The Challenges of Being an Outlier Christian (Part 2)

There are reasons why many believers find it difficult, if not impossible, to find a home church. I have had difficulty also, and I don’t think I will ever find one. I know that it is true that many do not join a church because they do not want to live for the Lord. Going to church convicts them of their sinful lifestyle, so they’d rather not.

Because of this, many will accuse those who do not go to church as being insincere in their faith. However, having been in this position myself, and while being a very zealous Christian, I know that there are many other reasons why this happens.

My reasons have shifted somewhat over the years, but many have remained the same. For one, my doctrinal beliefs do not fit neatly into a single denomination, and I have found that to be problematic eventually no matter which church I go to.

Although I have decided in my heart to agree to disagree on secondary issues for the sake of fellowship and patience with my brethren, and I believe that is right, I do not get that same treatment. Once it comes time to “join” the church, I am made to affirm their doctrine. Since I can’t, I do not join because I am not allowed to. That is the case with every single denomination.

The reasons for this point to other issues within the church. There is error on the side of legalism. There is error on the side of liberty and excuse for sin. There is error in pride. There is error in putting man above God. There is error in smiting our fellow servants. There is error in misuse of the word of God. There is error in serving money and status.

There are many things, and it is worth expanding upon, not to condemn my brethren, but to be faithful to what I have received, to help those who are outcast, and to perhaps tug on the conscience of a few sincere pastors. So, to that end, I will write more about these things, Lord willing.

For now, the point is that I get it. I get that there are many reasons why sincere, Jesus loving Christians fail to find a home church. Because of this, they are drawn to Online ministries. These have their own set of problems.

I have had several Online mentors, but only two were profitable in a sense that is pleasing to God (other than His will that makes all things good for us in the end). Some are profitable in that they show us what we do not want to be. I don’t want to be profitable in that way, though I know that I have been at times. So, I try to be patient with most. Even so, there are many deceitful workers.

For the record, I enjoy many online blogs. They build me up too, though not in a mentoring way. We should get beyond the need for mentors eventually, because we do not aim for any man, but for Jesus Christ.

It is certainly true that the adversary is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Whether dealing with traditional gatherings in church buildings or seeking fellowship and learning Online, the teachings and temptations my fellow brethren are exposed to are vast. Yet, these can be condensed into lessons that we can learn from. Lord willing, I will tackle this. There is a delicate walk to walk in doing so, so thank you for your patience. I will pray on it and consider the best way.

I apologize that this writing is not more concise. I get up in the morning and write what I write in that moment. Things don’t always come together so neatly.

So, to wrap this up for today, I want to say a few things.

If you feel like an outlier Christian, know that you might have some good reasons for this, and don’t let anyone accuse you. Paul the Apostle wrote that we should not let any man judge us concerning the sabbath days. “One man honors one day above the rest and one man honors every day alike. Let each be persuaded in his own mind.”

We should not “forsake the gathering together,” but it is possible that the gathering will forsake us—and not know it—all the while accusing us of forsaking them.

If you have experienced this, know that in the New Covenant, of which we are a member, the temple of God is not a building. It is you. It is me. It is the body of Christ—and those who love Jesus, keep His word, honor His sacrifice, and want to live for Him, who approach Him with humility and a sincere desire to know Him will find Him.

Jesus said that He does not despise a “broken and contrite spirit.” We need no intercessor between us and God. Jesus stands in that gap. You can approach Him anytime, anywhere. He can lead you. He can lead you to good instruction in His word and in fellowship. Trust in Him.

There are many like you, and unfortunately, there are many who would prey off of you. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing, as Jesus calls them, both inside church buildings and outside of them.

If you can relate, I am happy to help you get your footing in Jesus. I believe that those who can help should, not to gain a following of our own, but to grow the Kingdom of Heaven and to be faithful to what we have received.

I believe that all believers should get to a point in which they are able to rely on Jesus alone, and not man. Although fellowship will always be needful, the quality of our gatherings in that regard is highly lacking.

So, I feel for you on all fronts, and I know that Jesus does too. He will make a way for all who seek Him. He will show mercy to our shortcomings within the church, yet we have things to answer for too and we will.

As Jesus said, “there will not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.” I believe this to be true for online and offline ministry. All the work I do too will die one day. My writings will die too.

The Word of Jesus will never die—and any good thing my work accomplishes that leads to everlasting life will not die. One day, all that is life will live, and all that is death will be burned up. That is an encouraging thought. A sobering thought too.

We are nothing, but Jesus is so merciful. Trust in Him. He is patient with us, and though our ministries lack, most are doing the best they can.

I also want to say that I have visited churches that have sound preaching. Errors, but sound in what seems to be a sincere love for Jesus and the brethren. Sound in edification. What lacks, I trust in the mercy of Jesus for them–though I still believe their buildings will come down so that the Kingdom of Heaven can be established.

Sorry again for the rambling. I will do my best to put together a series of articles that deal with all of these matters more concisely, and hopefully yield a good result that will not die.

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