His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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The Spirit Speaks – of Being Churchless at Christmas

Are you newly dechurched? Have you decided that the institutional church isn’t for you, at least for now? And will this Christmas be the first one in a long time where you will not be celebrating with a church? Or is this just one more year of a churchless Christmas?

However your answers make you feel, I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, wish no guilt be upon you. I know what you’re going through. And it’s okay.

If you can’t bring yourself to enter a church during this annual time of celebration, then bring yourself to enter into me. If you can’t walk through the doors of the church sanctuary, then walk through the door of the sanctuary of your heart. That’s where I worship. Join me within the depths of your heart this Christmas, and we will worship and celebrate together.


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The Spirit Speaks – of the One Greater than the Church

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, see the turmoil in my Church. I see the division and the politics. I see the dysfunctional collection of dissimilar churches. I see those children who are pushed out. And I see those who run away.

My children abandon churches for many reasons. Some are escaping behaviors that don’t make sense to them; things that don’t seem “Christian.” Yet this is the nature of church, for the church family members are all typical broken and flawed people. As sin is a part of human nature, you will find the fruits of sin wherever there are people.

This may seem like a dilemma; how can you have a Christ-filled church when it’s full of sin-filled people? As in everything in life, the answer to this question is to look away from the manmade weaknesses of church, and look to me. For I am greater than the church. Problems flourish when people forget it’s not church traditions that rule, but that I am Lord of the Sabbath.

To those who leave and those who stay, look to me, the One greater than the Church. As I said, “I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:6,8)


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We Are The Church!

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I belong to several Facebook groups for Christians who no longer attend a church. We each have our own reasons for leaving what some call the “Institutional Church.” But this morning I was thinking about what we do in these groups. We share experiences, we share inspiration, we share our struggles, and we share support and encouragement. But what I think most of it boils down to is this – as a group, we praise and worship God and Jesus.
And then it struck me: We Are The Church! Each Facebook group is a type of church. And by “church” I mean God’s definition of church, which I believe is the collection of Spirit-filled believers. So though we’ve left the institutional church, I think we’re still in the true church.
What do you think?


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The Spirit Speaks – of Dechurched Christians Living in Fear

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I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, see many of God’s children living in fear of judgment. Oh, they don’t fear my judgment; they fear the judgment of other Christians. Dechurched Christians, those who no longer attend a church yet still believe, fear the judgment of churchgoing Christians.

There are two victims in this: those who are judged, and those who do the judging. But my plan for my church and my children does not include judgment and guilt. Look, I don’t judge dechurched Christians because they no longer attend church. And I don’t judge churchgoing Christians who may have a hard time understanding and accepting dechurched Christians.

What’s most important to me is where your heart is, not where you’re sitting on Sunday morning. My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. Your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church.


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The Spirit Speaks – of Relationship with a Church vs. Him

Dechurched2

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, was browsing Facebook yesterday (yes, I cruise Facebook, even through your eyes). I was reading comments on a Group page for Christians who no longer attend church. Some call these people “dechurched” Christians.

I am sad, but not surprised. Not only because these people don’t go to church, but because of their personal feelings of guilt and shame. You see, some dechurched Christians feel so badly about no longer going to church that they don’t use their real names in the Facebook groups. They fear the judgment and potential wrath of church-going friends and family who may discover they no longer go to church.

Are you a dechurched Christian? Or are you devoted to a church and know a dechurched Christian, maybe a close friend or even a spouse? My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. For your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church. And your love for me and each other is also more important than your love of a church.

And know this: I won’t judge you by where you go, or don’t go, on Sunday morning.


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Church for the Dechurched

Dechurched

Are you a dechurched Christian? I am. Survey’s show that there are millions of us American adults who once were active in a church, but attend no more. We are called the “dechurched.”

Yet there is a church for us. Though I don’t attend church on Sundays, every day can be a church day. Every day can be a day with God.

Jesus founded the church and then passed it onto the apostles. The apostle Paul defined the new church as follows: referring to Jesus, Paul declared, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:22-23, emphasis added)

The church is the collection of believers in which the Holy Spirit of Jesus lives… the body of Jesus Christ. As Paul also said, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? … for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Church is not a building or manmade organization. Intimate and quiet time with the Spirit of God within you is what real church is about. As long as we look to the Spirit within us, we are not “dechurched.” We ARE the church.


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Are You a De-Churched Christian?

I’m a de-churched Christian. I’ve been reading the book “Churchless,” which contains lots of research data the Barna Group has collected about the various aspects of Christianity. Did you know there are about 18 million born-again Christians who no longer attend a church? The Barna study calls these people “de-churched.” It felt weird when I realized I’m one of the 18 million.

I haven’t attended church for almost five years. And what adds to the weirdness is, I can’t clearly tell you why. Oh, I could come up with surface answers easily enough. But none of them feel to me like they are the real, deep down reason I don’t go to church. And I want to know why.

It occurred to me; maybe some of these 18 million de-churched born-again Christians hang out online somewhere. So please help me if you know of any such hang-outs. Are there any Facebook groups? What other sites might the de-churched like to visit? Are there blogs for the de-churched?

My hope is that maybe by connecting with other de-churched people, I might learn why I have no desire to attend church. And if you too are a de-churched Christian, please share some of your story. It may help me, and it may help others. Thank you.