How to get kicked out of church in ten easy steps
By Eric S. Melton
Step 1, be poor
Step 2, be smart
Step 3, be Challenging
Step 4, be interesting
Step 5, be aware
Step 6, be angry
Step 7, be open
Step 8, be practical
Step 9, be serious
Step 10, be a follower of Christ
Chapter 11, a final note on authority
This book is written as a treatise of aggravation. If you read it I want to warn you ahead of time, take great care! What is written in these pages is not for the common congregant or happy church goer. If this describes you then I suggest you put the book down and walk away. What you will find in these pages may damage the happy and trusting faith that you currently hold and this is not what the book is intended to do. On the contrary, I am writing this book specifically for those of us who have a hard time with faith, especially faith in the organizational and social aspects of the modern church. Although I am writing this from a Christian perspective and will often use words such as God, Jesus, etc. Feel free to replace such proper nouns with similar concepts from whatever religion you may be involved in…as the problems and solutions I will herein denote can be applied in any and all organized forms of religion.
This book is specifically for those who have had their faith injured, trampled, damaged, stomped on and destroyed by the modern church and its mechanized, dogmatic and destructive agenda to spread its cancer far and wide and suck every last congregant dry of money, effort and loyalty. The modern church is a deadly tumor on the faith and spirituality of mankind, and its minions are brainwashed far and wide to bring in more and more gold for its coffers. The “truth” that the modern church teaches is infantile, vacant and self-serving and its vacuous need for servant minds is never ending.
I know, at this point I sound like another ranting psychotic atheist out to take a shot at the church, but there is one major difference…I am not an atheist…I am a true believer in Jesus, I am a scholar of the Bible and have worked in ministry for many years, and most importantly I have a deep and abiding love for the people who truly seek out and want to follow the Christian spiritual path. It is for that very reason that I am so angry and disappointed in what the modern church has become. Something must be done! But I am only one person, only one voice among a multitude of hurt and broken people, and so I find myself typing away in hopes that someone, somewhere, someday will read these words and perhaps find the strength to rally support for a major change in the church itself.
I do not hate God, nor do I hate the church at large…only what it has become and I have great ire for the people, who through their own selfish ineptitude have used the church to their advantage. In the very beginning, as Jesus of Nazareth went about preaching and teaching in his homeland, he spoke out against the very institution that the modern church has become. It is not hard to see, read his words. In simplified language the entire ministry of Jesus of Nazareth can be broken down to this; “People of the world, I want you to know that you do not need a priest, you do not need a temple, you do not need a sacrifice, instead you need to know that God loves you, no matter who you are, where you are from, or what you believe. God is there for you, you can openly communicate with God yourself, you need no intermediary, and God is not angry or vengeful or wrathful. God wants to help you, to guide you and to give you a chance to grow and become the people you can be, but you’re going to have to set aside all of this bullshit religious business and start taking responsibility for yourselves and your world.” I know that seems a bit snappish but at the same time I see Jesus as a practical sort of guy who was obviously aggravated by the state of religion in his day.
The truth as I see it is that Jesus didn't come to start a new religion, he came to abolish the old system, a system that was persecuting, and taking advantage of the common people to supply wealth and power to a select few. So the problem is this; nothing has changed in over 2000 years. What Jesus attempted failed, because the power and the money outweighed the want to do good and just things. When Rome acquired the concept of Christianity it was simply a power move, a way to amalgamate the warring tribes of pagans that made up the majority of the empire. The Romans took down one totem and put up another for the people to follow. This is not to say that there were not, and are not, still good people who love Jesus with an innocent faith. Those people exist in droves but it is they who are being taken advantage of, and it is those very people who can change the system. Our current political and religious system is one of “ants and grasshoppers”, a system of haves and have not’s. The few grasshoppers hold the wealth and influence and so seem untouchable, but the ants who work and slave to provide for the grasshoppers don’t realize their immense numbers and the power those numbers hold. A slight shift in mentality and things could be very different, and it is that very difference that Jesus spoke of…not a heaven somewhere in spiritual la la land, but a heaven right here on earth, for every person.
So in the following chapters I am going to set down a methodology of change. It won’t be perfect and it definitely won’t be easy but I feel it has been placed here in this time and space for a reason. Each chapter will deal with a definite problem brought on or supported by the modern church and also a possible solution to that particular problem. If you’re one of those innocent believers that I spoke of early on in this introduction, the time to walk away is now. The gloves come off here and where this will end will be up to you, the reader to decide.