When a Christian Leaves the Group

Self-defense is a good thing to know — many women wish we possessed enough simple martial arts skill that we could tumble an assailant to the ground, whimpering.

Purple Iris inspirational original watercolor of flower in meadow by Steve Henderson licensed print at Framed Canvas Art

The flower standing alone, away from the crowd in the meadow, has a beauty and dignity of its own. Purple Iris, original watercolor by Steve Henderson, sold. Licensed print at Framed Canvas Art.

But physically defending ourselves isn’t the only arena of importance, and even if we can’t find, or afford, a class on Jackie Chan basics, we can — and should — develop a means of protecting ourselves from the verbal, social, emotional, and manipulative attacks of others. Mental martial arts is within the grasp of all of us.

The other day I made a comment on an article about church culture, along the lines of,

“If you don’t like where you are, and no one is listening to you, then why are you staying? Pick up your checkbook and leave.”

The response was expected, another reader reproving,

“This sounds like a Lone Wolf Christian stance, advocating that people leave the fold.”

This, apparently, is the worst insult one can leverage against another Christian, and if you can handle getting it, then you can keep moving in your Christian life wherever Christ is sending you. Because sometimes, often actually, He calls us out of the chair, the pew, the seat, to walk on a very narrow path with Him.

Please follow the link to the rest of the story, Is It So Bad to Be a Lone-Wolf Christian? at my Commonsense Christianity blog, BeliefNet.

The Misfit Christian Book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Live Happily on Less book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Grammar Despair paperback and digital book at Amazon.com by Carolyn Henderson Step by Step Watercolor Success digital DVD workshop by Steve Henderson at Amazon.com

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in Art, blogging, Christian, church, Daily Life, decor, devotional, Faith, Family, home, homeschooling, Life, Lifestyle, painting, religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When a Christian Leaves the Group

  1. Amen. P.S. I didn’t read you advocating people to leave the fold, just to leave the fold. Funny how things are often taken somewhere else. A false dilemma. Nice artwork, by the way.

    • Thank you, Susan. The artwork I use in my articles is by my Norwegian Artist husband, Steve Henderson. He sells his work in both original and licensed form, because he believes that art is a gift to all people, and one should not have to be wildly rich to afford it.

      It is a common misconception that when a Christian leaves a church setting, that he or she is backsliding, or “not following Christ,” or some other such insult to their spiritual intelligence. Many people leave quietly so that they don’t have to do deal with the backlash, but increasingly, Christians who leave the conventional setting are realizing that they’re not necessarily the problem, and they very much have a relationship with Christ, and work to do for Him.

      That’s how I and my family are, and in our non-churched lifestyle we grow, move forward, learn constantly, interact joyously with other believers, and do our work for God.

  2. When we are called to leave a particular church, that does not mean for us to leave the fold. I have left a church that basically ignore me and the talents I had to offer. It’s a sad situation when churches are this way. I have not found another church yet but I still spend time w/ God daily. I love the fact that you are speaking out and that there are others like me.

    • There are many others like us, Emma, and that is a major reason why I am speaking out. For too long, Christians who do not fit into a particular paradigm felt as if they were “sub-Christians” somehow, and when they left a church situation, that they were out of the fold. So not so. Christ has sheep in many pastures, in and out of conventional settings, and increasingly, as those conventional settings are becoming weaker by following the world’s way of doing things, more and more people are leaving

      It’s crucial that we understand the difference between leaving a church situation, and leaving Christianity — if that latter is even possible, given that Christ does not allow any of His children out of His hand. It is time that those of us who find an alternative way of following Christ stood up for ourselves and refused to be labeled as back-sliders, weak disciples, or complainers, simply because we decide to walk away from the socially imposed, standard way of doing things.

      Reading through the Bible, I see nothing in it that mandates the typical church service as the primary, best, or only way to fellowship with other believers. I encourage you to use your time out of the church to continue spending time with God, daily, through prayer and reading His word, and let Him dictate where to go next. It’s a wild and exciting ride, but He’s a fine driver.

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