The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Finding a Church That Teaches What We Teach: Why It Can’t Be Done

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The Pursuit of God website is loaded with theological material that many Christians find to be very offensive and heretical.  But there are some folks out there who read our articles and start feeling convicted that the stuff we’re teaching is actually true.  Now and then someone from that second group asks us if we can recommend a church that they can go to which will teach the things we teach.  So can we?  No, because no such church exists.  You are not going to find any Christian church anywhere that teaches what we teach.  We’re now going to explain why.

Christian denominations are a product of doctrinal disagreements.  If a Catholic priest and a Baptist pastor sit down together and start comparing their beliefs about God, they’ll discover that they agree about some things and they disagree about other things.  Among the things they disagree about will be some very hot topics which will make them feel unable to work together, hence they belong to two separate denominations.  New denominations form when someone has a major beef with the existing denominations.  To make himself more comfortable, he goes off and starts a new denomination, he gets other people to join him, and soon we’ve got yet another kind of church in the neighborhood.

Now let’s go back to our priest and pastor. They don’t disagree about everything.  There is definitely some common ground—enough for them to view each other as Christians.  Let’s now make a list of all of the theological points that our two guys agree with.  Then let’s invite a Pentecostal to join in the discussion.  The Pentecostal has beefs with the Catholics as well as with the Baptists. The Pentecostal is going to scratch a few items off of that list of shared beliefs which he feels he doesn’t share.  The end result will be a shorter list of shared beliefs, but there will still be enough common ground for everyone to view each other as “Christians.”

Now let’s bring in an Anglican, then a Methodist, then a Presbyterian.  Every time a new denomination joins the group, that list of shared beliefs gets shorter.  But after everyone is done hacking away at that list of truths that we can all agree on, there is still enough material leftover for Christians to recognize each other.

But then we come to our material.  On The Pursuit of God, what you find is teaching which directly counters many of the items on that critical list of shared beliefs which unite Christian denominations.  Here are some specific examples:

A core belief of mainstream Christianity is that the Christian Bible is mostly, if not entirely, inerrant and God-breathed, therefore we should all be viewing the Word as our litmus test for truth.

We teach that while the Christian Bible certainly has some inspired material, it is also loaded with terrible teaching and miserable role models, thus it cannot possibly be viewed as a litmus test for truth.  We teach that we must rely directly on God to guide us in life—not on some man approved collection of ancient documents.

A core belief of mainstream Christianity is that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man.

We teach that Jesus is fully God and only God.  Certainly He walked around Israel in human form.  But that’s a cinch for a true God to do.  Jesus is such a capable Fellow that He can show up in any form He wants whenever He wants without becoming anything less than God.  In fact, trying to say that Jesus is literally a created Being is a total insult.  This is what we teach, but the Church would consider our teaching to be blasphemous because apparently we exalt Jesus too much for her liking.

A core belief of mainstream Christianity is that God’s sovereignty is limited, which is why He’s always being bested by Satan in this messed up world.  According to mainstream Christianity, God never wanted this place to get so bogged down in sin and evil.  That was all some kind of whoops.

We teach that God’s sovereignty is absolute, that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and that God is always having His way in this world.  We teach that things like evil, Satan and sin exist because God created them.  We teach that Satan is a mere dot of a demon who needs God to sustain his existence, thus the whole notion that Satan could ever trump or distress God is utterly laughable.  In the Church, there is no tolerance for exalting God to the levels that we do.  To fit in with mainstream Christianity, you have to spend a lot of time treating God like some bumbling Doofus who needs you to constantly tell Him what to do.

According to mainstream Christianity, prayer is an effective means of manipulating and controlling God. 

We teach that God cannot be controlled by His own creatures, and that our attempts to control God through prayer are both disrespectful and futile.  We teach that prayer should be primarily used as a means of communing with God and practicing submission to Him.  Through prayer we’re supposed to be inviting God to change and direct us—we’re not supposed to be trying to change and direct Him.  Many Christians find our version of prayer to be very offensive and off-putting.  Apparently it’s great to call God “God,” as long as we don’t actually treat Him like one.

We could continue, but we don’t need to, because we’ve just royally offended every Christian denomination out there with these few points.  By the time you stop worshiping the Bible, stop treating Jesus like some half-created Hybrid, and start treating God like He really is as powerful, wise and capable as He claims to be, you will no longer fit into any Christian church.  Toss in the fact that we don’t adhere to the super popular Trinity doctrine which teaches that Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit must be viewed as a single Entity, and you can say goodbye to the idea of being welcomed with open arms into any church body.  Sure, you can find Christians who will be very warm and friendly before they understand what you believe. You can even find some that will graciously endure your heretical views as long as you don’t get too pushy about them.  But if you go around saying things like “God lies” or “God likes both Heaven and Hell” or if you refer to your Creators in the plural, that’s going to get you the boot in many congregations.  The stuff we teach is simply too “radical” for Christian churches to handle.  But why is this?  Well, we have a very different purpose than churches do.

THE PURPOSE OF OUR SITE

The purpose of our site is simple: we’re motivating you to pursue a closer walk with your Creators.  We push you to pursue a mindset of total devotion and absolute submission to Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  We help you to seriously ponder what it means to be Someone Else’s creation, and we encourage you to drastically improve the way you treat your Creators.  For us, it’s all about exalting the real Gods.  When we cover psychological and social topics, we do so for the purpose of helping you become more receptive to things your Creators want to teach you, and to show you how you can respond to your challenges in life in ways that will benefit your soul.

So what’s in it for us?  Nothing—at least nothing that comes from you.  We don’t want your worship, we won’t take your money, we don’t need your prayers, and we don’t need your word of mouth.  We set our material out like food in a public buffet. The whole world is welcome to come, browse, and leave.  If you’re interested, you can take some ideas away with you and ponder them more deeply.  If you think we’re nuts, you can shrug it all off and walk away.  We don’t reward you for staying and we don’t punish you for leaving.  The only benefit you’re going to get out of taking our material seriously is a closer personal walk with God.  But growing closer to God in this world comes with a high price—that’s His doing, not ours.  Because of this, most people aren’t interested in really pursuing God, at which point our site becomes irrelevant to them.

THE PURPOSE OF CHURCHES

Now churches have a very different purpose than we do.  Churches are mainly about social perks.  Churches create social hierarchies and then they function like clubs with a bunch of rules.  If you obey the rules, you’re rewarded. If you don’t, you’re punished.  Since relating to God is something you do in the privacy of your own soul, you don’t need to go to church to do that.  Attending church has nothing to do with pursuing God—that’s just a cover story.  Going to church is really about forming social relationships, expanding your social network, and getting access to help.  You go to our site to deepen your walk with God.  You go to church to get affirmed by other humans.

Now there’s nothing wrong with human affirmation until you start getting so caught up with the humans that you start knifing God.  The idea of people grouping up into common interest clubs has a lot of value to it.  The way churches dole out financial and material aid to their members can be really fantastic.  Getting people to bring you food when you’re sick—what’s not to love about that?  Getting financial help to replace your car or getting help to find a job—these can all be wonderful things.  God certainly wants us to help each other in this world, and churches create places where we can do that.  Churches can be fabulous bridges between those who have shortages and those who have abundance.  And when it comes to handing out emotional perks, churches can be amazing.

After years of being the bullied underdog, Chad goes to church and ends up getting promoted to lead guitar on the worship team.  Talk about some great therapy.  Churches are famous for turning social zeroes into popular heroes with their plethora of titled positions.  It feels like big stuff the first time you land the job as “Director” of some ministry.  It doesn’t matter that you’re working for free—the new social status is your reward and its glorious compensation.

Every human wants to feel loved, accepted, noticed, and valued.  Churches can shower you with those feelings.  The problem is that, like the world, Christian churches don’t pass out the goodies for free.  They charge, and the greater the perk, the higher the price.  At some point it is guaranteed that you’ll have to betray God in order to qualify for the perk that you have your heart set on.  This is the problem with churches: they dangle coveted prizes in front of people, then demand a public display of disloyalty to God before they’ll give people access.  Sure, you can be the Sunday School teacher, as long as you sign some paper agreeing to teach whatever some human tells you to instead of obeying the convictions God gives you.  Sure, you can join the worship band, as long as you play the songs you’re told to play without any complaints.  What’s that?  You feel convicted that the lyrics of a song are disrespectful to God?  Shut up and play: we’re not here to honor God, we’re here to control people.

This is the problem with churches: God doesn’t come first.  He’s just the excuse we use to form the club, and then we treat Him like our last priority.  Clearly this is going to make going to church an uncomfortable experience for you if you’re serious about pleasing God.  It’s not that you can’t go to church without betraying God—but if you stay true to Him, you’re going to be iced out of a lot of the perks that churches offer.  No one’s going to want to hear you piping up in Bible study because you’re always saying stuff that makes others uncomfortable.  No one’s going to let you get very involved in ministry efforts, because you’re going to want to obey God’s conviction the whole way through, and there’s no doubt that He’s going to tell you not to just align with the pre-approved program.

WHY GO TO CHURCH

So then, it’s a lonely world, and the thought of grouping up with other Christians sounds very refreshing.  If God is tugging at you to start attending some church for a while, then by all means, obey His conviction.  Just go into it with realistic expectations.  Churches are about pleasing and controlling people—they’re not about honoring God.  If you go to church expecting a bunch of wholesome, challenging teaching and a bunch of folks cheering you on to obsess over pleasing God in life, you’re gong to be sorely disappointed.  You shouldn’t go to church with the goal of trying to convert everyone over to your way of thinking, because you don’t have the authority to do that.  God is the One who matures other people.  You need to keep your focus on your own walk with Him.  If He sends you to a church, it won’t be so you can go fix other people—it will be about using the whole church experience to help you mature.

The more serious you are about God, the more frustrating and unsatisfying the whole church experience will become.  This is one of those crummy realities that comes with living in a world in which most people choose to embrace spiritual rebellion. But the more serious you are about pleasing God, the less it will bother you that you can’t resonate with other Christians the way you used to.  When we’re spiritually young, we crave the rush of being on stage, basked in spotlights.  As we mature, we start to see what pompous little hams we’re being and we decide that we’ve had our fill of basking.  When we’re spiritually young, we lust after the titles, glory, and admiration that comes with being in charge.  As we mature, we realize how ridiculous all the title games are and we stop yearning to have titles we can flaunt.  When we’re spiritually young, we need the approval of other humans to affirm us that we’re on the right track.  As we mature, the approval of other humans becomes utterly worthless and we crave only the approval of God.  Maturity changes us.  The longer we make pleasing God our top priority in life, the more meaningful His opinion becomes until what He wants trumps everything else.

CONCLUSION

If we could recommend churches that perfectly align with what we teach on our website, then our website would be a total waste of internet space.  Promoting a religion that spawns people pleasing churches is vastly different than promoting total devotion to God.  We promote God. When churches claim to be promoting God while in reality they grossly insult Him, we call that behavior what it is.  Our purpose in shredding many popular Christian doctrines is to help you take the blinders off and see that there is a big difference between something being popular and something being pleasing to God.

If you want to please God, you need to follow His leading in your life.  You need to go to church when He’s telling you to go because He’s telling you to go.  When you let God schedule your church chapters, you’ll end up benefiting from each one.  If you go because you’ve been suckered into thinking that you need all of that carnal hoopla in order to keep you on track with God, then you’ll only get dragged down.  The bottom line is this: there is no church out there that’s going to push you to live all out for God.  But so what?  Be a rebel and decide that you’re going to live for Him anyway, even without the approval of the Church.

FURTHER READING:
Fellowship In Perspective
Four Ways to Identify False Teaching in the Church
Serving God vs. Serving People: Understanding the Difference

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