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?’