Why I Left the Church
Copyright © 2007 Jordan White
began when I first became involved in the plight of the Palestinians: their
dispossession, the brutal occupation of their lands by
I had the beautiful and wonderful opportunity to observe these people at prayer. Though they, for the most part, were vibrant and vivacious young men and women, they eagerly took part in a five-times-a-day prayer observance. This was not just a matter of falling on one’s knees murmuring “Our Father which art in heaven”, or “Holy Mary Mother of God”. (Incidentally, if that’s your thing, I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing.)
Muslims began by using a
quibla compass to determine the direction
young people would bow down, first on their knees, and then with the forehead
touching the rug. I watched them
speaking their Arabic prayers, eyes clenched shut, totally absorbed and
undistracted amid the bustle and noise of the big city of
When the prayer ended, they got up and their faces shone as if, from within, came a deep sense of peace and harmony with the eternal. It was an amazing thing to behold.
switch gears for a moment. A few years
ago, I purchased a small house in the foothill country of
Oh, my dear
Christian reader, how discouraged I am by our churches! I have attended, for extended periods of
time, four or five in this area alone.
None of them begins to match any part of this commitment and devotion. In the name of “freedom” and the avoidance of
“legalism”, I see services that are more appropriate to
The thing that broke my heart was, when I looked around in disbelief, I saw a handicapped young woman, awkwardly clapping with her crippled, bent hands. Her plain face was smiling with enthusiasm for an activity she would never participate in.
No effort was made to include this special gal, who I had talked to before and found intelligent and charming. What she had gone through in physical and emotional suffering had made her a sensitive and loving person, though painfully shy.
When we leave things on a spiritual level, people can participate as their level of spirituality dictates. Loving and worshipping God “in spirit and in truth” (John ) unites people of disparate backgroungs as nothing else can.
Christians, I think we have abandoned the truth of God for a lie (Romans ). It is not “freedom” or “lack of legalism” to abandon devotion to God and the care and nurture of the most delicate of souls! ( See James 2:1-9. I myself have been publicly attacked and berated by a church-going matron (in a church foyer, no less) for my open and shameless love for and defense of the rights of the Palestinian people.
Christians, it’s time to reorganize your priorities. A good place to start is to study thoroughly the book of James, after first humbly asking the Lord to enlighten your heart to its true meaning, not any interpretation that Cyrus Scofield might have come up with. Quit listening to hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh, John Hagee, Cal Thomas, and so on. The Holy Spirit stands by, waiting for you to ask Him what He would have you do.