The simple answer is “YES!”
Though the process of leaving churchianity behind is often fraught with difficulty and painful readjustments the process inevitably leads to a more abundant life in Him. It created a whole new paradigm shift in my understanding of the church, numerous scriptures and the times in which we live. With this has come several major changes that have enriched my spiritual life since I made the decision to leave churchianity behind.
1. "Nobody Needs All that Junk" It never fails to amaze me how many things I left behind that I didn’t need in the first place. Coming out of churchianity was like cleaning years of accumulated junk out the garage. I shake my head at all the church “stuff”, religious add-ons, manmade garbage and non-essential “add-ons” I accumulated over the years. It represented an enormous pile of religious trash I never needed in the first place.
It never fails to amaze me how many things I left behind that I didn’t need in the first place. Coming out of churchanity was like cleaning out the garage and attic of years of accumulated trash. I shake my head at all the church “stuff”, religious add-ons, manmade garbage and non-essential “add-ons” I accumulated over the years. It represented an enormous pile of religious junk I never needed in the first place. For decades I was taught that I needed all of the church extras, lingo, rituals and window dressing. Not only that, but I taught others how absolutely essential and indispensable it all was for a full Christian experience. But my coming out has shown me just how wrong I was. I didn’t need all the church fads that came and went. I didn’t need the flash-in-the-pan bestsellers that were guaranteed to change my life. I didn’t need the endless merry-go-round of church hype, entertainment, programs and dog-and-pony shows. I didn’t even need the programs, artificiality canned services, It’s all about me worship, time demands, spiritual quotas and church involvements to make me complete in Him.
2. One of the most liberating consequences of leaving Churchanity behind is the restoration of my simplicity in Christ. Paul’s greatest fear was that we would lose our simplicity in Christ and that is precisely what has happened in Churchanity. Ever since I shook the church dust off of my sandals, Christ’s invitation to come unto Him and lay my burdens down has become a living reality. I am finding a fresh renewal in Him. His invitation to take off my heavy yoke and learn to rest in Him has brought a lightness to my experience. Much of that yoke was the heavy burden that churchanity places on the shoulders of believers. I am no longer weighted down and encumbered by the relentless demands of church agendas, ministerial expectations or the relentless pressure to validate my Christian experience through performance. Ever since I left my church baggage behind, I have rediscovered my simplicity in Christ – the simplicity of simply trusting in Him, resting in Him and leaning not to my own understanding.
3. With my coming out has come a long overdue renewal of my relationship in Him. I have come to cherish my “Mary” experience with Him. The years of busyness, church expectations and spiritual performance had slowly pushed Jesus to the sidelines of my life. If the truth be told, they robbed me of my intimacy with Him. Jesus hadn’t gone anywhere but I had come to a place that I got up each day and dutifully trudged off to toil in the spiritual salt mines. I was spiritually existing – not thriving. The demands of church life actually took me further and further away from Him until one day I found myself serving the stranger I had made Jesus into. That has all changed in my post churchanity life.
4. MY coming out brought the dawning revelation that I already had all that I needed in the first place. As Jude affirmed, “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.” (3) I saw that much of my experience in churchanity mirrored the story of Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”. She had left Kansas in search of some elusive something she was missing in her life. She didn’t think that she had enough. She thought her life was incomplete. But in the end, she found that she didn’t need the “Yellow Brick Road”, the “Wizard of Oz” or even the journey to Oz. All she needed was to come full circle in her elusive quest to realize the simple truth that everything she really longed for and needed was back home in Kansas. She had all the answers all along. I have found this analogy so fitting simply because our simple faith in Jesus and trust in His word is enough and we don’t need some new revelation, fad, church wizard, spiritual mecca anything else to complete us in Him.
5. I have rediscovered what church was meant to be in the beginning. I for one have returned to the wholesome simplicity demonstrated by the example of the early church life found in the New Testament and for the first 300 years of church history. I have found the model of the house church to be the perfect crucible for developing authenticity, accountability and relationships. I Have found that its very simplicity works to accelerated participation, interaction and discipleship growth.
6. In a sense, the scales have been removed from my eyes. I now clearly see the extent of spiritual deception, manmade foolishness and outright heresy has overtaken much of churchanity. Mu coming out has brought an acute sensitivity to spiritual B.S. I’ve come to a deepened sense of discernment and biblical understanding of just how far the established church has strayed from its historic roots and scriptural grounding. It’s amazing depth of scriptural shallowness is appalling! It is a manmade church built on the sand of emotionalism, excitement, entertainment, motivational platitudes, programs, pastoral agendas, personalities, ear-tickling, hype and falsehood rather than the rock of His word. Looking back at what I have come out of I can now see the forest through the spiritual trees. I can see how complacent and lukewarm churchanity has become
These are just the high points I’m sure I will discover far more on this new adventure of life after churchanity