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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: God and Me
By W. Yvonne Birnell


I must be truthful to all who read. This letter came about after much prayer and seeking God for the solution to my thoughts of church. I am one of those who doesnít go to church buildings made of bricks and wood, you see. After watching how many times, people professed to be Christians and proved to me they were far from it, I wanted nothing to do with churches.

I had been invited into churches and then condemned, because I did not fit into their frame of mind. Unless two agree, they can not walk together. I sat in those after church socials and listened to the gossip, which went on. Also I found out, through experience, men were abusing their wife and children in private, yet being allowed to be deacons in their churches. Church members who showed hate among neighbors, because one was Baptist the other Catholic. Iíve seen parents, from churches, teaching their children to judge others by the color of their skin. I have actually been told by members, if your not a ______ , you are going to hell.

During my prayer time with God he told me to look up the meaning of the word church, so I did and according to Webster, when translated, it literally means (the Lords house). Well going back to what Paul told us; we are the living house of the Lord. So getting together in those buildings is like when the Pharisees went to their man made temples and worshiped. The churches I have been to are not a house of prayer, but a den of thieves. Selling tapes, books, and other merchandise out in the main lobby. Oh I have heard how wonderful it is to have the pastors message on tape just in case your late or miss a service. I say, BULL. There are too many markets for that kind of stuff, WWJD? I think he would do just as he did back then.

Too many of the congregation just sit there and listen or some even sleep through the services. At one church, a member of the Adult Sunday School class asked me why I was asking questions of the teacher. I was told our job was to shut up and listen. Well the subject they were talking about happened to be speaking in tongues, which I have enjoyed studying for awhile. I found out they do not believe in that in this church, said it was of the devil. I got up and left after I pointed out 1 Corinthians 14:39, which states, Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

I wanted more than their God could give me. I blamed churches and men for my downfall, until I found truth from Godís word. I had to admit that I was mad at those churches, because I was doing the same thing. I too was judging, back biting, and just going along with the flow.

I wanted to be encouraged, assured, loved, and most of all I needed to be fed good food, not stale bread. I ran from those churches, out into the world. When I had run about as far as I could, that is when I found the true God. The true, loving, life changing, peace giving, merciful God. I found Him, felt His love for a sinner, and found such wonderful peace, peace like I had never known. I started searching His word for truth and asking for wisdom, and just as his word states, he gives liberally to all who ask.

I say to those churches I am not angry any longer, for I have been given the grace from God to be more careful of whom I listen to these days. Jesus warned about what we hear. The rest is up to me. God gave me a brain, I thank him for teaching me how to use that wonderful gift. I have found more friends out on the street and we get together with our churches, (Lordís living temples) and have a wonderful time praising God. God wants an intimate relationship with each of us. You canít get to heaven on the pastors shirt tales. Jesus said it is not those who hear, but those who hear and does that make it.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 12/16/07
This is a very honest and interesting read. I am glad you have found that wonderful relationship with God. I pray that, some day, you will find a "brick and mortar" church that does not seem so hypocritical. I know that some exist - though, of course, all churches are filled with sinners. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Much to ponder here.
Jan Ross12/16/07
Sometimes God gives us opportunities to open our hearts and spill out what has been building up for a while. The "church" topic may have been ordained just for this purpose in your life. After reading your story, I must admit my heart is broken for you. There is such a richness available to us in fellowship with the saints, but more than that, there is strength available to us through Godly fellowship. I pray God will lead you to a good church where you will be welcomed and encouraged to share your gifts to bless others...where you can grow and flourish like a tree firmly planted by the rivers of water. God bless you...
Jan Ackerson 12/17/07
This was a courageous article. I hope you continue to be open to God's leading in this direction; what is right for you in a certain season may change with the passage of time and your own spiritual growth.
JoAnne Potter12/18/07
Ouch! Much of what you say is only too true. Fortunately or not, however, we are made to learn from rubbing up against our frayed fellow human brothers and sisters. For all their faults (and mine) they help keep me accountable, not because God is not able, but because my own flaws can prevent me from correctly hearing God's voice. For all of that, I am glad to have read this, and glad for your conviction to write it.