I have heard people say this a lot. I have met with people who have resulted to not going to church anymore because of their experiences with people in church. Having listened to some of their stories, i sometimes understand the reasons behind their decision. I am not a novice to this pain.
Despite the fact that i have experienced the sweetness of being in a congregation of saints, i have also experienced some bruises caused by some people in church. I love church so much. If you read my post titled shout out to my church community, you will see some of the reasons why i love my church family. However, i am not in denial of the pain that some people can cause others in church intentionally or unintentionally.
It’s important for us to remember that church is filled with humans and not superhumans. Every human thinks and acts differently. Of course there is an expectation that a church should be a haven for comfort. Inasmuch as this should be the case, there are different levels of maturity in church. And let’s not also forget the quotes in the pictures below.
Having established the above, i honestly believe that the sentence “I don’t have to belong to a church as a christian” is a lie from the devil. It’s a tactic used by him to gradually make us backslide and become cold towards the things of God. The devil knows it’s very difficult for him to get you when you are in a fold so he will try to isolate you so he can attack you. The moment you are alone, you become vulnerable.
A predator does not attack animals in a group. Rather it goes for the ones who are alone, lonely and weak. He goes to attack them because they can’t get the support of others. This is exactly what the devil does.
He will bring to your minds tons of reasons why you are better off streaming church services online. He will make everyone in church irritate you. He will make you see faults in everything that is being done in church so you can pull away. Little things you could tolerate previously becomes big issues you can’t let go of. Your love for church and fellowship becomes very cold. You get to the point where you are indifferent about church. He will even go as far as making you meet people who will agree with your decision about leaving church. This is when you should be very careful. Remember he is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Don’t fall a victim to his tricks. If someone in church offends you, approach them and seek ways to reconcile. Forgive and let go. I know sometimes, it might be a good idea to look for another church home but never get to the point where you can’t be bothered going to church anymore. Always remember that this battle isn’t physical. We are in a spiritual warfare. Take this battle seriously. Be on guard always. Never give the enemy a loophole to get you. Never think you know enough to stay on your own. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12. You need the support and the covering of your church community always.
When animals are walking in group and one of them becomes weak, the others gather around the weak one and carry that animal to safety. But the weak animal can’t get this support when alone. If a cold coal comes in contact with a few hot coals, the cold coal is going to catch the heat from the hot ones. A hot coal won’t stay hot for long when separated from other hot coals. The coming together of several hot and burning coals is what sustains the flame. We need each other for our faith to grow. No you are not strong on your own. Paul knew the benefit of fellowship hence he said in Hebrew 10:25 that we shouldn’t forsake the assembly of the brethren.
Always remember the quickest and easiest way to backslide or become lukewarm spiritually is when you withdraw from the fold. Stay with church. Stay connected. It will do you good.