Christ Alone is our Source
There is an old hymn that says “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”. This leads me to think about the organized church. As important as the church can be in our lives, we have to be careful not to put our hope in it. I have received a lot of help through the church and a lot of good spiritual teaching. I also learned of my salvation there but my hope is not in the church. My hope is in “Christ the solid rock”.
There are times when we are alone in our walk with God and without regular fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of us have left the organization or are otherwise deconstructing our faith and may have to stand alone for a while. Fortunately, we can rely on our relationship with Christ because his Spirit lives within us. The church is no substitute for Christ. It is where we can learn about the Christ but it must not be mistaken for the source of our salvation.
What church is and isn't for
The modern-day organized church is a place for believers to get together, but it is not what defines a believer. Going to church does not make us Christians, nor does it necessarily make us better people or more dedicated believers. It is a place to disseminate and develop ideas, discuss interpretations, receive encouragement from others, to meet other believers and enjoy fellowship, and a place from which to reach out and help others.
We need to stop putting the focus and emphasis on church as the boundary marker, as the bastion of the one and only truth, as the defining element of who is in and who is out. We must stop elevating pastors beyond their station (while still honoring the role they play) and come to realize that they are not the answer, nor do they hold all the answers. We should instead be placing our focus and attention on the Christ who holds everything together. It is Jesus who we Christians follow and worship. He is the Shepherd and we are all his sheep. There are no co-shepherds and no intermediaries between Christ and us. We are to follow Christ alone, and not put our trust in someone else who claims to know Christ. We are to learn from Christ and love others equally.
Depend on Christ
There is nothing wrong with going to church, but do not worship it or the leaders therein. Keep your focus on Christ. Whether you go to church or do not go to church, the Christ is the one we look to. The one that guides us. Do not worry so much about going to church, but rather being the Church. It is not a building we go to, but it is the people who love and follow Christ.
If you have been going through the deconstruction process from organized religion like I have, you will learn that you can depend on Christ to lead you into all truth. God will prove His love and care for you over and over just as He has done for me. Bottom line, let’s be careful that we do not put our dependence on an organization but on Jesus. All other ground is sinking sand.
Jim was raised in the Methodist church and spent nearly sixty years in the organized church. He and his wife became dissatisfied with the way things were going and became very disillusioned the weekly service format. After several years of looking for answers and trying different churches, they left the religious system and have been living for God outside the walls of religion and traditional church. Jim believes that God loves all people and that everyone should be loved and accepted as is. Jim started writing a blog called Done with Religion where he talks about various topics of Christian living in non-religious ways. Jim and his wife live in the Columbus, Ohio area of the USA. They enjoy their family, traveling and meeting people from all walks of life.
See all previous articles by Jim Gordon