I Walked Out of Church Today

By Roy Little

 

While I was traveling to New Mexico from California I stopped by a small coffee shop to refresh myself and wake up with several cups of coffee. When I had finished my second cup a man with a torn coat sat down beside me. After we both had another cup and exchanged few nods we began to talk. In all of my fifty-one years I have never talked to a man like this.  This is still true to this day!  I sat spelled bound by what he said - I was transfixed!   To describe our conversation would take many pages of writing; I will not  even attempt the endeavor -  so I will get to the results of our conversation.

After our departure I left a different man!  I left with a new faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! I had a new love for people especially the poor, the downtrodden, and the brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in other parts of the world for their faith in Jesus Christ! I left with a desire to be emptied of myself, of all that is in me - my flesh, my desires that were not His, and anything of the world!  I left with a new love, a new hope, and a new drive to serve and tell others about my Lord Jesus Christ.  I left with a willingness to denounce and give away all that I had accumulated for many years - for I was somewhat well off. I left with the realization that my real treasures were in heaven. My real treasures were in my relationship with my Lord and with others.  I left that coffee shop with a hunger that I had not had in a very long time and wanted to be around Godís people!

As I drove away from that coffee shop and onto the freeway, I realized the day and the time -it was 10:45 AM on a Sunday morning. Thank God!!  My hunger to be around Godís people could be somewhat satisfied as soon as I could find a church. It didnít take long. Within ten minutes I was walking through the doors of a very large and beautiful church. I received several hand shakes and even a few hugs. I thank God I was there. The song service was upbeat and lively and on the last song we kept singing the same chorus over and over again. We must have sung it for fifteen minutes. The congregation appeared to be really worked up into some kind of frenzy. I was not particularly moved, as it had been a long time since I had been in a church, a very long time. But I eagerly awaited the sermon.

Finally the pastor stepped forward and even in my world of riches; I thought he was wearing one of the most expensive sports coats I had ever seen. I canít remember his entire sermon because I didnít let him finish it. But one of the first things he did, was to take out his wallet, that was bulging with money, and wave it to the ceiling. He said he was waving it at God. Then it seemed just about everyone in the congregation did the same. ďBless it Lord, bless it Lord, bless it LordĒ, was all I heard for almost five minutes. He seemed to say there should be no poor if they only had faith. His tone about the poor was laced with contempt and snobbery. He went on to preach that no one should ever get sick or suffer if they only had faith. I had all I could tolerate and in a few more minutes I left that church and got in my car and drove away.

After all that had happened preceding my venture into that church, I asked myself: Where was that man with the torn coat? Where was he?  Why did I ever leave the coffee shop? I even drove back to it in hopes I could somehow find the man with the torn coat, but he was nowhere to be found and I never saw him again.

That was several years ago and I finally found a good church that preached the true Word of God. There are still good churches that teach and preach the uncompromising Word of God and I have sat under many good preachers since my experience on that Sunday morning several years ago.  But I say to you: If you are in a church, like the one I went to,  after I left that coffee shop, then walk out!! If you are in a church where money seems to be their God and God is only the means to obtain their riches then leave Ė walk out! Shake the dust off your feet and you too can tell someone - I walked out of church today!