I’ve always said there are two types of people the Godly people and the churchly people. Don’t get me wrong, if you like church, have at it. It can be a peaceful sanctuary for some, and for others it’s a political hierarchy. For individuals that are really lost spiritually, the church can be your support system and aid you and finding your way back. Or maybe you benefit going here and there to get a message that you have been longing for.
I was baptized catholic and went to catholic school up until 5th grade. I went at a time the nuns believed in smacking ya with rulers ( I experienced that part a lot!). I also experienced a lot of unrealistic teachings and was told I needed to pray to Mary to fix myself and get help. Oddly, years later, about 4 years ago a catholic Deacon is the one who really helped me when I was being spiritually attacked. I was seeing some really crazy, dark stuff, and going through a dark time. The deacon believed in me and my ability, told me I was in a spiritual warfare battle and that God would show me what I was to do for him. He never told me I needed to attend mass, or join the church, but he told me what to do, and how to get help. For him I am forever grateful.
After that experience I figured I should check out church because why not? Maybe there was something I was missing. So off I went to the catholic church, since it was all I knew. I attended my first Saturday evening service. There were about 100 churchly people in the church, I sat in the wayyyyy back. The mass had started and what I observed, I really couldn’t believe. People were on their phones, sleeping, drawing on papers, at one point the priest was laughing about the scripture he was reading. This was definitely not the place of God that I wanted to visit. I checked out of that church service halfway in and came home and talked to God.
I didn’t want to give up on the church, so I tried talking to a priest about what the deacon had told me and he pretty much wrote me off and told me to pray the rosary. Since there was no way I was going back to a catholic mass, I began going to the church and just sitting there during non-mass hours. After all, the catholic way of chanting prayers was quite creepy and did not feel Godly to me. I loved the peace and quiet of the church and just sitting there. As I sat there every afternoon daily, I met a man who cleaned the church. One day he asked me ” Why do you come sit here every day?” He was a cool dude and very friendly. I explained my story to him briefly, without all the details ( it can get a little creepy for some) and he mentioned I should come checkout his baptist church. I figured why not? I mean the man had helped me better understand prayer and taught me the right scriptures to read to help me with what was going on. I trusted his judgement.
Before setting out on my mission to try the Baptist church I was also invited to attend a mass at a Pentecostal church by a lady I met when I was doing drug and alcohol assessments. I’m telling you; the strangest things happen to me. Not sure how, but we got talking about spiritual warfare, and she said join my church and you’ll understand it all better. So of course, I was ecstatic to find a place that understood my crazy. I attend a couple of services and it appeared that there was some strange stuff happening there. The pastor didn’t seem human, he and his wife would appear to be holy, but I could almost read right through it. During the service this random man would always jump up shouting in some bizarre language that the pastor said was from the Holy Spirit and they would blow a large bull horn each time he did that. That there was definitely not feeling right to me. I’ve learned to trust when something feels off, I should trust that feeling. I figured rather than run for the hills, I would chat with the pastor and his wife.
The day I went for my chat with the pastor and his wife was an interesting day to say the least. The pastor’s wife met me in the lobby and brought me back with her to meet with the pastor in a large office filled with books. I swear this guy was really off, he looked like an alien in a human body. Again, I went against my better judgement and told him what I was experiencing spiritually and what had happened with the deacon. This pastor told me to ignore what I was told, told me I shouldn’t share what I knew with anyone, and told me that I was hallucinating. I really didn’t know what to say so I just agreed and left. The pastor indicated people shouldn’t know about that stuff and that it would scare them. When really, I knew people needed to be aware. As I was walking out the pastor’s wife told me she didn’t think I was crazy, and she understood me. Let me just say that was the last time I attended church at that creepy place.
Back to the Baptist cleaning guy…. I agreed to join the cleaning guy for a church service at his Baptist church. Initially, it was a beautiful experience! They had a choir of women who sang beautiful gospel songs for an hour before service, the pastor spoke straight from the Bible and explained what she was teaching, she also talked a lot about spiritual warfare and made sense of it. After a few times of being there I started noticing some funky stuff. At this point I was hyper aware, and I began trusting the discernment God gave me. The church was a small Baptist church filled with people of all backgrounds, cultures, and life troubles. I noticed weekly (not judging) the pastor would wear all black, was wearing high end designer clothing, and it appeared that the people worshipped her. Once I had my foot in the aisle and a lady yelled at me and said the aisle was off limits because it was the pastor’s entry way. The people would put olive oil at the alter where the pastor stood so her Godliness would be absorbed into the oil and they could later use it to protect themselves. Right away that seemed like worshiping a false God and it really didn’t feel right to me. So, I was outta there.
After these interesting experiences I decided that the church was pretty much corrupt, and I knew that’s not how God wanted it. I felt like God brought me through those experiences to show me that everyone is at a different spiritual level, and that I could connect with him at a park, nature, home, or at a stop sign if I wanted to. The man-made rules of organized religion have destroyed what God had wanted from his people. Essentially, the devil knew early on how to get people to go against God, so he got into the church. The devil can always take a good intended thing and flip it to trick people. It’s very important to be aware. I always tell people, and I believe this to be accurate, that God isn’t religion, I’m not religious, God is spiritual, I am Godly.