Before you kick off reading my story, I’ll need you to bear in mind that I don’t buy into this crap of a statement that “the church is for perfecting, not for perfect people”, for these nine worded bullocks only excels at being the leverage to commit sins with impunity. And for the ones who are quick to clench to the sermon of grace being in abundance, hence committing recurrent evils, I hope your waterloo is not far-fetched.
I love God and I know He loves me so much that there is no external judgment that can limit his love for me. I was born into a spiritual family. My Dad was our role model, he loved the things of God and also gave to the church. But as I grew, I began to witness the envy rooted in the church, members competing against each other and all these made my brain itch as I couldn’t reconcile the words of the bible compared to the actions of the people.
The Triggers Started To Play Dirty…
Then the rug was pulled off my feet when my pastor, a man who I held as a mentor and somewhat the people’s savior, handed my father over to the police for a case that just needed a few elders sitting to be resolved. My pastor’s son had a rift with my aunty and my dad had only returned from work to meet the mess but before he could say jack, the police were already in our house and bundled my dad and others to the station. Tell you what, after the police read the statement, they dismissed it immediately on grounds that it was an issue best settled at home. Why wasn’t the so-called man of God able to settle it? Why didn’t he let love lead as he usually preached?
For months, my family stopped attending church services and took to worshipping at home to avoid further triggers. But you know how our mothers can be, always feeling the need to draw the home to God, so we moved to another church. The new church appeared quite stable because you know the thing about rolling with unfamiliar faces, you just do your shit and leave, this was our case.
Not long before I embarked on a personal study on the word of God and began to ask questions especially on these so-called miracles and revivals that seemed to be the most projected church attribute at the time. I got no answers because here in this part of the world “you don’t question the Holy Spirit”. With time, I realized that all the displays were maybe a little backed by God but for certain, had more psychological backing or should I say manipulation. Like people use quotes to justify bad behaviors, church leaders are guilty of this too, but their weapon is biblical quotes.
For example, the bible says, “ye are the light of the world”, which means that you are the ones to lead the people in the knowledge of things in the world. But in churches, this bible verse is restricted to the church. Just a few churches appreciate it when one uses their gift/talent in the secular world, the rest expect you to use it for “only Jesus”, which is funny because even the same bible says “that the gift of a man will make way for him”. How do you limit one’s gift and not support them in their endeavor? For instance, in every service you see the talented pianist giving his best, not even a token to show appreciation despite the numerous offerings huh? And then it becomes a grave sin when he goes circular and starts getting paid what he’s worth? I’ve never seen a unit that turns a blind eye to empowerment as much as the church does, at this point, even the government has a better profile. And when someone dies in cases like depression and all, nobody tries to look back at what made it happen…the next day church continues. The event of suicide will even be used as either sermon or testimony.
Covid! A Revealer Of Secrets And A Blessing In Disguise
Early 2019, I became exhausted from church activities with news of rape, online fraud, and other unexplainable events no one will ever believe happened within the four walls of a church or were carried out by staunch members of it. Not to go into vivid details enough to warrant name callings, but it was that bad, victims were silenced and blackmailed by top church leaders to save face and uphold church name.
Then, the rebel in me began to ask questions, “why?” and “how?”. I felt so much anger and pain mostly because God became a silent watcher and the ones he assigned to do so on his behalf ended up betraying us. The crazy part is that the prey is revered by all and sundry. No one dares talk ill of him, because there is one stupid member ready to give his life for him. Holiness became a facade, the church was a disguised cult ground.
Then came COVID-19, The revealer of secrets. For some reason, victims started to find their voice all thanks to social media. Could you imagine the pastor picking ladies in the choir one after the other, seducing them, and raping those who wouldn’t yield? And his wife has no remorse but chose to blackmail these ladies? It even led to a Facebook fracas, all I could say was “Alas! Jesus!”
The lockdown gave me the understanding that there is no need for us to put any man before God. We were at home, because of the virus. No church, no seeing the pastor (even tho, some still did in their neighborhood). We called on God’s help and he answered. The lockdown removed the dust from my eyes as I found a closer relationship with my creator, I was able to separate the reality of life from religion. How God even expects us to think like humans and not like morons. Pastors are like us, mere mortals, so no need making them feel like God, instead we should spread love and light among people.
The War Against Humanity…
I am against the war against humanity which is evident in churches. Christianity is supposed to help humans become better but the church only cares about milking members with numerous offerings and whatnot. They care less about members’ quality of life, but more interested in manipulating members into slavery whilst backing up with biblical bullocks. Is it too hard to see that the biblical days are far more different from this era? Why expect discipleship like that of the old? Can’t tell me anything, religion in this part of the world is strictly business.
I’ve had my share of bad dealings with the church and I don’t want any more of it. If I look past the happenings around me and don’t move, I might be crushed by the moving train. Slow for you to ever think that these so-called pastors are non-partisan. They have friends everywhere; in the police, army, politics, and all. In a lawless country like Nigeria, you cannot fight them. They can take the life of man without thinking of God. And Someone advises waiting on Karma?! Till you die, Karma may never show up, then you begin to feel that God is partial. I put it to you that church war is worse than family war, a person will be on the side forming ‘Jesus baby’, unbeknownst to them the other person has gone diabolical.
I have not gone to church for a while, but I have never missed out on God’s unimaginable love. When church folks come at me with the “Do not forsake the gathering of the brethren” lines, I ask, what if I don’t want to gather with the brethren? Also, the spiritual growth usually emphasized is a continuous journey based on building one’s faith and faith they say comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. So if I listen to sermons that help build my faith without going to church, I am okay I believe. Spiritual growth is not about being in one department or the other in church. If your pastor’s sermon is not enough to make you study the word of God and understand it for yourself, is it joining the ushering department or choir that helps you grow spiritually? I think not. Church departments are no different from social gatherings, they help you relate better with other members and if care is not taken, see finish ruins it.
The journey of life is personal to every man. Man made these rules to control others. As humans, we are all gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, just that we are too anxious and out of place to know.
If our hearts are filled with fewer worries, and as we ask, we wait, listen and meditate on God’s words and know how to apply them to our daily lives, we are good. Sometimes, the gathering of the brethren causes envy, strife, lies, even killings…unnecessary beef.
Hey reader, like me, did you also stop attending church? I’d love to know your trigger. Why did you forsake the gathering of the brethren? And how have you felt since then? Much better or worse? If at some point you neglected the church and came back much later, I’d appreciate it if you could take us through that journey of discovery, perhaps it could help. Also to those who eventually turned atheist in the process, it’ll be pleasing to learn of your triggers too. To the church folks reading this, why is it always a cause for drags when someone says they no longer attend church?
Not in a bid to cause any strife, let’s just have this sincere conversation in the comment section😄👇.
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