To Pastors Everywhere

A big [facepalm] to all my unchurched, podcast-sermon-listening “Christian” friends who are “trying to recover 1st century NT spirituality.”

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this attitude is, in part, that which drives people away from the modern church. Not saying all pastors have this attitude, but this quote came across my newsfeed on Facebook. The fact that any pastor would feel comfortable enough to say this publicly is astonishing to me. 

Hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but if people leave your church looking for something that resembles the spirituality of the NT, chances are high that your church doesn’t resemble the NT church. Of course, no church really does in this day and age. We’ve become so far removed from the era of Mysticism and Spirituality in the church as a whole, at least here in the Western World, that we confuse intellectual knowledge of the scriptures with knowing Christ on a deep, personal level. 

I applaud those who, like my family, have been through the church grind and left the need for it behind. Why? Because I see the hurt. I see the pain. And while it’s not always the church that caused it, generally speaking, it is. 

 Christianity was always supposed to be about communion and relationship with God almighty, not about going to church. Heavens. Church wasn’t supposed to be about gathering together, singing a couple songs, and then hearing someone speak about the scriptures before going home. 

What I want to say, is to be watchful of these things. Church-hurt individuals often leave churches, or start bouncing among churches. But more often, they change religions, seeking a path that truly follows a spiritual side. Pagan religions of all kinds offer this. Satan makes it readily available, to any who will go searching. And if the church keeps pushing people over time, then who is really able to be blamed for the loss of these individuals?

Not going to fully blame the church, but what else do you expect when the body of Christ begins attacking its own? Of course they chose to leave. When things get said, like, suck it up and serve, to the mother of an autistic child who literally can’t help in the church.. I would condemn that right here and now. I see these things. I hear them. 

People are responsible for their actions. If they choose to worship at home, in private, with their family, or church hop, so be it. That’s between them and God. And quite frankly, God is more concerned that they spend time with Him than with y’all. I guarantee it. 

This whole mess is like that meme, saying that anyone who leaves out of hurt had put their faith in people instead of God. Bull. Complete nonsense. Hypocrisy, lack of understanding, lack of spiritual things.. all these contribute to a spiritual coldness. But add church folk that cause pain?  Often that’s the final straw. Quite frankly, the people who survive all that nonsense and stay close to God, even coming  closer to Him, are better off in a different church if they choose to go to another one. Sometimes they don’t do that. Some of us remove ourselves for our family’s good, and are completely right in doing so. The Holy Spirit leads each individual on an individual basis, situation, by situation, if we are but willing to listen. 

Who are you, to have this kind of attitude to people? 

As a Christian, you are to show the kind of attitude that Jesus does all throughout the gospels. As a pastor, you are held doubly accountable for your actions, because you teach others. 

There is no excuse for this kind of thinking.  Please learn from this, to be more gracious and compassionate to people who are leaving the church. 

No more attempts to judge them according to any kind of theology, not your place. Jesus said already that it is given to Him to judge all, yet He judges no man. But if He judges, He judges righteously. 

He states that He judges righteously in the same breath as stating He judges no one. 

Theology isn’t what this is all about. Jesus states that the entire law and the prophets hangs off of 2 laws, which were found in the Old Testament. 

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. 

None of this multiple laws to be followed. None of this have to do x,y, and z to be Holy. If you are following the two laws Jesus hung everything off of,  you’ll become Holy. Relationship and spirituality go hand in hand. If your church teaches book learning for spirituality, then I’m afraid your church is gonna lose people who seek something more real. 

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