Theresa Harvard Johnson

Not many will like this message. I do believe, however, that it is one of the most critical messages of the hour for the church. My prayer is that WE LISTEN! I commend this young man for writing what so many people have been pondering in their hearts. I am reposting it as a CRY for pastors and leaders to look at how they are presenting the faith to others. I pray that the "heart" of this message comes through to you as powerfully as it has impacted me. I hope to share a response to this later on my page. I am thankful to Exio Baillou for granting me permission to repost this article on my blog.

Written by Exio Baillou
To see original article click here

I once read an article speaking to a specific sector of Christians called the “dones”. These were individuals over the age of 40, who though being believers were in fact completely and utterly disconnected and disinterested in church. However, I am apart of another emerging “sect” of Christians. I am apart of those who in their 20s & 30s have spent our lives serving the household of faith and being thoroughly engaged in the work of the Lord. Yet, despite all of that; we do not want to be apart of the local church anymore.

My thoughts are mines alone and are not meant to be a railing accusation against established church leaders or to castigate them in anyway. I do not seek counsel, pity, prayer, or help. Rather, I seek to give you what most do not. I want to give you an honest response as to why those who have known Jesus for so long and served you and with you continually, have decided to no longer fellowship with you. I along with others will visit you from time to time. We will hug you, celebrate your progress, and wish you well. However, we have chosen never to be apart of you anymore.

1. We got tired of the programs that produce no fruit- We got tired of the conferences, revivals, seminars, and meetings that did nothing more than pay the church budget, promote your closest friends, and keep us all busy doing that which produced no transformation. We shouted and danced. We did it all to no avail. We served in your youth ministries, we carried your Bibles, and did all that you taught us that we should do. But we stopped long to question why all of this was being done and found out that sadly it was meant to keep us busy but not progressive.

2. We found more honesty in scripture than in your lives- We decided one day to open our Bibles and study it for ourselves. We found that what you said many times was inaccurate and was laced with error. We didn’t believe you did it intentionally, but we could not ask you about it or show it to you and you even hear us. You taught us that it was our job to take what you said and do with it as we wish. This was not a relationship, this was a dictatorship. You were not there to grow with us, you were there as nothing more than an instructor telling us what to do. You cared not to walk through His truth with us. You were too busy validating your own deception rather than ensuring that it was truth.

3. We trusted your members and loved them wholeheartedly and were forsaken in our weakness- We were not naive to expect perfect behavior from those who were in the faith. Yet, we found that our brothers and sisters were more than willing to become our enemies when it served their purpose. We know what it was to be among hundreds of people that were supposed to be our friends and to be close to you. But, when you changed towards us, so did the rest of the church. Let’s be honest, you are Lord and those in our assembly are your servants..even if it is not said. When we were broken, none came to us except you sent them.

4. We gave you our little, sacrificed and labored and saw no return- What we had and who we were was up for grabs. We tithed, gave first fruits, we sowed seeds, we pledged (and even paid some of We are not those who were stingy and unwilling to embrace sacrifice. We cared for that which we called our church. We embraced the promises you said that God would honor. But, we did not see what you said. To be honest, we are still confused and wonder if God lies. Either God lied or you misrepresented His Word.

5. We built your dreams and watched ours die- You said that God wanted us to build Him a house. We worked tirelessly. We positioned ourselves in every way to fulfill the mission and vision that you said came from God. However, the only person who was refreshed and who now has place to do what he wishes is you. We have built you a throne that you stand and sit upon and whenever you choose, you can do to it and with it as you wish. There is little concern for who we are and what we carry in our heart. We are a means to and end for you. We are not the end.

6. We cried out for deliverance, submitted to your processes, embraced your discipleship, and found no relief- You said that if we fasted, if we prayed, if we went through deliverance and starved the flesh, we would experience breakthrough and healing. We broke the soul ties, we coughed, we vomited, we let it and them go. We did everything you taught us that would make us not want it and not want them, to no avail. To be honest, at times you yourselves partook and enjoyed the pleasures that secretly abounded because of our “struggles”. Our labor and sacrificed at best made us be more disciplined but yielded no fruit of peace. We are just better behaved. We are not delivered.

7. We trusted you with our callings and found you inept and incompetent- We listened to what you prophesied over us. We followed your instructions. We wanted your mantles and to carry the double portion. We believed you when you stated that you were sent to equip us and mature us into who we were called to be. Yet, we still find ourselves alone with a God who deals with us in ways that you have not helped us with. We see. We dream. We hear. We have encounters and experiences that defy our logic and find no release and understanding for the burden that we carried. Like little children we have wholeheartedly trusted you but now struggle as we look for answers elsewhere. We have lived afraid because what you said that we should do did not.

8. We got tired of being berated on one end and enticed with empty promises on the next- Our secrets and failures became the substance of your presentations. You declared woe unto us for our failings and told us to quickly cease lest we come under God’s judgement. You taught us to fear God and to fear disagreement with you. Those you had issues with were the subject of your sermons and we all sat quietly because you were and are the man and woman of God. Otherwise, when you did not berate us; you whooped and hollered and laid hands upon all of us until we were in a state of euphoria. It amazed us that you could swing from one end of the spectrum to another from one Sunday to the next. You beat obedience into us and to ensure that we stayed, you encouraged us. Yet, this is what you have learned and how you believe God deals with us.

9. We watched you be as carnal and even more carnal than us without ever repenting- You cursed, sexed, stole, deceived, gossiped, scorned, and slandered others without ever owning your own mistakes and misdeeds. You called us to the altar to cease from our work but rarely went there yourself. We watch you preach a gospel and a standard that you never upheld. You never spoke earnestly and honestly to us about your own challenges and struggles with the Word of God. You portrayed a reality on Sunday that you kept deviating from on Monday. It would be fine if you were open and honest about it. We could give grace if we knew that you battled anger and jealousy and rage. But, you were so blind to your own weaknesses and far too discerning of ours.

10. We saw you exalt your friends not those who were faithful- We have watched you place honor and push those you liked and those who were your family members, regardless of them being proven or fruitful. You paraded those who were your buddies, those who had new books they needed to sell, and those who needed an honorarium. We were a mere audience and not a continual responsibility over which you must stand guard. You only guarded us from those you had nothing to gain from. You only discerned wrong from those you possessed no history with. Those who defiled and dishonored us the most many times were and are those you link arms with and invite every year to speak for the church anniversary. We wished you had told us that we were a mere audience who you practiced on as you (and them) looked for bigger, brighter platforms.

So do know, we are not those who want a platform. We are not those who are looking for a title or to split congregations. We are not those who make it our agenda to cause confusion in churches. To be quite frank, we usually leave without fanfare. We resign from your boards, we take sabbaticals from the worship team, and we turn in the church keys. We have not lost our faith in God and will never choose another. But, we would rather struggle on the outside of church than walk within your buildings and join your communities.

We hope you get the buildings, we hope you get all the new members your heart desires. We hope you get onto The Word Network and experience all that you have set yourself up to have. We wish you nothing but the best but do know that for the sake of our souls and our hearts for Jesus, that we would rather wrestle in our faith alone and leave you to your cause.

No hard feelings..seriously. But do know, our numbers are increasing on a daily basis...

Former faithful Church member.

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