“Is this all you’ve got, God? Is this Your best? I mean, is this all of what it means to be a Christian?” I asked. “Are you there, God, or are You just a ruse that someone came up with so that most of us would behave?”
I didn’t like myself for asking these questions and I sure didn’t want to feel what I felt or think what I thought, but the truth was I was bored. I felt dead. I thought the sermons were shallow and trite, and I couldn’t help but think that someone else in that congregation surely thought so too.
Spiritually speaking, I was dying. I had listened and tried to learn, but when I had shyly asked the spiritual questions that vexed me, I got answers that pointed back to the church. You need to keep coming to church. Try giving more of yourself to the church. Give more of your time, your energy, and your money to the church, I was either told or it was implied. When I desperately needed to be fed more God, all anyone knew how to do, and all I knew how to do, was to feed me more church. When I sought understanding on how to be fruitful, I was told to be busy. When I questioned how to grow into a mature Christian, I was given personal or world views on how to be a better person. But religion is not Christianity, busyness is not the same as fruitfulness, and growing into a mature Christian is a great deal more than being a good person. In those days I got nothing out of Sunday worship service. And, while some of that blame can be attributed to the superficial, ineffectual presentations of the church, most of it can be blamed on me.
Looking back, I believe God was pushing me away from everything and everyone but Him. He was making me hungry for Him and discontented with the church, a place I had instinctively come to be fed. God was pushing me hard to develop a one-on-one relationship with Him first. It took many years for me to get straight on all this and to step into stride with God. As I told one minister many years later, “I couldn’t see God for church.”
About this book:
The Desperate Christian, written by Leigh Crane-Freeman, is a well-written, intelligent, raw spiritual plea to millions of people who once attended church, and to the churches they left behind, that the world doesn’t need more church. It needs more God. … The Desperate Christian, unlike any other book of this kind, shows these 50 million people that have stopped going to church but still ache for God that they are not alone in their frustration, as it walks them through the process of developing an intimacy with God. It then encourages the reader to take their personal bond with Christ back to the church.
The above is an excerpt from The Desperate Christian, by Leigh Crane-Freeman.
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