You think I don’t go to church because I simply had a “bad experience.” Like I had eaten an off-putting meal at a restaurant. So you shame me for not trying again, as if I’m just lazy or over dramatic, while you insist that not all churches are bad.

Perhaps, that’s true. Not all.

But, what you don’t seem to understand is that, respectfully, I don’t go to church because so much of it has become so far removed from the heart of God that I can’t even breathe inside and Jesus is virtually nowhere to be found.

In fact, I can tell you for damn sure, it wasn’t just one meal that’s put a bad taste in my mouth, it’s the entire menu. From your interpretations of the Bible to your condemning attitude towards others. From the sexist patriarchy to the self-centeredness. From your elitism to your appetite for power and control over people and society. In my experience, it’s the cancer, not the cure. The more I attended, the more empty I became. None of it worked. I became less like Jesus and only better at pretending. At first, I thought it was me that was missing the Spirit, but then the Light within revealed that it was actually much more you, all along.

I’d like to say it’s your beliefs and system of faith that keep me away. It makes it less personal and less confrontational. But, the truth is, you’re the one who brings those beliefs and that faith system to life. Without you, it’s all just words, buildings, and creeds. But because of you it’s so much more.

See, it’s not only what you believe, it’s that you actually believe it. And not just believe it, but act on it, live it, and then demand others do the same, or else.

All the judging, hating.

All the greed, self-righteousness.

All the violence, bigotry, and harmfulness.

The problem isn’t that all of that is in your Bible, it’s that it all now lives in and through you. And then you dress it up with spiritual lipstick and call it “church.”

So, if I’m honest, it’s you.

You’re the reason I don’t go to church. It’s not that you aren’t perfect, it’s that you kinda think you are. Like you have all the answers. Like your truth is the only one. And the world won’t be better until everyone is just like you, and you hold all the seats of power.

Yes, I don’t go to church.

Thanks for the concern.

Instead, I’m finding Jesus in all the places you told me I wouldn’t.

I’m meeting Jesus in all the people you send to the curb.

And, I’m experiencing Jesus in all the faiths you say aren’t true.

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

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