Friday, February 10, 2017

LIVING BETTER: IS YOUR CHURCH MAKING YOU SICK?

What a scandalous idea!!!
I have a friend with multiple pre-existing conditions that had been dormant for over 20 years. As I have gotten to know her, I will refer to her as “Susie”, I noticed a relationship between the manifestation of her symptoms and her church attendance. I have concluded that her church is making her sick; the message the Pastor preaches serves as a trigger to her flair ups!

One day I called  my friend “Susie,” it was a Monday. “Susie” was not feeling well, she did not want to eat, she only drank water; Susie did not want soup or juice. I asked her about church and she shared with me what was preached. She went on to say, she did not know what was wrong with her but maybe she needed to go to the hospital for a few days for evaluation.

Hospitalization would be a good reason not to go to church.

Susie and I have done numerous Bible studies over the years, I know she is well informed regarding Scripture. What was preached that previous Saturday was contrary to what she had believed and learned under another ministry. When we discussed the message my response was in line with what she believed but contrary to what was preached.  BUT she felt obligated to reject her personal knowledge and accept the Pastor’s word because, after all, it was the Pastor. This mental struggle caused her to be physically ill with loss of appetite and generalized weakness and discomfort.

I was a part of the church “Susie” attended and left because I felt the messages were to legalistic. The Pastor chose eternal symbols to demonstrate faith and ignoring God given purposes. Her belief that people ‘got the message’ was based on their doing as she instructed- wearing prayer shawls, owning a shofar, owning a Hebrew-Greek Bible and such. Since I rejected the need for a prayer shawl, I did not own a Hebrew-Greek Bible and blowing a shofar in a building about the size of my living room was annoying, I knew the church was not for me. The Pastor is a lovely woman who is very knowledgeable about the Old Testament but not such a great church leader.

I once belonged to a church that presented itself as a non-denominational grace centered prophetic house of God.

The Pastor taught that we needed to serve and I served. The Pastor placed an emphasis on tithes and offerings; I gave tithes, offerings and even extra when asked. In addition to my maintaining a demanding job, being a wife, and mother I served the church on more days than Sunday. My life became out of balance to the point of exhaustion.

I was so busy with family, work and church I did not realize how unhappy my household was. No one dared to ask me to not go to church yet not even my husband wanted to attend. The more I did for church the more problems came up in my home which led to more unhappiness AND financial disarray! A healthy household is your first testimony to the unbeliever and your first ministry as a child of God.

(Check out my book BROKEN AND NOT A$HAMED to learn more about this church and how I was delivered from the bondage of church induced financial guilt.)

When I left that church I felt peace and I was able to relax again. Unfortunately, I started attending Susie’s church and my stress level increased again. I was a teeth grinder, and I had problems with my digestive system.

I know a lot of unhappy regular church attenders; these individuals regularly discuss such symptoms as high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood sugar, stomach problems, excessive fatigue and sadness, depression.  The  standard solution for these unhealthy people is to continue doing what they are doing and run to the doctor. The prescriptions mask the symptoms but do not get rid of the problem which is why many are on these pills for the REST OF THEIR LIVES.

In the land of Cyber Space by way of social media I know a lot of healthy individuals. The healthiest ones I know DO NOT AFFILIATE WITH ONE PARTICULAR CHURCH yet they are believers in Jesus the Son of God and study Scripture regularly. I consider myself part of this group and indirectly so is my husband (he declares himself to be a Baptist but does not go to church).

There is nothing wrong with fellowship. What I suspect “Susie” has done, and other people like her, is dedicate herself to the label while ignoring common sense. In “Susie’s” case the Pastor is a wonderful person and enjoys teaching the less than ten people who are a part of her services. But Susie attends so as to not hurt the Pastors feelings though she does not agree with about 51% of her teachings and the fellowship.

People attend a denominational church because their family attended and everyone they know attends the same building they rarely learn anything. Six and 1/2 days a week they live life as they see fit and then spend a few hours a day listening to someone tell them what they did wrong- it makes me sick just thinking about it.  Church makes them sick, maybe not physically but emotionally.

If you are not invigorated after a service then something is not right where you fellowship. If you receive more encouragement and are more at peace when you have a glass of wine with good friends than you are taking communion with the other church members perhaps the problem is not the alcohol but the atmosphere.

Stress can lead to all kinds of medical problems. Like “Susie” stress leads to the exacerbation of her health problems. For others: blood pressures can go up, migraines can occur, joints may stiffen, hearts beat might become irregular and so forth. Church can cause you stress and the guilt of not attending can be just as stressful.

DO NOT get caught up in the building or the personality of the church leader. Yes, it is important to fellowship with like believers but there is no rule as to where and when this fellowship should be. Consider this: If you become so ill that you end up in the hospital you will not be able to go to church.

The people I know who love the Lord yet do not affiliate with one particular denomination have discovered God’s love is not that complicated. When you make God the main focus of your “church” service sickness and disease will not be able to infect you.

I know people who are agnostic and believe in holistic medicine, their ‘church’ is their ideology. Without faith you will worry about every symptom and end up with a kitchen cabinet full of supplements and just as many diseases.

Discover what you believe. Learn what causes you stress and what gives you peace. Apply common sense to the things you hear and study, study, study. Do not take my word or anyone else’s word for the information you receive- DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

The words written are based on my personal experience and knowledge and are not presented as advice; I am not a medical professional. The reader is encouraged to do his or her own research. 
Marsha L F Randolph is an Independent Distributor of THE AIM COMPANIES US products and is a recognized LIVING WELL COACH through THE AIM COMPANIES. 
For more information email: Marsha@mycountrycityproject@gmail.com 
Check out Nettie’s YouTube Channel NETTIE F R  MY COUNTRY CITY PROJECT
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