I have several friends who claim to be Christians and have quit going to church. They’ve taken matters into their own hands and have joined fragmented factions led by religious expats fleeing the organized church. They chant the usual reasons: the church is full of hypocrites; leaders are corrupt, greedy, or uncaring; they “didn’t fit in” with the congregants.” These excuses couch the deeper issue. What is at the base is that such Christians do not want to submit to biblical authority. Resistance to authority in all its forms is the basis of rebellion, stubbornness, and sin.
Satan invented rebellion.
What amazes me is how many have packaged this rejection of authority in palatable, “holy” wrapping. They pop off a lengthy list of past wounds at the hands of terrible pastors, other Christians, and bla, bla, bla.
This is a deflection.
Avoiding the truth is a full time job for far too many of God’s people. Viewing authority as a positive thing is biblical in that God establishes ALL authority. Whether good or evil, God can use it for a glorious purpose. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned are from really bad leaders. From past employment, I’ve learned to lead well because I worked with one of the most inept—corrupt, even—Christian supervisors ever. Through his constant badgering, belittling, and caustic criticism of everyone who dared to fail him, I learned how not to lead. While painful at the time, the lessons have stayed with me and I’m better for knowing them. Anyone now working under me is also benefits.
Back to avoiding God’s authority in your life.
In Hebrews 10:25, the writer clearly tells us not to forsake the gathering together of the saints. In other words, get connected to a good church and stay connected until God moves you on. No matter how faulty the leader is, no matter how faulty the people are. Stay faithful to God in whatever circumstance you’re in. If you are a Christian, you should be involved and committed to a local church. Hiding in house-church clans is not the same thing—and you know it.
Man-made alternatives are Satan’s substitute for the real thing. What are the benefits? You get to be in control, you never have to be around other Christians that challenge you, you don’t have to listen to spiritual authority, and you don’t have to give an account to anyone. Each week you drift farther away from God and closer to your own demise. Come out of hiding.
Get connected; stay connected.