Welcome to a new year
by Jim Gordon
It is so hard to believe how fast time flies by. For my wife and I, as 2021 came to an end our participation with the organized church finished its ninth year.
After so many years of feeling dissatisfied with organized religion, we decided to make a break from the traditions, rules, regulations and doctrines we each grew up learning. After nine years, we still believe we made the right choice.
It can be a scary decision to stop attending something that has been part of your life since you can remember. So many friends do not understand why we made this decision. So many people feel we are wrong and have fallen from grace.
Now let me say, neither of us think there is anything wrong with participating in the church system. We do think we need to call it as it is, church is not a building or place we meet God. The Church is made up of each of us as followers of Christ. It is a way of life that goes on day by day, anywhere, anytime. God says we are now His temple and He lives within us, not a building made by hands.
Looking to the new year, we see it as a time of new beginnings with our walk with God. Another year to share the love of God with people we meet each day. We see this as a new start away from old covenant, law-based, man led religion. It is continuing to walk with Jesus as our friend and partner in the grace and freedom He provided.
It is a walk consisting of loving God and loving others. Accepting and loving the people we come in contact with each day. It is not a set of rules to follow, or things we need to do to be a better Christian.
It is coming to realize that what we do or do not do, does not make a difference in our relationship to God. It is letting Christ live through us and letting His love touch people. It is knowing that Christ paid the price for our salvation. It is learning to live by grace, and grace alone and not by adding law and works.
After so many years of ‘going to church’ each Sunday, we are still learning where this path will lead us, but we know that we both feel closer to God. We feel a new dependency on fellowship with God and with our fellow believers. We also feel a renewed sense of excitement now that we are out of the box of organized religion.
We continually look forward to see where God takes us and how He will touch people with His love as we walk with Him day by day.
Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org