False Assumptions About “church-leavers”

Posted: March 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

As many of you know, I post videos on youtube, & every now & then someone will leave a comment with false assumptions about “church-leavers.” The funny thing is, I doubt that any of them have taken the time out to ask us exactly why we left institutional churches…yet they’re so confident in their baseless opinions about why we did so. I myself find their comments to be unbiblical, ungodly, careless, accusatory & insulting.

Here are a few of the false assumptions that I’ve heard about “church-leavers”:

1)”Church-leavers are not commited to God.”

Weekly attendance at an institutional church isn’t necessarily a sign of commitment to God. Nor is leaving an institutional church necessarily a sign of a lack of commitment to God.

Many “church-leavers” are committed Christians who used to be in “leadership positions” at institutional churches. Such individuals have invested a significant amount of time, energy, & money in theological study, ministerial training, & service at institutional churches. So to assume that all “church-leavers” are “uncommitted” “lazy” ppl who don’t want to serve God is false.

May I frankly state the obvious? Many institutional churches are not committed to our Father’s will, but are committed to their own will…& those of us who ARE serious about doing our Father’s will, will not remain at institutions that are hell-bent on doing man’s/satan’s will.

It’s also worth noting that theĀ  pulpit/pew division in many institutional churches encourage Christians to be inactive spectators while the leadership runs the “service.” Praise God for the assemblies that build up the faith & character of Christians, but many institutional churches bottle feed Christians who should be on meat by now. This keeps Christians in the spiritual infant stage for 5, 9, 15 years depending on “pastor” to climb Mount Horeb to get a word from the Lord for them. So how on earth can it be said that “church-leavers” are uncommitted to God, when many institutional churches are full of uncommitted spiritual infants? Shall we (church-leavers) abandon active fellowship in small circles, to join the inactive bottle-fed masses in the pew? No thanks…I refuse to have my fellowship life minimized to a Sunday-social club or a religious spectator sport.

2) “Church-leavers are backsliders.”

Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ keeps us grounded in the faith…not sitting in a pew week after week. Vibrant personal relationships with Jesus Christ create healthy assemblies. & on the other hand, Believers who neglect their relationship with Jesus Christ create unhealthy assemblies. As ppl fall away or backslide from Christ in their personal life, the assembly (corporate life) becomes backslidden. Anyone who thinks that there aren’t backsliders in the pew or the pulpit simply aren’t being observant, honest, or using discernment.

Some “church-leavers” may backslide, but from what I’ve seen many more backsliders continue “playing church” to maintain a form of godliness. Today, it’s quite common to find that an assembly is full of backsliders & unsaved degenerates who claim to be Christians. With so many children of the devil being transported to the pews (& the pulpit), is it any wonder why some children of God are leaving the institutional church?

At any rate…not all “church-leavers” are backsliders. Many of us left institutional churches because THEY backslid into apostasy.

3) “Church-leavers are looking for a perfect church.”

I can’t speak for anyone else…but during my “church-hopping” days I wasn’t looking for a “perfect church.” I was looking for an assembly that was serious about glorifying Jesus Christ, but I left because I saw the same serious problems manifesting over & over again: 1) heresy & false traditions that go against the Word of God 2) rejection of clear Biblical doctrine 3) Exaltation of leadership 4) demotion of Jesus Christ & the written Word 5) Inactivity of the congregation & lack of fellowship/love among congregants outside of “service.” 6) spiritually-dead/stagnant (lack of genuine church growth) 7) either legalism or toleration of serious sin among congregants [lack of accountability]. 8) toleration of disqualified-illegitimate ppl ministering as elders.

4) “Church-leavers are hurting.”

While some “church-leavers” might have left an institutional church because of spiritual abuse, harm & hurt…not all “church-leavers” left an institutional church because they were “hurting.” The reasons why ppl leave the institutional church vary from individual to individual, just as the reasons why ppl attend institutional churches vary from individual to individual.

Speaking for myself…I’m not hurting…but I am mourning & grieving over the Christ-dishonoring institutional churches that are backsliding into apostasy & robbing Christians of their freedom in Jesus Christ.

5) “Church-leavers don’t want to submit to authority.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the “church-leavers” I fellowship with are very serious about submitting to the authority of Jesus Christ, the written Word, & the Holy Spirit as He speaks thru Believers. But we are not interested in submitting to conceited-confused religious leaders who wish to exercise authority over ppl. In Matthew 20:20-28, Jesus Christ spoke against Believers exercising authority over one another, as worldly rulers do. But unfortunately, false authority pervades the institutional church…& the pulpit/pew division along with its titles, offices, position, status, rank, & hierarchy seems to encourage even the most well-intentioned Believers to “lord it over” the flock, because it props them up on pedestals as “lords” over the flock. Is it any wonder why so many fall?

There are many examples in Scripture & Church history, that demonstrate the truth that submitting to the authority of Christ & the written Word automatically pits you against illegitimate leaders who want you to submit to their false authority. In the Old Testament, we see Moses vs the Egyptian pharaoh, Elijah vs Jezebel, & Shadrach/Meshach/& Abednego vs Nebuchadnezzar. In the New Testament, we see John the Baptist vs Herodias, Jesus vs the religious establishment, & the apostles vs the religious establishment (& the state in some cases). The most notable example I can give outside of Scripture is Martin Luther vs the Roman Catholic institution.

The interesting thing in all of these examples is, the enemies of God believed that the ppl of God “didn’t want to submit authority.” But in reality, the ppl of God were simply submitted to the authority of God & the written Word…& submission to the authority of God & the written Word will often put us in conflict with those who defy the authority of God & the written Word. The issue isn’t that we refuse to submit to true spiritual authority. The issue is that we refuse to submit to those who misuse the Bible to beat unsuspecting souls into submission to their false authority.

I could post many more false assumptions about “church-leavers” but I’ll end here for now. What are your thoughts? & what false assumptions have you heard about “church-leavers”?

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Comments
  1. Thanks for writing and exposing some of the frustrations sincere believers face as they submit to their discernment and love for the Gospel and Truth Himself, rather than wanting the approval of insecure men. Those who have these false assumptions and the brethren who withdraw their (conditional) affection based upon attendance and “loyalty” to the fellowship is evidence of a misintrepretation of “church” altogether.Individual believers universal ARE the “church,” not the group or building. . . . so how can we be “church-leavers?”

  2. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  3. Neal says:

    Awesome. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to say to people. I left the institutional church a while back and people keep coming at me with all these false accusations, assumptions and insults.

    After explaining it to them, they still want to change the topic to me, as if I have some personal problem that needs to be solved. But it is really the institution, as a whole, that is the problem. They don’t want to recognize and accept that this isn’t the way Jesus would have things.

    I was thinking about emailing a link to your article to all my Christians brothers, that bother me with their insults, but they’re just gonna ignore it anyway and make the problem about me again instead of waking up, getting out of the institution and follow Christ. God bless you and keep speaking truth.

  4. exitchurchianity says:

    I appreciate your feedback freedom writer! The way I see it I left the institutional church to follow Christ & do things His way. Some ppl in the institutional church view us as if we left God & the Body of Christ, & are on our way to hell… Hopefully this blog will open their eyes & cause them to actually invest time finding out why we left, instead of making baseless assumptions. Peace & Grace to you!~

  5. exitchurchianity says:

    I know what you mean Neal. The other day, someone left me a comment full of false assumptions about “church-leavers” then after I shared the truth with them, they responded to me with false humility & needless pity…as if to say “awww…you poor hurting Christian. I pray that God will heal you of the hurt, so that you can return to the church.” I was totally disgusted with their arrogant act of piety & lack of desire to know the truth about “church-leavers” & what the New Testament teaches about the Church & fellowship. They totally brushed off my admonishment & exhortation, then masked their pride behind empty words of false love & concern. It was one of the worst acts of false humility that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Thank you for your comment!~

  6. Just read this: “Confessions of a Former Churchgoer” . . .http://www.batteredsheep.com/confessions.html

  7. exitchurchianity says:

    Okay, thank you

  8. Crystal says:

    You know it’s funny that you mention that backsliders attend physical institutions because even when I was going to church; a pastor made mention of the church that it is possible to be backslidden and still attending church.

  9. Evelyn says:

    Thank you for this post! This is an excellent post! Although I have not left the church, my heart and mind is so far away when I attend. It is getting extremely difficult for me to for me to continue attending.

    Blessings,
    Evelyn

  10. justasailor says:

    I found an article by Kato Mivule summed up
    many of the reasons that I think The Lord lead
    me out of the organized church.

    http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/discernment/307-christians-in-a-globalized-world-performance-based-christianity.html

    Blessings to You and All !

  11. justasailor says:

    Great Blog by the way !

  12. exitchurchianity says:

    Thank you justasailor, I appreciate it

  13. exitchurchianity says:

    Thanks for the article. It sounds very interesting!

  14. geareecoirm says:

    Great site this exitchurchianity.wordpress.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

  15. Usalley says:

    excellent site this exitchurchianity.wordpress.com great to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

  16. sem says:

    I was wondering somthing – how did you meet the ppl you fellowship with, if not in a church?

  17. exitchurchianity says:

    Hello sem, I meet Christians here & there, while out running errands, or over the web.

  18. Usalley says:

    formidable site this exitchurchianity.wordpress.com formidable to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

  19. greetings exchurchianity!

    all i have to say to this post is AMEN!

    on feet of faith & peace,
    WTm

  20. Hello there!

    There are so many assumptions about church leavers. Actually, I believe that those who DO NOT submit to ungodly man-designed organizations who function in the name of God are in THE WILL OF GOD! We need to SHUN whatever does not please God…even if that means organizations with “established” reputations and many “fans” who finance it!

    Jesus will meet you RIGHT where you are.

    You don’t need to be at “1234 Bring Yo Money To Da Door Street Baptist Church” to encounter our Lord.

    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
    Lisa

  21. Need more, Evelyn! :)

  22. Need more Exitchurchianity . . . :)

  23. Bill B. says:

    That about sums it up! I get a lot of those thrown my way these days. It’s been over 2 years since I left the institutional “church” and the only thing that bothers me here in this wilderness is that there are very few believers around here that want nothing but JESUS and Him alone for true, biblical fellowship. I really take a beating from some since I have been “called to preach”. They feel as if I should be in some pulpit somewhere. I always tell them that I will be where my LORD wants me to be and not where PEOPLE want me to be. Also, thanks for the Youtube videos! I have shown them to quite a few people and they have been blessed as I have. Stay strong in the Lord…

  24. exitchurchianity says:

    Praise God. Thanks for checking out the blog and the videos. I’m glad that ppl are being blessed. Be encouraged, as you continue with Christ!~

  25. Eric Canaday says:

    I find that most people are not walking away from the Church. They are walking away from Christianity and there is a difference. The Church is the family of people who love you for who you are and are committed to helping you become everything God created you to be. Their bond is love not rules and traditions. Jesus did not come to start a religion…he came to set us free from religion. I pray that “church leavers” will find community and family beyond the construct of religion.

  26. exitchurchianity says:

    Hello Eric,

    I agree that an apostasy from Jesus Christ is taking place. Falling away from Christ is of course vastly different from following Christ out of an apostate assembly. Thank you for your prayer, many of us who have left the institutional church system are enjoying genuine fellowship. Take Care~

  27. Eric Canaday says:

    I left the system around 3 years ago and I know the joy of the kind of fellowship you are referring to. I am curious though, what does that look like for you?
    How are you helping others connect to the church after they leave the institution? Finding community is the biggest reason people stay in the institution even though they disagree.

  28. exitchurchianity says:

    Hello Eric,

    For me, genuine fellowship is when Christ is the Head/Shepherd/Leader of the gathering, and the saints are led by the Spirit to edify & equip one another. Christ is the Final Authority, so we are naturally submitted to the authority of the Scriptures, as well as one another. The ppl I fellowship with are aware that we are the Church, & the Holy Spirit is knitting us together in love (one of His ministries), so that sense of connectedness is there & we are very close to one another. For us, the sense of ‘community’ in the institution was somewhat superficial. It centered around ‘belonging’ to the institution, instead of belonging to Christ & being fitly joint together in Him.

  29. Eric Canaday says:

    If I am ever on tour in your area I would love to stop by. In the mean time…stay on the wall!

  30. exitchurchianity says:

    Amen Eric, I would enjoy the fellowship if you were ever in my area (the deep south). Be blessed!~

  31. newtestamentincontext says:

    I haven’t quite left the church altogether. I still feel that Jesus can work in churches despite the teachings in some cases, but I fully support those that believe that they need to leave. And I am very close to leaving myself.
    I tried non-church related methods of getting together, like meetup.com, but there were people there trying to recruit people into cults, and the rest were looking to fornicate with Christians.
    I pray that the leadership will open their eyes, and there is a revival as we go into tough times. Many have started to agree with me, but many are distracted by politics. So your “we need a king” blog is very appropriate.
    In a way I feel like I need to put these things in my past and move on, or I will be distracted, so I’m blogging about it to put it in my past.

  32. Eric Canaday says:

    newtestamentincontext

    You are right in saying that God still moves in the institutions. The Church is a mess right now but she is still his bride. You can walk away from the institutions but I highly recommend that you stay connected to at least one other believer who can meet with you weekly and encourage you as you discover what it means to follow Jesus beyond the four walls. I walked away from the institution 3 years ago and the journey was a little lonely. If there is anything I can do feel free to reach out. Peace and blessings!

  33. exitchurchianity says:

    Hello Eric,

    I left the institutions to participate in Biblical fellowship. Thank you for checking out the blogs. Be blessed!~

  34. forsack says:

    1 Timothy 6:3-5 – “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”

    What was the tithe for?
    The tithe was used to feed the Levite priests and their families, Without the tithe, the Levite priests would have needed to raise their own food. Hence, the reference in Malachi 3:10, “that there may be food in my storehouse”.

    The reference to “robbing God” in Malachi 3:8 is in fact robbing of ministry and worship by failing to take care of God’s priests through the tithe of food items. The Levites were not given land. Unlike the other tribes of Israel who were given land as their inheritance. God was their inheritance (Numbers 18:20-21). Since the Levites had no land (inheritance) on which to grow their own food, the remaining tribes were obligated to provide food for them.

  35. DeShanne says:

    Praise Jesus,

    May He Bless You,

    I was recently told that I was operating in whichcraft and that I was scattering the flock.

    I was told that I was not accepting or following the will of Jesus becasuse Jesus said He would send us shepherds and pastors after his own heart.

    I also am mourning for then countless members who have joined themselves to adulterous ministries. It is the spirit of whoredom that plaques them.

    Let us continue to watch and pray, may the Lord Jesus finish the work that He has started in us. Let us endure. In patience Let us possess our souls.

    May the Lord Jesus Bless You Sister,

    In Jesus,

    DeShanne

    Evenso, Jesus Come.

  36. exitchurchianity says:

    Christ bless you DeShanne. Many Believers today have been slandered and persecuted by today’s “church” system. Jesus will continue to strengthen and comfort us through it all. I hope that you find genuine fellowship. I know there is a scarcity of true fellowship today (especially in america). be blessed!

  37. lin says:

    Thanks for writing thats exactly how it is for believers who leave the ic. I have had vieled accusations levelled at me by the leaders in church that I have never even attended! I left the ic a year ago and its brought me closer to God and the true ekklesia. I especially love to read sites as yours. Its such a relief to know that the body of believers are not experiencing isolated incidents at the hand of the religious. No servant is greater than the master amen yours in christ, lin

  38. Christine says:

    Dear sister Evelyn,

    May God bless you for speaking the truth of Christ. Your writings have strengthened and encouraged me at a time when I sorely needed same. Our family left the ic a year and a half ago, became far closer to our Lord Jesus, full of peace and joy in His Presence. We began praying for the right kind of fellowship. Were then invited a few months ago to a fellowship of believers we initially saw as our siblings in the ecclesia. Nothing could have prepared us for the pummeling which followed, but basically it resembled that found in churchianity, all over again. Just one of those Cain ordeals, once again. They even sent in a surprise religious leader from a church to chastise me in front of others that I needed to “submit and be under a pastors teachings,” that such was the appointed shepherd of God’s flock, etc (you know all the rest) It was the eve I had gone by myself. Well, in short I quietly noted that God’s word confirms Christ is the head of the “church”, just as husband is the head of the family. Christ is the Shepherd, the flock belongs to no one but him. And since we are the living stones and the living church, I never actually leave the church at all, (therefore non-attendance is not an issue) The fellowship is spiritual and not always in the natural realm, we certainly would never turn away godly fellowship. We would not “forsake” the assembling unless He told us to in a goat situation.

    Isn’t it ironic that they would and did forsake us though, the moment we focus on Christ and give Him the preeminence? We were shunned, maligned, and pretty much hated without cause thereafter. Yet we held our peace and would not return evil for evil. It hurt so badly, and yet now the Lord is showing me through your writings how thankful I need to be, for he has called us out yet again to Himself and delivered us. Well, there is a cause to rejoice in the afflictions! Praise his name.

    Thank you so much again Evelyn for sharing all you do for His glory. Grace and peace to you, and many blessings.

    Love in Him,
    Christine

  39. exitchurchianity says:

    Christine, Glory to Jesus Christ. Thank you for reading the blog. Many Believers who have left churchianity behind can testify to a similar experience as yours. There is something severely sinister & demonic about a religious institution that is more concerned about people “submitting to the pastor” than submitting to THE TRUE PASTOR (Jesus). I am truly thankful that God called me out of that antichrist system, now I can walk down the narrow path with Jesus & fellowship with the few who have found the narrow gate. Jesus bless you and your family!~

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