‘Check, Please.’

As I was sitting in on a sermon at the church my family and I were attending several years ago, which just happened to be right before I was deciding to become what the institutionalized church refers to as, “a member”, I was finished with the nourishment provided. After a several-course meal of the spiritual foods I had never tasted before, throughout a run of several months, the presented discourse of error that day was the final bite.

I was finished.

In short, the presenter (refusing to call him a pastor) had said that he had gone “two weeks without sinning.”

I walked out of the church that day, and I never went back.

As you have seen from my posts, I am not okay with falsehoods, and those found within His Church really tend to make my teeth hurt from biting so hard. Am I full of errors myself? It’s inevitable. Yet, I was being subtly brainwashed into a belief that I should hate myself, by a clergy and leader who claimed their self-appointed office of shepherding in His Church. All the while, they were feeding the flock a bunch of tactical lies and providing Scripture in a manor that made everyone feel less than worthy of their presence. The production was built around scare tactics and fear mongering, shrouded by a loving front. Like a fine restaurant with poor quality cuisine.

That was not okay, for me or my family.

I saw an interesting comment made by a fellow blogger in regards to one of my posts that said, “Jesus Christ came not to condemn the world, but to save it. Who are you to condemn yourself when God in fact, came to save you?” While pondering the comment for a moment, I thought about how I had already realized this very thing throughout the journey I have been on with the Lord, but his words were a quick reminder of the truth. It was also through those words that I had realized how sick the food that is being served at the local churches is making people. When a big dish of condemnation, guilt and self-hate is being served, no one leaves feeling well. No one leaves feeling like the money that they threw out for the plate was worth the meal. Yet, many return for the same disgusting pile of slop.

I will probably never return to the traditional, organized, institutionalized, ugly, unhealthy, far from biblical local church. The awful experiences and nauseating sustenance served at the ones in my area are poisonous. I have picked the true meaning of Church apart, and thank God. He showed me the bad to get to the good, and He also showed me just how important the truth is when claiming one’s self as a spiritual leader within His church.

As I reflect back on the words that left the presenter’s mouth that day, I see it as a pivotal moment within my experience with the living God. It was then that I realized that the pride of man is constantly trying to push the finished work of Christ out of the way in order for he or she to become, more.

It was a distasteful meal that day, after chewing of the food presented. It was sickening to see and hear the speaker make such a prideful claim while “shepherding the sheep” at the same time. It was almost as though the serpent was, again, urging us to eat of the fruit. A meal of reproach: poisoned with the bitter taste of deception and falsehoods.

He finished up his sermon with the same familiar guilt trip that I continuously find in these so-called fine dining establishments — those places regarded as the houses of God, where spiritual food is provided.

I just ask, ‘Are you really being nourished with truth? Do you even know what the truth is, within and about His Church?’

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “‘Check, Please.’

  1. I hear what you are saying Damon and I can agree that there are many churches that do not preach or practise the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I’ve encountered quite a few myself. However, that does not mean that there are not churches that do preach or practise the Gospel of Jesus Christ around. I don’t think you’re ever going to find a “perfect” church because there are imperfect people in all churches but there are also benefits of searching for and finding a church that you can connect with. And as I’m sure you are aware, we are encouraged to not stop gathering together to worship our Lord as indicated in Hebrews 10:25. I’m not challenging your decision, I know a number of Christian people who feel the same way you do. There’s always two sides to every coin. Isolation also has its pitfalls. Just something to think about, that’s all. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK Damon, my apology. Could have sworn that I indicated I wasn’t challenging your position, also indicated that others share your perspective and concluded with just something to think about, but I get it. No comments means no comments. Won’t happen again. Blessings.

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  3. Bruce, I kind of see within your writings and the ongoing conversations we have here at WordPress that you are constantly trying to “fix” people. I really don’t know why this is, but I am not one to constantly tell people how they should walk. I write for two reasons: One, to tell of my personal experience in the thing called life. Two, to show others Jesus and my life while trying desperately to see through His eyes.
    I couldn’t care less about whether or not people go to church, but I do hope they study what is being taught there. For you to constantly pick me – and others – apart within their walk with our Lord is not good. Sure, discernment is one thing, but Bruce and his “without a shadow of a doubt facts” is another.
    Brother, if you like to argue (with yourself or others) be my guest. I won’t participate though. You seem to carry a lot of inner frustration, and I base this on what I’ve read.
    My journey is right where God needs me to be. Step by step, He is with me.
    Thanks for your (questionable??) concern.

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  4. Church goers will always regurgitate Hebrews 10:25 to get you back “in line” but it has nothing to do with attending an organized institutions place of business.
    They always speak with a forked tongue, “we are the church” but from the other side “you must go to church”, I believe this is called cognitive dissonance.

    Also they like to remind you at that point, “there are no perfect churches or people” which I find comical, I do not need to go to church to fellowship with inperfect people, I meet them each and everyday in my day to day affairs.

    As you Damon, I love Jesus Christ more than anything, He was there Loving me and watching over me long before I knew who He was. I have read the bible from cover to cover over 5 times and listened to audio bible as often. I was not raised in a religious environment or church setting and just can not see what organized religion teaches about the bible as “truth”
    It Truly is multiple little kingdoms run by men, for men..
    We are all free to say and believe what we want. But I’m with you on this one, “where two or 3 are gathered” does not even come close to what most people preach as the gathering. And to be honest, you’re better off to walk along with only Jesus than with a church full of hell’s angels. They will try to scare you with verses such as “ your enemy is a roaring lion looking to devour you’ but they fail to realize The Power of Jesus Christ, the One you walk with.
    Your position on what it is to be disciple is a threat to those who are religious and conformed to religion. I pray that Jesus gives you strength to stay True to Him. There’s over a billion people out there who will not like your “opinions” who claim Jesus as you do. More than atheists, these are the people who will come after you the most.
    Be of good courage, for Jesus Christ Himself purposed it long before you were born that you would seek Him with all your heart, mind and soul. He will not let you down, He will pick you up Brother. Jesus IS faithful.
    May Jesus continue to fill your cup full, overflowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stephen, I am glad you are coming along for the season in this journey of mine. It seems as though you and I are very similar in our understanding of His ways. I appreciate your encouragement.

    I just cannot understand how so many are blind to the truth of these matters in Scripture. I can only assume it is the local church itself that keeps them blindfolded. I do pray they soon see how damaging it is to them by looking the other way.

    I do expect others to shun me for my posts. Truth is hard to swallow for many.
    And, I do expect others who read to say that I am only in agreement with you personally because we “believe” the same things. All I can say is that I know what you know!

    Blessings to you, sir.

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  6. You do know what you know, and there are others who know what you know, who are longing for validation or confirmation. Jesus will cross your path with those who are doubting and struggling with their faith. It will be your responsibility to tell them what you know and encourage them to keep going for Jesus Christ. Freely you have received, freely you must give.
    I went to bed one night after spending a week looking into all sorts of ideas pertaining to God, I dreamt that night that Jesus Christ was indeed who the bible testifies Him to be. The next morning my desire to smoke pot and watch porn to satisfy myself was gone. I had been a 20 year daily pot smoker at that point and rather enjoyed it. My bondage to porn was a 27 years in the making. It all went away that night. A month later I couldn’t understand why Jesus didn’t deliver me from cigarettes. I kept trying to quit on my own but couldn’t (didn’t take me long to figure out Jesus was in fact teaching me the obvious) quit. A dear friend told me that instead of focussing on quitting, focus on Jesus and continue to smoke without without guilt.
    A month later, for no reason, I just started to puke if I has a smoke. It took 4 cigarettes, but I finally figured out that Jesus was in fact setting me free.
    I know the power of Jesus Christ for I received His grace, but I’m well aware that it’s not just for me, it’s for all.
    Now in all honesty, I still suffer with wanting to gratify myself from time to time, but I had 3 years of complete freedom.
    I have not ever gone back to smoking either pot or cigarettes, I just don’t have the urge thanks to Jesus.
    I see your victories and understand your shortcomings because I experience them too.
    We understand one another because we have the same association, that association IS in fact, Jesus Christ.
    Keep your light shining bright and thank you for what you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m thinking I owe you an apology Damon, I’m sorry for the unrequested intrusion that I subjected you to. I think I was wrong. I didn’t mean to question your walk but I can see how I did. I hope you can forgive me and I shall strongly endeavour not to do this to you again. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

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