How Can You Be a Christian without the Church?

Church_Street_signBack in the day, this question would have seemed absurd to me, but not anymore. Millions of people are indeed holding onto their faith without being a part of the church, more all the time.

But what does it look like when we don’t outsource our spiritual expression to an institution, but assume that responsibility for ourselves?

I hear stories all the time about how individuals sour on church. Maybe, they didn’t find community there, or found their questions unwelcomed, or saw a contrast between the ways of Jesus and the practices of the church. Most reach a point where they can’t take it anymore, and drop out. But then what?

Some question their faith into agnosticism or atheism. Some forget matters of faith as they get busy with life. Some simply fill the void with something else, and immerse themselves in a hobby, or a cause.

But some forge a way forward, with a re-shaped faith that has been tried, tested, and re-evaluated. They come out of the process with something they really believe, and learn how to live with tension of unanswered questions, and unresolved mysteries. What does that look like for you?

Note: I realize you may not identify with the term, Christian. Maybe, terms like faith, spiritual, or the ways of Jesus fit better. Likewise, you probably realize the church is so much more than just the institution. I get that, but using these terms as they are frequently perceived, rather than in their purest form, probably relates to a lot people, and makes for a catchy title.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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