Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"We Know Where the Spirit of the Lord is . . ." Part I

2 Corinthians 3:3
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Are you a Christian who no longer attends church?  When did you leave?  More importantly, why did you leave?

In a recent post, writer/speaker Rachel Held Evans lists and discusses 15 reasons why she left her church at the age of 27.  She is one of, as she states and I quote, "eight million twenty-somethings [who] have left the church, and it seems like everyone is trying to figure out why".  (I have provided the web address for Ms. Evans' blog at the bottom of this devotion.)

Two of Ms. Evans' reasons hit close to home.  Why?  Because, these are the same sentiments I've heard expressed repeatedly from Facebook and blogging friends who also dropped out of church and have yet to find welcome in a new one.

Those reasons are:
  • "I left the church because sometimes I doubt, and church can be the worst place to doubt."
  • "I left the church because my questions were seen as liabilities."
The common thread for Ms. Evans and my friends is this:  All dropped out of legalistic churches.  Those which prefer the laws on the tablets, not on the hearts.  Where pastors preach the "shalt nots" with a fury and conviction that must never be doubted.

Never be questioned.

To do otherwise is to commit heresy.

And, the naturally curious, sincere seekers, who love the Lord, who desire a closer walk with Him, are shushed, shunned, and, finally, driven away.

Where are these to go now?

Is there any hope for them?

Is there a church somewhere, anywhere, that would welcome their doubts?  Invite their questions?

Would take them in, just as they are?

The answer is a resounding " YES"!


A "yes" I will gladly share in tomorrow's blog.
~
Are you a Christian who no longer attends church?


Will you pray with me?
I pray today, Father, for all Your children who earnestly seek You, but have not found You in places of worship.  Comfort and guide these little one as they struggle with doubts and questions.  Lead them to other Christians who will welcome them, embrace them, just as they are.  Amen.


Readings
Psalms 119:145-176  or 128, 129, 130
Exodus 7:8-24
2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6
Mark 10:1-6

Link to Ms. Evans' blog:   rachelheldevans.com/15-reasons-i-left-church

7 comments:

  1. Yes, I am a Christian and I no longer attend a church. I am no longer someone who follows organized religion and I feel so much freer now and more focused, I feel less clouded and have a much stronger connection to what I truly believe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for stopping by today, RoseAnn!
    You are certainly not alone in this. I have numerous Christian friends who feel the same way. They could not feel, as you said, "free and focused" while in a church setting. I feel extremely fortunate to be in a church where I do feel comfortable just as I am.
    Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indigo Girls performing "Closer To Fine"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, David, thanks so much for coming by today!
      I'll check this out on youtube. I'm assuming it relates to today's post.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  4. In all honesty, I feel sad when someone leaves the church. But most of all, I feel that because of the reasons given. Even my younger sister see it fit not to attend Sunday masses.

    hmmm...I pray with you. I know that the people comprising the Church~ the church itself is not perfect. It's weaknesses and faults have been pointed out many times. Even the priests and religious have their own share of scandals BUT the purpose for which it has been built is love and it will only be LOVE that could redeem it.

    Thak you for sharing this post Martha. I find you very courageous to open up a topic like this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa, it makes me, too, so sad when people leave the church for whatever reason. When you read the follow-up to this post, you will see hope for this sad situation.
      Because we are fallen people, our churches will never be perfect, but they should always be places where we can find love and forgiveness and learn to give the same to others.
      Thanks for your visit, my friend.
      Blessings!

      Delete

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