Churchianity

Churchianity

 

 

Churchianity: Any form of Christianity that places more emphasis, accountability or commitment to religion, church, or tradition rather than God.

 

A sad truth, that this describes the majority of modern-day Christian churches today. How do I know? I’m a member of one. It’s getting harder and harder to find a church that doesn’t put tradition and activities above the reason we’re even there… God.

 

I grew up in the church, sang in the choir, participated in and helped in all kinds of activities for decades. I’m currently a member of the largest “Christian” church in my county. Yet when I fell ill and was fighting for my life… my church did something I never expected… they abandoned me. Over a SIX-YEAR period (of me struggling to survive) I can count on ONE hand the number of members who have even placed a SINGLE phone call to see if I am still alive. Even fewer, have come to see me… sit with me… pray with me… or hold my hand (when I needed them most). There are no words to describe my shock and disappointment with my church congregation, full of people professing to love God and to be doing His work.

 

Requiring life-altering treatments for my brain, twice a week for several years, I turned to my church for assistance (looking for rides to my treatment sessions so my husband could stay employed). For a short time, very few were willing but that died out quickly. Making the call to the church office to ask for rides, was more than difficult. After decades of serving in churches, one of my many roles had been to visit shut-ins, give rides and help members in need.

Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” – 1 John 3:18

Overwhelmed with the embarrassment of finding myself in a role reversal, my hands shook as I dialed the number to ask graciously and humbly for much needed help. Yet the hardest part was yet to come. The voice over the phone coldly stated, “that service is for people in real need, like widows and people with cancer.” My mouth dropped open, shoulders sank as I had no words, just tears swelling into my eyes. Shocked and lost for words, I’m not even sure I mustered a response. Doubting such cold hatred could come from my church, I tried again a few weeks later, only to be given the same response by another member. My own church, the friends I thought I had there, the smiling faces I used to see every Sunday morning, have turned their back on me when I needed them most.

With my illness, my amazing husband, suddenly became a 24-hour caretaker, making meals for me, providing medical assistance and helping me with basic tasks like brushing my teeth or going to the bathroom, along with taking over all my household responsibilities, while continuing to work full-time (as our only income) to pay our overwhelming medical bills.

 Don’t let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of the Lord.

The number of people, elders, or staff from our church (over the past SIX years) who’ve checked in on my husband to see how he’s doing, or if he needs help… ZERO. Their horrifyingly shocking absence speaks volumes about their faith (more accurately, the faith they profess to have).

 

After years of illness, many of my family members, so-called friends and my church family have completely abandoned me. My initial anger and bitterness has transformed to a deep sorrow for all those lost souls. I often wonder, if it saddens my heart to the point of grief, how much more disappointing is it to God? I cannot imagine what He thinks as He witnesses those professing His name, acting with such hatred in their hearts, even toward their own congregation and family. Entire churches are filled with empty Christians; having either no relationship with God or no conviction to live and love the way God has planned for us. Oh the sadness… for God… for those individuals… and for the public, bearing witness to such blasphemy.

I wish I could say this is an unusual experience, a rare occurrence but sadly, it is not. It’s happening more and more. Churches of all faiths are being filled with those confessing with their mouths… yet their hearts, minds and bodies are too busy with life and worldly priorities (even the busyness of church activities) with no conviction or commitment to God. Their busyness has no bearing on the sincerity of their faith, as a matter of fact, so often these days, overindulgence in church activities can become a distraction from a deeper, closer walk with God.

“This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 7:35

Sadly, you know them, even in your own church… they’re the busy people (perhaps even in leadership positions) working so hard on their Churchianity that they don’t stop to sit… listen… be in the moment… truly get to know God… learn to really take in the word of God (not just see it or preach it), learn to be still… listen for His guidance… spend time with Him… and experience a relationship with God the way He intended.

“… Seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the Word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.” – Mark 4:18-19

There is so much more waiting for you. God never intended for you to be stunted in your growth, for you to be mindlessly repeating misguided words from others, or shallowly using the words “I’m praying for you” as an excuse to not do the work that He has planned for you.

 

It’s time to be accountable, to roll up your sleeves, begin doing all your work for God, dig deeper, know Him more intimately, spend time actually reading the Bible and searching it daily to know what it is you actually profess to believe. You might be surprised, it could be quite a bit different than what you hear coming from most of the pulpits in today’s churches.

 

We’re promised guidance and help from God, but how can we possibly see Him when we’re focused on worldly or church activities and distractions.

 

How much time are you actually dedicating to God every day? Is He really the priority of your life? It’s time to refocus, re-center our lives around God, not the church (and the busyness that Satan uses to draw us further from the truth).

 

What we choose to focus on (every hour of every day) becomes more important in our lives. How would your life change if you focused on God every day? What if God was your priority, you passion, the one you actually spent your time seeking to get to know better, digging for the truth and searching the scriptures daily to deepen your relationship with Him.

 

 

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