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 the 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”?