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What caused you to leave your church?

Discussion in 'House Churches & Cell Groups' started by AwakenedOne, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. AwakenedOne

    AwakenedOne Newbie

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    Forum members,

    I want to hear your stories or reasons why you left your particular church organization. For me, it was because my church was superficial and 80% of the sermons was about money. It wasn't about Christ anymore or his teachings. It was more like a for-profit corporation than a meeting place for believers to come together.

    What are some specific things that have caused you all to leave your organizations?
     
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  2. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Poor teaching, irrelevant to daily life, most people overlooked in having any real contribution to make, little sharing of people's experiences and insights.

    This quote from a flyer for James Thwaites book Church Beyond the Congregation appealed to me.

    For too long church-based activities have been separated from everyday Christian life in the workplace. It is time for the church to move beyond its present focus on the congregation. It is time to release the church from its containment in meetings and programs and equip it to be the body of Christ in all areas of life and work.

    John
    NZ
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  3. ezeric

    ezeric HE loves me too.

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    I had been a youth (pastor/leader) for years and was disillusioned with the fact that I couldn't hear GOD'S voice as I thought I should.

    Frustrated, with telling others what the Christian Life should look like, but not knowing the power to get there or showing them how to get there.

    Do, Do, Do

    Don't Touch, Don't Taste (as Paul said).

    One Sunday morning, I was shaving, as my family was getting ready to go to church (building).
    It was a typical Sunday - or so it appeared...

    Then....

    GOD spoke!

    To me - Of all people! Believe me, I wasn't ready for what I was about to hear.

    DAD speaks to Eric "Son, I want you to STOP going to Bayview______ church" (i left the name out on purpose but GOD spoke the entire name.)"

    Eric: Where do you want me to go - LORD??

    - no answer....

    I repeat my request, as to where do you want me to go to church? My thinking is, if I leave one I must take my family to another - right?

    So that Sunday I ignored the LORD, thinking HE wasn't telling me enough.
    And for 1 month (4 Sunday's) continued to go, there was a strange silence.

    After 4 weeks, my wife comes to me and questions "Whats wrong?"

    Saints, you can ignore what GOD tells you for so long, but it weighs on you.
    And you also know, our spouses know us, they know when we are up or down.

    You see, I didn't know what to tell her, if I tell her we aren't going to church anymore, she will wonder if I'm backslidden, and if I tell her what GOD said (very clearly to me), she will ask what I asked, in that ..ok, where do we go next?

    So, I was confused - it doesn't take much at times...

    But after a month of fighting what the LORD directly told me, I couldn't take it.
    I told my wife, what the LORD told me shaving that Sunday morning.

    What she then said, floored me!

    "that is what the LORD told me too, but I was afraid to tell you!" she said!

    We got on our knees and asked together, what do we do next?
    The LORD spoke "You are to leave the church, so that you learn how to BE the church"

    And we left that day, and never returned! Hallelujah.
    The training HE gives, and the growth and the miracles just keep getting better and better.

    That was years ago, and later the LORD sent an angel to confirm things for me, but that is another story.

    Just like Mary told the servant at the wedding of Cana: "Whatever, HE says - do it!".
    John 2:5

    The other thing I learned through it, is this:
    GOD won't give you the 'next thing', until you do the 'last thing'.

    -eric

    The Exchanged Life
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
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  4. AwakenedOne

    AwakenedOne Newbie

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    Thanks for the responses. John I agree with you. It is time for pastors to 'share the spotlight' with members of the congregation. Every person has something valuable to give and contribute. We need to spread the word and work towards getting back to that.

    Eric, powerful testimony. I would like to chat with you about that at a later time. Look for my email!
     
  5. ezeric

    ezeric HE loves me too.

    +150
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    Sure, anytime...I still think back to that time and am amazed and humbled...but sure, love talking about HIM!


    -eric
     
  6. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

    +1,167
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    Because I heard God speak these words to me.-
    "The church is an institution that Satan has set up to prevent christians doing the work of the Lord".

    This is amongst many other words over the years.
    If it offends anyone, please just consider the precise words used, and that should help you understand the accuracy of the description.

    Over the years, I have hosted many home groups for the simple reason that the saints can actually function freely in whatever their personal ministry is. Church should never be about the leader. 1Cor14v26 has to be the major watchword of any fellowship desiring to grow in maturity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  7. AwakenedOne

    AwakenedOne Newbie

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    Drake,
    That is pretty starling and amazing at the same time. I once heard the voice of God speak to me in a large mega church of about 4000 people. I heard Him speak in the middle of worship service: "although these people praise me and worship me, their hearts are far from Me."

    I wonder if what you heard has to do with Revelation where it mentions the Synagogue of Satan.

    There is one constant truth about this that I stand by: the institutional church system has gotten away from God and people are leaving.
     
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  8. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

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    You are right about the exodus, hopefully they are not running away, but towards a deeper relationship with God.

    The institutional church has stolen the children of the Lord. The IC is a clear illustration of what Paul condemned in his comment regarding, "I am of Paul, I of Apollos." Instead we have, I am of Baptist, or I am of Pastor Dave. It is the pastor who decides their spiritual direction whilst they are spiritually asleep.
    They obediently fill the pews, sit, stand, sit, stand, watch the performance at the front, go home till the repeat show next week.

    The institution teaches them to be good members of that system, to know what is expected of them. This is almost the same even in an independent free church, we all get used to the system and play our expected part.

    All the time we do this we don't need to listen to God because we are busy doing "God's" program at church. Few ever even know that their Heavenly Daddy would love to speak to them and lead them by the hand. Few of the church leaders even know that either. They may be sons, but they know little of the Father's heart. The system keeps them active but blind.
     
  9. ezeric

    ezeric HE loves me too.

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    They are sons but they are living like they are orphans!

    I agree, the IC is the problem, keeping the sons and daughters asleep.
    And they are thinking everything is fine.

    -eric
     
  10. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

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    Some years ago my friend who has a prophetic anointing, because of various things that God had spoken to him about decided to take his family outside of the Institutional Church. Having 2 young children under 5, he still wanted to have a family worship time and was unsure how to do it with his children as they were used to going to church together on Sunday.

    I suggested that the Lord was just as able to speak to the children as to him and his wife. Therefore he decided to give them some paper to draw on whilst they all listened to the Lord together.
    Now bear in mind, that my friend had told his children absolutely nothing about leaving the church, or why. They were just following what the Lord had given them.
    On the first Sunday, they all sat down together and my friend told the children to listen for what Jesus would say to them. Within a minute or two the 5yr old boy was scribbling away furiously. When dad could hold his curiosity no longer he asked what his son was drawing.
    He started to describe. He had drawn a great long bed, with dozens of people all laid across it fast asleep. There was also a man standing at the bed head pushing it.

    Dad, "What are you drawing son".
    "It's a bed daddy, a big bed".
    "Ok, and who are all these people on the bed son".
    "Those are all the people in church daddy, asleep".
    "Oh, really! And who is this here at the end?"
    "Oh, that's uncle Dick, (The pastor) He's pushing the bed with all the sleeping people!"

    Sharp intake of breathe!

    Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings!
    A 5 year old boy had meticulously drawn the prophetic picture as he had seen it from the Spirit from the Lord, confirming exactly what God had been speaking to my friend about.

    Unless adults repent and become as little children they will never enter the kingdom of heaven. They will just continue playing the charade of church.
     
  11. trulyconverted

    trulyconverted Junior Member

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    Hi All, in my experience I left organized church after God converted me.

    I was in this church where everybody functions, with no "Pastor" only elders. And where everybody gets to share/"prophesy". But the problem was the teaching was not entirely biblical and I never really noticed until God opened my eyes to the wrong teaching.

    Then God converted me. I left that church. I was there for more than a decade.

    I have prayed to the Lord to lead me to the brothers and sisters then I tried going to about 4 other Christian churches, and then I would notice activities and people's action that really took away the desire to attend.

    Now I do not meet anywhere. God has not given me the way to it yet. So am still waiting. I enjoy the word at home or anytime, and I sometimes watch messages on youtube.

    I found out I could not attend organized church anymore. I thought of house meeting but I have not found one yet.
     
  12. meshak2

    meshak2 Guest

    +0
    Hi everyone:)

    I would like to share my story.

    I have been serving Jesus even since I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. It has drastically changed my life.

    However, I was never happy with the churches I joined and served for 5 years at the beginning of Christian life. I never thought that the churches are interested in being faithful to Jesus but serving themselves.

    So I quit searching around the churches. My family is my church. I have my own overseas ministry with my family's support.
     
  13. meshak2

    meshak2 Guest

    +0
    what is house church?

    thank you:)
     
  14. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    A church that meets in a house

    John
    NZ
     
  15. humanbn

    humanbn Newbie

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    I can tell you why I left. I can also tell you why the Lord had me leave. They are 2 different things.

    1. Why I Left:

    I went to Bible college, served as a youth minister, worked in church multimedia both staff and volunteer. Over time I noticed the big machine of church could not possibly minister to all the needs of the people. I also got sick of big buildings. It seemed churches were a spectator sport. Whichever building has the better musicians, sound system, insightful speaker, gets more people. But all surface level. I felt people weren't using their gifts and talents from the Lord. I also saw churches ran as a business. In fact, I had a business creating church websites (before I got the revelation of the institutional church being not what is on God's heart). I had churches in the business use their website as marketing tools to just get more new people, build numbers, etc. The most interaction I'd have with people in church was a handshake before we sat mute to listen to the entertaining speaker. That and maybe small groups where we'd talk for 30 minutes about nonsense stuff, and one or two people would lead while others mostly sat silent also.

    All sounds good right? Pretty familiar to most people who left.

    2. Why Christ had me leave.

    He wants to be central. I left the institutional church, and was in a house church for 2 years. YET, Christ was not central in my life. Central meaning He is all. He is above ministry work, about serving the poor, above teachings and doctrines, above worship music. I came to realize by a tough breaking time in my life, which I'm still going through, that Christ's fullness in my life, that His Life in me, the resurrected Life of the Lord living through this crucified body is EVERYTHING. Now when we get together with other saints where Christ is central in their lives, it's glorious! This is true church, this is why Christ had me leave. This I believe is close to His heart. He wants a bride He can be intimate with! Not rules, and do this, do that, learn this, learn that, follow this tradition and that. He wants those who worship Him in spirit and truth. You can only do this if Christ is central in your life. And then when you find Him central in others life it's so beautiful! May His bride, the church, walk in her freedom she has been given.
     
  16. bookit

    bookit House Pastor

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    After attending a Baptist church for several years and falling flat on my face the Lord directed me to seek out His Word for myself. I set off to do just that armed with the Holy Spirit and my Bible I studied His Word diligently and came to many starting revelations. My wife and I have since gone on to minister to a few of our brothers and sisters through our house church and hope to reach many more through our website. tnlmin.org
     
  17. parsley

    parsley .

    +291
    Protestant
    Private
    I haven't completely left, because I do like to teach classes and get involved in the ministries of a church. But my reasons include...

    1. This. So much of the service in contemporary churches is designed to appeal, to have a contemporary look. Form over function. I feel like God gets pushed aside and even humanity gets pushed aside to deliver the perfect service. That is not to say it can't happen in a smaller group, but at least the intent is clearer.

    2. I have been a Christian for many years. I have taken theology courses, read the Bible daily, led groups, led volunteer projects, lived out my faith, prayed for others, taught, given gobs of money to causes, studied in-depth... and yet I still get treated as though I am new to the faith. I would like to be at a place where I can at least explain myself and have an outlet for expression of faith.

    3. Ministers tend to condescend and hyper-organize to the point that members can't move without doing something wrong. I understand why they do it, and what a mess it can be to deal with so many personalities. But it is a hard system to work within... a difficult way for each members' gifts to be shared among others.

    4. Interactivity. I really enjoy the banter, bouncing thoughts around, growing and learning from each other. I like how a group can listen to a problem and immediately say, "let's stop and pray for that." The experience becomes very authentic.

    5. The straw that broke the camel's back was the lack of privacy. Video and still cameras capture services and the next thing you know, your face is on the web without your permission, or part of a cutesy video shown during the service. Your prayer requests are up on the Web too, along with hospital names, vacation destinations, job conflicts, and relatives' addictions...phone numbers and addresses... aired permanently in the well-mined cloud.
     
  18. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Many of us can identify with your post.

    John
    NZ
     
  19. parsley

    parsley .

    +291
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    Thanks John, I can imagine that's true. There are so many lifetime believers -- people who made a decision early in their lives, and stayed faithful.
     
  20. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

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    Virtually all pastors are complete and utter failures when it comes to their biblical purpose. How can I say this?

    Eph4
    v12 And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers.
    v13 For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.

    Read the above passage carefully, particularly the highlighted part. You will see that the job of the pastor is stated as to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry.
    Therefore, if you attend a church where the same man is at the front addressing the same people year after year with the same message, then he has failed completely and totally in the biblical job description. His success is merely in entertaining, or man managing, the same people for another year. He has managed to keep them in their place, contributing financially to their own emasculation and impotence as ministers of the Kingdom.

    As long as the saints simply suckle from the tit of leadership, they will never enter their own inheritance and anointing. They will never do the work of the ministry. They will remain pew fodder.
    I might add that being allowed by the man at the front to occasionally participate in a service, is not what this verse means!

    The man at the front of the average church has no connection to the biblical pastor, or to any of the other ministries. He may believe that his ministry is that of a pastor, but a simple comparison to the scriptures will reveal the truth.
     
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