Is it I or you?

It seems that almost daily I get comments on a blog I wrote a lifetime ago when I knew what I wanted out of life. It was a time that I was hopeful and faithful and full of everything that I would like to be a testimony of my life.

Then I walked away from church. I walked away from most of the people in my life. I turned my back on who God called me to be. I was afraid. I was hurt. I was so much inside of my own head that I didn’t realize how my actions affected other people.

Today I sit here on a Sunday morning in my pajamas and on my bed, realizing I haven’t regularly darkened the doorway of a church in over two years. Part of me misses the gathering of the brethren. Part of me misses worshiping within a congregation. A voice inside me asks if I will ever be able to fulfill the call God placed on my life so many years ago if I continue in my current state.

Is it I who is broken, or is it the institution of the church? I have a friend who is Catholic, and he made a great point. There is one Catholic church and tens of thousands of Protestant churches. If Catholicism is so wrong, why can’t Protestants get it together and worship in unity? Please don’t misunderstand me. I will not be converting to Catholicism, but I think it is a valid question.

I am at a crossroads trying to discern what my course of action will be. I cannot continue slogging along in the manner I’ve been for a while, yet I cannot find it within me to join a church that is more concerned with a body count than with actually teaching people the tools needed to survive the spiritual battle in which we are dead center. I’d rather spend my time watching Hollywood than going to a church with a pastor who is little more than a snake oil salesperson, telling his congregants that if you do A, B and C then God will love you and bless you.

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5 Responses to Is it I or you?

  1. mclaborn says:

    I know it can be SO frustrating when church’s don’t focus where they should. Some thoughts on your current dilemma:
    1) You will never find the perfect church, because the church is comprised of imperfect humans.
    2) We are the body of Christ, not the individuals of Christ. If you separate yourself from the body of Christ, you are missing out on lot’s of good things that God has for you.
    3) Hebrews 10:25

  2. Justina says:

    Deneen, please don’t give up! You know that God has a plan for your life, you know there are trials in the Christian life, and you know how VERY, VERY much HE LOVES YOU!!!! Please don’t turn your back on Him. …that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 5:7). Praying for you.

    • deneenwhite says:

      Thank you SI much for your encouragement! I’m certainly not turning my back on God. He has been and is my pillar of strength since I was a child. The church, however, is another story.

      • “Let God be true and every human being a liar.” (Romans 3:4 TNIV) Just find another church. Don’t blame God for people imperfections. And consider where you are in your thinking from another angle:
        You have a platform of influence that clearly the enemy of your soul would like to destroy by making you yourself lose your saltiness. He tries to isolate sheep so that they are more susceptible to deception, discouragement, etc. Our safety is in flocking together as sheep–it’s our nature. And especially as women, we grow better in community. We grow by that which “every joint supplies.” (Eph 5:16)
        How I overcame this issue was by looking beyond people to the God who was working on them. I read that God is supremely able to get us to perfectly sound in body, soul and spirit (1 Thess 5:23-24), and he doesn’t seem ruffled by the church shenanigans that you mentioned and which I agree are unsettling. Start visiting other churches until the Spirit witnesses in you that “this is home.” If you look for it, you will find it.

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