Manual The Church in the Wilderness: What it Means to Follow Jesus Outside of Organized Religion

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Still, You will probably remain branded as a rebel in many quarters. But you are certainly not doing what you are as popularity drive among people. You are touching the lives of many by helping them to shed the burden of judgment so often heaped on them. And if I remember correctly, Paul was not actually the most popular person around. Can you imagine what would happen today if you were to write a Corinthians type of letter to a congregation? It was a Bible school with evening classes, therefore I could say residential. However, I used the material of a Christain Quality Assurance accredited group and therefore also helped correspondence students.

I am so Happy I found this site Dan! I left a Church of 12 years 2 months ago and have never been happier. I talk to Jesus More than any Church Members talked to me. Most were rich as I used to be and the Pastor ignored me as I have Epilepsy and other serious illnesses. The Pastor talked more about himself and his doctorate it made me angry.

What Is Persecution in Christianity?

I am with Jesus more out of Church and spreading the Good word. Most of the wealthy people were using phones and taking about where they were going to Lunch? It also says that in later times people will seek teaching that will be pleasing to their ears not the exact quote. It is important to gather with the brethren. Consider this. See if the Spirit leads other people to participate with you, and maybe you will be a factor in renewal there somehow, instead of abandoning it. Like a marriage, anything important in our lives is worth putting effort into. Ren, I agree.

People who are attending a church should try to do those things. I would love it if more did. If a church-attender can develop true friendships with people without ever feeling like they HAVE to invite them to church, that would be wonderful! I could write a book in response to this. I leave feeling like someone sucked the life out of me. The sad thing is, it all sound hyper intelligent. I doubt anyone would question his conclusions. Anyway… I grew up in the church and became quite zealous about following Jesus when I was just After Bible College and mission trips around the world, I was completely burned out, depressed, and confused.

I went through a horrible divorce, and lost everything over night. After hanging out in the darkness for some time, I believe I started to know the love of Jesus for the first time. It had nothing to do with anything I was able to do. He loved me in the darkness and the desert. I tried going to church, but every single time I just had a very bad feeling in me. The sermons were full of comedy, self-help, intellectualism, heavy doctrine, and in my mind most completely misinterpreted the Bible.

But when I go to church I feel further.. One of my biggest disappointments has been the lack of believers that are looking for the second coming of Jesus. At least here in the Pavific North west Hipsterville churches. All that silly stuff we grew up learning, is just that, silly. As far as fellowship goes, what fellowship? I often have tried to talk to people before and after church and no one wants to talk about Jesus or the word. Prophesy is coming true right before our eyes and the church is fat, rich, and comfortable with their programs.

It makes me sad. You are speaking the thoughts and feelings that millions of people around the world have as well. I believe that Jesus is inviting you to follow Him in outside the 4 walls of churchianity. It is quite an adventure! And who knows, maybe one day you will write that book!

Reasons Christians are Mean

River, It is indeed possible to find the fellowship with other Jesus followers outside the walls of institutional religion, fellowship that often does not exist within those walls. My wife and I find the church among people we know in many venues, including our neighbors, LGBTQ friends, the homeless, and people we know in all kinds of places. We do not feel the need to agree exactly with all of these people on every point of theology and doctrine.

Some people seem to think they have every doctrine figured out down to the smallest detail, but are lacking in the greater things — love of God and neighbor. If those things are present, they are invisible to the rest of us. We seek fellowship with those who readily display those qualities and generously share them with everyone with whom they come in contact. Hey brothers, Good discussion and input from all!

May we all grow ever more bold in obeying His leading into the lives of others… Selah, M. Most Sunday mornings at my McChurch, Jeremy, I sit in big, comfy, leather chairs in front of the fireplace.

Are you referring to McDonalds? If it is McDonalds, what kind of McDonalds has leather chairs and a fireplace??? The one in Montreal occasionaly had jazz at night. I am very interested to learn more about this. I thought it was a command to not neglect gathering yourself together? I have tried several and just stuck to one that seemed better than the rest. I just thought I had to be in church and I have to take my babies so they would learn about Jesus. I fear that if they only have me to look to for Jesus, I will fail them miserably. This option never occurred to me. I have so much guilt if I miss one Sunday.

I guess I assume I would just fall away from God. I always tell people that if they are attending a church, and benefit from it greatly, enjoy the fellowship, music, preaching, etc, and are able to serve others and be encouraged there, then they should stay. If, however, they are going out of a sense of guilt, shame, and duty, then probably church attendance is hindering their walk with God rather than helping.

Instead, you are simply seeking to be the church in a different way than by sitting in a church building with other believers on Sunday morning. I cannot tell you what to do, though. But know this, if you decide to stop attending, God is not angry with you, upset with you, or disappointed with you, especially if you stop attending so that you can seek to love and serve your neighbors.

This takes time though!!! I really appreciate this post. I have been feeling for 2 years that I wish to leave my church. My husband and I are life-long churchgoers who no longer want to be. We joined this church about 4 years ago because we felt we needed a good base and spiritual learning for our son. We also live extremely far from any family and we felt a good place to form bonds would be a church. I have been going to church my whole life. Although I have stayed away from churches that preach hell and damnation, I still feel so much pain and guilt about wanting out.

Our church is a small congregation. Only about 40 people show up on any given Sunday. This means that as soon as you decide to become a member you are immediately roped into at least committees to help serve. That being said, since we have a son we were automatically expected to teach Sunday school. Last year our organist wanted to start a contemporary service so we tried it for 8 weeks as a trial basis.

I got appointed to be the praise singer which meant I had a 2. Our church is mostly made up of retired folks and there are very few families there who work and have young kids. Our contemporary service did not work out and I ended up in front every Sunday belting out these praise and worship songs to no one. Members of the congregation felt pressured to come to support us.

Every Sunday there I was pretending to be filled with the Holy Spirit when all I wanted to do was crawl away. So there I was, active in choir, Sunday school, contemporary service, among other things. Our little family of 3 rarely even saw each other on Sundays. After our contemporary service ended we gave it a rest for several months. She got very upset with me even though the pastor agreed that it was not working for our church. As you can see church to us has turned into an obligation and a job.

We are not serving with gladness and love, but out of a sense of obligation so as not to let anyone down. Our fellowship hall is used by many external groups and the church gets rent income for use of the hall. That means that many non-Christian groups use our hall. I have heard members complaining that non-Christian groups should not be allowed to use the hall. I feel so dried out. Then, last year we had a congressional meeting about the possibility of using our church for civil unions. That caused such an argument in our church it was horrible.

Half of the people were totally against it and half were okay with it. Yet, we still slog on. I have been questioning for the past 2 years if I am even a Christian at all. I feel so much guilt about leaving. The Christian Ed department will likely fall apart and I fear what people will think of me. I worry too about our son and at age 9, how this will affect him.

As we draw close to the end of another Sunday school year we must make a choice so that by August when they start up again, they may have a plan in place to keep it going without us. I feel so much bondage and entrapment in church. Long ago we attended a church in New Mexico with a female pastor who opened our eyes to other religions and ways of thought. She loved Jesus so deeply, but also embraced many other religions as well. It changed me forever and I have not been comfortable in a traditional church since. I was so excited yesterday to learn about Gnostic Christianity.

Can I really take Jesus with me out of the traditional Christian church? I will be letting people down and hurting them by leaving. I am literally sick today because of this. I just want to be free, but I am afraid of the consequences.

Recent Comments

Sorry this is so long, but I felt I needed to put this out there. You can follow Jesus wherever He leads. But be open to other directions that Jesus wants to take you. Know that the guilt does not come from Him. If you trust Him to lead you, He will. Unfortunately for them, more pirated copies of it were distributed, than were sold.

Perhaps even more unfortunate for them,is that that translation remains pretty much forgotten by academia, laity, and other Gnostic organizations. God was telling me you gotta come out of the boat and i was saying no god i like it here…he was saying you gotta come out of the boat!! Good points! There is nothing really wrong with being in the boat… until Jesus calls us to step out of it! But boy is that scary, right! And half the time, we start sinking right away, and just want to climb back into the boat, never to get back out again.

Jesus never called anyone out of the church, it would be difficult for me to believe that. I miss a lot of things about the church, yes there are problems, significant problems in some churches but not all. Because I have stayed away for so long I will likely never preach or even teach again and that is fine. I will assist when and wherever I am able. I am not a martyr. I have forgiven the church that condemned me. I long to see the churches in my neighborhood grow and their influence increase in the community. Will that happen? Maybe not but it is better than contributing to their decline by staying away and writing about their premature death.

You are right. Jesus never calls anyone out of the church. My post title was a little … provocative. But I think that if you re-read the entire post, you will see that I am not saying that Jesus calls people to leave the Church His Body , but rather, that Jesus might be calling some members of His Body to be the church in a way that looks different than the Sunday morning activity of sitting in a pew and listening to a sermon. This is undoubtedly one way of being the Church, and it helps a lot of people, but it is not the only way.

Even with my limited knowledge, I do not agree. Firstly, I doubt whether Jesus will lead you so and secondly it is mostly because you are not getting what you wish to hear or wants it to be like you want it to be. Thats pride. Helping the poor, social rejects etc yes its a good thing to do but we can do that both in and out of the church.

Going individual is more like praying out aloud in the market, cos then people know its YOU in other words its ME who helped.

A Rebellious Christian

Just my view. Or we suggest them to be like us. Most possibly if we go on like this ultimately we too have the high possibilty of becoming a church organisation. If every one does follow your principle, there will be no more church organisation , so where do people meet to learn, teach, admonish, praise n worship together etc.

Apostles and early christian leaders plant churches everywhere they went. For what? It is because of this pride today and even in the NT times we have so many denominations and so called non denomination groups. In your present church it is for you to decide whether to accept the wrong teachings or not. If it is wrong, then confront, if it still does not corrects the pastor etc, then you can find some other places where you believe its right for you.

We can never find the perfect place not even in yourself in this world, if we have the attitude of always finding faults. The truth is even if you happen to build a perfect fellowship with the perfect truth and only truth with all the answers available, still there will be people who will not be satisfied with either your ways of worship, singing, conduct of services etc. So leaving the church may be ok but not going at all is not advisable. If ultimately, everyone stop going church and preach the gospel as you stated, then whats the point of paul telling how the structure of the church should be and the qualifications etc.

I believe every word is inspired by the Holy Spirit and thus I do not accept the view. Please convince me with bible verses. Our views, sentiments etc doesnt mean anything. It is most difficult to speak wisely about where Jesus will lead another. We do not all understand these things alike, and rather than condemn others for the way they understand these things and follow Jesus, is it not best that each of us focus on where Jesus is leading us?

Yes you are right. Being from non english speaking country it is sometimes difficult for us to express things clearly. I m not condemning anyone, for it is not for me to judge. All I want is such view should be supported with bible verses. I myself have and is going through such trouble times. It is not easy to leave not because of social stigma, but because I fear that it may be wrong.

It is very easy to get cold in Christ if one is not strong enough. Just my two cents. Teeya, I will pray with you that you will find your way in this. Leaving your church may or may not be the best thing for you to do at this time. Many of us understand the church as the body of Christ, and a local congregation can be a part of that. However, it is not the only way the church is found in this world. Many of us are part of the body of Christ with our neighbors, friends and other people in the community.

We meet in ways that are not the same as a church service with songs and sermons. We may meet over a meal, in a discussion in the street, as a group of neighbors getting together and discussing Jesus and in many other ways. If the group you are part of now is causing your faith in Jesus to grow cold, maybe you need to seriously look for other people who are part of the body of Christ with whom you can meet in His name. This may mean getting to know neighbors, co-workers and people in your community. I do not know what is possible where you live, but pray that you will find those who follow Jesus who can help you strengthen your faith in him as you follow him.

It is not something the early church did. The bottom line is that yes, Jesus has led countless millions of people to follow Him in ways that do not involve sitting in a pew on Sunday morning. We are suppose to be winning people into the Kingdom of Heaven not the churches…those we bring to Chrst we should also teach and shepard them ourselves personally through the scriptures until the are of a full mature spirtual age to go and help us win others into the Kingdom of God…much like the apostles did mentoring those learning from them and observing all things they were taught in spirit and in truth and holding on to what was good.

The church leaders Bishops and Carnials dress in purple and scarlet robes. She is also one of the worlds most wealthiest institutions and has sway with the kings and nations of the earth in the political arena. Blantantly boasting who she is! I remember feeling crazy when I was told to leave, and being turned around by God when I tried to go somewhere else. At the time there were no safety bars, nothing to confirm I was doing the right thing, and I was looked at as a backslider by many I grew up with…but respected by the world because they saw I was after God himself and willing to sacrifice everything for it.

For a while I was anti-church, considering that if the Spirit led me away, then church is bad, and all who attend are not following the Spirit. They each were pillars for me in a hard wilderness time of life — literally 3 years on the dot. I also saw how God was leading others back to church, not for sermons and programs, but to love people and be loved by people.

Now I find myself helping out in music in my old home church once a month. I long to be there for the people and the unity, but it is extremely difficult and awkward to endure the culture, language, traditions, and perspective of it again. Unity and love, sharing God and playing our parts is. A weird place to be — called out of church, now perhaps called back in, but not sure how to fit in.

Oh well, like I started at first, there are no safety bars. What a story! Where is this going? Sir, thank you for your thoughts and willingness to post this article. And thank you ALL for sharing. Your stories are valuable. Thanks for the comment and for sharing part of your story. Yes, Jesus is leading many different people in many different directions, and I think this is all part of His plan to expand His rule and reign upon the earth.

Keep moving forward! I found this post as I was researching being called out of church. It is happening to me right now. God has called me to leave. I obeyed yesterday. I have no idea where to or what next. I will keep dwelling in His Presence till He gives me next instructions. He led me to start this blog and youtube channel some weeks ago. I am so speechless because of Jesus. Jesus will not lead you to another church, group study, bible study or anything that requires another human teaching you.

Continue to learn from Him. The HER he is referring to is the church system. Man made traditions that contaminants the word of God. Hi there, I am from Africa. Have left the charasmatic institutions, after much wondering from building to building, with more unrest at each. The devil would mess us up. Because of the poverty here, we were told that in order to get out of poverty you gotta give more than you have, so we flocked to give more than we have, ,, after finally deciding to follow Jesus Christ, as is in John 1, with the disciples.

It felt to me, as if Jesus was saying, come follow me. So after leaving, well i lived in fear that the devil would destroy me coz i was out of spiritual covering, i was told i will dry up if i left, and so on… But i find that i am experiencing the opposite. So in simple i will say, to leave an organisation is not to leave Jesus Christ, after all he is not an organisation, so we were called to follow him…. If we are alone i am of the view that at the right time we will meet others, whether by telling them the goodnews or whether they will be like us out of organisations, the Lord has it all worked out.

Yes, I imagine you are experiencing the exact opposite of what you were warned would happen. This is because they were teaching religious lies.

9 Reasons Jesus Hates Religion (And You Should Too) – Frank Powell

They were trying to control and manipulate you, which is the opposite of what Jesus wants. So good job leaving! Hope you are still out of that building and enjoying your relationship with God. I found Jesus in the church many years ago but in all that I have attended while searching within these last few years have found that they no longer have room for him. I finally get it after all this time and now celebrate him with family at home and now have finally found peace.

Blessings to all of you for your courage! Thank you for your example!

The Holy Ghost will take you into WILDERNESS not to "church"

Glad you are finding freedom outside of the walls of institutional religion. There are millions of other people are following Jesus in similar ways! Here is a link about obtaining eternal life with Jesus. God will do the picking! He will pull at your heart. Looks like he already put the desire there. This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; 12 he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works. Thanks a lot Jeremy. Your 2 year old post has been helpful for me. I would like to have some one-to-one interactions with you to know more on this.

I just feel out of place there. Share the same concern as few of the others. Am I getting colder? Deceived by the enemy? What about my family? I was so confused. Thank God I landed on your blog after 2 years of internal struggles. You are not getting colder, backsliding, or being deceived. Instead, Jesus is leading you to follow Him in a more relational way.

And guess what? There are countless millions of people who are following Him in exactly the same way. I know this has been true for me. Is this a treason? There is no other way for God to save a person except through the Holy Spirit. Romans If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed Gods words? Gods judgment rest upon all the corporate and local churches temples, tabernacles, TV evangelists, ministries and congregations ever for all their false teachings and deeds, and God does not want any of His people to suffer the spiritual plagues which are being brought upon them. Revelation Then I heard another voice from heaven say: Come out of her, my people so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.

And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.


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Matthew Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves Hebrew For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Make yourself understand that these are things God says HE will do. The reader is left to decide whether he believes God, or the ministers of any religion.

Proverbs If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. And this is not my opinion. This thought did not come from you but from Satan. This one is obviously from the enemy. Do not feel condemned- but resist the accuser of the brethren! The Bible tells us to take every thought captive, resist the devil and he will flee, and to test the spirits. It also says there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. If this thought has caused you to feel guilty, condemned, or fearful- or doubtful of your salvation- those are strong signs the thought was from the enemy.

Cast it down. When thoughts come- it is important to discern what voice spoke it. Hi, this post made me feel so so relieved that others can see through all the glamor and gaudy lights and performances in church meetings. I would really like prayer, I love God with my entire being. I cannot explain in words the difficulties I have faced in following Him, nor the incredible miracles He has brought into my life. The main issue is right now I feel so alone and so judged. Yes, it does get lonely sometimes, and people will judge you because your way is a threat to their way.

But God will lead you into new friendships and greater freedom over time. A few years back i was being led by god to help some homeless people. Theresa keep what you were doing when you reached out to the homeless lady that was the right thing to do that was motivated by the holy spirit dont follow what the church does do what the Lord wants you to do and it will bear fruit. Let them do there thing you just keep following the Lord and listen to him in your heart and let him lead you. Ultimately, the reader must weigh the things that are said, search the Scriptures, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and decide how to respond.

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