Church Hopping

If you are a church hopper, repent. Whether you repent before or after you read my latest PJ Media article is entirely up to you.

https://pjmedia.com/faith/2016/10/31/4-really-bad-reasons-to-quit-your-church/

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12 thoughts on “Church Hopping

  1. I’ve spent the better part of a year at a church with music that I hate. It did nothing but undermine my spirituality. When others walked out of church cheerfully humming their favorite chorus of their favorite song that they just sang together, I get the joy of realizing that I’ll never get to do that – my church will never sing my favorite song together.

    Not feeling connected goes deeper than having people over at your house. There’s no room in God’s house for me to be connected with others. There’s really no such thing as a single thirty-something child-free group where I can get together with others in the same boat I am – and that’s probably because there aren’t a lot of others who are at the same place I’m at. Because of the division, married Christians often don’t interact with singles (female singles are home-wreckers just waiting to steal good husbands, apparently.) Elders don’t interact with youth. (When was the last time the 60+ year old women had the 20+ year old women in the same class?) Parents don’t involve the child-free as they don’t have the time. Christianity is so divided by life experience, by age, and by gender that there’s nothing but disconnection.

    Since I am a family one, I can say that there’s not enough programs for me where I’m at. What does your church offer me? My last few churches: nothing. I was in a group of one, the only one who was in my situation – all by myself with nothing to do.

    Church was the one place I wasn’t growing and my spirituality was stagnant. The preaching didn’t challenge me to improve or change anything about who I was in any way. I see that you’re a fan of 9Marks – if I’m not mistaken, they’ve lost a lot of people because even through their “perfect” approach to Scriptures, scandals have shown that there are issues at the core of their theology – even with preaching, biblical theology, the gospel, conversion, evangelism, membership, discipline, discipleship, and leadership – none of those nine marks is love and you’ll never convince me that a church that doesn’t put love ahead of everything else is a healthy one.

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    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      There is not a perfect church. My church is not perfect (by the way, if you have the time, I encourage you to read this – https://adayinhiscourt.com/2016/10/27/going-back-to-greenville/ ). And my church is not perfect in large part because I, John Ellis, am a member of it. The problems you brought up exist on some level in every single church. I believe that the one of the important take-aways from church problems is that my church’s problems are my problems, too, because I am part of the church. For example, you wrote about the lack of connectivity in church because you are a thirty-something and childless. In fact, you wrote, “There’s no room for me in God’s house.” I’m really sorry that you feel that way. I’m sorry if brothers and sisters in Christ have not loved you in ways that honor God and build your faith. But, don’t wait for other sinners to do the right thing. Insert yourself into the lives of others in your church. Love others the way that you want to be loved. And don’t give up. Bathe your efforts in prayer. People will rebuff you (for a variety of reasons). Commit before God to love the church family that He has given you even if they don’t serve/love you back in ways that you feel you need. Talk to the leaders of your church. Chances are, there are other people in the pews who are hurting in similar ways that you are. Find those people and minister to them. Ultimately, your identity is in Christ. I encourage you to live that identity out in your church.

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      • I looked over it, it’s just that I’ve never been one to accept Calvinism because if God loves all people so much so that his grace irresistible to the elect, why wouldn’t he elect everyone for salvation? How much can he really love people if he won’t save them?

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      • To be honest, Jamie, I’m not sure what your last comment is responding to. I’m not encouraging you to accept Calvinism; I’m encouraging you to find ways to love and serve the church family that God has placed you in. Even my Arminian friends agree with me on that point.

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      • I was under the impression that true 9 marks churches, the only ones who have the whole truth of Scripture understood correctly and applied rightly were Calvinist. That Arminian theology was a misreading of the Scriptures. It’s another reason why I don’t get along with churches out here. I’m their opposite.

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      • Ok. Setting aside the whole Calvinism versus Arminian debate, almost every Arminian that I know would affirm my article. My points are not specific to a soteriology. They are specific to Christians being called to love and serve God in the community called Church.

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      • The point is – when you’re their opposite, musically, theologically, there’s no sense of belonging – they won’t change and you’d have to change to meet them where they are. You’d have to stop being you. And that’s not me.

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      • Well, I’m thankful to God that I’ve stopped being me and have started finding my identity in Christ. If I hadn’t stopped being me, I’d probably be dead and would definitely still be in open rebellion against my Creator.

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      • And, Jamie, it honestly sounds like you have an axe to grind against certain churches and organizations, which is fine, I guess. I don’t know any specifics about you or the churches that you have attended. My point is that my article and the conclusions in my article can be applied to a variety of gospel preaching churches, regardless of intramural theological divisions from other churches.

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      • I’m sort of in-between churches – having left church number six a few months ago because of mismatched music. Church five was mismatched music and theology, Church four was mismatched theology, though they did have good music. Church three had both good music and good theology, but circumstance took me away. Church two had decent music but also the worst theology of them all. My first church was my grandparents and I can’t recall either the music or theology, but the same circumstance arose. The next church will be never seven – but I don’t hold out much hope – if the last three churches are any indication of what’s available in this region, then no church is a place that will feel like home. Is it no wonder that I’m frustrated with all the betrayal and disappointment? The empty promises that are as soon broken as they are made?

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      • Have you ever considered that maybe at this point in your life the Holy Spirit doesn’t want you in a church that feels like home? Maybe the Holy Spirit is trying to teach you something about God through a church that doesn’t feel like home. Regardless, what I do know is that the Holy Spirit wants you in a church.

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      • Perhaps the best advantage of having been to so many different churches is that I can see how systemic problems in Christianity are. Telling people to stay one church, you can write off any issues as ‘well that one church is bad one, but don’t let a bad apple spoil the barrel’. When you’ve been moved around from church to church, you can see that the lot of apples all have the same bad spots and bruises. If Christianity’s fruit is rotting that must mean that there are deeper problems with church – all the churches. If that’s what the Holy Spirit wants me to see, I get it. What I don’t get is why there isn’t a church where I can belong. Jesus often talks about his father’s house, how Christians are a spiritual family – why is that the Holy Spirit would desire someone to be involved in his family but not belong to it?

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