Churchless Faith

Hey, I was reading Renee’s book recently (STUMBLING BY FAITH…if you haven’t read it, read it!) and I’ve been thinking about how she hadn’t gone to church for a while in order to find out who God truly is away from the church’s interpretation of Him.

I had a conversation with a friend who seemed to think a respite from church was a very odd thing indeed, and entirely unnecessary. As I think more and more about it, I am thinking that it’s not a bad idea at all.

Right now, I’m not actively engaged in youth ministry at any church, so it’s not harming my “witness.” My relationship with God is stronger when I’m not in church right now and I’m finding out more about Him. Except for when I was in WA with Bill and Shannon, my relationship with God has suffered from church shopping.

Since I’ve moved in August, I’ve gone to some truly bizarre places of worship. Growing up in Christian world, going to church has never been an option, no matter how much I hated going. But now I go to church and I end up angry, frustrated, and crying. What if going to church is actually worse for me right now than not going?

Right now I’m learning to separate God and all His glory from the church that many boxes have put Him in. He’s so much bigger and majestic and comforting that our small cliches. I’m not saying I want to not go to church forever, mind you, just for right now so I can discover who God is away from these places that are really irritating me.

I still have Christian fellowship, and some of my closest friends seem to be supportive of my temporarily taking a respite from church. I know someone out there is going to make a post about how gathering with other Christians is church and all that….that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about going to a builiding on Sunday mornings and perhaps more times a week.

Let me be honest. When I’m going to these buildings, most of the time I’m just going through the motions. I’m singing songs because I have to, not because I want to. Right now so much pain from past issues in churches is coming up, that it’s almost overwhelming to attend. I want to get to the point where I love getting up on Sunday morning and walking through the doors of a house of worship, but I’m not there right now.

God just doesn’t show up on Sunday mornings and fellowship doesn’t just happen then. Do we sometimes have to leave church (or rather churchianity) to find God?

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