Del Williams

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Why I Left the Church

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I love God, but had I continued going to Church, I would not be able to say that now? Leaving was a hard decision which was not made overnight. nor did I act on it lightly. It was a process which came from years of ignoring some hard realities. So why did I leave? His kids. You see, I got tired of the pretense and the shows.

The self appointed hotshots who claimed to have words from God, could heal you or perform miracles, got old. I ached for the people who would line up for hours to get a "touch" from God's flavor of the hour. I say hour because without fail something will happen and a scandal will ensue.

My journey started from discontent. Discontent with what I was seeing, hearing and feeling. I was seeing preachers fall like dominoes from one sin or another. I was hearing doctrine which troubled me because it had no basis from the Word of God, but someone's interpretation of it. I was feeling that I didn't belong since I no longer believed the whole package,

Some would say my leaving Church is a sin. that's their doctrine, not mine. I think if anything comes between you and god, it has to be let go. In this case it was the Church. The view that we were to hate homosexuals, that women were to submit to their husbands like they are a dog, or that by refusing to teach teens about sex and protection that it would entice them to do it, were all a bit much for me.

Another problem was the blatant manipulation and vending machine God mentality. It goes like this:"If I give this much then God has to do whatever it is that I want him to do." This is begging which does not glorify God. Scriptures were twisted to make you give money for stuff, and it never ended. I don't mean your normal tithes, but constant offerings for buildings, some preacher coming through or some village in Africa. .

The over saturation with church going was another issue. It wasn't just once a week, but twice on Sunday, Wednesday night, and any special events going on. Not to mention the volunteer stuff which could take hours a week itself. Going to church was almost like a full time job. But my significance came from this one truth someone told me once, "oh, they wouldn't miss you if you left since there are so any people."

While Jesus' message is a joyful one and is meant to give you peace, the way it has been twisted was making me miserable. I felt like I had to be perfect or I would burn in Hell. It was not the Bible which made me feel that way, but the Church.

It seems like the Gospel of Peace was replaced with manipulation and misery. People who were going to the hotshots came back the same or worse than before they got "touched" by them. I could not reconcile this at first, until I remembered "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me."

After I left the Church, I was beset with guilt. I was afraid I was turning from God. That's what I had been taught. But what I have observed is, I am at peace. It's not a struggle anymore. And I don't feel like I have to be this perfect person who is incapable of using common sense, having fun, or glorifying him without being part of a puppet show. The best part is that I feel closer to God than I ever did in a building.

It's been three years now and it was the right decision for ME.

 

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