I agree with the thoughts in this article . . . a major time of pain and trauma was capped by an incident I used to view as my “reason” for walking away from “the church.”—I was 19 years old … hurting … disillusioned by horrible things that had happened to me; I was SO traumatized that I found facing each day more and more overwhelming. All the things I had believed to that point in my life had been destroyed – wiped out – totally obliterated and I did not know which way to turn—so with a raw and bleeding heart, I walked in to the Sunday evening service where I had been attending and the wife of an elder told me I was not welcome there because the “scriptural” justification of my marriage failure was not part of my official court document. I walked out of that building crying in pain and anger . . . at 19 years old, I said “if that is the way God’s people are and that is the way God is, I don’t want anything else to do with Him or them” and for 12 years the only way I used the name of God was in profanity and I did not set foot inside a church building.
Over the next several decades, I came to realize that my relationship had been with an organization, a “church,” a group of people, and not with God Himself. I doubt that I would have ever come to realize the difference if I had not had the “toxic words” thrown at me, if I had not been driven out of the “safety” of that organization and that would mean I probably would never have come to seek God as His Word repeatedly commands me to do . . . God tells me to seek HIM – He wants relationship with me!
God knows if I put my faith in people, they will fail me—just like I will fail them. BUT, God will never fail me nor forsake me. I can judge people and some of them fall short of the standards I require of my self, BUT God does not. So, bottom line is my relationship must be with God, not with an organization. “The Church” is not organized religious groups, it is simply individuals who are in relationship with God and that automatically connects them all THROUGH GOD . . . God is the connector! Meeting with others of like mind can be encouraging and strengthening, but it should not be a substitute for a relationship with God—no one should stand between me and God.
THE answer: GOD . . . only GOD! Open the eyes of my heart that I may see only GOD, HIS perfection within the perceived flaws of HIS creation, HIS life within a world seemingly filled with death, HIS image within every soul as HIS Love completes HIS creation . . . only GOD!
My Emancipation From American Christianity
DECEMBER 1, 2015 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ