I am sure that the title caught your eye right? Well if you didn't know already it's a book title. I just finished it actually. THE MOST AMAZING BOOK I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME! I really don't even know where to begin on how/where it has touched me deeply.
I will start by saying that I haven't been to church in a very long time. Not years but still a long time. We always come up with excuses too....reasonably good ones.... It seems to me that none of it matters anymore. The guilt of not going ate away at me, but obviously not enough to get me to go. I do devotions, my husband is WAY more faithful at it than me, but we also do them as a family most every night together.
I am being honest here so hear me out. I know everything I was feeling was bad. After reading this book I now have a better understanding of why I felt the way I do. It's not near as bad as I originally thought. I have a hunger for something more out of "religion" and you don't get that from an "institution." And don't get me wrong I am by no means saying church is bad...it's very good actually...but we were going to church for things church couldn't give us. No church can give you what Jesus gives you everyday. A RELATIONSHIP with Him. It's a personal thing. We were frustrated with church so long ago for reasons that we not the church's fault. Opening your heart to hear Jesus speak is something no one can tell you to do. Living your life for HIM is not something to be learned from another person...
What I took from the book is that so many churches press the fact that if you don't fulfill their obligations you wont be blessed or you aren't close to God. I believe that has been my struggle this whole time. I don't have time to do everything you seem to be "required" to do. I have three small girls and a husband who really do require my time. I know there are families who are a lot bigger than mine, but it's not the same for everyone. There isn't a formula that is going to get you to heaven. There isn't a checklist you have to cross off to get in God's good graces either. The personal relationship between you and God is just that personal. What is good for someone else is not always good for you or vice versa.
I am not perfect. I do not know the bible front to back. I struggle with what is right and what is wrong. I make BIG mistakes everyday. I disappoint God with most of my thoughts. I don't pray as often as I should. I am selfish. I am condescending. I gossip. I covet. I know ALL of that is wrong. I know that I am not worthy of God's forgiveness. I have it though because of what Jesus did for me. That is not something church can give or take away from you.
I want to go to church now. I want to surround myself with people who want a real relationship and not a list of obligations. I want to REAL relationship with Jesus. I want to trust in HIM not in church to get me through the day, the week or even the year. I want to learn. Just because you go to church doesn't mean you are "spiritual" or your guaranteed a ticket to heaven. Jesus didn't really talk about church as a place to go, but more as a living relationship with HIM and fellow believers.
OK so I know most of this is just my opinion and most probably wont agree with anything I have said. That's OK read the book for yourself so we can talk about it. I would love to hear different views. So if anyone is wondering if I will ever go to church again....... The answer is YES! I want to go more now than I ever have before. I just now know the reason I should be going and what I need out of it. I had it all wrong before.....That's why I was always so frustrated! I didn't know I needed a real relationship with Jesus not a church!
So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore
Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman