Others (under construction)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore by Jake Colsen

This book is good....Beware, though.. it will turn your life upside down. I must admit, as I read this book, some of Jake's behaviour reminds me of me. Here are some of the things I read and would like to share with you.

This book basically tells us that we shouldn't be so caught up with being in a good Christian family, attending the biggest church in town, using all our energy in so many different departments, trying to outdo our fellow brothers, trying to impress our leaders, setting lots of rules and regulations so that everything will be in perfect order, forcing ourselves to go to meetings just to keep up with the attendance,... and many more. Pretenses are not what God is looking for. Looking holy once a week is not God's idea of a loving relationship with men.

You may have read the bible 100 times over, graduated with Honors in Theology or even helped built a church but it doesn't mean anything if you have lost your first love for God.

Living a Christian life is strange sometimes. When you first become a Christian, you want to do so much for God. You planned and envision how your future would be with new Christian activities that would draw people to Christ. You hoped to contribute to every one of these activities so that the whole church would know how much you love God. You will get an applause from the congregation when the Pastor reads your name out loud but what really counts is God's appreciation.

You can be in so many ministries, maybe serving God 7 times a week but all He wants is your company. So many times we are busy with God's work, that we have no time to fellowship with God. It makes the things we do for God not only meaningless but to a point of destructiveness. And I quote this from the book, page 34 "We are so quickly captured by a work-driven religious culture that thrives on guilt, conformity, and manipulation that it devours the very love it seeks to sustain."

Sometimes we are so bored with going to weekly meetings, so fed-up with praying the same prayer, fasting but hating it, talking to newcomers but wishing we were somewhere else and we don't know why we go through it. Is it because it's routine... or categorized as what Christians must do? Or if we don't do, God will not reward us? Have we just lowered God to our standards when we think this way?

Guilt is a terrible feeling. Some people question others when they don't turn up in church. Some people ask with a concerned heart and some just want to make them feel terrible. The problem is, most of us try to encourage people to come to church by making them feel guilty. We don't spend enough time with them and to get to know their worries and we make them feel worse when we question or even worse.. gossip.. when we don't see them in church.

What about failures? We seem to think that we fail because we don't pray enough or we skipped a weekly meeting some time back.. or we didn't help Bro Lee with his troubled car last weekend.. or.. the list can go on. We fail because we don't trust God, our Creator enough to see us through the project or problems. We thought we could help God help ourselves and we fail to remember that God is Sovereign and He alone knows how to deal with our situation. By trusting God, we can experience real freedom. Be frank with God. He is big enough to handle all our troubled thoughts and difficulties. He knows how to get you through the mess you are in now and when we trust Him to be Lord over our lives, He will lead us to greater heights, higher than we can even imagine.

Some of us may have prayed like this before, "God bless me, bless me.... I am Your child God, I did so much you Lord, saved a thousand people for You yesterday in the Youth Rally....". I've learned that we should give up the illusion of controlling our lives or that we would manipulate God to bless us. He knows what the best is for us and He will provide. No matter how bleak the future is, God knows our every need and He provides accordingly. God doesn't bless us on our terms. We will all be goners if God did exactly what we wanted.

So often we are in this religious system with invincible laws and one of it says we can only be friends if we are in the same activity or ministry. We create cliques and ignore others who are not serving in the same ministry. We try to win our brothers' hearts by praising them. In return we want praise and approval from them too. We are owned by "friends" who praised us. We are obligated to do things for people or to feed their egos and we convince one another that this is the best ministry to serve in. We create false expectations among our fellow brothers and focus too much on what the group needs rather than the presence of Christ.

I could go on and on with this book... but why don't you get one and read it for yourself? BTW, I'm not paid to advertise. :)


@nne said...

How did we get to this point in christian living? How did we end up playing church instead? Is it possible to raise up a generation of young people that understands the very essence of following Christ and not end up in this vicious cycle? Can we disallow all other ministries from grabbing and tearing at the youth until we've discipled them properly and help them grow in the ministry of their calling?

can i link your article to my blog? lol. I want my youth to read it as well. and maybe one day I'll borrow that book from you.

euniceta said...

Exactly how I felt when I read the book.
The book belongs to Eddie. It took me quite some time to finish reading because there were so many truths in them and they are all happening in churches now without us realizing it.

Yeah, you can link this post to yours, but better still, read it for yourself and post your thoughts in your blog.:)

Jilliefl1 said...

For the biblical support and a more in-depth discussion of the issues raised in this book, you might want to check out Frank Viola's new book, "Reimagining Church". "Reimagining Church" is a great 'biblical' supplement to this work of fiction.

You can read a sample chapter at
It’s also available on Amazon.com.

euniceta said...

Jilliefl1 - Thanks. I will check it out.