(Note: This is NOT an endorsement to somehow get people to leave their churches. This is for those who are beginning to question whether to stay or not.)

February 9, 1976 I was born-again. It did not take place in church. No one led me in what is known as a sinner’s prayer. I wasn’t given a sugar-coated Gospel about God being all love with no wrath or judgment. No, I was given the truth: you are lost in your sins toward a holy God and are going to hell. When my eyes were finally able to see the truth, I called out for mercy to that holy God and went from darkness to light in the blink of an eye. I truly was — born-again.

I began going to church, thinking it was the right thing to do. Not knowing much about the word of God, I automatically trusted those in authority. Until, that one day when the Sunday school teachers called black folk the “N” word. That was a complete turn off and it was then I stopped going to that particular church, and never finding one again until I met my husband in 1988.

But now, there is no church and at times, I know I am being judged by certain individuals because I do not attend church. I used to care. But not anymore. It is hard to care about what others think when they are not testing things and are following every wind of doctrine. Somehow their opinion of me just does not matter.

When I was a baby Christian I had a fear of the Rapture happening and that I would be left behind. I reasoned the best place to be would be in the church. So on Sunday, I sat in church thinking how safe I was by just sitting in the pew.

But you will not find me using church as a means of a safety net now. I’ve grown up, I’ve matured. I’ve been through so much in my lifetime, that I have learned it has never been church that has gotten me through anything. Even people — as much as I have appreciated those whom God sends my way at times — have not been my source of true help. It has been Jesus. No other has loved me or cared for me like He has.

My days of trusting in a church pew are long gone.

In fact, I dare say, that it may just be one of the worst places you can be right now.

If you find yourself in a church service where the pastor or worship leader is trying to manipulate you, then you may want to leave. They practice witchcraft on you. What do I mean by witchcraft? Anything or anybody that desires to manipulate you in their likeness, for their causes, for their agenda, for their gain — that my friend, is witchcraft. You do not have to be standing over a boiling pot chanting some spell to practice witchcraft. Simply put: manipulation = witchcraft.

If you find yourself being ignored and poo-pooed because you have some cause for concerns, then you may want to leave. You are in a place where discernment is not allowed.

If you find yourself having to sit through teachings that just do not ring true, then search the Word of God to find if what is being taught is the truth. If you find it is not — and again, if those in authority do not listen, — you may want to leave. If you choose to stay, do not be surprised to find yourself being told you are  rebellious, unteachable, etc. You will have to decide if it is worth the emotional/spiritual/mental pain of staying and trying to make a difference. More than likely, it will not.

If the pastor is leading in some “new revelations” that you have never heard or/and trying to line up the church in some agenda that just does not set right with you, go to scripture. If it isn’t there, then it’s probably not of God.

If the pastor is esteeming outsiders and giving them authority to lead over you, you may want to leave. More than likely, that pastor is either giving up his sheep to a wolf or/and trying to establish himself among those whom he esteems.

If you are told to “give, give, give and God will bless you,” while the leaders live like kings and queens and you find you and your family doing without, you may want to leave. You are being fleeced to the core. It will be interesting to see how this kind of thing plays out if and when the economy collapses. Will your teachers and leaders give to YOU for a change? Or will they still be finding ways to get in your pocket?

If people are putting experiences, feelings over the Word of God, you may want to leave. The church has begun going into the twilight zone at this point and only God knows if there is any turning back.

If there comes signs and wonders of angel feathers … pleeeease check the duct work in the joint, for crying out loud.

If someone jumps up and says they have just been blessed with a gemstone from heaven, INSIST it be taken to a jeweler and go with them. IF it is real (I have my doubts — and so should you), then INSIST it be sold and given to the poor. If it is not real, then ask what craft store they got it at. Same thing goes for gold dust.

If someone says all of a sudden they have a gold tooth where once there was none, ask why God who created all things did not give a REAL tooth. Tell them to prove it.

If the spiritual among you start saying they see angels in your midst, you may want to get up and leave at that point. You probably are being set up to receive a greater delusion at another time.

If people start talking about orbs (unexplained balls of light) and calling them angels, then ask if it is ok for you to call them demons? If they tell you “no,” ask why your opinion is not as valid as theirs. After all, it is just their opinion an orb is an angel. There is no proof of anything here.

If leadership is bringing in certain books that you find occultic in nature and asking everyone to read it, you may want to leave. You are being set up for group-think, instead of being allowed to keep your individuality in Him that God intended you to have.

If you find yourself having to leave, you will ask yourself, “Lord, now what?” I can not say if He will answer you right away and tell you one thing or the other. He may be calling you to a place of being still and knowing He is God. Or He may show you another place (church) to go. I frankly do not know. However, I do know this: He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. It could be He just wants you to know that He is more than enough in all things.

May you find Him more than enough.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – 24 –

(I am certain there are many more things that can be added to this list and if anyone knows of any, feel free to comment and leave one.)