders in every country and that some,not all, the spending of money can be used for affecting the lives of those in need. Yes salvation before money but management of money may be thought of. Mansions are made for heaven and some thought may be put into what some ministries and ministers overindulge in when looking at the extravagance of their way of living. Guys there are genuine reasons for what is happening today and it starts with us. It’s easy to say what has been said about church from your point of view but honestly church world wide is in a mess and we need to ask God to forgive us and repent that the church may be healed and that once more we will see the Holy Spirit move in and through us in Christ Jesus name.

  58. deepblue9 on December 28, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    People leave “churches” because God isn’t there.

    • Greg Dee on February 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

      and/or you are castigated for not (unbiblicaly) tithing or signing up for some special money giving event or not giving enough money over the unbiblical tithe etc. Sick of it….

  59. Patel Nisha on December 12, 2016 at 5:20 am

    It makes sense that serving a church could help with things. Having spiritual health is just as important as your physical and mental health! It’s a good idea to be active.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on December 12, 2016 at 6:18 am

      Sure is Patel!

      • Patel Nisha on December 12, 2016 at 6:22 am

        If you need or want to stay connected with the audience, get church app developed and Get a quote from our experts 🙂

  60. Pastors need to be fired too on December 7, 2016 at 1:23 am

    lol I love the lord with all my heart but if you think about it a employer protects his company more than pastors protect the church they say there is always room for 1 more hypocrite but does a employer say there is room for one more thief liar and cheat LOL LOL LOL yeah pastors should weed out the ones who have no interest in following gods law AKA store policy your fired until you repent yeah i would not be friends with the world of evil pastors the bible says that stay away from evil and yeah its all good no thanks to most church pastors scare me and love is not the answer if it was then I guess your saying a business man is not full of love if he fires a dirt bag LOL WAKE UP PASTORS you should teach better than this for we are protecting GOD law hey pastor would you let your kids bring the drugs in your home cause its ok with your love standards or what ever reasons you think hypocrites are in the church cause its ok maybe the pastors should be kicked out first before the church can respect the laws of all the casual sin thats allowed

  61. Simon on November 12, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Church, means functionally GANG OF BELIEVERS. You can dress it up any way you like, but it is not a building it simply happens in a building …most often because weather doesn’t always cooperate. (Card clubs meet in building too, for the same reason. Card clubs aren’t buildings they are a gang of card players. 🙂 )
    So, unless you stop fellowshiping with other believers. ……
    But here’s the twist, if you stop fellowshipping with card players you are not practicing your card skills. So just having coffee with Christians doesn’t mean you are sharpening your Christian skills. What’s the learning, where’s the service? Social Work is a wonderful thing if you happen to be active in it. But Christian service means so much more.
    The benefit of larger-than-card-Club-size gatherings is that real learning can happen. Missional work can be organized.

  62. Todd S on October 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    You are talking about people leaving church and you don’t even bother to engage any of the actual reasons that are driving people away from the church. Basically your entire article is nothing but attempting to guilt trip people into coming to church. Here’s a thought though … if you really want to address the issue of the shrinking church in America, maybe engage some of the actual things that are causing the phenomena.

    • Great Scott Not on October 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Yup. I’m a Christian and active in serving. Yet I’ve made the decision to stop giving 10% of my salary to an organization that is essentially a country club. 10-20% of church budgets go to actual giving to needy people or outreach. The rest goes toward building and salaries.

      Instead, I give directly to where the needs are. I still meet with other believers, but not at a multi-million dollar facility.

      • Wayne on May 31, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        Well you’re doing a decent thing there…The book of Malachi ch2 mentions about bringing the tithes into Gods Storehouse, and the amount of people who actually believe that the storehouse mentioned is the church…is crazy

    • Gena on June 24, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Exactly! I read the article and thought to myself this guy still doesn’t get it. He still doesn’t understand why the “dones” are done.

  63. Mike McLain on October 23, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    He doesn’t even mention those who are walking away from institutional church. People leaving church to worship God in their own way is nothing new. That’s been happening for years and years. What’s new is simple church, house church and organic church. That is a fairly recent phenomenon that has been reaching epic proportions, as well as the exodus of so called ordained clergy from church.

    What is missing? The church still wants leaders when Jesus was a servant. He wasn’t a servant-leader, a term no where found in scripture. He was a servant. He served those he loved and took care of their needs. Over time, the disciples understood that he was fully devoted to them and this allowed him to lead without leading or ordering. He had their trust because they knew that he cared for them. The church needs servants. Period. Jesus is the head of the church.

    He also says that you don’t go to church(you are the church) all the while telling us that if we don’t go to church we aren’t the church. Hmm…

    The Church is not contained in an institution. It consists of men and women everywhere who are following Jesus, learning to live in Him through serving others.

    People are walking out of a building and finding church quite often. They gather with whomever the Lord sends their way that day, and church is so integrated into their lives, that you can almost not recognize anything else. I am striving to find this church, the Body of Christ, and integrate myself into it completely. For it to be who I am, I had to stop going to church. I don’t mind attending a gathering now and again, and indeed gather with my close brothers and sisters every chance I get. But I never go to church. That puts it outside of myself, a destination, and the very language is offensive to me. Perhaps that is just the journey the Holy Spirit has me on right now. I accept that.

    • Jonathan Parks on October 29, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      People who go to house churches, simple churches or organic churches are not leaving the institutional church for much.. in fact your still apart of the problem.. True Christians are not the church.. does anyone actually read the bible and be good bereans anymore? These House churches etc last 3 months to a year before they shut down/end. God isn’t interested in church – Ekklesia and Church are no where close. Christ is looking for true believers who are his extension of himself

      • Mike McLain on October 30, 2016 at 6:58 am

        That’s quite a statement. “…are not leaving the institutional church for much.. in fact your (you’re) still apart (a part) of the problem…” There is no way you know this unless the Spirit gave you this information. Is that the case? Or have you visited and spent time with each and every church? Every single house, organic and simple church is church and not the ekklesia?

        “…last 3 months to a year…” Not true. Our group is going on six years and has had some spin offs as well. “God isn’t interested in church…” “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not stand against her.”

        Now, brother, I understand your sentiment. I really do. But condemning the church just because you don’t believe in the way they live out their lives as ekklesia doesn’t seem like the loving way to go about your own life in the ekklesia. By this standard, Jesus would never have come back to the Jewish people but would have gone directly to the gentiles. He saw their faults but also believed they were worth saving. He loved them as much as he loves you and me.

        Please reconsider your position here.

        “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 (Berean Study Bible)

        • Jonathan Parks on November 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

          God absolutely isn’t at all interested in Church and there is no mistake – house churches organic churches do not survive long then a year – two tops. If they do they are still very much institutional and the people who left big sister for a smaller version certainly didn’t leave for much – a spin back to your comment. Church? Yes and i find it hilarious that you use the Berean bible to quote from, true Bereans actually studied to see if what they were hearing was so.. so for you to deny what i shared shows a lack of much study.. church was a name lifted from mithraism. Doesn’t translate from ekkleaia nor taken from another word out of scripture. You sir are part of the problem.. you are still in the system.. your still stuck in Religious Babylon.. do your homework. Stop reading what everyone else is saying and seek the Spirit of Christ for the truth.

          • Mike McLain on November 1, 2016 at 10:26 pm

            You do realize that the word ekklesia is not a magic word, nor is it holy in and of itself. It is a Greek word that was common and had a common meaning that Greek speakers of the day understood. I fully agree that the word church has lost a lot meaning to many. That doesn’t mean that those of us who know the real meaning can’t use it in a meaningful way.

            I may in deed be part of the problem. My sins necessated the sacrifice of God. But so did yours. But neither we, nor our ideas, our pet doctrines or our superior knowledge of the scriptures is the solution. Only Jesus is.



          • Jonathan Parks on November 2, 2016 at 1:06 pm

            The early disciples would of heard Christ say congregation or assembly in Matthew 16 – and for hundreds of years after them. Clearly people who don’t learn from the past repeat it. The israelites were punished severely for worshipping God in the ways pagans worshipped their false gods. Are you that naive or liberal to believe that because we are under a new covenant that it’s ok to do it today?

            Dude.. the true meaning – its translation and definition does mean church.. it means church as much as easter means passover. and those who don’t see a problem with that only expose a deeper inward problem.

            You are right to state Christ is the solution- but until you truly know him – you don’t know nor understand what the problem is.



          • RickyT on November 6, 2016 at 9:25 am

            Sir, I would really watch passing judgement towards anyone. Think about your words even in writing as they can be just as hurtful as speaking them. One of the problems in our Church today is that we as Christians are not building communities. So many go to Church and do not want to associate with others and while some come to Church and cannot get others to associate with. It is a growing major problem and cliques are forming within the Church and not much is done about reaching out to those that do not follow Christ, or do not know him well. We need a Church to respond effectively to that but how do you do that without forcefully making people do something they have intent in doing. There are so many that are part of a Church that does not even live according to scripture, may the Lord have mercy on them. That is why people are starting to form their own in home groups and just because it is called that does not mean that they will not accept others. If that were the case then that is not a Body of Christ period. If I could just rent a large facility that could fill in thousands of people and we did this everywhere across the world and left the doors open for those to come in seek Christ all day long. That would be a Community that Jesus would be happy with. Our Church shuts the doors and creates this section of time for when people can worship and it’s the wrong approach, Lord have mercy on them. That is not a good way to worship the Lord. We need to be open for worship all day and night long inside and outside the Church, which is all the reason why it is so much more than that, it is a Community. So instilling prayers within home is very, very important. And back to the Church, I think a lot of places would benefit even by changing up pastors every week. Being able to hear testimony from many people is what Christ wants us to hear. The more we hear it, them more spiritual we become and the more we live out our lives like Jesus. But may God bring those astray into the light and soon we may have that perfect Community for Christians.



          • Jonathan Parks on November 7, 2016 at 12:30 am

            Sir… until you understand the problem you should seriously refrain from commenting… refrain from passing judgment? If after all thats been written and this is what you have to say – then your clearly blind to the problem and wish to preserve it then understand how far we actually have moved away from Christ and see the truth of Christ and return to Him. Please do not continue to respond!



          • RickyT on November 7, 2016 at 6:22 am

            No worries Jonathan anger is not the way. I will pray for you.



          • Jonathan Parks on November 7, 2016 at 8:41 am

            It has nothing to do with anger and everything to do with people who falsely claim to care about the truth but clearly have nothing substantial to say to the argument. It wastes my time!



          • Jonathan Parks on November 7, 2016 at 8:43 am

            Do some scriptural homework on the truth and errors that you feel on this argument and come back and share – don’t come on here sharing your feelings. Feelings don’t trump the truth and Christians ought not to be thinned skinned!



          • Mike McLain on November 2, 2016 at 8:50 am

            Now that I think about it, it seems that you never read my entire post. As soon as you saw the word “church”, it seems, you consigned me to Satan…



        • Jonathan Parks on November 1, 2016 at 7:43 pm

          You need to reconsider your position. Paul was pretty clear do not fellowship or eat with anyone who goes go beyond the scriptures and doesn’t hold to the traditions that the messengers of Christ passwd down. There is no unity without truth. And as for the Seven Assemblies in Revelation- there is judgement to those who are disobedient to Christ and the truth..

          • Mike McLain on November 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm

            Brother Jonathan, believe it on not, you and I probably do not differ on much of importance when it’s all boiled down. And extend to you the right hand of fellowship. Will you do the same for me? This is where we differ: I extend this to all who believe in Jesus and trust him to work out his truth in them in his time and that they be open to his leading. Neither you nor I began this journey with a full grasp on the truth. Was Jesus’ salvific grace withheld from us until we did? And do we now contend that we have the entire truth and understand it fully?



  64. clkcpa on October 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve been done with church for 4 years now. I never plan to darken the door of a church again. I am totally finished with hypocritical Christians and their overpaid pastors. I’m a Certified Public Accountant. I’ve worked with far too many pastors over the years – both mainline and Evangelical. They take advantage of you by expecting you to do their work for free simply because they are pastors. Meanwhile, you see how they really live from their finances. And you also see that they have salary packages that almost none of their parishioners have. They are overpaid, they have full-blown full family Cadillac health insurance packages, Cadillac retirement plans through their denominations, etc. It’s all a scam. None of the rest of us have any of that any more. I’m a CPA, and I don’t have any of that. And I work much harder than any pastor does. And to top it off, I realize most people don’t know this – remember I am a CPA – most pastors don’t even have to pay tax on most of their income. It’s b/c of an exemption in the tax law that NONE of the rest of us get. It’s for housing, cars, etc. Well quite frankly, that includes almost everything in their budget.

    • brent on March 11, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Not all pastors have that, just the ones you have worked with. Many of us have jobs during the week so we can preach, and many have congregations that pay them less than anyone else in the church. A pastor can opt out of Social Security, but then they can’t benefit from it either.

  65. Susan Shelko on October 1, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    The comments on this page are simply heartbreaking. Lord, please have mercy upon your people. Heal the wounded, bind up the afflicted, let each of these precious souls find their rest in you. Amen.

    • Great Scott Not on October 25, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Or start praying that churches actually spend more of their budgets on helping the poor and outreach instead of building country clubs for themselves.

      • Susan Shelko on November 1, 2016 at 9:28 am

        You mean, I should pray for a miracle? Better yet, pray with one’s actions and vote with one’s wallet. Why would these churches have any motivation whatsoever to invest in the poor and in outreach when they have much better uses for the funds? (Sarcasm alert!)

        • Great Scott Not on November 1, 2016 at 2:42 pm

          Yes. This is why i stopped tithing and started giving directly to the groups I serve in. God doesn’t need a new bigger worship center or in-church basketball court.

          • RickyT on November 6, 2016 at 9:30 am

            Oh brother, keep giving in how you choose. I cannot understand how we as Christians, think that it all about money. No that is not the case. Someone taking care of the lawn, bringing in food, taking care of the children and offering to paint the building, making connections with others to help fix a building issue. All those are ways to give back and will fulfill your tithing convent with the Lord.



          • A Amos Love on November 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

            Hmmm?
            “…fulfill your tithing convent with the Lord.” – ???

            In the Bible, I can NOT seem to find…
            One of **His Disciples** who ever made…
            A “tithing convent with the Lord.”
            ——–

            In the Bible, I can NOT seem to find…
            One of **His Disciples** who ever taught others…
            To give silver, gold, or money as a “Tithe.”
            To a church.
            ———-



          • RickyT on November 6, 2016 at 9:46 am

            Hello. here are some good readings to understand what I was trying to point out. 1 Cor. 16:1-4, Luke 21:4. God Bless



          • A Amos Love on November 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

            Ooops – I mean…

            In the Bible, I can NOT seem to find…
            One of **His Disciples** who ever taught others…
            To give silver, gold, or money as a “Tithe.”
            To a, 501 c 3, non-profit, Tax $ Deductible…
            Religious Corporation, that the IRS calls church. 😉

            Should one of His Disciples…
            Call an IRS Corporation…
            The Church of God???



          • RickyT on November 6, 2016 at 9:53 am

            And understand that this is a New Testament which was a new beginning, a new convent with the Lord through Jesus Christ and his followers since Jesus fulfilled the old convent that you find in the Old Testament. That is why we as Christians are very fortunate not to have to live out some of those convents from the Old Testament and only the Jews choose to remain that way, just one for instance, eating pork. A meaning of convent is a community of believers that live life under a religious way an expecation, in which we as Christians live life Christlike. So we give tithing through our convent that we made with the Lord. We worship him and and try to live our life like him by doing what he commands us to do. God Bless



          • holachica on November 28, 2016 at 10:39 pm

            Right… so volunteer do all the work for free and pastors make a living. Sounds backwards to me.



      • holachica on November 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        or sending money to africa to act like they are charitable.

        • Amanda L Robinson on June 9, 2017 at 3:56 pm

          That is so true because they are quick to ask for donations but as soon as you and your family who work hard and give get in a bind all you hear is we can’t save the world or we don’t help with that well what do you help with I’ll tell you what they help with their fancy cars their houses their kids college education and their jewelry and jets ect when people in their own country suffer pathetic if you ask me

      • Dr. Darrell Wright on March 26, 2017 at 11:28 pm

        It is very interesting to see how many people have left the organized church. I to have separated from the church. We cannot continue watching the Lord’s house be infiltrated with those who have no intention of building the kingdom. I agree that church is in me and I work doing ministry outside of the walls. I love the Lord with all of my heart. I spent 10 years as Assistant Pastor is several different churches. Not one seemed to be growing in the Word of God. Have of the congregations could not defend the faith if their life depended on it. Most are simply going through the motion of being a Christian. A lot of Pastors are scared to preach the truth because they may lose members. I pray and ask God is this where you want me to be. It is time that we stop making excuses for the downsizing of the church and start preaching the gospel in Spirit and truth. Somebody is going to have to answer for the condition of the church of today. The Pastors need to get before God and pray for the courage to preach that message that causes men to cry out “What must I do to be saved.”
        Dr. Darrell Wright

    • Jonathan Parks on October 29, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Susan your comment is the worst of all.. you clearly don’t care that God is leading His people out of the false bride – most people who leave are not wounded – just awakened!

      • Susan Shelko on November 1, 2016 at 9:20 am

        Jonathan,
        A prayer for healing of those who have been wounded by organized religion, written out of love and compassion, is now an ugly thing? Really! You would impinge motives to me — a total stranger — that go far and above my simple words? Seriously!

        It sounds as if I hit a nerve. Yes, many are leaving because they see right through the corporate empires that are mistakenly called “churches.” If Jesus came back today, He and that whip he made would be turning over lots of tables. Awake, indeed!

        • holachica on November 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm

          It was patronizing Susan.

          • Susan Shelko on November 29, 2016 at 7:50 am

            Thank you for judging me.



    • Debra Fletcher on April 3, 2017 at 2:03 am

      I’m one of those afflicted ones.

  66. Mike on September 27, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I left the IC a year ago after attending and participating for 30 years. The leadership values the same things my employer values (big budgets, marketing to draw a group, lots of staff) and I already have a job. I see no difference between the IC and and any other 503C. But maybe that’s okay.

    I’ve been wondering if Christian Universalism is true. If it is then it’s absolutely fine for church to be a business. We all need to work and earn a living. I contribute to the world in my way and IC staff contributes in theirs.

    • Samalabear on January 10, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Not to mention I recent read an article elsewhere that mentions Carey Nieuwhof and his pricey packages. When I read the packages it was like reading an ad for a cruise package, or some other worldly venture, a consulting company to “up” the bottom line of a corporation. Sad, truly sad. Mr. Nieuwhof has a vested interest in writing an article like this, as he has a vested interest in the IC. It’s how he makes his living.

      • Carey Nieuwhof on January 11, 2017 at 7:40 am

        I’m sorry you feel this way Samalabear.

        Thank you for taking time to read the article and share your perspective.

        While I respect your opinion, I believe your perspective on how I make is living isn’t an accurate reflection of my reality. I actually had a career in law ahead of me and worked in law in downtown Toronto. I could have made a life and living outside of ministry. But I felt a call to serve God full time. The pay cut I took to enter ministry was significant.

        I also offer 99% of everything I do on this blog, the podcast and other things for free because I’m committed to giving back and building into leaders. I have five paid products (3 books and 2 courses). Everything else is free. And I have invested far more time in free resources to the wider church than paid resources.

        I do receive pay from my local church, as do all of our staff. Some people will always disagree with pastors receiving paychecks and ministry development resources having a fee, but I value you and every reader too much to not take a moment to explain why I do what I do. There are abuses for sure, and I hear that. But most leaders I know are working honestly and working hard to make a difference in the church and in the world.

        I would just say we’re all on the staff of the local church because we believe in the mission. We’re there because we want to be, not because we have to be.

        I hope this helps.

        Carey

        • Mike on January 12, 2017 at 2:17 am

          Great reply, Carey.

          I think for me that’s one of the reasons I had to leave the local church – I think I have a different mission.

          It seems to me the mission of the local churches I attended was to get people to join the church which entailed adhering to group think. My mission is to love people regardless of what organization they belong to or what their world view is.

          I just want to share moments of life with the people around me in the most authentic way possible. When I was in the local church gathering it never felt genuine. To me it always felt like we were there for ulterior motives. To one-up each other on showing how joy-filled we were. To learn strategies on how to direct conversations to Jesus. To remind ourselves how we were right and the world is wrong.

          In my mind church ought to look more like an AA meeting rather than a Tony Robins motivational seminar. Broken people exposing their brokenness in a safe environment.

          How would you answer the question why it’s important or healthy to be a part of a local church?

          • Carey Nieuwhof on January 12, 2017 at 6:20 am

            Hi Mike….

            Great to hear from you and thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think in many ways I agree with you. The church should be more like an AA meeting than a big seminar with motivational speakers (although I get called a motivational speaker all the time too…I think unchurched people don’t know what to call us…ha ha).

            I think some of my best reasons for being part of the local church are in the post above.

            But let me share one more. I just know who I am and how I am. When I’m alone, I don’t grow closer to God. I drift. It’s the power of being with other people who follow Jesus that draws me in. Further more, I think the Christian faith is an outward focused faith. I need something (and an experience) I can invite my friends into.

            Our church does such a great job with Starting Point, groups and other things that I couldn’t possible reproduce on my own. Plus people who don’t regularly go to church like our services a lot, which helps them come back and dig into faith.

            A healthy church is a group with forward motion and an outward focus. So I look for that in a church. And I think together we’re stronger and far more effective than we are on our own.

            Flawed? You bet. But then…those are the only people God uses…flawed people…because that’s all he has right now on this earth. Which is good news for me.

            Wish we were in the same city Mike. It would be good to meet you.

            Hope this helps.

            Carey



          • Mike on January 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

            Thanks for the reply, Carey!

            Actually what you’re saying is something that has me questioning where I fit in Christendom. Based on your response it sounds like you get energized by being around people and moving forward towards a goal. For me I get energized by getting alone and being still. For you Christianity is best experienced by focusing outwardly. For me Christianity is best experienced by focusing inwardly.

            I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read these books, but I found “Quiet” by Susan Cain and “Introverts in the Church” by Adam McHugh to be a breath of fresh air. These affirmed the very core of my being – that it’s okay and even important to be still. This is a much-needed message in a culture that’s addicted to social media (in my opinion).

            Growing up in a Pentecostal church I was raised to believe that my purpose is to live loudly for God and bring as many people as I could to church so they could get saved. I can still recall every youth group retreat I went on where they ended with a special commissioning and anointing for the kids who felt called into full time vocational ministry. What about the kids that felt called to work outside the church?

            Shortly before leaving the last church I attended I had coffee with the senior pastor. He told me that he has a calling on his life but not everyone does.

            Mic drop.

            With that in my past it’s very difficult for me to see the local church and the people that are paid to “serve” as anything but an ego-boost for the staff and a reminder to me that I don’t fit in.

            This is part of my journey and I’m trying my best to work through my emotional baggage.

            Do you have any advice on how to move forward with the local church? Has anyone on your staff at Connexus had similar experiences?

            Totally agree on wishing we could meet in person. I’ll look you up if I ever find myself in Barrie or Orillia. 🙂

            -Mike



          • Carey Nieuwhof on January 13, 2017 at 7:13 am

            Hey Mike,

            Thanks for the reply back.

            I get what you’re saying. Believe it or not, I’m also an introvert. And the older I get, the more introverted I am. I think I could stay in my house and never come out (wait, that’s a recluse…but I’m getting close).

            I think that’s exactly why I need to be part of a church. My life would be entirely me-focused, and the Christian faith isn’t. So it pushes me to reach out, to invest in others, to get real. Online relationships and friendships are selective, but in person you get the glorious mess that is reality. I need that.

            You don’t need to be at an over the top extroverts-only church, but I think there’s a movement of a church that is outward and uncomfortable and that’s healthy.

            Does this make sense?

            Thanks Mike.

            (We would get along in real life btw).

            Carey



          • Mike on January 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm

            Hi Carey!

            I think I get what you’re saying. What I’m hearing you say is that Christianity is a communal faith and there are certain aspects that cannot be lived in isolation, but must be experienced in community.

            There’s a quote from Frank Clark (a late 19th century American politician) that goes: “We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”

            I can agree that growing, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, is usually accompanied by some form of discomfort. Looking back on my past church experiences I’m not sure the discomfort I experienced was healthy.

            It seems to me Christianity (at least American Christianity) is not so much about growth as it is about conformity or silencing disagreement. It seems many Christians do not work out their salvation with “fear and trembling,” but with “fear of listening to other opinions.”

            That’s the only reason I can think of for denominationalism, statements of faith, and the Sunday-morning, staff-led service. By restricting the congregational meeting to a fixed set of propositional truths and then using the tops-down authority of clergy and the Sunday-morning, voice-from-the-stage lecture to enforce it I think church actually restricts growth rather promotes it.

            If I may ask, why is it so important to you personally that the church be outward-focused? What is it that drives you to see the institutional church succeed?

            -Mike

            (Ya, I think we would get along as well 🙂 )



          • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2017 at 7:12 am

            Mike…your thoughtfulness is refreshing. Love the Frank Clark quote.

            The outward thrust of the mission of the church to me is just 100% biblical. If you read John 3:16 and 17, you see that God loves the world. The journey through Acts shows that the movement of the church was outward to all peoples. Paul gave his life reaching people far from God. Even the Old Testament points to a time when salvation would extend beyond Israel.

            It is for sure to grow deeper in Christ, but part of growing deeper comes from sharing.

            I sense you’ve had some bad experiences with church…conformity, silencing of different views. I hear that. And that’s truly too bad.

            I know that generosity makes me a better disciple (and person) than greed. That serving others is better than being served. Those are outward focused disciplines.

            So those are some of the reasons I see the church as outward focused.

            Hope this helps!

            Carey



          • Mike on January 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm

            Thanks Carey!

            To answer your question, yes, I had a rough couple of years at my last church with the senior pastor and staff which led to me struggling with depression and one suicide attempt. Prior to that I was very involved in volunteering in worship, Bible studies and community outreach.

            There’s definitely emotional baggage and trauma I’ve had to work through and it’s hard to not paint that experience broadly across all pastors and institutional churches. I genuinely am trying to remove my personal experience and look at things outside my emotions. BTW, thanks for conversing with over this medium; you’re helping to heal my view of pastors. 🙂

            On conclusion I’ve come to is that the traditional Sunday morning service where people show up and passively sit while the musicians and lecturers create a performance doesn’t seem to help in deepening one’s faith, or at least not for all people.

            I could be wrong but for me hearing the same material preached again and again seems to discourage critical thinking in favor of rote repetition (i.e. if you say something enough times it becomes true).

            Do you see the Sunday morning corporate worship and sermon as necessary for the Christian faith? Should it be given the prominent place in the community as it appears to have today? And should preaching always be done be pastors?

            Thanks again for hanging on this thread. Hope it helps others that may read it later.

            -Mike



          • Carey Nieuwhof on January 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm

            Hey Mike,

            Sorry to hear about the hurt. I think working through the emotional hurt and trauma will be key. Sometimes we have a hard time exploring new options because the old isn’t resolved. Instead of advancing, we retreat. This happens in relationships (I’m done with men/women) careers (I’m never working for anyone else again) and in life (who needs friends?).

            I think public gathering is essential to the Christian experience. You can’t escape it as a biblical or historical practice. The church has never done without it. And when it’s been most effective, it’s been open to outsiders as well (read 1 Corinthians 14 among others). So to position it as a private individual thing that’s closed to believers is not at all what Christianity has been about, and it’s not what has made it thrive.

            I hope this helps! And I hope you find some experience that really renews and restores your hope.

            Carey



          • Lynn on July 24, 2017 at 4:38 pm

            I appreciate your comments here, Mike. I totally relate on the topic of introversion. A few weeks ago I left a church where I had spent 3-1/2 years. I did my best to get involved and be useful, but it was as though I was invisible, and when I *was* noticed I was told ‘no’ about using any of my gifts. I mentioned to the pastor that I’m an introvert and he said, “I was too, but Jesus healed me of it.” (?) When I left I tried to express a valid enough reason for moving on to please the leadership, while still being authentic of course, but apparently I wasn’t very convincing. A few sermons later the topic (I listened online) was listing all the lame excuses people use to leave church, and that there are supposedly only two valid ones: unScriptural teaching, or serious sin on the part of leadership. What I couldn’t bring myself to say was that I don’t think I have enough time left in my life to waste any more of it w-a-i-t-i-n-g for my church to let me (a woman) participate in the work of the ministry, something I know God wants me to do. My sad story has a happy ending, though. I have already found I church I believe is a much better fit, and am very thankful God gave me the courage to keep looking until I found it. <3



        • Stephen Servant on April 23, 2017 at 9:57 pm

          What ever you need to tell yourself Carey. In fact you’re still a lawyer but instead of civil law, you now practice religious law. Either way, it’s still anti-christ.
          As for how you’re paid and how your religious business operates, a simple search on cra charity lostings will enlighten people as to how connexus is run. Nice try though.

  67. Ali on September 26, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    There is much discussion on the current model of church worldwide. There are many reasons while strong believers depart Churchianity and Christianity. The Early Church is a believer’s role model and the current system is a far cry from this -thanks in part to Constantine who introduced the clergy/laity levels, introduced church buildings and pagan worship. But it was not so with the Early Church -the Holy Spirit was in charge and the Apostles did not ‘laud’ it over believers, but taught them to access the Holy Spirit for themselves -every person contributed in their gatherings and were enabled to hear from the Holy Spirit, as they participated and encouraged each other. Today’s church system is littered with error, false doctrines, false movements, false musical entertainment, witchcraft, New Age practices, hierarchical control and abuse of power, CEO agendas, lack of love, lack of community involvement, and the list is endless. When we do not build our worship and our gatherings on the basis of Scripture (Early Church) then the devil has every legal right to come into the midst, cause havoc and scatter the flock. In the books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah you will see what God says about those ‘shepherds’ who destroy His work. History repeats itself. So for the most part, a large % of churches in USA particularly, are not (spiritually) safe for true believers, and if people try to change/offer constructive advice, they are persecuted just like the prophets of old -why -because they are coming up against those strong religious spirits -same ones who killed Steven and Jesus and many others. Yes those religious spirits are spirits of murder. God says come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing -from a church system fornicating with the world and other spirits. Apostasy of this system will increase as the end times moves forward and we will see the false church system enter in to become the one world false religion -it is already happening in USA. Look who buddies up with who! But those who love Jesus, those who refuse to compromise His truth and contend for the faith, He will become their Shepherd. (My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me). If we listen to Him he will lead us to those green pastures, maybe with other like minded believers in a house, a cafe, a backpacker, a desert abode, or wherever. God supplied manna for the children of Israel in the desert – and God is the same person today so He will provide our manna to those who refuse to compromise their faith for a false religion and church system. They will go on to do great things because it is God we serve not the institution of a church system under a false religion. We serve Jesus first and foremost and we listen daily to his HS, as he tells us what to do, where to go and opens up divine opportunities for us to further the Gospel of Christ. God showed me early in my faith the error of such a system, and set me free – free to travel to 190 nations of the world to tell people about Jesus, free to be a light in dark places, free to receive similar fellowship when He chose to send it to me, free to receive His encouragement, healing and deliverance when necessary. The odd time over the last 35 years that I went into a church building or environment -I could almost touch the religious spirits tangibly. Churches operate today as financial businesses -BUT the Early Church operated in supernatural way -because God was their provision, their hope, their faith, their light and love. God is not mocked -He knows what is going on -and His judgment will come…………….meanwhile we continue to work diligently in hand with the Holy Spirit, and bloom wherever we are planted for Him. Churches have overstepped their mark -they have made themselves and their systems as ‘gods’. They serve themselves and inhibit true believers from serving Jesus. It is the modern day Babylonian capitivity of God’s people. Come out of Babylon and reside with Jesus. Not Egypt, not Babylon -but in the palm of God’s hand – we have been engraved on His palms. Let us not forget that price.

    • A Amos Love on September 27, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Ali

      Much agreement…
      “But it was NOT SO so with the Early Church
      **-the Holy Spirit was in charge**
      and the Apostles did not ‘laud’ it over believers,
      but taught them to access the Holy Spirit for themselves
      **-every person contributed in their gatherings**
      and were enabled to hear from the Holy Spirit,
      as they participated and encouraged each other.”

      Seems, in the Bible, when believers, sons of God, gathered…
      They were “Led” By the Spirit. Rom 8:14…
      They were”Taught” By the Spirit. John 14:26
      And, ALL were able to, and expected to, Participate.

      1 Cor 14:26 KJV
      How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
      every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
      hath a tongue, hath a revelation,
      hath an interpretation.
      Let all things be done unto edifying.

      In the early gatherings…
      Being the Body of Christ…
      Was NOT a “Spectator Sport.”

      In the early gatherings…
      Being the Body of Christ…
      Was to be a “Participation Sport.”
      ———-

      Jer 50:6
      “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
      **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*
      1 Pet 2:25

      For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
      BUT are now returned to
      the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

      {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

      • Ali on September 27, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        Thanks Amos. So true. I love the last paragraph – back to our Shepherd -the Bishop of our Souls. Interesting what we see in Govt circles are the import of ‘career politicians” -gone are the days when good men(women) fought for the good of their nation. Now politicians see it as a notch on their CV or career ladder. The church system has similarly applied these rules -whereas The Early Church did not operate this way -some even died for Jesus. Not a career, that a ‘climbing the ladder’ person would take up I think. Interesting with the debacle going on in USA -when a nation (and its church system more importantly), turns away from God and embraces false ‘gods’ of worship, God gives that nation over -period. One way God does that is by giving them the ‘leaders they deserve’ -ruthless leaders who are not there for the benefit of the general populace. So that whole nation goes into captivity. This may well be the direction USA is heading -if the church across the board stops its fornicating and repents -then there could be a turn around. If you look at many of the nations that have dictators -what God/gods do they worship?
        In ancient times the children of Israel suffered much ‘because they went whoring after false gods. And they subsequently went into some form of captivity. God is never mocked in these instances. The good thing is -that He still looks after His own true followers in those contexts. If you go onto websites (church deception/cult watch/etc) there are lists of ministries in USA to avoid because their practices do not match scripture. One would be very surprised at the HUGE number and who is on it. We are told to be ‘aware’ in these days, and even the very elect could be foiled. We know that false teachers and false prophets will abound in the last days- these WS lists bare witness to such a prophetic statement. God bless.

        • RickyT on November 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

          Wow you know you have a point. It is all interesting to see how leadership is put into place by what is going on in that part of the World. Much like how it is here now and it is so unsafe anymore to even speak at events and give opinions. It is obvious that our choice of leadership is not going to be the best and may very well be a sign for our nation to see were we are heading and who we can trust to turn back to. (Jesus) May the Lord have mercy on us all.

  68. CDB on September 25, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I grew up in the church and my father was a pastor. He set a high
    standard as a pastor working a full time job, going on visitation in the
    evening, as well as preaching and counseling. He literally worked
    himself to death out of love for the church of Jesus. The only person I’m aware of that came close to his dedication and sacrifice in my time is David Wilkerson. Humble, loving, sacrificial servants of God.

    I did not leave the modern churches because I couldn’t deal with the differences and flaws of believers. I left the church because the world is in the church. How can you live separate from the world when the churches are so full of the world being so caught up in worldly endeavors and motivations? Over the years I’ve watched the decline of the secular churches which has not a thing to do with attendance. The decline is a moral, spiritual decline. I left to separate myself from
    the world, take up my cross,and follow Jesus.

    The assembling of ourselves together was for the encouragement of believers, building the faith of believers, caring for other believers in need, and to pray and
    worship with other believers corporately. In other words the church was for the
    believers. It was never intended to draw and entertain or make feel welcome unbelievers. There used to be churches so full of the presence of God in His believers that an unbeliever would feel convicted of his sins just by sitting there. Today the most wicked, unrepentant sinner can sit through a church service without the slightest twinge of conviction. If you can answer why that is, then you’ll know the real reason believers are leaving the churches.

    The truth is the secular churches are just that – secular as they try to stay “relevant” to a fallen society which has one need – the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Doing good things and good works is not exclusive to the churches and many
    wicked organizations and people do the same. Saying the organized church has done good things in no way counters the corruption of the original intent of gathering together as believers.

    Leaving the secular churches was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I
    sacrificed friendships, family relationships, and a familiar culture when I left. But, I couldn’t conform myself to churches that refused to conform to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If my father were still alive today, he’d be heartbroken at the condition of the churches in this country just as I have been. The secular churches have a form of godliness that denies the power thereof and from such we are to turn away. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation..

    You can blame the believers that left on grounds of their Christian faith
    and cast aspersions on their devotion and faith all you want but it doesn’t change the true reasons it’s happening. It was when I came out of the church that I fell wholly on the Holy Spirit and the reliability of the scriptures. There is nobody and nothing else that can keep you in the truth. The sad thing is, that was true all along but I’d been relying on someone else to tell me the truth instead of seeking it for myself from the scriptures and Holy Spirit.

    It’s been 14 years now and I watch as what is called churches grow darker and darker as they welcome the world in to fill their pews. I believe there are still some lights in those churches but when they are all finally brought out, there will
    just be darkness. Judgment starts first with the house of God.

    The decline of the secular church is sad but I know Jesus is the head of His true church and the church that He builds is eternal and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. We don’t need more churches. We need Jesus Christ in more churches.

    The gates of hell have been advancing on churches and prevailing as all manner of ungodliness is accepted, defended and applauded as if it’s love to let a sinner remain in their sins. Christ is not obligated to carry on with what He started if it is in deliberate rebellion to His Gospel and has spurned His leadership. He warns and then simply removes the candle stick. He does no obligate His believers to carry on with what has been wrested from Him and His authority either. Where two or three are gathered there will He be also.

    • Mike McLain on October 23, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks for this. Very well written and heart-felt. I’m out 3 years now.

    • holachica on November 28, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      wow i agree. I left he church also because I realized there was no line between the church and the world now. I might as well be in the world and following Christ if I am going to get watered down sermons and be told what to give, what to sing, what to think, what to say…

      All without a single reference to the bible.

    • brent on March 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      You may be right, and I may be crazy– but those secular churches are just some of the churches in this great land. Perhaps you have not seen some of the great Bible believing churches that exist out here in the west. Perhaps you need to visit some of the places that are not mega-church size, and actually teach the Bible. I don’t know where your experience has been and in no way to I judge you from afar. Just saying, we have many great churches and not all are as you have experienced. Hope you find a Jesus centered group to grow with.

  69. CDB on September 25, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I grew up in the church and my father was a pastor. He set a high standard as a pastor working a full time job, going on visitation in the evening, as well as preaching and counseling. He literally worked himself to death out of love for the
    church of Jesus. The only person I’m aware of that came close to his
    dedication and sacrifice is David Wilkerson. Humble, loving, sacrificial servants of God.

    I did not leave the modern churches because I couldn’t deal with the differences and flaws of believers. I left the church because the world is in the church. How can you live separate from the world when the churches are so full of the world being so caught up in worldly endeavors and motivations? Over the years I’ve watched the decline of the secular churches which has not a thing to do with attendance. The decline is a moral, spiritual decline. I left to separate myself from the world, take up my cross,and follow Jesus.

    The assembling of ourselves together was for the encouragement of believers, building the faith of believers, caring for other believers in need, and to pray and
    worship with other believers corporately. In other words the church was for the believers. It was never intended to draw and entertain or make feel welcome unbelievers. There used to be churches so full of the presence of God in His believers that an unbeliever would feel convicted of his sins just by sitting there. Today the most wicked, unrepentant sinner can sit through a church service without the slightest twinge of conviction. If you can answer why that is, then you’ll know the real reason believers are leaving the churches.

    The truth is the secular churches are just that – secular as they try to stay “relevant” to a fallen society which has one need – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Doing good things and good works is not exclusive to the churches and many
    wicked organizations and people do the same. Saying the organized church has done good things in no way counters the corruption of the original intent of gathering together as believers.

    Leaving the secular churches was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I sacrificed friendships, family relationships, and a familiar culture when I left. But, I couldn’t conform myself to churches that refused to conform to the Gospel of
    Jesus Christ. If my father were still alive today, he’d be heartbroken at the condition of the churches in this country just as I have been. The secular churches have a form of godliness that denies the power thereof and from such we are to turn away. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation..

    You can blame the believers that left on grounds of their Christian faith and cast aspersions on their devotion and faith all you want but it doesn’t change the true
    reasons it’s happening. It was when I came out of the church that I fell wholly on the Holy Spirit and the reliability of the scriptures. There is nobody and nothing else that can keep you in the truth. The sad thing is, that was true all along. I found the faith required much more sacrifice than sitting in church on Sundays.

    It’s been 14 years now and I watch aswhat is called church grow darker and darker. I believe there are still some lights in those churches but when they are all finally brought out, there will just be darkness. Judgment starts first
    with the house of God.

    The decline of the secular church is sad but I know Jesus is the head of His true church and the church that He builds is eternal and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. We don’t need more churches. We need Jesus Christ in
    more churches. If the gates of hell are prevailing against the churches, which they definitely are, it’s because they’re not Christ’s churches. Christ is not obligated to carry on with what He started if it is in deliberate rebellion of His Gospel. He warns and then simply removes the candle stick. He does not obligate His believers to assemble where He is not present either.

  70. CDB on September 25, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I left the church because the world is in the church. How can you live
    separate from the world when the churches are so full of the world being
    so caught up in worldly endeavors and motivations? The assembling of
    ourselves together was for the encouragement of believers, building the faith of
    believers, caring for other believers in need, and to pray and worship with other believers corporately. In other words the church was for the believers. It was never intended to draw and entertain or
    make feel welcome unbelievers.There used to be churches so full of the
    presence of God that an unbeliever would feel convicted of his sins just by sitting there. Today the most wicked, unrepentant sinner can sit through a church
    service without the slightest twinge of conviction. If you can answer
    why that is, then you’ll know the real reason believers are leaving the
    churches.The truth is the secular churches are just that – secular as they try to stay “relevant” to a fallen society which has one need – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Doing good things and good works is not exclusive to the churches and in no way counters the corruption of the original intent of gathering together as believers. I did not leave the modern churches because I couldn’t deal
    with the differences and flaws of believers. I left to separate myself
    from the world, take up my cross, and follow Jesus. You think believers that left the secular churches to follow Jesus didn’t do so understanding they were leaving an entire culture, family, and friends? It was one of the hardest things I ever did but I couldn’t conform myself to the churches that refused to conform themselves to the Gospel. Most churches have a form of godliness that denies that power thereof. The Gospel of Jesus Christs is the power of God unto salvation. You can blame the believers that left on grounds of their Christian faith and cast aspersions on their devotion and faith all you want but it doesn’t change the true reasons it’s happening. Jesus is the head
    of His church and the church that He builds is eternal and the gates of
    hell cannot prevail against it. We don’t need more churches. We need
    Jesus Christ in more churches.

  71. Kougetsu Barakage on September 14, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    “But as trendy as the idea of writing off the church may be, it’s a mistake.”

    It’s not a mistake. This idea that the church is some institution is the problem and why people are leaving. The church IS the Body of Christ. It doesn’t fit into a building or a program or your idea of a flock. You can’t contain it because it is led by the Holy Spirit of God. It doesn’t belong to Sunday services and ‘fake love’.

    It doesn’t belong to the promises of comfortable chairs, comfortable living, and comfortable words. It is TIRED of watching people in buildings living lies. It is TIRED of pastors bowing down to unrighteous government, to sensational entertainment, to YOUR IDEA OF A CAREER. It is TIRED of being ignored while you put people up on stage that buy into your system and refuse to ROCK THE BOAT. The only reason why a REAL Christian needs to be at YOUR CHURCH is to minister to someone that YOU CAN’T REACH…and that person might even be yourself! Don’t forget that Jesus himself turned over the money tables….its seems like some things never change. We who actually follow Christ are TIRED of you exploiting people who want to believe…TIRED of your messages that scratch ‘itching ears’….TIRED of a pastor who leads a culture that doesn’t really care about anyone but themselves, at all…

  72. shelley on September 10, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Well I left church because of it’s contradictions. it’s need to continue in rituals that are supposed to make one more “spiritual” I am not against anyone who wants to be baptized in water or wants to take communion or wants to tithe or wants to wash another’s feet. These are carnal ordinances and we are under the law of the Spirit of life. Jesus said “the flesh profits nothing” So who you going to believe?

  73. Larry on August 28, 2016 at 10:34 am

    That so many people are commenting shows how important this topic is! God, help us listen to each other with love and be directed by You.

    I think we must remember a few things here. First, Jesus, in a pretty real way, left a ‘church’ that was led by Pharisee-types. (This was a Spirit-filled move, of course, not some “Oh, I’m bored” kinda decision.) He left a church that was very organized, where “leaders” went around telling people what church was supposed to be, making long prayers in public, loving their nice clothes, etc.

    Then, Jesus set up the new church. Hopefully you all know the story. His church, after he left, didn’t have a weekly sermon, a rock band, big stage lights, etc. But what they did have was given to them, by God, and they shared it all. And they had the Holy Spirit. And I doubt that any of them feared that people were “leaving the church,” as the church then was so seductive (and I mean that in a Holy way) that people came in masses, lived as what we ‘mericans would call communists, and devoted themselves to the brother (and sister)-hood, to the word, and, well, just read Acts 2:42, interestingly the picture was painted again for us in Acts 4.

    I read the New Testament for myself and began to try and follow Christ. It wasn’t because of modern ‘merican church. God’s church in the New Testament was so revolutionary, and loving at the same time- I couldn’t not want to follow. But then I began going to church, and many of us share in the kinds of experiences that follow. My story, in short, is this: A church that my family went to for years were mis-handling money; taking way more for paychecks than what was being accounted for. My poor mother tithed to this church quite faithfully, all to go in to buying the pastor a boat! Well, I know that we all sin, so I tried to go directly to the pastor to talk about this, and he’d have none of it. So I quit going then. And I wasn’t super angry. Most churches, maybe not to the same extreme, are set up like this – poorer people come and tithe, and the pastors live very middle class lives. What difference is a boat?!

    It’s not an “Oh the church isn’t perfect,” kinda thing for many people. It’s a “Where’s the real discussion? And accountability?” kinda thing. Remember, the early church wasn’t started by anyone with pedigree. These were just common people who God chose.

    I left the church the first time I was seriously frustrated by it. This time, ironically, I’m taking the writer’s last piece of advice – which, by the way, seemed like it was written in a snarky tone. Like, “I bet you won’t do this!” Well, that’s our model as a church – what’s found in the Bible. Maybe there’s a reason for that being our model. After all Christ said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” That wasn’t, “You should talk about me, but set up a business in the meantime. (and Make people sign up for three channels to have a conversation on your blog).” 🙂

  74. Craig Pennell on August 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I agree with some of where the writer is coming from, we are the body…but what is needed now for “the Church”, not your church, my church, their church, but “The Church”, is for Spirit-filled, Jesus-loving believers like Carey, to stop worrying about getting people into church, and start doing the kingdom work we are meant to do.

    A church meeting can never fill the need each and every one of us has for relationship with the Father.

    If you haven’t read “So you don’t want to go to church anymore”, get a copy, it’s free to download.

  75. Paul Cummings on August 15, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Great blog Carey – you are so right in so many ways. We truly have to get back to the idea that we are the church. The bricks and mortar are just a place for the church to gather. Yes, many churches have rules that people don’t like. Many churches are hungry for money – mostly to sustain the bricks and mortar but also, to pay the pastors and staff, who are the ones building discipleship within the body we call “the Church”. But thinking about the rules and roles and the need to finance discipleship, the church also, as you say is a community of Jesus seekers. To hear a great sermon that gives you that “ah ha” moment, to really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit during a great worship session can’t always be found without a community seeking the same. A group of people, praying in agreement, worshipping in agreement and learning, in agreement is what is missing. That, I believe is where we need to be headed as “the church”.

  76. Miguel on August 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    The church is both ontological and functional. It is both what it does and who it is. For the most part, ‘The Dones’ are ridding themselves from what it (the church) purports to and doesn’t, so they can actually do what it’s suppose to do.

    There is more genuine discipleship being done by the dones who leave ‘church’ than the do’s who stay in church and focus the bulk of their resources, money, time, people, and energy, in sustaining their non-disciple-making ‘organizations.’

    In a recent pole, of church attendees, less than 20% said that they have shared their faith with another person in the past year. When asked if they ‘evangelized’ anyone that number drops to 11%. When asked if they think they have made a disciple in the past year, that number drops to less than 3%.

    The dones are leaving fruitless ecclesiastical systems for Spirit driven fruitful mission. They are the ones who are actually making disciples of Jesus. They are not gathering to gather. They gather to scatter and then gather again on the way. Church happens when disciples are made. They gather naturally, or shall we say supernaturally.

    I am not speaking philosophically or ideologically. I speak from over 10 years of experience on the mission field in one of the most diverse parts of the planet. I have seen over a dozen generations of disciples made in 7 years and a retention rate of over 90%. They gather in an inordinate number of different ways, some traditional, and others like you would have never imagined.

    The church doesn’t have a mission, the mission (God’s mission), has a church. In that sense we are a people. if disciples aren’t being made and most church growth happens by simply moving people around, then THAT is not the church.

    The strength of any local gathering is proven by its disciple making. No disciples? No Church!

    As to organization, there are a myriad of different levels on which a local ekklesia can be organized. In truth, I have seen both churches with great organization and no mission and churches with very little organization making great advances in the Kingdom.

    As a missionary, I have seen countless good mission ventures killed by trying to ‘plant a church.’ There are a number of things that can kill a good mission, but church is the number one perpetrator. At least ‘church’ as understood in its traditional sense.

    I am a missionary. I am also a ‘done.’ But that doesn’t mean that I don’t gather often, or stay on task, or rebel against authority, or dismiss structure when it’s advantageous to the call of Christ. it just means that I am done with all systems, programs, church services, sermons, and the like that are robbing resources from the Great commission to make sure that they’re around next week.

    Most churches designate between 3-8% of their income towards mission and over 90% in self-sustination. These things ought not be so.

    • Mike McLain on October 30, 2016 at 7:18 am

      Yes. Amen. All things to all people. Spirit-led, disciple-filled gatherings.

  77. Vaughn Bender on August 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    In the Christian community, I am tired of Christian cliches, Tired of Christian lingo, Tired of false ideas of what Christians should portray to the world, False holiness that puts the mark so far out front … you will never attain it. Focus is on giving, attendance, much of what is portrayed in church is outwardly, not inwardly first. I am so tired of the phrase, Sunday I “got to church”. The world laughs at Christians today. We are commanded … all Christians to make disciples, it is not a program it is a daily task each of us are given in the place God has us, and slowly we build the church one individual at a time. In our world Today we have incorporated the world into our circle … it is performance based, results based that, money based, what looks good. Yes, I am done with this fake system and so is the world, we are a joke!

    • RickyT on November 6, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Well as I can understand you issue you have on how the Church organization runs. But you have to live your personal life through Christ. Do not try and live it out by being like others. So if you are a true Christian and I will not state either or or as it is not for me to judge but you have to believe the Word of God and that is the Holy Bible. There are many Scriptures that tell us to teach the Word of God to others and to pray to the Heavenly Father. So as I can understand that some of the process seems wrong, the intention is not. So keep reading Scripture and pray, and as Jesus promises us, you will be answered but also remember it may not be what you expect. God Bless

      • Vaughn Bender on February 28, 2017 at 12:16 am

        What is a “true Christian”? Again is that a Christian phrase? I would suspenct one would say are you a follower of Christ? Is your eternal hope found in Christs promise? John 6:47. As well … Actually we are commanded to Disciple others, Share the Good new of Hope that is found in Jesus Christ. That pretty much sums it up. Another way to say it, We are to share the hope that lies within us, and …..God (Abba Father) loves us just as we are and not as we should be because we will never be as we should be this side of heaven.

  78. Paul Carter on August 13, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Well said Carey. Bless you brother. 🙂

    • Carey Nieuwhof on August 13, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Paul…thanks so much. Appreciate all you and your church are doing to advance the Gospel in Orillia and beyond.

  79. Greg Topper on June 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    This is written by another author that just doen’t understand the motivation behind those that are through with institutional religion. Dones didn’t quit because they are judging others they didn’t quit because they don’t measure up to the Done’s expectations.They want to live as Christians daily with their brothers and sisters in Christ. We want to do tbe Christian life together. We don’t want to fellowship week in and week out with the back of someone’s head in the pew in front of us and call that fellowship. We are tired of the superficial. We want meaning! If going to an institutional religious gathering called church is something you are draw to by the Lord, then go with our love. We won’t judge you,

    From the tone of the article, it doesn’t seem that dones are the judges. This is one of the attitudes that has many of us determined not to walk back into a religious institute again. Your article makes the Done’s point marvelously. Instead of turning your sword on a brother or sister in Christ because we don’t agree.on every theological point, maybe it’s time to engage the destructive enemy of all men’s souls. When I used to go to bars, I found better acceptance than in most churches I walked in after the Lord showed mercy to me and birthed me from above. Just my thoughts. I doubt it will make a difference. Those that are right are always right.

  80. jozie on June 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve listened to allot of the discussion here and I’m deeply troubled within my heart…the church today is nothing what Christ intended it to be we just don’t have enough courageous leaders and followers to stand up for the truth. The truth does sting but as we bare it we become shaped in the potters image. Who today wants to relinquish his own will and agendai for God’s?? None! That, reader, is the whole summed up, in a nut shell, reason why people are leaving…how can we (pastors/leaders/special members/rich/cliques/etc, come to the end of ourselves and give back authority to the one who died for us…We have left our first love and sought money, prestige, fame, popularity and the like instead of returning to our first love, Christ! Until there is a turn in the way these powerful people run church, we will never see the love and charity of the apostles and early church…what we need, sadly, is persecution like China or North Korea, where they must hide to worship…I would bet my life that these bodies have the love of Christ and have come to the end of themselves…it’s the giving up of our possessions, greed and selfish motives to coming to the awareness that we have already been given our great reward…our salvation…now what preacher today is preaching this? None! but you can count on the passing of the plate even more then the observing of our Lord’s body and blood….that packs a punch for me…and in the 30+ years I’ve been a believer and follower of the way….I have never seen the love and charity consistently played out for the people…but I have witnessed the exhorbant greed and entitlements and those warped ones twisting the scriptures to meet their demands so that they can live the lifestyle they desire…they will have to give an account one day..so let’s focus and point this debate where it needs to be pointed too….the bad conduct and behavior of the leaders/pastors of the churches who could care less for your soul and more about their wallets and houses and boats, cars, trips, and excessive entitlements they say the Scriptures reveal they deserve…I’m disgusted and appalled at it all …. this is why genuine authentic born again Christians are leaving…but, and i can only speak for me, it is very painful and heartbreaking to leave and to be left alone at home craving and desiring fellowship with like-minded bros and sis’s…but where are they? I long for the pastors and leaders to repent and do the work Christ intended…what a glorious day that would be when a rush of people begin gravitating back to the true church as the Holy Spirit is poured out among the people…I’m afraid it’s going to take a persecution to shake us to the point of waking up!!

    • Mike McLain on October 30, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Amen! Well said. I feel your pain!

    • JWinter777 on February 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      I agree with you a 100% Persecution of the likes we have never seen, will separate the real believer and the phony. Well said Jozie.

  81. chaizydain on June 4, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Organizations, especially ones that bring in big $$$, don’t change unless they are threatened. They don’t change even when the agent for change is within and working towards change.

    While I am not a fan of the Catholic church, the loss of parishioners, and thereby the loss of $$$, has forced change. Including electing the most radical agent for change that organization has seen in some 60 or so years. The Catholic church was becoming very out of step with its membership, but could not accept that it was on life support without fundamental change. The election of Pope Benedict XVI, a staunch wall for “tradition,” was the recent church’s attempt to head off that change. It didn’t work, and for the first time in nearly 600 years, a living Pope was forced to resign. IN this instance to a radically different voice. One might say a voice closer to that of Jesus’.

    That Millennials are un-churched in increasing numbers is probably not a good thing, for the Church or for them. However, Millennials have a different world view than their parents and grandparents. “Tradition” is no longer good enough, and a Church that stands by “because we have always done it this way” is destined to die.

    If the Church is listening, the Church will change to meet the needs of the body. You suggest collective ownership of property…which churches have adopted such ideals? You suggest meeting in community daily, which churches have adopted such ideals? If the Church expects people to return, to weekend worship, to regular attendance, to new “modern” expressions of faith, its going to have to lead the change.

    Actual Love will have to be shown, not wrapping paper love. If the Church needs to have the gangrenous parts fall away, the hypocrites who would stab you in the back while offering a hug of friendship, so be it. The Church will survive, how can it not. (I was driven away from the Church for over a decade by exactly such hypocrites. At the exact moment when I needed the support of my Church community more than any other time in my life, I was shunned and blamed…for having a medical malady…and accused of being too “un-Godly” or I would not be suffering. It took me a full 10 years to accept that those people were the un-Godly, not I.)

    • matt on November 10, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      WHAT WE HAVE HERE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IS WHAT I’VE HEARD SOMEONE CALL” MAN CHURCHES “.. THEY HAVE NO DIRECTION OR GUIDANCE FROM THE HOLLY SPIRIT AND ARE LEAD BY MEN. ( 2 TIM 3:5) THEY HAVE A FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENY ITS POWER.

      I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS POST THAT IT’S VERY VERY TRUE THESE DAYS MOST “CHURCHES” ARE BIG BUSINESS!! PAID STAFF MEMBERS ON PAYROLL. NOT TO MENTION THE TAX BREAKS THESE PEOPLE GET, AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE MILLIONS THEY MAKE OFF OF BOOKS, SHIRTS, ETC.. (2 PETER 2:3) THEY WILL MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU.

      IF GOD OPENS SOMEONES EYES TO THE GREED OR DECEPTION GOING ON WITHIN A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE CAN YOU HONESTLY CALL WALKING AWAY A MISTAKE??

      I AGREE WITH THE BIBLE THAT WE SHOULDN’T FORSAKE GATHERING TOGETHER WITH OTHER BELIEVERS(HEBREW 10:25)

      AT THE SAME TIME THE BIBLE CALLS US TO BE SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD (2 CORINTHIANS 6:7) NOT TO BE INFLUENCED BY IT!!

      LETS BE REALISTIC THESE DAYS THE WORLD INFLUENCES MOST OF THE CHURCHES, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND..THE WORLD HAS ITS OWN RELIGIOUS SYSTEM AND ITS MOSTLY WHAT WE HAVE AROUND US… ITS CONTROLLED… AND ITS NOT FROM GOD..

      2 CORINTHIANS 11 WARNS US THAT THERE WILL BE FALSE APOSTLES, DECEITFUL WORKERS, ETC

      2 THESSALONIANS 2 TALKS ABOUT ” THE FALLING AWAY”. I SURE SEE IT HAPPENING ….

      AGAIN AND AGAIN WE ARE WARNED…BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT SATAN WILL APPEAR AS LIGHT AND IF POSSIBLE EVEN DECEIVE THE ELECT. WE ARE LIVING IN TIMES OF GREAT DECEPTION,APOSTASY,GREED, ETC..

      MAYBE PART OF REASON PEOPLE ARE WALKING AWAY IS BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THEY WERE BEING DECEIVED…. SPEAKING FOR MYSELF THAT’S WHY I STOPPED GOING… AM I SAYING THAT EVERY GATHERING THAT I WENT TO WAS CORRUPT AND I STOPPED GOING? OF COURSE NOT!!! I’VE BEEN TO SOME SPIRIT FILLED GATHERINGS/MEETINGS…BUT BEING THAT I MOVE AROUND A LOT I WASN’T ABLE TO STAY WHERE THE GETTING WAS GOOD, LOL..

      WHERE I AM NOW, I’VE TRIED 4 OR 5 DIFFERENT PLACES AND I DON’T FEEL BAD SAYING THAT ME AND MY FAMILY DO NOT ATTEND..

      I BELIEVE THAT THERE STILL IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE LEGIT BODY OF CHRIST, WHERE PEOPLE ARE UNDIVIDED, OF THE SAME MIND,SAME DOCTRINES…

      I’LL END BY SAYING JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE WALK AWAY FROM A BAD SITUATION OR A FAULTY SYSTEM DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE WALKING AWAY FROM GOD OR THE BODY OF BELIEVERS..IF ANYTHING ME PERSONALLY I WALKED AWAY FROM THE WORLDLY SYSTEM AND HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO FIND A BIBLE FOLLOWING GROUP AROUND ME, SO I CANT BLAME PEOPLE FOR HAVING THERE OWN GATHERINGS ETC… WE LIVE IN HORRIBLE TIMES FOLKS..DON’T JUDGE PEOPLE FOR IT

    • jozie on February 5, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Hear hear, I concur…it happened to me as well

  82. Debra Parnell Reed on June 2, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Right now, I see too much of the world in the church and too much organized religion. Much of the time people get pumped up at church, only to resolve to their weekly ways before the next service. What should be happening is the church should be ministering outside the walls of the church. You can’t just wait til church to minister to someone. There’s too many hurting people on the outside, who don’t go to church because it looks and acts too much like the world. Where is the authentic church? It’s where we feed the hungry, clothe the naked and give drink to the thirsty.

  83. Concerned Mama on June 2, 2016 at 12:00 am

    There are so many more reasons to walk away from a church than what has been stated in this article. This article makes it seem like people leave the church for selfish reasons only.

    I walked away from the church I was attending for over 2 years. Every week I walked in, the worship was great, the music was great, the sermons were good, but at the end, as I gathered up my things and headed to the exit, not one person would greet me, not one person would talk to me, and I doubt if many even knew my name.

    I left feeling disconnected and lonelier than ever. Why? Because I observed everyone gathering into their little cliques as soon as service was over. There were the young wives with young kids group, there were the retired married couples, there were the young singles.

    And there I was, divorced, working full time, working long hours, 6 days a week, and a shift that wasn’t conducive to a social life. All their small groups were geared for 9 to 5 people, there was no place for me.

    When tragedy struck my family twice within days of each other, not one person, not even the Pastor reached out.

    Even an offer of prayer, a moment of compassion, anything, a kind word would have gone a long way to keep me there. But the church was silent and strangers from other avenues were more like Jesus than the people in that church.

    Years ago, I was married to an abusive man, we went to another church together, but things escalated so bad at home that I fled my husband and went and stayed with a friend.

    We sought council from the church, and I was told I had to return to my husband. His abuse wasn’t dealt with, he was not reprimanded, he was not told it was wrong, but I was told I was wrong for leaving, that my place was with my husband.

    Is this the church? Should people leave a church feeling hurt and lonely, misunderstood and disconnected?

    Shouldn’t a church reach out and help others who are hurt and lonely and broken?

    And sorry, I disagree that if you walk away from church you walk away from Jesus. No where in the Bible is that stated.

    In fact, He promises that He will always be with us.

    And no matter where I am, where I am going in my life, whether I am in church or not, God has His hand on my life.

    You can be the most faithful church goer, but if you don’t have Jesus in your heart, it means nothing. I have seen little evidence of the church having Jesus.

    I pray daily that God will lead me to my church home.

    • chaizydain on June 4, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      My heart aches for you. But what you describe as a church sounds like nothing more than a social club. Sure, its dressed up as a church, but really its just a country club.

    • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      You may not see my reply, as you posted 2 months ago, but if you do, I just want to let you know that you are not alone in this experience. It is a sad day in the life of the true Church of Jesus Christ that the very ones who have been told in God’s Word to come along side of those who are hurting in church, outside of church and by the church, to be told they are walking away from Jesus when they leave because of what they are and are not seeing within the church walls. Certainly, there is no perfect church here in time. But many Christians DO leave the church for valid reasons and it is not right for others to judge them or “shoot their wounded”.

      • Concerned Mama on August 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

        Thank you for your response. I did not give up on church, and I am happy to say I did find a good church, small but passionate for Jesus. The first day I attended, I was hugged by complete strangers, I have been attending for several months, and I am confident this is where God wants me.

        • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm

          I am so happy to hear that you found a good church! It is encouraging to know that not all churches have strayed and become prideful or unsound biblically. I truly hope you and your daughter have found healing through this church! May God bless you both! See you on the other side.

          • Concerned Mama on August 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

            I’m a bit confused, my daughter’s are both grown, and live on the other side of the country, and neither attends church sadly. But I pray for them constantly.

            But I have found a wonderful church home, which is small but growing, with a wonderful down to earth, preach it like it is Pastor, a warm wonderful congregation, where the Bible is taught, and prayer and worship is encouraged. I prayed a long time for a church like this, and yes, it definitely is where I belong.

            Thank you Sister for your words of encouragement. God Bless.



          • Janise Rose on August 2, 2016 at 11:47 am

            I understand your concern for your daughters. Praying and talking to them about God and their need to know Christ, when the opportunity presents itself, is sometimes all you can do. We often don’t give our prayers the importance it deserves. God loves our children more than we do. Keep praying for them and for opportunities to talk to them about the Lord.
            I am happy for you to have found a good church home. Prayers and blessings, Concerned Mama. 🙂



          • Concerned Mama on August 5, 2016 at 11:14 am

            Thank you for your kind responses, in this age it is hard to find a good Bible based church. The area I live in is predominantly Catholic, so Christian churches are few and far between. I did consider going to a House church, they seem to be popping up, but my work hours prohibited me attending any I found. I continue to pray for my children always. Thanks again, and have a truly blessed day.



    • Larry on August 28, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Thanks for telling your story. Sorry you had to got through that.

    • Lynn on July 24, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Concerned Mama, I hear your pain. You are now on my prayer list to also pray that you find a good church home soon. It’s take me MANY years, but I’ve found one. And my story isn’t very different from yours. God bless you, sister. Keep being strong and courageous.

  84. Liz7777 on May 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Oh where do I start? Yes. We are commanded to “not forsake the gathering of ourselves”, in Hebrews. Yes. Ephesians says that ” There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Spirit…”. And in Ephesians it also says how the Body ” builds itself up, in love, for the edification of itself “. (Ok, sorry, not exact quotes I’m doing this on no sleep and by memory.)]

    And Jesus Himself said that, ” Upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

    Therefore, Church is Biblical. Church is for the edifying of the Body who is to “grow up into all aspects of Him”. And the Church is built by Jesus Christ Himself and by His Word, hell itself can’t destroy it or wipe it off the earth. So, now we know what Church IS, then let’s try and figure out what it’s NOT!

    Is a church with a budget of $166,000.00 per week, that’s unable to assist a young disabled lady serving in a children’s ministry with more than one night at a hotel when her home had a leak… Which caused toxic mold to grow and sent her to the emergency room with breathing problems a Church? Is a place where another lady decided to use her gifts of exhortation and discernment only to be met with abusive hostility, not only by some of the people she was trying to exhort, but by the pastor himself who took pock shot after pock shot at her and verbally abused her, is that the Church? Or what about a place where a single mom went and was initially received with love, but because there was another single mom in the church who had a reputation for using people, got jealous of the first single mom, and with the help of 2 gossipy women, stirred up so much strife that the single mom lost her temper and was asked by the pastor to never return. And especially painful was the fact that it was Easter when the pastor asked her to not come back. Was that the Church? Or how about a place that prided itself on having conservative family values being such an ethnocentric group that on Christmas Eve, a congregant had to literally run out of the church to avoid breaking down and sobbing in front of this group that couldn’t have made it any plainer that they couldn’t care less about this individual at Christmas time or any other time for that matter. When going only reminded them of how lonely they were and how very little people cared. In fact it wasn’t little, it was so non existent that only 2 women ever spoke to them. Is that the Church? I get that churches are flawed. I know the silly saying, “If you find a perfect church, don’t go because you’re not perfect and you’ll ruin it”, or some such nonsense. But I’m serious in my question to you, What do you consider a church? A group of people that have their Creed and doctrine straight, appropriately affirming their belief in the Scriptures as the only authority and God being Triune in Nature and Persons, but who tears up a check for a single mom and her ill child which was to get them out from homelessness and pay for the first month’s rent…. Is that place a church? Their Constitution says they are. The local Presbytery says they are. But are they really?

    The corruption in today’s church is nothing short of demonic. And more and more pastors are unsaved men. And leaders, committees, prominent volunteers, are also not true believers. And they HATE real Christians! And if a Christian tries to go into a lion’s den like that, all that will happen is the wicked will quite literally “gnash at them with their teeth and turn and trample them to pieces.”

    I think it’s high time that true Christian leaders sit down together and discuss the fact that in any given church in America, you have probably at this point less than a 50% chance of finding a true born again brother in the pulpit. And I’d say the congregation is probably somewhere in the 20-30% of being true Christians. And that’s probably a generous estimate on my part. So in light of the openly hostile attitude towards REAL Christians in church, where are we supposed to go? To a place where the minute you open your mouth to speak of the things of God, they will run you out of town tarring and feathering you before you go? This is what needs to be addressed. I don’t know any true believer, myself included, that takes not going to church as just a light casual decision. I’ve read the comments on here from men and women like me who are expressing PAIN at both having been abused by churches and sadness that they can’t find anywhere to go that’s safe from abuse.

    Lord have mercy.

    • chaizydain on June 5, 2016 at 12:01 am

      “The corruption in today’s church is nothing short of demonic.”

      And that says it all.

  85. Daniel John Dombek on May 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    We all get it: there’s church (with a small ‘c’) and Church (with a capital ‘C’). Small ‘c’ church (for me) is ‘church as body’; capital ‘C’ Church is Church as building. It’s the tireless ‘bait and switch’ that tries to flip the body for the building that I’m done with. We don’t need a $1,000,000 building to be the church (body). In fact, the body doesn’t need a building at all.

    A couple of Thanksgivings ago, I spent a Sunday morning helping to feed homeless people out of a rent-and-store facility: best church (note the small ‘c’) I’ve ever attended. I’ll take – I’ll be – that kind of church any day of the week.

    How many homeless could be feed and sheltered on the bloated budgets of Mega-Churches? Someday we may all have to answer for this.

    • Craig Pennell on August 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Daniel, I’d say you have it round the wrong way, otherwise I completely agree. The truth is, it’s Church (Big C) that is the body, when it’s all working together and peoples lives are being transformed all around us. What most of us know is church (small c) as a building, a meeting, something you are obligated to. We have it backwards if we think what Jesus had in mind was going to some get together on a Sunday morning.

      • Daniel John Dombek on August 21, 2016 at 5:06 pm

        Big “C”, little “c”? What if I told you that you don’t need to be a Christian to feed and clothe the poor? That God (whatever you perceive him to be), doesn’t require a capital “C” affiliation (your version or my version) for our charity to matter in the righteous scheme of things. Buddhists, Hindus, Siks, Muslims, Jews, whatever, the point is the care of our fellow human brothers and sisters. As long as we continue to regard the “body of Christ” as an exclusive affiliation, we fail to realize its true intention: to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

        • Craig Pennell on August 24, 2016 at 4:45 am

          Challenging, yet I have to agree, although a year or so ago I would maybe not have. We have to find an authentic “Christianity” based on following Jesus, not religion or doctrine, and perhaps not even under the word “christian”.

    • Mike McLain on October 30, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Yes!

  86. A Amos Love on March 21, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Oliver Edwards

    You also write…
    “You have no part in Jesus if you have no part in His Body.”

    Fear tactics, condemnation, bullying, NO longer work. 😉

    Jesus, the Redeemer of my soul, is the head of His Body.
    The “ONE” Leader – The “ONE” Shepherd

    NOT a pastor/leader/reverend who has misappropriated…
    A “Title/Position,” that does NOT exist in the Bible…
    For one of His Disciples. 🙂

    But, I cudda missed that. Maybe you can help.

    In the Bible, can you name…
    One of His Disciples who had the “Title/Position,” pastor/leader/reverend?

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  87. A Amos Love on March 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Oliver Edwards

    You write…
    “I believe this to communicate
    that absenting oneself from any body of Christ
    puts your faith to lie.”

    You might want to re-read many of these comments…
    Believers today are NOT “absenting” themselves from…
    The Body of Christ, The Church, where Jesus is the head. Col 1:18.

    Believers today are “absenting” themselves from…
    The church of man… Today’s Corrupt Religious System…
    Where Mere Fallible Humans try to control and manipulate WE, His Sheep.
    The 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax Deductible, Religious Corporation,
    That the IRS calls church.

    Should one of His Disciples call and IRS Corporation, His Body?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    If not now? – When?

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    • Fedup Pauper on April 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Amen!

    • Mike McLain on October 30, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Amen!

  88. Krystyna on March 20, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I’m through due to the ENORMOUS amount of so-called followers who are nothing like the Jesus of the bible. They have a narcissistic, entitled attitude using the name of God, all the while committing acts of cruelty; no empathy at all but only thinking of themselves as they hate others whom are in the midst of suffering. I’ve met one too many of these people and am disgusted. When someone starts throwing around “what a Christian” they are, I run the other way.

  89. Oliver Edwards on March 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I was preaching on John 13 this morning and I had a realization about what Jesus taught in footwashing. Whether or not you believe we are literally called to wash each other’s feet, the principle behind it is the same: Practicing the bread and the cup can lead to the idea that your faith is just between you and God. But Jesus says if we do not serve one another (washing feet) we have no part in Him. I believe this to communicate that absenting oneself from any body of Christ puts your faith to lie. You have no part in Jesus if you have no part in His Body. Only one aspect of church is between you and God. The other two aspects are fellowship and service – both REQUIRE other human beings. The Last Supper communicates the importance of all three – the meal of fellowship, the bread and cup of communion with God, and the serving of one another – footwashing.

    • chaizydain on June 5, 2016 at 12:05 am

      The church I belong to celebrates communion first by having the membership wash each others feet.

    • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      See above comments, Oliver. Seems to me that in some churches (?) not a lot of “footwashing” going on. I believe that Christ, and only Him, is the only One who can judge as to whether or not these that have left the church building, wherever that might be, have a part in His Body.

  90. Suzuki35 on February 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    then it makes sense satan is attacking the church, I am a fragile believer because I have been non stop abused by church people and “Christians” and even called a liar when I tell my story. so I gave up. its pure abuse and MANY OF US are now having this experience. in no way do people who admit a truth that Christians abuse them or the church abuses them in any way saying that’s Christianity… their faith can be the faith that’s intact, while the ones in the church are not true believers. I am not sure if I should stay strong and keep going in face of abuse when I am fragile and in need of therapy as a RESULT of the abuse? “why is there no healing for the daughter that is my people” “they say to her peace peace when there is no peace” “they treat her wound as though it is not serious” healing doesn’t come from there when it is full of abusers. its just this TIME in the world..its expected! we were told “beforehand” this would happen. that many ‘s love would grow cold and fall away.. they still go to church physically oh but they have surely fallen away (if ever were true believers) I cant sacrifice my health … arguing with believers.. or even minding my own business and they still attack. I don’t want to deal with the other attacks either that I am having a persecution complex etc.. that IS further abuse and victimizing the victims.

    • Liz7777 on May 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Please read what I just wrote. Sigh. You sound exactly like me. And my daughter is in a depression from spiritual abuse. So am I. Hugs to you! From one hurt sister to another!

      • Suzuki35 on May 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        thank you I read it.. I needed the hug. ,my mom IS not like you.. she IGNORED my pain and still does , she wouldn’t even dream of going online to say “my daughter is in depression from spiritual abuse” as she was one of the abusers, so I am so glad your daughter HAS YOU.thank you for thinking of me 🙂 it is spiritual warfare.. they are in church but not of God.those people… sometimes the abuse is too much and we stay home for refuge… “daughter zion has become a refuge all run to her even those who hated her…”

      • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        And hugs from me, also, sister! I believe Jesus told His disciples that others would know them by the LOVE they had for one another.

  91. Fang on February 25, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    This should be going as the Last comment so far on this page. Many people are not getting fed in the so called church get together, they are hungary for what God is doing not a program, not a place where the spirit of God is not present the church again is not a denomination. The church is the body working together as one with the Holy spirit, I myself cannot find a church wich is spirit filled. These people are not getting taught how to get a relationship with christ on a basic level and for us who have been in church after church looking to be fed the bowl is empty and the pastors are not letting the Lord lead they are leading as they want church to go, and not as the Lord wants it to go. Instead it has become sunday after sunday no new subject same old stuff that was served last week pretty borring for us who actually want to learn new things from God. Also the spirituality of how close these so called churches our to the spirit of God. It shows in the physical in america the people are not being taught how to have a personal relationship with christ, nor are they taught how to get in the presence of God. Thats why churches are disapearing. Instead they are more concerened about money and who looks the nicest and who has the coolest car. Do I need to say it again people want whats real and if the Spirit of God isnt present in a church dosent matter which one it is. Then eventuually the building itself will close why? Because the Lords flock goes where he goes they do not stay if he dosent stay.

    • Fang on February 25, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      Another words Gods children dont want the off brand of coke a cola, they are looking for Him they want the real thing many churches today offer all these things but Jesus, because they are superficial and are fake, if the Holy spirit was truly in the building then people would want to go but its just the opposite………..

      • Fedup Pauper on May 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm

        Thank you!

    • Fedup Pauper on May 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      AMEN!

  92. C. Johnson on February 12, 2016 at 3:13 am

    It’ s hard to find a good church, where the bible is studied and lived together. Most churches are too heavy and static, so very inflexible. It’ s all about self, created hype and men-respect rather than the sweet Holy Spirit. But to gather with a few sold out Christians is very powerful! ” where 2 or 3 are gathered in my Name, I’ m in the the midst of them”. Jesus is forming at this moment His worldwide- endtime church woth sold out people from ALL Backgroundss. Our security is not in the church (specially if they don’ t teach and train in the word of God) but alone in Jesus Christ and His true body….

  93. John Wilson on December 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

    We were shunned out of our local church because we called leadership out on their unwillingness to confront people who were sewing conflict through deceit. More than half the congregation stopped speaking to us based on hearing rumors and one side of the story. Most of the rumors were spread by three very opinionated women who have weak or detatched husbands (another sad trend I’ve noticed). Those women were unfortunately the true power in the church, because the pastor fears them. Once they decided my wife and daughter were not of the “anointed” class due to us refusing to tow their prideful party line (think twigs and logs), they were done with us. Eventually after weeks of my kids dreading having to go back evey Sunday, we left. We let the leadership know why, and they didn’t care. From what ive been told, another 6-8 families have also left for the same reason, and these were mostly the folks who did all the heavy lifting seeking no fame. Go figure. We’re looking for a new church that has a strong sense of John 13:35. So far, no luck. What we’ve found to date are several inward looking social clubs, and we don’t want to go through that again. I really miss true fellowship, but the people who have hurt my family the most have been other Christians. My daughter was trashed by the daughter of one of our former church’s “holy ones” to so many other kids, that they all stopped speaking to her. Don’t these people realize that God is watching all of this? How do they think He feels about Christians treating their own like this? I agree with the author that the world needs humble Christians working together, but around here that’s the problem…there’s a lack of humility, and pride has infected the church

    • Liz7777 on May 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I agree with the scary trend of power women on the church who try and form allegiances and divide and conquer! My daughter and I have joked about a reality show called, The Real Housewives of the Evangelical Church “. All joking aside, these are not saved people for the most part and if they are they have zero spiritual maturity. But they vie for powerful positions in the church and ostracize those who aren’t up to snuff. Don’t worry. God absolutely sees. Pity them. Psalms 37 and 73 both talk about how the wicked prosper, or so it seems, until God says, “ENOUGH!” Then, you see the consequences of disobedience in their lives. Pity their bringing the wrath of God on themselves. Pray for them because they need it. And good for you for being the man of the family and leader of your home. May God bless you for that! Let’s pray for each other to find a church home. Amen.

  94. Searchers on November 22, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I just stopped attending the Disciples Of Christ Church, after elders let a non-believer whose been leading in all the services I’ve attended take control of the service, and tell everyone, kids, women, and me, that Christ was not God. I couldn’t handle that. Another leader takes control of the service and mention that nobody goes to hell. Now other churches that I’m trying don’t even contact me after getting me to fill out visitor cards. What’s a believe to do? The salt has been lost. They’ve become social clubs for the wealthy. To make them feel good about themselves. The modern church has turned in the marketing temple of scribes and pharisee. Would be nice to fine others that believe like me, and don’t go to a Sunday morning show.

    • Ann A. Jones on January 6, 2016 at 9:02 am

      I would have been one blur running out on that! I have no tolerance for heresy, and there is too much of it in churches. No one teaches good doctrine, and we all have become so afraid of trampling on someone else’s religious freedom that we change ours. NOT the idea. I think most churches are just back patting societies over good works, and although they encourage that, they do little to teach people the Good News and how to share it.

  95. Harry Sasnowitz on October 27, 2015 at 11:37 am

    If one wants an example out of the Bible of what authentic community looks like, we need not look any further than the book of Acts. These believers (the Church) met in the temple courts, in each others homes and in the marketplace, experiencing community while at the same time being engaged in the arena of life. No church building, scheduled “services,” or institutional system like we have today. They didn’t sit around discussing among themselves a better way to “do church”; they WERE the Church, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. They didn’t look for “better models or templates”; they WERE the template! The indwelling of the New had replaced the temple of the Old. They understood it, embraced it and were living in New Covenant reality. They experienced community and the Holy Spirit, and the love of God was being manifested among them and through them in ways that many today long for, with the gospel touching hearts and transforming their world. All without “institutional church” or even a Bible like we have today.

    The question I would like to pose to the author is this: Do you think our institutional system of Christianity, together with our many buildings, scheduled services and predominant focus on pulpit ministry is an improvement to what we see in the early Church, or a regression?

    I’m amazed at how many on this thread believe that Christian community can only be experienced through attending/participating in a local church. It shows how insular we have become. There are home fellowships, meetup groups and many other non-traditional gatherings taking place in increasing measure; Christ-centered, grace based, relationally focused….. a great alternative to institutional church environments. Personally, I’m involved with a home fellowship and a meetup group like this, without anywhere near the “structure or organization” that many seem to think is necessary to experience life together in community. It’s quite spontaneous, and although there is sometimes someone facilitating depending on what’s going on, it is not “organized” or programmed in any way to the degree we see with institutional religion. We meet in someone’s home, or a coffee shop, or a restaurant, or gather together for ministry to those in our community with need; no hierarchy, board or assigned pastor, although there are various gifts among us (pastor/shepherd included), which manifest at certain times when the need of the moment calls those gifts out, so to speak.

    Today, after 7 years of being outside institutional religion, I can say that I’m experiencing more vibrant and authentic relationship with Jesus and other in His Body, and a greater freedom and effectiveness in ministering to those outside the Body than I ever did while being part of the institutional church.

    The main reasons I left the institutional church mirror many of the reasons already given by others here. With that being said, I’m nonetheless grateful for the good things I did learn
    within the institutional church. I try
    not to project upon others that they MUST leave it like I did. For pastors and leaders who are intent on projecting their perspectives
    on others that Christian community and the Christian life can ONLY be
    experienced through a local church, has my testimony encouraged you?
    Does it excite you? Or, has it caused suspicion or the propensity to
    find fault.

    If it’s the former…. great! If it’s the latter, I would propose that you’re more passionate about building your own little kingdoms than the kingdom of God.

    If folks
    want to continue being a part of institutional Christianity, that is
    their choice, and although I believe there are more fruitful places and ways to
    engage in community as a Christian, we are all still members of the same
    Body. Let’s continue to love one another as Christ loves us.

    • Fedup Pauper on April 5, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      THANK YOU!!! I couldn’t have said it any better. You’re blessed! I WISH I could find a way to worship they way you’ve described it. I’m sick of the emergent Laodicean -type of worship or rather, NON worship that goes on among most institutional type churches. I’m a senior citizen with a bad back and no transportation so I’ve visited almost all the churches in my neighborhood and I leave feeling worse than I did when I went in. I’ve been searching for a real church congregation where the pure Word of God is being preached and taught. Been searching for more than 2 years…to no avail! 🙁

      I watch preaching and services live streamed or posted online. All the best preachers and congregations are in other states and not near where I live.

      • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm

        And, THANK YOU! for saying exactly what has been my experience. I guess I’m one of “those” Christians. I’m not looking for the “perfect” church, just a TRUE church. Guess I’ll have to wait until eternity for that to happen as more and more Christians are leaving the church to the hirelings and their sadly lost or confused or too-afraid-to-speak-out-against-it-all Christians.

  96. Stephanie on October 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    No. No I did not find this post helpful. It was full of strawmen, and “moving the goalpost” fallacies as he, like so many bloggers who blog about this, failed to recognize that the word church is, in fact, a HOMONYM (one word having two completely different meanings, such as bark or stalk). You simply can’t drift in and out of meanings as though they are one and the same thing. That is a deliberate attempt to manipulate your readership and cause confusion, possibly convincing them (illogically) to accept your conclusions. Gaslighting much? In this case, church (institutional) is mistaken for the church (body of Christ that you become a member of when you follow Jesus). The tone of this blog post is also very patronizing, and consideration must be given to the fact that the author’s livelihood depends on people continuing to attend and give to the institution. Any blog post written by a professional minister to motivate people to keep attending (read: keep giving to) the local church must be carefully examined as it represents a conflict of interests in my opinion. Of course, every argument must be evaluated on merits, but this is important information to keep in mind. I also didn’t feel that the author really tackled head on any of the very legitimate reasons that sincere followers are abandoning the institution of church. He just dismissed their departure as “trendy” and such. Does he even have an inkling that for many people, there was nothing trendy about leaving church, but that it took a lot of soul searching, a lot of prayer, and ultimately a lot of courage. So, yeah, I didn’t find this blog very helpful. There ya go. 🙂

    • Fedup Pauper on May 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Nothing you said was untruthful. I agree with you; and, I daresay, the comments posted here are much, MUCH better than the “article.”

      • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        As for the comments, Fedup Pauper, I have learned more from them…mostly, that it is NOT just MY experience of church!

    • Liz7777 on May 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      I disagree with you that his livelihood depends on us the readership attending church, you might be a tad more cynical than the article warrants. I got the impression that he does genuinely see Christians departing from the church en masse as bad for them (us) and bad for the church. I do agree with you about his displaying a patronizing tone and failing to grasp the seriousness of the issue at hand. By sheer volume of people who have responded to this article, that should tell him something about how passionately people feel about not finding a church home. More than that, he directed much of his comments and rhetoric to what I presume he thought was a much younger audience of readers. But the vast majority of comments I’ve read on here have come from people at least in their mid to late 30s and older. I’m 50 and I feel like I’m among my peers based on the things others are saying. It is a very serious issue and my prayer is that more people will write about it. God bless you and I pray that you find a church home.

  97. John Valentino on September 27, 2015 at 11:21 am

    My father became a narcissist as I was growing up as a kid, my mother a codependent. When that relationship got too toxic I lived with my grandparents, my grandmother come to find out was the queen narcissist of the family and my grandfather became emotionally dependant on me. I feel I was born into a Christian family that would twist religion in its favor, turn bible verses to justify human slavery, shunning family members, judging others while saying don’t judge me. The church I was born into painted a poor picture of jesus, saying he died for all our sins. It seems to me in the end the real sin is being poor, because when I looked at thec congregation it was filled with poor people that slave for people who would otherwise cater to money changers. Jesus is weak, jesus was a poor man helping sick people, jesus is a fantasy a myth a legend and has just as much value in todays world as paul bunion. In church I heard little to nothing of mad jesus whipping money changers, nore about teenage jesus and that jesus was not poor but a wealthy man. Now the later version would be a man to follow, unlike the poor man that died on the cross so we can all be born into poverty in the 21st century. When people say that christian churches are the least representative of jesus I truely believe it. I wish going to church was not part of my childhood, I feel spiritually dumbed down by the church, and that is evil. My experience was more about social darwinism than it was of applying the true teachings of jesus. I feel watching star wars was a more spiritual experience than the years I went to church. In star wars the good guys go after bad guys, church is filled with people trying to pray there problems away. So in the end christianity for me was really superficial, how many people tried to touch my life but in the end were only doing it because it made them feel good? I am unchristian I dont hate christians but if you come at me the wrong way with your beliefs believe you me ill put you in your place and let it be clear as day “I am not someone you want to mess with”.

    When I was born my christian family needed cheap labor, when I turned 18 and needed a good job they told me to hit the street. Im not someone to be pushed around im not someone to be dumbed down, spiritually or intellectually. If leaving the church is not good enuf for you, then I say “jesus get the hell out of my heart”!!! If only christians go to heaven, send me to hell. But really id like to think god is smarter than your average pastor and there is a special place just for christians that no one has to go to if they decide to go unchristian. I never needed christianity and if I could change one thing it would be that I was never born into a christian family, the second would be never going to church. If planet earth is the best god has to offer im not impressed.

    • Liz7777 on May 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Wow. That was a lot. First of all, let me say that I’m sorry you had that experience growing up. My parents were just like yours. What a mess! Secondly, what makes you think any of them were truly Christians? From the sound of it, they did what they wanted and added Jesus at the end for good measure. That’s NOT Biblical Christianity! That’s game playing hypocrisy. Nothing more nothing less.
      Now about Jesus. He was weak. He was poor. But only for His time on earth. Before He came to earth He enjoyed heaven where He was worshipped day and night by the angels. And once He rose from the dead, He told His Disciples that All authority had been given to Him on heaven and on earth. Think about that for a minute. ALL authority! More than all Kings, President’s, Prime Ministers combined. Access to every secret, all money everywhere, all political power, the weather, who lives and who dies and when, etc. He isn’t weak anymore! And Christians have “the power that raised Jesus from the dead” inside of us. We’re powerful too.
      So please don’t throw God away because of your dysfunctional family. The earth isn’t spiritual. It’s dying. God spoke and it was created and in the end He will burn it with fire and create a new one. (Yea…talk about global warming! Globes gonna be scorched!). And as far as hell goes, you don’t know what you’re saying. Hell I’d so real and such a place of nightmares that never end. It’s a place that if you ever saw a glimpse of it, you’d be screaming top of your lungs, to warn people to not go there.

      So ok, please think about what I’m saying. God bless you.

  98. JǫrðViðJǫrð on August 31, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I don’t like discouraging people from God. I understand your perspective, Carey, but the church is so corrupt and selfish today. People see straight through it, including believers.

    I know a church raising 40,000$ to pave their “parking lot”. I had a pastor doing my marriage counselling tell me that I should let my husband do all the decision making and be submissive (I understand the meaning of the scripture but his view was intensely sexist). I had a previous pastor defend my father by writing an affidavit in family court custody battles attesting to his character and attacking my mother’s when he doesn’t know my mother at all (he later apologized, which was good). Another pastor basically told me I’ll be cozy in hell for disagreeing with a pastor when he was preaching a completely, and I mean completely, unbiblical interpretation of how one gets to heaven, Brennan Manning style.

    Furthermore, I for one, have had it with churches blowing faithful Christians money to the wind buying mics and screens and iPads and renovations and paving parking lots and new sound systems and new sound boards and new new new new new, I’m getting sick thinking about it. They won’t so much as lift a finger to go walk down to the corner and give an egg sandwich to a man that has a mental disability that turned into a drug problem and then became homeless. It’s all a show, a pretty deceitful show, that makes people comfortable and sweeps everything Jesus told us to do under the rug to give these huge church’s pastors massive “love offerings”. I asssure you, Jesus accepted no such money offerings in all his time on earth. Matthew 19:24 says “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” One day these “holy” Christian associations (that’s all churches are) will have to account for all the money they spent before God.

    • Suzuki35 on February 26, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      they don’t want to mention the verses about daughter zions salvation being her king comes to HER meek and lowly upon a donkey (humble) and “thou shalt no longer call me master,but thou shalt call me husband (ishi) making a differentiation between master and husband (if messiah came curse in genesis of man ruling wife was ended…so for many messiah DIDNT come..they cant pick and choose!! he set her free. they are still perpetuating the curse because they like it. but He set the Bride free:) that’s up to them if they want ot still be under the curse in Genesis…. “SALVATION comes to you as your KING LOWLY AND MEEK” not a dictator image… if there was a curse…there was a REVERSAL………..she gets a role reversal too.. “daughter zion so gentle and delicate, you made your back a path for their sins, they set get you down so we may walk on you, and you did! NEVER AGAIN will you be called gentle and delicate, rise up and thresh! shake off the dust! I will cause you to rise in my power? these are VICTORIES. and BREAKINGS of curses… messiah “crushes serpents head” yet they claim him as messiah yet say he failed at breaking the curses??? not one of those men who told you that will go live in a country with non free women LOL they wont have any BENEFITS THERE! let them go live in Saudi Arabia or iran then come begging to come back here… theyre simply unsaved and unappreciative of what her freedom has brought to America! and jealous? should be happy! no they will make $ off of free women.. but still speak of the curse lol what a warped world today….

    • chaizydain on June 5, 2016 at 12:48 am

      A bit more than 20 years ago, when I was a young woman, before I married my now ex-husband, I had an opportunity to attend a number of Christmas services at the church he grew up attending. He was raised in the, then, most affluent community on the San Francisco Bay peninsula and the church reflected this. But I didn’t realized how much so until I actually read the weekly bulletin. During one of the services, the youth pastor made an impassioned plea to the congregation for the weekly offering to be exceptionally generous that week for it would be going to pay for the youth group’s attendance over spring break at missions work in Mexico. I thought it odd that in an enclave where the average household income was north of $500,000, the youth pastor should be making a plea for the congregation to essentially pay for the youth group’s spring vacation, but ok, if that’s what they wanted that weeks collection to go towards…maybe they would be covering the expenses of the few “impoverished” students who families couldn’t/wouldn’t come up with a couple hundred bucks to go to Mexicali and “build” churches in Mexico…right up till I read the budget printed in the bulletin. As it was Christmas time, we were nearing the end to the calendar year, the church had more than $4,000,000 in SURPLUS funds, no church building debt, no major anticipated expenses, and was not supporting ANY other ministries. I asked my fiancee (his family was incredibly active in the church and church management) if there were funded missions projects not covered by the bulletin, churches in other countries being supported, poor churches in the US being supported with the excess, etc? Not to his knowledge. I asked my future father-in-law, a church deacon, and was told there were not and that I shouldn’t be asking questions about church finances.

      I was a bit naive back then, but I should have run right then. I knew never to return to that church, and I never step foot there again, but I should have known that a surplus that big, big enough to support a half-dozen small American churches for several years, a surplus defended by one of the deacons who was to be my father-in-law, was a sign of rottenness…of hte church and of the members.

  99. William Boltron on August 9, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I totally disagree with this article and yes I am a non believer but I disagree with it on several levels. First, to call people that want others to distance themselves from the organized church “the enemy” is absolutely absurd. Secondly the Christian and Judaic churches have been for all intensive purposes dead for quite some time, Europe has grown very irreligious and the invention of the internet has expanded the horizons of people who would have never questioned the churches authority. I think to hold on to the idea of the “church” does nothing but limit people’s spiritual pathway. People are smart and informed now and if their faith is a personal one then by all means don’t discourage it because many people have very private spiritual lives and there is no reason to suggest that one way is better than another.

  100. Sheree Dutton on August 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    you are way off here hun, Jesus nor his early followers never went to church. I would rather follow that than the man made institution. It is not Biblical , the word was mistranslated. In the scripture the word meant a meeting of pagans. Umm Hmm! why would I want to follow something like that? Read pagan Christianity to set the record straight. It was the pagans attempt to mislead Christs followers AND IT HAS WORKED BEAUTIFULLY! The new testament followers simply NEVER DID CHURCH! When is says in the Bible, the church of ( insert city here) the word church is a mistranslation, it should have been translated the body, or something similar, Who do you think added that translation? Hmmm , interesting question, ready Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola for the answer. Jesus did not start the church, Pagans did!

    • JǫrðViðJǫrð on August 31, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Amen! My sentiments exactly! I’m going to research this more. It’s very interesting. The word for church was ekklesia, Greek for “assembly”. Hmm, funny I don’t hear the word “BUILDING” or “10 AM EVERY SUNDAY” or “GIVE TEN PERCENT OF YOUR INCOME AND LOVE OFFERINGS TO THE PASTORS AND OFFERINGS FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES, ABOVE AND BEYOND YOUR TITHES!” anywhere in that definition. So done with the “Christian” business, aka church.

    • Suzuki35 on February 26, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      yeah it says when they go to synagogue “they will already be able to hear the law of Moses, so place none other burden on them ” (the newly believing gentiles) than 4 laws.. noahide laws…..do you mean apostle paul as false? many feel that way now..i contrast hos and Jesus sayings.. and see daughter zion “tossed to and fro ” between two.. she is called confused and “never comforted”

  101. Jocelyn on August 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this article! It really challenges me test my knowledge of who my creator truly is. First of all there was not much for scriptural support. That bothers me. Author had many opinions that should have been backed up. Many of these statements from the article author I can’t agree with either. I’ve only quoted a few here that I would like to argue:
    1. “Get rid of church get rid of Jesus”
    By not going to a church building doesn’t mean I am giving up on my creator. I am not forsaking the assembly but grabbing on to the true assembly which is the body of Yashua the messiah.
    Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
    Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
    John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    His word says he is not in a building. He is in a more perfect tabernacle (me) he dwells in me. To be carnal minded would be to think and do in the physical. To be spiritual minded he dwells in us and causes one to walk in his statues. I’m not getting rid of my creator. I have recognized exactly where he dwells.
    Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    2. “Does the church need to change? Without a doubt. The church needs continual reformation and transformation”.
    I Disagree: The true church which is the body of Christ should not need changing.
    Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
    3. “The church is far from perfect”
    I can agree with that if talking about the physical building church. The spiritual church is perfectly joined.
    1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our messiah, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ( It should not be hard if he truly dwells in us).
    2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
    Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    Being part of the true church which is the body, there should be no divisions so we may be perfectly joined and of one mind. We should all be learning the truth according to his word and speaking the same language and walking the same way, in his righteouness. We brethren should be edifying (chastising) each other so we reamin partakers of the body and sons of our creator.
    4. “Now, more than ever, the world needs Christian working together humbly under Christ to lead people into a growing relationship with him, in whatever innovate and fresh forms that takes”.
    Part of this statement is true. We do need to be humbled as little children. We need to be teachable and learn of him of who he is and what he wants of us through his doctrine not the word of men because his words are accurate and he does not change. Remembering that Satan can appear as an angel of light. All things must be proven according to scripture holding fast to what is good and true. This is what will truly grow us as believers not sitting in a church each Sunday.

  102. Keith Dickens on July 13, 2015 at 10:26 am

    People that leave church are more likely to eventually abandon the organized lies, delusions of grandeur, and unscientific thinking associated with it in favor of common sense and meaningful social dialogue and useful community action. The world will be better off.

    • GirlInTheMachine on August 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Hahaha, you mean like without the Red Cross, World Vision, Salvation Army, Mercy Ships, Habitat for Humanity, Food for the Hungry, Christian African Relief Trust, Children’s Hunger Fund, Citizens for Public Justice, Covenant House, CURE International, Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Centre, International Child Care USA, Samaritan’s Purse, Hope UK, International Justice Mission, International Network of Prison Ministries, Tiny Hands International, Martha & Mary Society, Open Doors, Youth Of the Streets, Cyrus Centres…and I’ve only listed a small fraction here, Keith Dickens. Where did these charities start? In your garage? No, in a christian church. Who funds them? Atheists? No, Christians. Still think the world would be better off? Or are you just the type of fellow who follows a crowd without giving any thought to what you’re saying.

      Let’s say instead of christians, we talk about some other identifiable group. “People that leave state funded medical schools are more likely to eventually abandon the organized lies, delusions of grandeur, and unscientific thinking associated with it in favour of common senses and meaningful social dialogue and useful community action. The world would be better off”. Though some of that is true some of the time for this group, as well, doesn’t this sound vapid?

      The thing is, you use good grammar and you sound educated, but higher learning doesn’t seem to have taught the prejudice out of you.

  103. jeffcook on July 2, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Carey – I like your work, but I think this post misunderstands the problem.

    It’s worth looking at the reasons why many of the most engaged are self-selecting out. Josh Packard’s work gives extensive sociological feed back on the dechurch in his recent “Church Refugees”.

    Though I think your points are solid above, they are straw men. The dones are leaving for other reasons which need to be wrestled through.

    Grace and Peace.

    • X on July 14, 2015 at 4:00 am

      I agree…specifically in areas surrounding mistrust within the church

    • JǫrðViðJǫrð on August 31, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Amen! He’s looking outwards instead of inwards. There’s a reason Christianity, not just churches, are diminishing.

  104. Noah V on June 22, 2015 at 9:43 am

    I looked at your website, where can someone find your data beside in the book?

  105. Jean-Paul Mattie on June 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Preface:
    I use the word ‘church’ to represent the physical building/gathering of believers
    I use the word ‘Church’ to represent the Bride/Body of Christ
    Throughout his article if you see his use of the word church as the Bride/Body of Christ, it changes the meaning, significantly.

    I understand his words and implications as he sets them, however, he needs to separate his implications between church and Church.

    “–” indicates my reply and thoughts of the preceding words.

    You hear it all the time.
    I’m done with church.
    –Yes. I am, temporarily, done with church; but not Church. This is my only argument with this article; the lack of definition between church (temple/building) and Church (temple of the Holy Spirit/Bride of Christ).

    I don’t really need to go to church…my relationship with God is personal.
    –Yes a relationship with God is personal, and when 2 or 3 are gathered together in Christ’s name, Christ is in their midst.

    I’ve had it with organized religion.
    The church is a man-made invention, not God’s idea.
    –The ‘church’ is, the Church is not.

    I completely understand why a growing number of people are bailing on church. Even people who used to lead in the church often stop attending (here are 9 reasons why church leaders do that).
    We’ve spent a lot of time working through the issue of declining church attendance (and growing disillusionment with the church) on this blog and in my
    leadership podcast. (For a summary of the issues, here’s a piece on the 10
    reasons even committed church attenders are attending church less often).
    –“#8 Failure to see a direct benefit”; but not in the selfish form, but in the spiritually bored. I am unchallenged, spiritually, in seeker sensitive churches. No room for effective discipleship, growth, “meat”, being challenged, biblically.

    I get it.

    The church is far from perfect. Life is complex. There are growing options. And the post-modern mind distrusts most things organized or institutional.
    But as trendy as the idea of writing off the church may be, it’s a mistake.
    –Imagine this saying “writing off the Church.” ‘Writing off the Church’ is more detrimental than “writing off the church.”

    While writing off the church passes as sophisticated thinking, it’s actually the
    opposite; what if it’s a simplistic and even reductionist line of thinking that leads nowhere constructive?
    While writing off the church passes as sophisticated thinking, it’s actually the opposite.
    –“Sophisticated thinking?” How does that, even, make sense.
    –1. (of a person, ideas, tastes, manners, etc.) altered by education, experience, etc., so as to be worldly-wise; not naive: a sophisticated young socialite
    –2. pleasing or satisfactory to the tastes of sophisticates, or people who are educated, cultured, and worldly-wise
    –3. deceptive; misleading.
    –Does he mean mature, practical, or refined? Sophisticate also implies: worldy, jaded, bored, and disillusioned; all of which a true Christian would not make a decision by.
    –Next a “reductionist line of thinking”? What?
    –1. the theory that every complex phenomenon, especially in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon.
    –2. the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, especially to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it.
    –I doubt any Christian does this as a reason for not attending ‘church’. For certainly, not I.

    The church isn’t even biblical, is it?
    –A gathering of believers “where two or more are gathered in My Name, so am I”? Yes. The institution after Constantine? No.

    People argue the idea of church isn’t even biblical.
    –Yes, some do. Based on what it has become.

    So let’s start with the basics.
    –OK

    First if you’re a Christian, church is not something you go to. It’s something you
    are.
    –I agree IF you imply that church means ‘Church’ and not the building; and we won’t talk about the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’, yet, because I want to see people gathering in people.

    You can’t disassociate from church as a Christian anymore than you can disassociate from humanity as a person.
    –I agree IF you imply that church means ‘Church’ and not the building.

    You don’t go to church. You are the church.
    –I agree IF you imply that church means ‘Church’ and not the building.

    Second, the church was not a human invention.
    –The building was.

    Half-reading the New Testament with one eye closed will still lead you to the inescapable conclusion that the church was God’s idea.
    –I agree IF you imply that church means ‘Church’ or “the Body/Bride of Christ’ and not the building.

    In fact, most of the New Testament is not about the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the work of the church that Jesus initiated and ordained. I won’t fill this post with scripture verses that prove my point, because, quite frankly, you’d have to get rid of the majority of the New Testament to argue that the church was a parenthetical, made-up organization.
    If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus.
    –What stupid, unsubstantiated claims; UNLESS you mean church as the building and not ‘the Body/Bride of Christ’.

    You can’t have one without the other.
    If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus. He created it.
    –You can destroy every “church” building in the world and still have “the Church of God”.

    Maybe what bothers you should actually amaze you I understand that the idea
    of the church being imperfect makes some people despair.
    But rather than making us despair, the fact that Jesus started the church with imperfect people should make us marvel at God’s incredible grace.
    –Again with the misuse of definitions, despair:
    –1. loss of hope; hopelessness.
    –2. someone or something that causes hopelessness:

    –This is caused by the lack of discipleship and spiritual growth among the believers who attend the building services. The lack of biblical teaching and the, instead, rehashing of rules and commands that we all know.
    –Here’s a challenge, or two:
    Isaiah 45: 7; you never hear about YHWH creating evil, do you? But He does. Where’s the theology for this?
    Hebrews 2: 17; a reflection of John 1; the Word was not flesh, but became flesh. “For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way…”

    That God would use ordinary, broken human beings as vessels of his grace, and delight in it is awe-inspiring. He’s proud of how his grace is beating through your imperfect-but-redeemed life and through the church (have you ever read Ephesians 3: 10-11?).
    –Vs. 10: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”
    –Yes. “…so that the principalities and powers in heavenly places…” God intended His creation (the fallen ones) that defies Him to know, that even though they may cause us to stumble, He gives us grace and forgiveness to move on; constantly reminding them that they’re not going to win.
    –Another great example of verses being, flat out, misrepresented for what they say, including context of the chapter and book.

    The idea that God would use you and me is pretty amazing. He had other options.
    –True.

    He could have spoken to the world directly, but instead chose to use broken people to showcase his grace to a world in need of redemption.
    –He tried in the garden! That worked out well.

    For sure, community is messy.
    People sin. Leaders are sinful.
    –Welcome to the results of Adam’s disobedience.

    Most of the New Testament is not a story of an idealized church where everything worked perfectly all the time (just read 1 Corinthians any time you’re frustrated with your church).
    Most of the New Testament is a story of Jesus using his followers to spread his love in spite of themselves and as they overcome obstacle after obstacle.
    –AHH! The key word! Finally, “love.” But He didn’t spread it, He showed it;
    lived it.

    The fact that Christ uses flawed people to accomplish his work on earth is actually a sign of his grace, not a sign of his absence.
    –When do people who leave church say this, ‘his absence’?

    The church’s story, as twisted as it gets at times, is a beautiful story of God’s grace, God’s power and God’s redemption.
    –Constantine.

    So, by the way, is your life, which reflects the story of the church more than you would want to admit.
    The church gives the world a front row seat to the grace of God.
    –No. “You will know them by their love,” is what MY Bible says, not by the ‘church’.

    The ultimate consumerism isn’t going to church…it’s walking away from it
    People criticize the church today as being consumerist. And to some extent, churches cater to consumerism—often to our detriment. I agree that consumerism is a problem for Christianity.
    But ironically, much of the dialogue about why people are done with church pushes people deeper into Christian consumerism than it pushes them into deeper discipleship: Here I am, all alone, worshiping God on my schedule when it’s convenient for me.
    –“Consumerism”? You’ve never read a dictionary, have you?
    –1. a modern movement for the protection of the consumer against useless, inferior, or dangerous products, misleading advertising, unfair pricing, etc.
    –2. the concept that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy.
    –3. the fact or practice of an increasing consumption of goods:
    –The “church” is greedy, in many ways. This does not make it a consumerist
    institution.
    –It’s the lack of discipleship that pushes people away from the church, not
    consumerism.
    –The ‘church’ is part of a greater collective. If a particular bible verse or passage does not line up with their doctrine, instead of changing their doctrine, they change the meaning of the verses. This is false teaching, false prophesying, and false discipleship.

    Listening to a podcast of your favourite preacher while you’re at the gym or on the back deck and pushing three of your favourite worship songs through your ear buds does not make you a more passionate Christ follower.
    –Why not?
    –Can we not do this and still “not forsake our fellowship with other believers”
    “where two or more are gathered in My Name, there I will be also”?

    It usually makes you a less effective one.
    -No.

    Disconnecting yourself from community is actually less faithful than connecting yourself to a flawed community.
    -True.

    If you think the church today isn’t enough (and arguably, we need to reform it), then do what the early Christians did.
    If you want a more biblical church…don’t gather weekly, gather daily. Before dawn. Get up before the sun rises to pray together with other Christians before you go to work. Pool your possessions. Don’t claim anything as your own.
    –This would be ideal, yes. Who’s up for it? And I believe the Amish are very close to this.

    Be willing to lose your job, your home, your family and even your life because you follow Jesus.
    –I am.

    Then you’ll be more authentic.
    –More “original” will be a better word.

    If you want a more biblical church, don’t gather weekly. Gather daily. Before dawn. And notice that the early church did indeed gather. Gathering always leads to some form of organizing.
    –Organizing is not organization.

    To pretend the church doesn’t need to be organized is as logical arguing that society doesn’t need to be organized.
    Because community is inevitable, organization is inevitable.
    –Why organize everyone under a roof and say “yay we have church.”
    –Christ organized as much as this, two by two, and bring the clothes on your back, if they kick you out, shake the dust off your feet, if they welcome you, great.
    –What needs to be organized about “go and preach”?
    –Oh and what do we preach the “good news”? What is that; the gospel the disciples preach: the Kingdom of God and salvation through grace, or the gospel
    that Jesus preached: the Kingdom of God and salvation through grace?
    –Society needs to be more communal, just like church.

    Our ability to organize and to accomplish more together than we can alone is one of the crowning achievements of humanity, and our ability to work together
    makes Christian effort far more effective.
    –That’s exactly what they say about evolution: that we learned to work together; minus the Christian part.
    –That’s a troll statement; I apologize.
    –Concerning the Christian part: living by and producing the fruit of the Spirit is far more effective.

    It’s also part of God’s design for how we should interact while we’re on this planet. Come to think of it, heaven is a community too.
    –“Where two or more…”ahh you get the point.

    The only one who wants Christians to believe we’re better off alone is
    our enemy.
    If you really think about it, it’s actually a very clever tactic.
    –Umm, yah. Point?

    The church has helped even those who resent the church

    –That is what Christ commissioned us with. “To love your neighbour as yourself,”
    right? Wait, wait, wait, the Bible says something more about this: Romans 13:8- 14 (but especially 8-10; and then vs. 10)
    –8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT KILL, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, THOU SHALT NOT COVET; and if there is any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. 10 Love worketh no ill to one’s neighbor:
    therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    11 And this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on
    the armor of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the lusts of flesh.

    Finally, if you’re reading this article and you have any modicum of faith in Jesus, may I suggest your faith is actually the result of the mission of the church.
    –Yay. A proper use of a big word.
    –And no. Many I know came to know Christ by His Word and not the preaching of a preacher/priest/clergyman.
    –I’m going to skip ahead to continue this thought

    Very few people come to know Jesus because he appears to them supernaturally when they are alone and calls them by name.
    Does that ever happen?
    Sure. But not to 99.9% of us.
    Almost all of us who follow Jesus have had our lives changed by a flawed body called the church that Jesus so passionately loves and calls his own.
    –Continued
    –Yes. And many I know have had their lives and faith destroyed by the church.
    –My faith was on that route. It’s been months and months and months, and left alone with God’s Word and someone to talk to and gather together in His Name, has restored my mustard seed faith and has calmed my mind.
    –Some I know, understand completely, others, fear for me, and yet others, are uncertain to the point of keeping their distance. The Bible is truth and it doesn’t say anything it does not mean. Some is poetry, some is prophecy, some is instruction, some is chastising, some is judging, but it is all truth. If the Truth has set you free, then you are free. And the challenging, life destroying and changing parts of the Bible will not cause you to think “This can’t apply to me, even though it completely tells me I’m wrong.” We will take it like a child takes punishment and be thankful God loves us to correct us, Himself.

    Think about that.
    –Yes, think about that.

    We need more church
    –No. More Church.

    Do we need more churches? Yes.
    –No

    Do we need more humble churches? We do.
    –No, we need more humble Churches.

    Do you we need authentic, transparent leadership? Absolutely.
    –Jesus is my Leader, who is yours? He’s pretty transparent.

    Does the church need to change? Without a doubt.
    –Constantly, but not in belief and faith must grow.

    The church needs continual reformation and transformation.
    –The Church does, not the church.

    So what will the future look like?
    –Well, Revelation gives a clear picture. Earth, death, and Hell are burned up. Oh right, the sinners are not tormented in hell for eternity.

    Will we gather in quite the way we do today in the future? In some ways yes; in others, no.
    –Nope! On heaven’s streets.

    Hopefully we gather more frequently and work through our differences at a deeper level and impact our communities more powerfully.
    –Every day, right?

    These two posts offer 10 predictions about future church attendance and 11 traits of churches that will impact the future.
    But regardless of how the church gathers in the future, we will gather…we need to gather.
    –“We” you mean the Church, right? And not necessarily in ‘church’?

    We Christians need each other, probably now more than ever.
    –Yes, the Bible says so: Do not forsake…;where two or more…

    And even if you don’t think you need other Christians, I promise you you do, and so does our world.
    –Yes, but we don’t need a church building to do this.

    Now, more than ever, the world needs Christian working together humbly under Christ to lead people into a growing relationship with him, in whatever innovate and fresh forms that takes.
    –NO! GOD leads people to Himself through Jesus, NOT us. Read the Bible! We are to tell people about what God has done for us. Showing them God’s love through our lives; fulfilling the Law by love as our Lord and Saviour did while
    on this Earth.

    The church is not dead.
    –The ‘church’ is. The Church, is rising.

    Far from it.
    –Oh, well, yes! The ‘church is dead’. It has under-served it’s purpose.
    –What religion is your church doing? This one? James 1: 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
    –This is the only one the God of the Bible accepts.

    Maybe it’s just beginning to take shape for a brand new era that desperately needs it.
    –Maybe it is, put Truth before thought.

    • Roland Richard on June 21, 2015 at 4:59 am

      I agree with you totally, I never left the church just because I don’t go to the building but I spend a great deal of time searching for Him. The advantage of the building is that you can go to a place where others share the same passion as you do and it’s a place you can go to talk about the Father and Jesus, a community that shares a common interest. Not every community worships the same so its up to the individual to find the right fit. I would strongly suggest to anyone that does not read the bible on a daily basis to attend, because the buildings will have a part to play in end times. When people want answers to why the world went south, the building is there for them to run to for answers cause those that attended and did not make Christ their savior will have a huge role to play.

    • TimandJocelyn Morse on August 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Right on! After I made my post above and scrolled down and saw what you wrote. People really need to understand who our creator is and who he is in them. The holy spirit/ his word is our true teacher not men with these bogus articles.

  106. scprguy on June 20, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Wow. That wasn’t a convincing argument at all. Maybe the religious churches ought to give up their tax breaks and rely only upon Him for their needs.
    His church is in religious captivity called ‘christianity’ and in the time of the end, another great exodus of those hearing His voice to ‘come out of her my children, lest you share in her sins and partake of her plagues’ Rev 18:4.
    What are y’all going to say and do when the Lord sends His Bride out in power, in the spirit of Moses and Elijah with this very message?
    The religious never believed the words of the prophets the Lord sent to them, I can see this unfortunately is going to happen again, but for the last time.

    • GirlInTheMachine on August 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      You realize the churches only have a tax break on the actual square footage of the sanctuary, right? the land, the rest of the building, any other buildings, on and on and on, they pay full tax on correct – I’m assuming you knew that? Most pastors I know make less than the average CEO for a company of comparable size. They pay taxes on that salary, everyone who works for the church pays taxes on their salaries. If the church is also a registered charity, they are not allowed to turn a profit, that means any excess money they have must go to causes that align with their charter. I have yet to read one church charter that says that their main goal is to enrich themselves without paying income or property taxes. So, instead, they do things like they do in my community. Recently one church bought a building and they’ve converted it into a hostel for street kids to live, long term. Everything they need, including anything they might need to permanently get off the streets, if that is what they want, is provided. Another church built a playground for the local children in their neighbourhood. Another church runs a cafeteria and 25 room “hotel” that is open every day and provides shelter, clothing, food and anything else those desperate people need. If you take away that one tiny little sanctuary that doesn’t get taxed, what would happen? Probably nothing. Would it make a huge difference to how they operate? You have to live within your means, so the money to pay the taxes would come out of the money used for charitable purposes. You may find that you get what you want – not going to bother me any. But you should really think through your argument and, you should know actually what you’re arguing about.

  107. Noah V on June 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    A summary of your response seems to be: “People are only done with the church because they don’t have the same keen insights that I do.”

    The reality is that the mainstream US evangelical church has an outdated culture that has made it relatively immoral compared to the secular world. Consider:
    1. The evangelical church as whole rejects science, and with it a functional stewardship of our planet and it’s resources (Not to mention, who wants to be associated with a group perceived to be the personification of ignorance?).
    2. The evangelical church as a whole subjugates women to a lesser role than men.
    3. The evangelical church as a whole is hostile to the LGBTQ community. Evangelical organizations and voters are behind a large percentage of discriminatory legislation targeting the LGBTQ community.
    4. Somewhere between 70-80% of all evangelicals consistently do not support programs, policies and/or candidates that actively help the poor (health-care, safety net, etc.) despite the fact that Jesus spoke more about the importance of helping the poor than any other topic.

    My question: Why would any moral person ever look to join a US evangelical church?

    I agree on one thing. We do need more church. Just not the one that we have.

    • VB501 on July 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      I am in a mainline Protestant church and although my church does not have women as elders, I have never felt like I was subjugated or marginalized–ever. Also I have found the conservative bodies as a whole much kinder to sinners and much more accommodating of differences in opinion. I have found the churches that have left the teaching of the Bible regarding LGBTQ to be the most vicious and intolerant of anyone not in agreement with them. It is possible to love your fellow neighbor and not agree with their interpretation or rejection of Scripture. I actually had a lifelong “friend” insist that if you do not accept homosexuality as part of God’s plan, then you are a hate filled, bigot. My teenaged grandson was recently rejected by a FB music group because he stated that “everyone has a right to their own opinion”. They said he wasn’t aggressive enough in opposing members who supported traditional marriage–It’s a freaking MUSIC group! So much for tolerance, and this boy is so desperate for friends with similar interests that it breaks my heart.

      • TimandJocelyn Morse on August 3, 2015 at 5:43 pm

        Look at it from the spiritual we the people are the bride. He in us is the groom. His words that follow from us is the man that speaks. The bride/women does not speak. Bet they never told you that in church. It’s all about the physical there.

    • GirlInTheMachine on August 8, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Noah, where you getting your information? I’m curious. “70-80% of all evangelicals consistently do not support programs, policies and/or candidates that actively help the poor” – where do those numbers come from? It’s such a whacked out number compared to what I hear and see everyday, that it kinda doesn’t make sense. Who do you consider to be evangelical? Christians in general? Do some research. Take some inventory on charities that help the poor, sick, underprivileged and oppressed and line them up with the faiths that support them. Who’s going to come out on top? I’ve done the work already, so I know, but do you?

    • JǫrðViðJǫrð on August 31, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      The most uselss idea or being an active Christian is passively listening to an idolizedan tell you what you already know you should do but instead you sit in your comfortable pew to hear him tell you what you should be doing in that very moment which is to preach and help people, especially the poor, because just hearing it strokes your ego enough that you feel like a good Christian just because you’re hearing what you stand for. If you stand for it, you would be doing it. Most church attendees aren’t. This is the issue, we’ve associated the church with a building, which is a complete misinterpretation. It’s ourselves, our bodies. So instead of sitting in a church on Sunday morning, we should be going out together to help people.

    • Kristin on October 24, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Though I agree with much of what you say, it’s important to note the distinction between voting for other people to help the poor and helping the poor yourself. You don’t have to vote for government imposed charity if you’re actually involved in the charity yourself. Otherwise… SPOT ON.

  108. David MacKenzie on June 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I’ve been on an academic leave from pastoral ministry now for over a year. In that time, I’ve visited over 20 churches in my area. Some are very capable. Most are very sincere. Yet, I’m still struck by how disconnected Sunday worship has become. I honestly thought that in 15 months of looking around, I’d actually hear the Lord’s Prayer. Yet, not once have I heard it. I actually thought that in 15 months, I’d hear the word “ISIS” spoken more than just once. Christians the world over are being beaten into the ground, and yet there is silence on a Sunday. What I notice is a profound sense of superficiality on a Sunday. To be fair, maybe these churches dig more deeply in a prayer service or a mid-week small group. But the odd thing is, the visitor would never, ever know. It is as though Sunday dare not mention “Good Friday”— as if it shall be reserved for celebration alone, and have no connection whatsoever to the cross-bearing we are called to do, in Christ Jesus. Overlooking the possibility of personal delusion, I don’t believe I was ever looking for a “perfect church” during my sabbatical. The problem, to me, though is I WAS looking for a church that was REAL about the difficult times in which we live. Instead, I seem to have found something that shares more affinity with the entertaining distractions of “Vegas”, to Marx’ “opiate of the masses”, or to Roman “bread and circuses”. What is happening to us?

    • Mumanna on June 30, 2015 at 5:57 am

      Have you considered that maybe you are being called to be what you are searching for? There are many of us who are searching for the same thing. You won’t know it by just attending a “service” but by getting to know the “searchers”. Having been in churches of all denominations I have found true christians and “searchers” (those of us who are hungry for the unadulterated Word to be preached and expounded upon with conviction and passion for Christ). There are problems in every church – divisions, in-fighting, cliches, and hypocrites who “praise Him” loudly on Sunday and forget Him as they walk out the door.We Need Pastors who will Lead and Teach. Are you going to be one?

      • David MacKenzie on June 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        Dear Mumanna:

        Yes, I have. And thanks for the reaffirmation. It means a lot.

  109. 10 Terrible Reasons to Be Done with Church on June 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    […] So here’s my question. What if nobody bailed? What if everyone decided to stay and work out their issues and be part of the solution? I think it would be a game changer. […]

  110. christoph on June 17, 2015 at 6:32 am

    “organized religion” and “Church” as described in the New Testament are worlds apart

  111. Verne Skjonsby on June 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I see the churches problem in the structure we have. Like so many organizations in the US, a lions share of the money goes to the pastor, bishops or presidents and all of their assistants and staff plus to the national organization. Where is the money for the poor? We, mostly, don’t want them in our nice clean building. The other problem is all the publicity (too little and too late) on sexual abuse in the church. I have met an amazing number of people who left for that reason. They are never coming back.

  112. Richard Brand on June 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I am so ashamed of the people who are the loudest, meanest, most dogmatic in the name of Christianity, that I try to pretend that I have nothing to do with them. Plus most of the stuff I see done in church in worship is civic club stuff.

    • Verne Skjonsby on June 16, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      I’ll grant you the announcements, passing the peace, and some of the prayers for folk nobody knows, but you don’t get God’s word and Communion at a civic club!

      • Richard Brand on June 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

        I have been to services where they read only about four or five verses of Scripture, the sermon is about some community cause or some political issue, or how to deal with stress, how to be happy, The churches I have seen do not have baptisms because they have no children and no new members. So once a quarter they have communion.

  113. […] I would like to highlight some great points in a blog entitled A Response to Christians Who are Done With Church by Carey Nieuwhof: […]

  114. Amy on June 16, 2015 at 2:31 am

    It’s not the church! It’s how the church functions in western culture that is the problem! Simple, house to house gatherings where we hold each other to obey what Jesus taught us, transformed by the Holy Spirit using the tithes & offerings to help the poor & advance the gospel where Christ’s good news has not yet gone instead of multimillion dollar buildings and huge staffs that minister to those who come to watch. That is what people are walking away from!

  115. Recommended reading (16 June) | macarisms on June 16, 2015 at 12:47 am

    […] Carey Nieuwhof A Response to Christians who are done with Church […]

  116. jonperrin on June 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Exceptional article, Carey! The writer of the Book of Acts (Paul?) said, “Don’t give up the habit of meeting together.” (Heb. 10:25) I believe that is because a church service is to be a COMMUNAL celebration of God’s grace at work in our lives. If you bail from community, you lose the communal aspect of Christianity. Besides, spiritual maturity is accelerated in the context of community.

  117. Billy Mitchell on June 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Its important to understand most aren’t leaving Christ’s body, but this institutionalized version of what Christ intended. Here is something I just read today from a church in Alabama…

    We want to challenge you to start tithing, and see God begin blessing your life as you commit to healthy financial stewardship.

    How?

    We’re asking you to commit to take 10% of your total income for the next 90 days and give it to God through the church.

    Who?

    Tithing is God’s plan for every follower of Christ. However, the 90 Day Challenge is for individuals or families that have not been tithing in at least the last six months. Tithing is 10% of your income not just regular or spontaneous giving in the church offering.

    Why?

    The only thing in the Bible that God says to test Him on is
    tithing. We at ______ Church believe in it so strongly that we want to
    give you the opportunity to take God at His Word. God promises us you
    blessings when you trust Him by giving Him the first ten percent.

    Then what?

    We understand that giving away 10% of your income can be a big –
    and often frightening – commitment! That’s why we created the 90 Day
    Tithing Challenge: a money-back guarantee of sorts. Essentially, it’s a contract based on the promises of God in Malachi 3:10-11. We commit to you that if you tithe for three months and God doesn’t hold true to His promises of blessings, we will refund 100% of your tithe. No questions asked.

    Terms and Conditions

    Before participating in the 90 Day Challenge please make sure you’ve got the rules covered:

    I understand that this form must be completed and received by
    _____ Church prior to the beginning of the 90 Day Tithe Challenge
    period.

    I understand that my household qualifies for participation because
    we have not been tithing for the last six months. (This is defined as
    consistent percentage giving of 10% of our household income.)

    I understand that if paid at a physical service at ______ Church,
    my tithe must be paid by check, by completed offering envelope, or by
    the giving kiosk so that my tithe can be properly credited.

    I understand that I cannot seek a refund prior to the end of the 90
    Day Tithing Challenge period, and I understand that I cannot seek a
    refund unless I complete the entirety of the 90 day period with
    consistent and faithful giving.

    I understand that I cannot seek a refund for any contributions made
    prior to the beginning of the 90 Day Tithing Challenge period.

    I understand that any request for refund must be received by _______
    Church Offices within 30 days of the end of the 90 Day Tithing
    Challenge Period.

    You are agreeing to the following: “I would like to test God’s
    faithfulness by accepting the 90 Day Tithe Challenge. I agree that for
    the three-month period stated below, my household will contribute to
    God, through _______ Church, a tithe equal to 10% of our income. At the
    end of the 90 day period, if I am not convinced of God’s faithfulness to
    bless my life as a result of my obedience to His Word, then I will be
    entitled to request a refund of the full amount of contributions made
    during that 90 day period.

    -This is the stuff being rejected. And its a very good thing. As I mentioned earlier, the ground is being tilled and new things are growing. I hope most view these shifts with great optimism.

    • Jack on June 17, 2015 at 6:08 am

      Are you making a contract with God….phew this stinks
      Doesn’t the word say,that he will build his church
      Making the scripture say what you want to say
      This stinks

    • Jeff Shaffer on July 6, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Unbelievable! Even if the tithe was valid and applied to followers of Christ (and it does not…all the requirements of the old covenant ended when Jesus was crucified, died, resurrected, ascended and subsequently glorified), this is something a for-profit company in our culture would do.

  118. […] a link to my friend Carey Nieuwhof’s (click HERE) post in response to Christians who are done with Church. Just click on Carey’s picture to […]

  119. Billy Mitchell on June 15, 2015 at 11:05 am

    What I’m noticing and hearing is a movement of people who are simply not at all interested in perpetuating the religion of Christianity, a denomination, a church or church planting network, or a church brand name. The desire is to see “on earth as it is in heaven” (focusing on Kingdom), be obedient to Jesus (His mission from Matt 28), and to do this with others 168 hours a week (organized gatherings are overflow of family-like connections). This is awesome and those in this group are turning the world (Christianity included) on its head.

  120. lisetteDeBorchgrave on June 15, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Sometimes we need distance– we need to cover ground. I need a faith community–I know that is what Jesus had in mind for us. However, we humans hurt each other so much, when we are gathered into communities of any sort. The “walkabout” that so many of us take, is natural. Many of the faith stories I have heard in my life, have that piece. People get done. They just walk away. The bad behavior often witnessed is so far removed from what Jesus wanted us to be like–I can’t blame people for just calling it quits. However, once you have heard Jesus, no matter how far you run–you eventually do return in some way. -Might take a while–might be a new form or faith experience. I understand my own need to run from the scary scary behavior I see in churches–to tend my wounds, walk the labyrinth- shake the dust off-I’ll be back.

  121. theonethatlived on June 14, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Carey, your arguments, excuses, reasons are just that “yours.” You have decided this is a method to get some to see your point of view or perhaps that of the church you lead. Apparently you have taken up the proselytizing call from God and made the message fit your agenda. Much of what you say is redundant, sentence after sentence just reworded to justify your position on organized church.
    I may have taken Jesus into my heart/soul while attending a church, but within 4 years the pain I felt whenever I was around those people was suffocating. My heart ached, my spirit sagged because of the deceitfulness of most “playing” Christian.
    I do not have the need to be seen as a Christian. I live it. Do not need to wear any symbols of it. Just plain live it.
    In the years that I have stopped attending organized churches, my faith and dependence on Jesus grows everyday. The tithes I gave to support the pastor and so on, go directly to those in real need. I know the Bible tells us to give to the pastor and all that, but my heart is to give directly to those in need. Jesus was an original homeless person, he hung out with the “less thans” the lowliest of the lowly, not the ones that were the “religious.” At least in their minds.
    I follow HIS word. I focus on HIS teachings. Do not go a morning without being in HIS word to guide me through what He has set for me to do for the day.
    You are among many that give the argument that if one does not worship in an organized church~advertising for YOUR church~then we are doing it all wrong. Jesus will be the judge of that when we face judgement. Do not need you or the likes of you to tell me otherwise.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Clearly you have this all figured out. Thanks for your editorial on the state of my heart. Best wishes.

      • fundamentals on June 14, 2015 at 3:26 pm

        A bit snippy, don’t you think?

  122. Brother Maynard on June 14, 2015 at 12:06 am

    But what if the reason people don’t like going to church is that they’re tired of churches that keep telling them in condescending, pedantic, or overly simplistic ways that their idea of “church” is wrong? And what if they’ve already thought very deeply, long and hard, about all of the reasons people give them that they’re wrong, and find most of those arguments to be filled with false dichotomies or fundamental misunderstandings about why they don’t want to go to church in the first place? What if their broader view of church is still more compelling to them and more strengthening to their faith than the narrow view that demands they fill a pew each week? Just sayin’.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      When you cannot find ‘one’ good church…maybe the problem isn’t the church.

      • Ann A. Jones on June 15, 2015 at 3:02 pm

        That’s a comfort, Carey. When we can’t find a church that preaches the gospel, has no heart for missions, plays music that no one in the church knows, and treats the older Christians like they are of no value, it’s OUR fault. So, we have decided that best thing is for us to stay home and let you have church that can be anything except for people like us. Good job.

      • jonperrin on June 15, 2015 at 10:26 pm

        Absolutely true!

      • aarongallegos on June 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

        Respectfully Carey, this reply isn’t helpful and shows Brother Maynard’s point. You’ve probably seen the recent stats on the “dones” – those who are done with church. If all these committed Christians are leaving church, perhaps the problem isn’t them.

        • Lukas Targosz on June 16, 2015 at 10:54 am

          How do you define “committed Christians” when you are living your faith alone (as many “dones” that I know do)? Committed to who or what?

          • Janise Rose on August 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

            Committed to God and His Son, Jesus. Not all who claim Christ as their Savior and Lord have the benefit of finding other Christians to “assemble together with” for one reason or another. Are you God that you can know a person’s heart? Or what their life is, where they live, are they housebound for one reason or another, and on and on?



        • Ann A. Jones on June 16, 2015 at 12:31 pm

          Well said, Aaron! I know a lot of people in our position. It’s good to know that we are NOT alone or at fault. The Christian army tends to shoot its wounded, doesn’t it?

      • Nick117 on June 17, 2015 at 5:58 pm

        LOL, seriously Carey, can you be more judgmental than this? Maybe some christians are leaving the church because of stupid comments like yours, tired of being always point out as the guilty one. I live in an area where 99% of the society is non-religious, so yes there is some situation where sometimes there is no community that fit who you are when all the churches around you are trying to be the next ”hillsong”.

      • Pastor A on June 27, 2015 at 10:25 am

        I agree with Carey.

        A couple thoughts:

        – Judgment begins at the household of God.
        – if your trying to pick the speck out of someone else’s eye; then pull out the plank in your own first.
        – You can’t be done with church (a community of believers following a pastor) AND follow Christ at the same time.

        • Ann A. Jones on January 6, 2016 at 8:51 am

          Wish you could walk a mile in my clogs. Been there with me when I was told to my face that I don’t count. When Christians rejected me after my husband was unfaithful. Turned their backs on me during deep depression, telling me that my faith was weak. I could go on. There is nothing wrong with Jesus, but His followers, including you and me, are often so far off the mark that it isn’t funny. If God can accept me as I am, then why do others feel it is their right to push me away? People like that give the church – and mostly Jesus – a bad name. There are times when having someone insist that I poke myself in the eye because I can see what is going on around me just becomes too painful to tolerate. Instead of anyone listening, we get remarks like yours denying the situation and blaming it all on us. I suggest that you and Carey do as you think we should. Is your church all that perfect?

    • Ann A. Jones on June 15, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      I understand Brother Maynard. We were told to our faces to “like it or lump it.
      We have been told that the kind of service we can participate in is “irrelevant,” that our gifts are worthless. We fall into the gap between “adult” and “senior” and neither of them fits us. We did not change, the church did. We are no longer wanted, and we don’t go where we aren’t wanted.

  123. Tracy Parish Lilley on June 13, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks so much for continually articulating the heartbeat of the Church from your perspective Carey. This post elicited so much dialogue when I shared it on my FB page. It was so insightful and challenged me as a leader to better acquaint myself with my own personal views and how best to express them. So again thank you.

  124. Ron on June 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I’ve spent the last 38 years serving the Lord in about as many ways as one could serve I suppose. If I think back I’ve been a youth pastor,a church planter,worship leader,senior pastor,and evangelist. I’ve also found myself serving as church janitor and a few other titles I’ve long forgotten.
    I absolutely LOVE the church. I NEED to be in church. I long to be connected to a body of like minded believers. I struggle when I am disconnected from Christ’s body.
    Yet that is where I find myself today. Disconnected and so lonely.
    Call it burnout or whatever you want to call it but I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply cannot be content to attend yet another manufactured,programmed to the minute,choreographed “service” where no one leaves any differently than the way they came.
    I am desperate for God. I am hungry,starving for a move of God that will shake us to the core and cause us to see us as He sees us.
    I know many who have walked away from church because they think they don’t need the church. I am not numbered among them. As I stated previously I NEED the church,I long for the church.
    Where I differ is that I need for the church to simply be the church. A loving,thriving community of faith where love is not a byword but rather the guiding principle and principle motivator for why we do what we do.
    I long to find a place where love is practiced,where it is demonstrated from a sincere heart without respect of person. I could care less about light shows,music styles,jeans or suits,or the length of ones hair. None of that moves me and certainly is not an indicator of one’s standing with God.
    I didn’t leave the church because I no longer need the church. I left the church in order to find it.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Ron…one of the most heartfelt honest comments I’ve seen. I applaud your search. Maybe you’re called to start a church at your age. 🙂 Ron, the only flag I see is if you’ve seen many many churches and none of them is ‘good enough’. I know a lot of leaders behind the lights and the hair and ‘shows’ who have similar hearts to what yours sounds like. There is authentic connection in many many places. Something to pray about.

    • Billy Mitchell on June 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      All do respect to Carey, I beg you not to “start a church”. Starting a church was never the focus of Jesus or His apostles. I would encourage you to find one or two others with your same passion and begin revealing the Kingdom to the most marginalized in your community. Of course the result of this will someday be “church” (which does what you’ve modeled so will quickly reproduce), but that was never the starting point.

  125. Abel Perez on June 13, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Nice post, thanks,
    I do try to teach the congregation, that we use the word church too easily, that there are levels, I may say:
    the church, just a building a temple.
    The Church, the local congregation which we may have some disagreements and…
    THE CHURCH, the one and only body of Christ.
    The world get confuse or the wrong message when we complain about The Church, sounds like we are talking about THE CHURCH. We are part of it or not. HE sustains it, since was stablished to eternity there is an interrupted line. We deal with churches and Churches. We even call it ours some time is His.

  126. Mark M on June 12, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Great post! I think something we can forget is that even if I feel I don’t need the church, the church needs each one of us because a body with missing body parts never functions as well as it could when all the parts are working together. Sometimes being involved is a sacrifice, but in light of Jesus’ sacrifice I personally can’t justify not being involved. We might consider it an organization but the structure God set up in the Old Testament was very organized so I don’t think He is against it being organized. The last reason I think involvement is important us because Jesus gave us gifts of pastors, etc so I want to do my best to look after the gifts that Jesus gave to help us ( even if I don’t think some of those gifts are very good, they are still a gift from Jesus) so the body/church can accomplish its job. I’m glad our North American governments provide us with some tax relief so we can leverage our resources. I understand that we can loose focus on what our mission should be but that has been a common theme throughout the bible. However because the church is about relationships I also understand that when we get hurt it can be very hard to remain in relationship with people until some of those wounds get some healing. Yes change is needed but for that to happen I must choose to love the bride and be part of the solution instead of looking at the problems from a distance.

  127. Gary Davis on June 12, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Strong alone (John in prison), UNSTOPPABLE together (the church in Acts).

  128. Ronnie Brown on June 12, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for such an insightful post. It hurts me so to hear people disparage the church when Jesus himself loves the church. Even so far as to give his life for the church. Your post is right on target.

  129. Will Lee on June 12, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Hey, Carey. I appreciate your pastoral sensitivity, your leadership, and your love for the church. I’d like to have a conversation about the people this article does not address. This post sounds a bit like a false dichotomy: either you’re part of an institutional church or you’re just going it alone and don’t value the church. But there are those of us who love the body of Christ, are committed to Christian community, but do not equate the church with the non-profit organization/institution that North American Christianity tends to equate with “the church.” Do we really have to create an institutional organization to be the church?

    • Dale Turner on June 13, 2015 at 6:59 am

      Now you’re on to something!

  130. Charles Hodsdon on June 12, 2015 at 10:41 am

    After 15 years of church leadership in one form or another, It’s been almost 2 years since I have consistently been involved in a Sunday gathering of the church. I’ve experienced a spectrum of emotions during my period of recovery from burn out. I have a million and one issues with how the churches in my area “do church”, but I’ve never stopped longing for a faith community. We were designed to exist as a body, an intricate connection of parts. I am extremely blessed by the friends who have patiently stood by my wife and I and kept us connected to the body, praying with us, crying with us, encouraging us, opening the word with us, and loving people with us. Though many acquaintances of mine might put me in the “rejecting the church” camp, I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment, that it is entirely impossible to embrace Christ and cut yourself off from the body, the church isn’t a place we go, it is who we are.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 12, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Stay encouraged Charles. Thanks for sharing your heart. We’re on this journey with you. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  131. Wayne Stiles on June 12, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Really good, Carey. Thank you. Those who walk away are indeed stepping outside of God’s plan for them. The church was Jesus’ idea, and He didn’t make a mistake. I appreciate the clarity and kindness of your post.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 12, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Thanks Wayne. I just don’t see how leaving the church leads to greater faithfulness or effectiveness, hence the post. And why I lead the way I do (and why so many others lead the same way).

      • Wayne Stiles on June 12, 2015 at 10:56 am

        I think leaving also means walking away from the Great Commission—something no one person can do on their own. It takes the body working together, each gift functioning in its purpose. Thanks again.

    • A Amos Love on January 4, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Carey, Wayne, myself, and most folks I know, are NOT “Done” with “The Church of God.” Where Jesus is the head of the body, the church. WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, His Disciples, His Ekklesia, are “Done” with the church of man run like a business. The 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation, that the IRS calls church. Where Mere Fallible Humans have taken “Titles” NOT found in the Bible for one of His Disciples. And have taken the name of the Lord, my God, Shepherd, Leader, Reverend, in vain. And have “Led” the folks astray. Jer 50:6, “My people” hath been “lost sheep:” **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    • A Amos Love on January 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Carey, Wayne, Haven’t you ever wondered why? In the Bible? NOT one of His Disciples took the “Title” Lead Pastor? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend? And, NOT one of His Disciples called them self lead pastor? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend? And, NOT one of His Disciples called another Disciple lead pastor? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend? And, NOT one of His Disciples was, Hired or Fired, as a lead pastor? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend? Job 32:21-22 KJV, Let me NOT, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give “Flattering Titles” unto man. For I know NOT to give “FlatteringTitles;” in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

      • Wayne Stiles on January 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        Again, Carey. Thanks for being both balanced—and kind. An essential quality in any leader.

        For what it’s worth, Amos, actually, titles were part of the NT church: elder, deacon, and overseer are found in both Paul’s and Peter’s letters as legitimate positions. We can quibble over “lead pastor” or any other title, but any abuse of power by a leader doesn’t negate the legitimacy of the office designated by the apostles.

    • A Amos Love on January 4, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Wayne – Thanks for the response.
      Maybe you are correct when you say…
      “…Amos, actually, titles were part of the NT church…”
      It could be just me who can NOT find these “Titles.”

      But, the questions asked were about “His Disciples,” in the Bible.

      In the Bible, Can you name…
      One of “His Disciples” who took the Title/Position pastor?
      Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

      In the Bible, Can you name…
      One of “His Disciples” who called them self pastor?
      Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

      In the Bible, Can you name…
      One of “His Disciples” who was, Hired or Fired, as a pastor?
      Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

      What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
      What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

      • Wayne Stiles on January 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        Here you go. Peter wrote: “I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you” (1 Peter 5:1–2).

        • A Amos Love on January 4, 2016 at 2:36 pm

          Wayne – NOT sure what this is referring to.

          Yes – Peter calls himself an elder.
          But, is elder here a “Title?”
          And – Peter never takes the “Title” pastor?
          Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

          Also, “shepherd the flock” is a verb NOT a “Title.”

          And, depends on which Bible version you use. 😉

          1 Pet 5:2
          KJV – Feed the flock of God which is among you…
          RSV – Tend the flock of God…
          NLT – Care for the flock…

          And, nothing in 1 Pet 5, about the
          “Title/Position” pastor/leader/reverend.

          John 10:16
          And other sheep I have,
          which are not of this fold:
          them also I must bring,
          and they shall “hear My voice; “
          and there shall be “ONE” fold,
          and “ONE” shepherd.

          One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

          {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    • A Amos Love on January 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Wayne

      You mention “the Great Commission” in one of your comments.
      Even if, Mat 28:19, KJV, is correct, “Go… teach all nations.”
      Or, Mat 28:19, ESV, is correct, “Go… make disciples…”

      Verse 20, in most versions are similar…
      In verse 20, Jesus, teaches, His Disciples, what to teach.
      When teaching all nations – Or, making disciples of Jesus.

      Mat 28:20 NASB
      …teaching them to observe ALL that I commanded you…

      Sounds simple, read the four gospels, teach what Jesus taught.

      Did Jesus teach “His Disciples” to take the “Title” pastor?
      Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?” – NOPE!

      Did “His Disciples” teach potential Disciples to take the “Title” pastor?
      Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?” – NOPE!

      Did you know, Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called Leaders?
      For you have “ONE” leader – the Christ. And NONE did…
      In the Bible, ALL of “His Disciples” called themselves “Servants.” 😉

      Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible
      Do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
      But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant”.
      Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
      and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

      Mat 23:10-12 – The Message
      And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them.
      There is only “ONE” Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
      **Do you want to stand out? – Then step down. – Be a Servant.**
      If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.
      But if you’re content to simply be yourself,
      your life will count for plenty.

      If someone calls them self a “Leader?”
      Allows others to call them “Leader?”

      Are they one of “His Disciples?” Hmmm?

      Can you “Go… teach all nations.” Or “Go… make disciples…”
      If you do NOT teach what Jesus taught “His Disciples?”
      If you do NOT imitate “His Disciples” in the Bible?

      Seems, in the Bible, the only “ONE” I can find…
      With the “Title,” or referred to as…
      Shepherd. And Leader. And Reverend. IS…

      {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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