4/18/15 - I no longer attend church and feel like a religious orphan with a loss of community. Am I being misled?
On April 18, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“On the purely human or materialistic level I feel like a religious orphan. The churches I have gone to over the years are no longer relevant. Ceremony means nothing to me now...commitment to theological orthodoxy even less. I realize I know (both factually and truthfully) more than most Sunday school teachers, even pastors and priests. This creates unintended conflict with these individuals so I have discontinued being involved. I feel a certain loss of community. I wonder where I am going - or, maybe, even being led?”
To the author, thank you for your email and for visiting our site.
Dear Brother, You are not a religious orphan. What you are feeling is religious freedom. You have been set free from the servitude of men and all religious fetters imposed by men. You have mentally transcended primitive religion and are now free to pursue revealed religion. The Apostle Paul described this at Galatians 4:1-7. You are no longer under the servitude of men, but are in a spiritual faith-based relationship with the Father of All. And because you cannot see the Father with your eyes, sometimes you can feel like you are alone, but that is so far from the truth.
A fragment of the Father dwells within you (1 Corinthians 3:16) and is guiding you to greater understanding and developing in you a desire to find Him in person. (Acts 17:27) And we have the spirit of the son – the Spirit of Truth – that was sent to soothe our sense of loneliness. (John 14:15-21) These two spirit influences join together to confirm our sonship with the Father and assure us that we are not orphans. (Romans 8:16)
Many who are going through what you are going through interpret the feeling as agnosticism or atheism. They have outgrown the old religious stories, antiquated religious rituals, and religious fear and superstition. But instead of using that opportunity to find the Father without the interference by men, they turn to science as their new authority. They are hungering for truth, but are seeking it through physical, rather than spiritual ways. In time, we believe the atheist and the agnostic will find their way to the Father if they continue on their quest for knowledge and understanding. As they learn more about the works of God, they will eventually find the person of God, that is, if their bodies do not wear out first. We discuss the connection between science and religion in Experiment No. 4 - Understanding Deity, The First Cause. But those who choose to use their freedom to search for the Father through spiritual means will find Him far quicker.
In addition to finding our Father and our eldest brother, Christ Jesus, we need to find our human brothers and sisters who are traveling this journey with us. We need to see Jesus living in the hearts and minds of our contemporaries. We accomplish this by means of the ministry of reconciliation – helping our family, friends, workmates and neighbors to become our brothers.
You are visiting churches looking for them to give you something. May we suggest that you stop looking for shepherds, and start being one. Don’t go to churches looking for what they can do for you, go looking for what you can do for them. You don’t need to be a pastor or clergy member, just be an enlightened brother. Let your light shine, as Jesus encouraged. (Matthew 5:14-15) Many churches are full of hungry people poised for a spiritual awakening. They are hungering and thirsting for more – more information, more understanding, more truth. But you can be a refreshing voice to such a church, helping them to find spiritual freedom, especially since you have found ‘the key.’
Hungry people who do not find their way to the person of the Father will be temporarily lost in the physical sciences. These are the truth seekers who become agnostics and atheists. You can help them avoid this temporary pit stop on the path to truth by introducing them to the person of the Father by means of a spiritual awakening. We hope to be writing on this subject soon.
In the meantime, take a look at our series of articles on our sister site, www.FaithSonsofGod.org, entitled Into His Harvest. By means if this outreach ministry, we are motivating and encouraging others to put on the mind of Christ and see the future the way Jesus saw it – hopeful, liberating and promising. We introduce them to the freedom of the sons of God beyond the control of men and the primitive stories and superstititions. We believe such a ministry will fill your sense of community and give you real direction.
If you choose to read those articles, and especially if you choose to engage in the suggested outreach ministry, please write us back with your thoughts and experiences. This is a precipice moment for you. Take the leap of faith into a larger community of fellow workers with Christ. And welcome to the worldwide brotherhood of the faith sons of God.