Leaving American Christianity to Find Jesus

Happy New Year! I hope this year is an incredible year for you. God is good. God is incredibly good. One of my favorite verses has been out of the Psalms, it is Psalm 84: 11 and it is as follows:

 For the Lord God is brighter than the brilliance of a sunrise!
    Wrapping himself around me like a shield,
    he is so generous with his gifts of grace and glory.
    Those who walk along his paths with integrity
    will never lack one thing they need, for he provides it all!

God withholds nothing good from those who walk uprightly. When I look over my life, even in my challenges I have seen the goodness of God. He is a sun and a shield. God is a strong tower. God is truth. God is faithful. God is kind. God is unlike anyone else I have ever met on this planet. God is my family.

The Bible states that those who believe in God are to be family to each other, safe, kind, loving, generous, helpful, servants, trustworthy, and forgiving. I have spent my life in churches and I would not call most Christians safe or loving. I would say my greatest betrayals in life came from people who still show up Sunday after Sunday saying they love God. I am not a perfect person. I have flaws, we all do. Yet I cannot think of one person I have betrayed. I cannot think of one person I knowingly worked against them or tried to harm them. My experiences with the collective called “Christians” or “Christianity” has not been this way. I will say there are a handful of professing Christians who have been amazing (outside biological family), yet they are few and I cherish them.

What is this good thing that Christians are offering to the world? How are we living that is so different than the world? Honestly, I have connections with people in the marketplace who do not even know Jesus who have treated me better than professing Christians.

I started examining what we teach people Christianity is in my country. This version of Christianity was okay with murdering Indigenous people, okay with raping/enslaving Africans, okay with subjugation of women, okay with violating the very nature of Christ. The version of Christianity I have seen the past 4-6 years is more concerned with who you vote for than whether you know Jesus. More concerned with building mega churches than helping the poor. Chanting for the rights of the unborn while ignoring loving the person in front of them. More concerned with whatever the current conspiracy theory is or being anti-vax or anti-facemask than loving thy neighbor. I don’t care where you stand on the face masks or vaccines, it’s the level of hatred, vile, and cruelty I have seen emerge from people when they encounter someone who does not agree with them.

I look at Christianity and go, “What is this? This is not the Jesus I read about in the Bible, nor the one I know from years of relationship.” Along with that, people add God’s name onto whatever unkind agenda they have. God is telling them to be unloving, unkind, cruel, brutal, or savage.

I thought that maybe we are dealing with something new, yet we are not. What we are seeing today is a manifestation of the version of Christianity that was sown on these shores in the 1400s, the “Me-Centered Gospel.” It’s the “God bless me and no one else.” It’s the “I will do whatever I need to do to get my way.” It is the “I will push you in the dirt if you don’t agree with me.”

I am not this type of Christian and ceased telling people I am a Christian at all. I tell people I am a follower of Jesus. I am not interested in America’s version of Christianity. I am not interested in worshiping a flag, political candidate, or political party. I am not interested in love of country and getting my way over love of the Kingdom of God.

The American church is not my family. Many times the collective is focused on things God is not even doing. However, they add His name to the agenda so that must be it right? Wrong, like ancient Israel my Nation has often missed the voice of God and traveled her own way after idols. I say as Jesus said, “My family are the ones who do the will of my Father.”

If you are not American, please do not follow our example. Look to Jesus. Follow Jesus. If you are American, please do not follow the example of other Christians. Follow Jesus. To those who say to me that I am cynical and God is pleased with the American church, I beg to differ. I sensed from the Lord in 2018 that a shaking was coming to the church and America. Many platform Christians said blessing was coming. Nope. 2020 shut the doors of many churches. While many blamed the devil or Democrats (which I have no party affiliation, so please do not send me a nasty message. I will throw it in the garbage), I rarely heard anyone saying maybe God was reprimanding the church. You see, I have been doing street ministry for almost a decade and one of the number reasons people want nothing to do with Jesus is because of Christians. God is NOT represented as He is or even well. It’s difficult to represent someone you don’t know! America’s version of Christianity is rooted in religion. Religion is not the same as relationship. We will NOT bear the fruit of Jesus through religion. Jesus stated “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me, you WILL bear good fruit.” The reason the fruit is bad in my Nation is because you and I cannot bear fruit from religion or a political spirit or nationalism or even pride.

In 2020 when I did not agree with all the prophetic words about who would be President I had Christians literally curse me out, tell me I was not saved, threaten me, harass me, and send me nasty messages. I have been talking about racism, sexism, and other things that go on in Christiandom that are not aligned with Jesus and have made more enemies and lost some connections. I truly don’t care about any loss for me. I am used to Christians being offended with me and then showing their butts. I know it’s a graphic phrase, yet church people have done things to me I would not do to my worst enemy. Some of them attach God’s name to their meanness and if their God is the one I am worshiping I question why. Jesus has never cursed me out then said the the Father told Him to do it.

I am sad for the world that has poor examples of what God is like. There is a MASS exodus from churches and it’s not because people hate God. They see the devil in the church and prefer the devil who knows he’s the devil. Or they are seeking house churches or online church.

The other day I cried for God. I shed tears for Him. I keep asking Him to make me a better person, not a bitter person. I do understand why people are deconstructing their faith, leaving organized church, and moving away from American Christianity. I hope I never walk away from Jesus. I do know the past few years have made me question greatly what American’s call Christianity. American Christianity is not for me. It does not look like Jesus to me. Jesus is my hope. The Kingdom of Heaven is my home. Following Jesus is what I desire to do. I am not into the other things people say is “Christian.”

I leave you with this dream I had a year or so ago. I was in this beautiful white church filled with people. I heard a commotion outside. People were screaming. I looked up and a man was standing next to me. He said, “You must get out now.” I told him I needed to help others and he said, “You must go now.” I got up and when I went outside there was a gigantic lion attacking people. They were being shredded to death. I still wanted to stop and help people. The man yelled loudly, “Get in the car and get out now. Don’t look back.” I drove off and did not look back. I sensed in 2020 there would be a major dividing line in churches, like two distinct camps emerging. I saw that transpire over politics. I sensed again in 2022 (last week) there would be an even deeper divide. There will be those who seek to follow Jesus and those who seek to keep going with religion.

I am not asking you to take my words and run with them. Talk to God for yourself. Pray. Fast and pray. Ask God what His heart is for what America calls “Christianity.” Is He pleased with it? Or have Christians just attached God’s name on the agenda and it’s not even worshiping the real God.

I have never seen people behave as poorly as what I have seen the past 4-6 years. I pray for my nation, yet as stated my heart is to simply follow Jesus. Even if I lose mother, father, sister, brother, church people, etc…they will never be more important than Him and completing the mission for Him. The church is not a building, it’s supposed to be a people. God did not send Jesus to build a religion or political party, He sent Him to build a family. My prayer is God continues to purge me and that I finish this race well. I hope that God changes the American Church so she resembles Jesus.

Leaving American Christianity in search of the real Jesus…

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb

2 thoughts on “Leaving American Christianity to Find Jesus

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