I have faith in God, I believe as much as I can, but I have absolutely no faith in the church.
The only intentions I can be sure about are my own, for others, priorities indicate intentions for me.
The church’s priorities do not give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I have church allergies, my patience flares up when I attend church.
For a split second I thought about serving as a minister, but, I cannot be an employee of the church, my church allergies won’t let me. These eyes have seen too much. Prejudice, greed, and selfish corruption. The church and I do not share the same priorities. I care about ministry to people and growth, but as an employee, my focus is the financial bottom line. How else can an organization survive? Is this why before the incorporation of the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1863 many members were concerned about organizing?
The church interposes itself into an intimate relationship between God and the individual. This relationship has been leveraged to create channels of division. There are innumerable denominations in a religion that urges that there be no divisions. The problem is that for each one of those divisions, there is a flow of money. With that flow of money, there are flows of church hurt. Yet many Christians claim that attending church is biblical.
The Bible was written before any Christian church was invented. When the Bible says don’t neglect the gathering of the brethren, it could not have been talking about the church. When the Bible says bring all the tithes into the storehouse, it couldn’t have been referring to offering baskets. Jesus and the Bible could not possibly be referring to the church assembly as we know it today. The church has smoothly slid into what was supposed to be an intimate conversation.
Is My Mind Playing Tricks on Me
I always ask myself, the bible says, believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved. When are other things added to be baptized? In Acts, after a bible study with Phillip, the Ethiopian said, “look there is water, what is stopping me from being baptized?” Phillip’s reply of, “will you support the church with your tithe and offerings must have been lost in translation. Jesus said, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or drink,” but does the King James version doesn’t mention that he means, except the clergy, the church will pay you.
My biggest consternation is the implication that a connection with God has something to do with the church body. Jesus says where two or three are gathered in my name, there I shall be. I’m not good at mathematics but I think my wife and I make two. My children bring us above that quota. I am resentful that Christians claim that the text about, don’t forsake the gathering is about a church that was not invented when this phrase was written.
I won’t even talk about the hurt people suffer at the hands of a community that they are compelled to be a part of. The politics of the church will not be mentioned in this post. This post will not touch on the divisiveness of denominational doctrine and the profits that are channeled by this division.
Pimps in the Pulpit
The church organization has interposed on the intimate relationship between God and the individual. The purest intent launched this interposition but it has had detrimental results. The church incorporated to spread the gospel but has deviated in its activity. Profiteering of the message and the stunted growth of generations of Christians. Generations are afraid to examine and connect with God through their own experiences. Instead, they choose to cling to the connection of others and before written doctrine, rather than connecting themselves. Spoonfeeding by pastors and feeding millions of dollars into the organization of the church is comfortable.
What I call spoonfeeding by the clergy, uncle Paul in Hebrews calls it milk. Paul says that by this time you should be teaching, but you need someone to teach you. You are drinking milk when you should be eating solid food. One can go to church and not see growth in people or the church body.
I don’t know what took me so long to read Luvvie Ajayi’s book, “I’m judging you“, but please don’t repeat my mistake. In the section about the church, she says “Pimps in the pulpit preaching pride to paupers they promised to protect”. When I read that phrase I immediately thought of two things.
- A pimp interposes and profits from an intimate relationship. Iceberg Slim might have made a good pastor.
- Ezekiel 34’s warning to the shepherds of the flock, and the divine promise to take back His flock.
Church tries to assert a monopoly on a connection with God. That monopoly does not exist. A connection with God does not have to involve the church.
The purpose of this post is not to tear down the church. If attending church leaves you feeling blessed, please continue to attend. If you feel moved to return tithe, please continue to return. But I’ve seen too much to sit silently. I’ve seen ministers vilified, and their families uprooted because of malicious acts by the church. Please do not judge me Rose-colored glasses prevent people from seeing any fault in the church. Church people have the audacity to say things like, “You don’t come to church for people, so you can’t let people drive you away.” The church has a problem admitting its own faults. Human foolishness is blamed on God far too much.
Wounds that don’t exist will never heal. Currently, our church has a gaping wound that bleeds out people. Through this non-existent would people are leaving the church. According to General Conference statistics, 4 out of 10 I have met far too many ex-Adventists, ex Baptists, and ex Jehovah’s witnesses. Far too many people have church allergies. However, I believe that God is still in control. Despite all the violence and evil in our world, God still reigns. Out of the filth, grows beauty. I would like to empower anyone that has a problem with the things you see in church, to become your own church. Where two or three are gathered in God’s name, God is in the midst.
You can be a Minister
Use your experience to connect with others. God should speak from your experience. Divinity has nothing to do with the shortcomings of the organized church. God speaks through your experience, no matter what it is. God’s power is greater than the evil of this world. God’s power creates beauty that springs from pain. Despite the injustice, with God, equity can grow. God can create divine glory out of your experience. But only if you allow it. Only if you move.
Connection should not be compelled but developed through commonalities and the sharing of experience during growth. Create your own community where people grow closer to God.
I will serve as a minister, but I will not be an employee of a conference, again. T can and should be glorified through my experience. God is independent of any church organization. No monopoly exists. I am passionate about a creative ministry that is natural.
If you have a pulse, then you have been ordained by God as a minister, you need no other ordination.
Read more about converting your experience into praise in, “I am church”
If you like the image used for this post please be sure to check out @nakedpastor (twitter and Instagram) or naked pastor