I am not going to go into great lengths with this post, as I went through a few points in the last related post. Plus, I do not want to take away what the churches have done, namely missions outside of the United States. What concerns me is bringing the doctrines that is learned from church doctrine and teaching to those who truly need to know God and the redemption at the Cross.
I have heard the changes of my former church and its desire to go more "supernatural" than foundational. Granted, I no longer agree with the Assemblies of God doctrine in a few points, and watched how many members of that church (those who were members when we were there) no longer associate with me and my wife. Why?
Because I speak my mind and many don't want to feel challenged in their walk with Christ. More though, is they are not taught about many facets of God, but the pulpits concentrate on the grace, mercy and love of God so much that it makes many congregations so comfortable they will never feel the need to examine their faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
I have pondered many times over the years why I have had few friends, if any. I had few friends in high school, and we have went our separate ways, as it should. I never thought that the ones I was closest to would not have any contact me, and have avoided to talk with me since. I do agree that with new "people" and jobs comes new responsibility, and as a father and husband, I am in the same boat. These changes from being single to full time dad/husband and or wife/mother is fully understandable can bring new friends, especially when you move. Just ironic that in today's technology that old relationships can't be renewed for a spell, just for old times sake.
I also have been in the Navy, spending my last three and a half years on the USS Manitowoc, but I attained a few friends there. One I have been interested in finding out where he is, but to no success. I have found a few others, but they don't seem much into wanting to see where my life is, either. Same goes for some work, as much of my last employment I worked alone.
The difficulty is the "born again" family. When I re-dedicated my life to the LORD, I was drawn to a church, where I later married my wife and became a member until we moved in 2005. I was involved in a Bible study (two of them) for about two to three years and met many people. What is struggled in my mind is how there can be so many different views and doctrines today and if you don't agree totally with them, you don't belong.
You desire to question authority, you are disrespectful. You question doctrines, who are you? You did not go to school, you are not worthy to ask such questions. You bring up judgment, repentance, and many other "items," you are legalistic and deserve to be stranded in your beliefs. I have lost many "friends" because I have chosen to re-examine what I have learned and studied Scripture more thoroughly. I have questioned pastors who have acted like "how dare you?" mentality against their schooling.
It truly saddens me to watch very few "friends" stay connected on my wife's Facebook page. I do not remember the last time I actually TALKED with anyone outside of my family. It truly sucks to be alone, but I have made the righteous decision that it is better to walk with God alone than be in company with those who won't accept me anyway. They have chosen their friends, and someone who thinks they way I do cannot be part of their flock or clique.
It hurts but somehow it is going to prepare me for the future. Smith Wigglesworth said that it is one thing to say you have faith, and another to be a tight corner and prove it. American churches have become lazy, lackadaisical and lukewarm. They are not tested, they are not battle weary, and many have never had their faith tested. I am not talking everyone who is a Christian, for many have walked harder, stricter paths than I have. Nor am I saying I am better in this department, but I refuse to treat God as the owner of a country club. He is Holy, He is Judge, He is Righteous, He is more than love, grace and mercy. He deserves more from us, and we are only willing to give Him enough to where we think He will be satisfied. We chose not to give up what we want most important in our life and claim we have "given it all" for Christ.
I found the word "reconciliation" in the Greek dictionary from the KJV literally means "to change mutually." It has also been referenced to the word "exchange." What is not being taught in churches is the exchange that took place, where God wants us to "exchange" our sinful life for one that is like Christ. The dilemma is when we want to short change God. Our exchange today holds little value to the beating and sin offering God placed on the Cross. It is either all or nothing, and we don't want to give all. We hope for that our small amount will be significant, but we don't realize that God holds a scale in His hand, and what we give Him He will give equal in return. Understand this:
We think it is all we need, but God wants to give more, and we always ask more, but we have no room to take it in. Our "spiritual house" is still full of junk (and I know I am a work in progress as well). I guess I have reached a point where this fallacy we call church isn't holding much value in our life...and many do not care. And this is why I have chosen to question things I do not believe are biblical. And I think this is why I do not have friends.