Yes. Exactly. I do have to bring this up since so many church-goers, insist on my being in a modern church environment, for the sake of my spiritual growth. In other words, I simply cannot "walk" without interaction from "like-minded" believers, whether single or married.
As I mentioned it's been a long journey prior to the arrival of my "peace with God, by the justification of my Faith" Romans 5:1, what I have discovered during this journey was that my faith was tentatively placed with God, and wholly placed in "gatherings of ourselves". I simply had to have "church". As someone who grew up in a unloving family environment, I desired the physical/spiritual support of a "real" family. I was extremely disappointed and let down by many attitudes I encountered in various churches. I wasn't being fed as I needed to be. So, I took my questions, that ministers found such discomfort with, upon the Lord.
Boy, did I discover something precious! My point in sharing this with you is that my food comes from the Spirit, not through physcial fellowship. I had to ask myself some hard questions:
When IS God enough? Why should He not be??
The Word is full of repetitious scripture of the principle that God is our Source for ALL things. Yet in this church society we build our belief around the physical aspects as opposed to the grounding spiritual principle of "walking" with God. A vast majority of church organizations who insist one cannot "walk" without some sort of gathering of like-minded persons, "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel". Matthew 23:24
I'm here to tell all, that I CAN, because, God IS able to make me stand.
Being orphaned by the age of 17 and a very young parent, it is truly an eye-opening experience when those who claim to have the love of Christ, judge you and/or place parameters around the conditions of their "love/giving". While hurtful, I truly had to look upon my own heart and desires and ask myself some tough questions. Where DOES my faith lie?
I have replaced my sole source of Spiritual feeding with the Right Source, I AM able to walk this earth without "physical interaction" in a structured or nonstructural setting AND still be grounded in His Word.
When it slowly, but surely dawned upon me that this Christian society no longer reflects the days of Paul through. I began to ask "Where is that "Paul" spirit?" Where is the spirit of the Thessalonians Church?
"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews "--1 Thessalonians 2:13-14
How is it that we have morphed from a Faith boldly preaching Christ and suffering for it, to sitting quietly in pews ministering to "personal issues" relating to the very base things of faith? Is it any wonder apostasy is so widespread? For the very HEART of the Gospel rests upon the understanding that with Christ we are not alone.
With this understanding, I was left with a choice. To recognize the knowledge I was given of Him, or to continue in pursuit of my own desires of seeking out "family". If we choose to recognize that in this day and age of Christianity IS indeed different from the Scriptures, we claim to believe are inerrant, then we MUST reevaluate everything we know to be Christian, in comparison to the Word, under the guidance of the Spirit.
Personally speaking now, I've come to a recognition that many who insist that I am in error because I am not in physical fellowship, judge my walk based on their faith. If I am right in any capacity it then becomes a question of loyalty to their church. Only they and God can know where their heart/Faith lies. But Christ makes this very clear:
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."
-- Luke 14:26-27
In full recognition of where we are in modern society, my commitment is to Christ alone. My commitment is to truth. The truth is we (church/Christian society) are NOT effective in the Spirit in which He has freely given to us for HIS glory, as we SHOULD be since we ALL claim the to be the same. There is no getting around that, no matter how many "If's And's Or's and But's" we spit out. I remove myself from the variety of physical fellowship offered by today's Christian society for this base reason:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" -- 2 Corinthians 6:14
Sound harsh? Yes, maybe...but if there is no unity of Spirit, then there can be no likeness of mind. You'd be very surprised how many "unbelievers" have been faithfully in church attendance over years.
I wanted to share this comment I made to another commenter on this blog under the post Purposefully Unchurched Part II