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Why I Quit Church? (Part 1) Searching for God in All the Wrong Places

In recent weeks, there’s been a huge scandal within the African-American church scene. No, I’m not going to discuss it here but references to it popped up in my news feed on YouTube. Initially, I watched one video, then another trying to decode who did what to whom and under what circumstances. All of which made my head spin and my stomach churn. But it also reminded me of my years behind the scenes of local churches, having witnessed more ungodliness then the church members (at large) are even keenly aware of. ๐Ÿ™ˆ ๐Ÿ™‰ ๐Ÿ™Š

This latest scandal involved a famous prophet only reminded me of why I became “all churched out” after having spent decades ignorantly searching for God in humans and at Church instead of looking inside mySelf.ย  Although I’ve experienced my own share of church hurt, my ultimate departure from church was not planned or forced. It was more of a matter of convenience for me as a single mom to an active young son. ๐Ÿšผ For example: With all the lights and music during praise and worship, he’d stand up and clap and dance.ย ๐ŸŽถ However, when it was time to sit down for the sermon and such, he’d become weary and irritable. I couldn’t even pay attention because of course I needed to care for him. If I failed to do so, I might get a visit from the usher police. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ Since the services were often recorded for resale in the church’s bookstore as well as for airing on television at a later date, it was imperative that disruptive childrenย  – crying or laughing – be escorted out of the sanctuary, along with their parents when necessary. The ushers would often appear out of nowhere, motioning for the parent and child to come with them. It wasn’t until I had a kid of my own that I realize just how insulting that was. ๐Ÿšฉ

I do recall one time being able to get him into Children’s Church which ALWAYS seemed to be filled to capacity. After getting him settled in, I headed to service. Unfortunately, I saw my code appear across the big projector screens – not once but twice, which indicated a problem. Even my son as an infant was better able to discern that such an atmosphere wasn’t a good fit for him or me. Thinking back to the sign-in process to get him “enrolled” should have been a forewarning. Why? Because my son and I have different last names, so the lovely Christian woman taking out information treated me as if I was the babysitter. You don’t believe me???ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

She told me to “tell the parents” about their sign-in process the next time when they were able to bring him in. Excuse me?!? Was she serious? Didn’t I just tell her that I was his mother?!? ๐Ÿ–•I didn’t bother explaining because all she was trying to do was serve the Lord. Just as I had been trying to do for many, many years, until one day I woke up. That kind of thing happens when you undergo a number of dark night of the soul experiences – throughout my life but even more so during and after my pregnancy. You see – I was raised in the Church. So for many years after getting out of my own, the Church was still my go-to place. I’d freely – too freely – give of my time without expecting any payment or reward. I faithfully paid tithes – 10% of my gross not my net income – even when I didn’t have it. Oftentimes, struggling to make ends meet when it came to paying the bills. But what’s that saying? – Robbing Peter to pay Paul. ๐Ÿ˜ซ

It was only when I became pregnant out of wedlock in my late 30s, especially since I was born under the same circumstances, that I started to rethink the Church. Oh yes! Growing up in the Deep South, getting pregnant outside of marriage, was still one of those BIG SINS especially since it wasn’t something that one could hide. All because of my upbringing, I spent my pregnancy and years afterwards battling a lot of unnecessary guilt and shame, which I shouldn’t have had too battle in the first place. All because of what I was taught as a child and still erroneously believed up until late. Aside from being an overwhelmed single mom, I faced another battle when it came to Church, especially when I returned to writing my book, The House of Jezebel: Fulfilling Destiny in Spite of Your Upbringing. (Dear Reader, I share extensive details in the “Writing Ain’t Easy” podcast series located here.)

But for a moment, step into my shoes. How do you write a book about seeing into the spirit realm when your primary reference book – The Holy Bible – doesn’t appear to back up your experiences? How do you explain seeing non-human entities and people not think that you are either crazy, possessed by the Devil, or operating outside of the Will of God? As I was struggling with this, I was also having to face other biblical and religious questions that didn’t seem to have an answer – at least none of the pastors that I trained under would explain such. (Yes, I was enrolled in ministry school and in leadership programs under at least one mega-pastor but that seems like light-years away now.)

  1. If Jesus was Jewish, then why aren’t Christians Jewish? ๐Ÿค”
  2. If Jesus said he didn’t come to “change the law” (Matt. 5:17), then where did the modern-day version of Christianity come from? (Note: I address my historical findings of the early Church leading up to the first few meetings of the Council in my third podcast here.)
  3. Return to #1.

Not to mention, there were far too many pastors who could also see in the spirit realm and had no problem taking me under their wing (or wanting me to become their wife), all because they saw my spiritual gifts as a cash cow.ย  ๐ŸŽฐย  But when I became pregnant and started rethinking everything, I started finding discrepancies in the OT word usage – think Ancient Hebrew. I set out on my own exploring demonology and exorcism. I was already starting to wake up to the fact that many standing in today’s pulpits know THE REAL TRUTH but can’t afford for everyone in the pew to wake up else that would bankrupt their fancy lifestyles. Then, one day, someone close to me confirmed the path that I was on by making a statement that both startled and challenged me. She said: “Don’t ever research the history of Christianity?” Wait, what?!?ย ๐Ÿค” It was all starting to make sense.๐Ÿ’ก

Now, I say none of this to derail those who still adhere to Christianity. I still believe in God (or Spirit) and in Jesus but not from the exoteric perspective taught by the Christian Church. Just know that if you ever WAKE UP TO THE WHOLE TRUTH, then don’t be shocked if you too find yourself abandoning Church and finding God. Deepak Chopra explained it this way in his book, The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore:

…the Kingdom of God is to say that God exists in different places depending on your level of consciousness. This becomes critical on the spiritual path, because as your awareness shifts, God does, too.”

Devotion, service, and contemplation remain viable ways to transform yourself, yet even the most devout Christians fall into the trap of believing that they don’t have to transform themselves inwardly, that performing enough acts of devotion (attending church, praying, giving to the poor, and the like) will suffice or that doing charitable work among the poor and the sick, or thinking about God as often as possible, will be sufficient. Jesus warns us against this trap when he speaks, in parable form, aboutย  seed falls on waste ground and doesn’t sprout. The seed is his teaching; the waste ground is a mind unprepared to receive the truth” (p. 43).

 

About DrJaketha

A student of life, Dr. Jaketha is a certified spirirtual life coach, a natural health consultant, an energy healer, and author of the forthcoming book: The House of Jezebel: Fulfilling Destiny in Spite of Your Upbringing. She is the owner of Destiny-Focused Enterprises LLC, a media and publishing company, which also serves as the parent company for Guard Your Heart Press. You can learn more about her at http://www.jaketha.com.

A student of life, Dr. Jaketha is a certified spirirtual life coach, a natural health consultant, an energy healer, and author of the forthcoming book: The House of Jezebel: Fulfilling Destiny in Spite of Your Upbringing. She is the owner of Destiny-Focused Enterprises LLC, a media and publishing company, which also serves as the parent company for Guard Your Heart Press. You can learn more about her at http://www.jaketha.com.

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