Previously, I wrote about the 13 Reasons Why I Left the Institutional Church. Here are the 14 reasons I never returned.
- The day I told the pastor I would no longer be attending, all information about me was deleted from church records within hours. The church never contacted me again.
- When I bumped into people from the church in local stores they pretended they did not know me.
- When I e-mailed several people from the church (including one person who had borrowed something from me which he had not returned and who I e-mailed three times) they never replied.
- I discovered people in the streets on Sunday mornings who don’t like churches, but who want to talk about Jesus. I don’t remember anyone at church who wanted to talk about Jesus.
- I love the freedom in Christ, of not being told how I must believe and how I must interpret the Bible. After I left, I discovered that most of what the church believed was taken straight from a book written by a “theologian” who they considered something like their guru. That book was their primary resource. The Bible was somewhere down the list, behind numerous other books.
- Now my time and money are available to help others.
- Now I have time to get to really know my neighbors and build community with them, and help them build community with each other.
- I no longer dread Sundays.
- I’ve discovered a huge community of people who have left church, many of whom are trying to figure out how to build new communities outside the institutional church, communities that include Jesus.
- Most of my friends don’t expect me to pretend I’m something or someone I’m not, as I was expected to do with the church people.
- Now I really grasp the idea that I am part of the church, all the time, with everyone with whom I come in contact. Church is not a place or a time. Church is the body of Christ, alive and active in the world.
- I no longer resent serving others. Serving those who have real needs and who say thank you works so much better for me than does serving those who do not need what I have to offer and are demanding and critical.
- I’ve discovered the meaning of “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”.
- I’ve discovered where Jesus hangs out, and with whom Jesus hangs out. That is where I want to be.
None of this is meant to imply that you haven’t found Jesus at your church. This reflects only my personal experiences, and the experiences of numerous people I know.
Where do you find Jesus?