The Loneliness of The Christian

“The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.
“The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
“It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.” – AW Tozer

I’ve been searching for a while now to understand how to cope with the lack of biblical truth today. How to cope with the loneliness I have felt in recent years. How to cope with the deficiency of fellowship with other Christians. A W Tozer’s quote answered them. Not that I’m overly Godly, nor do I esteem myself above others. I simply hunger for and love Biblical truth! Yet my encounters with others who unlike myself are “churched,” are never able to grasp my place in the body of Christ. Often, I’m viewed as a man clinging to a bronze age belief. And I have to ask why? They claim to follow the Bible then with the disclaimer “and the Spirit,” yet the two are a total contradiction as the Scripture is mutilated to justify practices they say are of the Spirit. Somehow today, a gulf has been fixed between the Scripture and the Holy Spirit. How can one say they walk in the Spirit yet not understand or follow the Holy Writ?

Almost without exception, by those who are “churched” I’m perceived as the red headed step child, the wayward child of God. Yet, the truth I have discovered from Scripture in recent years has freed me from the bonds of the group think of the “churched.” It has freed me from the politics of the institutional church. It has freed me from the good boy network. It has freed me from, as A W Tozer puts it, “the noisy religious shoptalk.” And as Jacob Prasch once said, “the church cannot understand, they don’t get it, the institutional church is incapable of ministering to those who are unchurched.”  I can no longer warm a pew and just line up. I can no long walk in a single file line and conform to the ideals of manmade religion. I can no longer remain silent while the wolves reign in the place of the shepherds. I can no longer treat the Scripture like it’s my own personal playground. I can no longer view “biblical truth” as though its subjective or relevant to myself. I can no longer spit in the face of the Apostles and the teachings of Jesus Christ by wresting the Holy Writ. I can no longer hug pet doctrines and ignore the “whole counsel of God.” I can no longer worship around themes and programs. I can no longer have bible studies spotlighted around man’s books. I no longer fit the glove of the institutionalized church.

I’ve had my fill of all the religious jargon and clichés, the fear, guilt, and intimidation that permeates from the institutional church. All they do is serve up the same old empty words that always taste the same. It has turned to ash in my mouth, all while those who say they are pastors strive to achieve celebrity status or gain some sort of political platform.

So yes, I’m lonely. I’m lonely because I am not a Baptist, a Pentecostal, a Charismatic, a Catholic, a Lutheran, a Methodist, or a Presbyterian. I am a Born Again Child of God! A part of Christ’s body which spans and crosses ethnic and cultural boundaries. That extends over oceans and lands where although we may not know each other, we have one thing in common, the Faith of Jesus Christ.

21 thoughts on “The Loneliness of The Christian

  1. I feel like what you wrote could be me. It’s a lonely walk when all around seem to be unwilling to balance everything against the Word of God. “Church” in most cases has become a club and so many no longer discern the true Body of Christ. You mentioned a Facebook page below. What is it for and can anyone join?

  2. Thank you so much for your kindness. I spoke with a dear friend of mine and told her I was worried about the pastor and her theology and she said she has known for years about her. She said as long as she is loving and doesn’t preach it what’s the problem?? I just shook my head in disbelief. I said how can you say that when she is not teaching what the sheeple need to hear? They need to be told the truth of the word. What’s the truth? Jesus is the truth and as long as you preach Jesus everything is alright…. At that point I gave up not knowing the scriptures well enough to address her comments. I just felt it was a cop out and compromise. But who am I? I will definitely go to the facebook site. Sad because I know what’s coming.

  3. Isn’t it strange that people like us are looked upon as “strange” when we simply cling to the purity and truth of Scripture. My wife and I had many friends, and of course lost them when we made a clear choice to stand on God’s Word and not be swayed. I have learned that though it is a lonely road to travel I sleep better at night. And your right, it is dying to self that deepens fuller and more meaningful relationship with Christ. I cannot afford to be deceived even a little, Christ warned in Matthew 24 “Take heed that no one deceive you.” That means no one! And its always ok to vent here, that’s what this blog is for, never feel bad, although well may be unable to fellowship face to face we can still be a leaning post to each other here. You stay strong in the Lord, never give up, never give in! In case you are interested, My wife started a group on Facebook, you are welcome to join if you like, here is the link.


  4. Thank you. I too feel like what an earlier post said that it was as if I had written this post myself. I am so lonely. I am a single parent and have been attending a church now for the last 10 years only to feel uncomfortable at times with the word being shared and feeling in my spirit “somethings just not right”. I recently found out my Pastor believes in the Victorious eschotology and am heartbroken over it. All my friends go there and I have been trying to tell them that this is not the true gospel. I know it is only a matter of time and I will not be there anymore. And I am sure will have no friends.They already see me as different.

    There is so much in this day that we need to face. Paul said we will suffer. if we are true believers in Christ. The way of the gospel is to die to self and live for Christ as Paul said it in Galations. It is no longer I but Christ who lives. I am so sick of all the false bless me prophecys that run rampant through the church lying to the new converts that Jesus will give them anything they want. There is no dying to self taught or expected. Yes we will be blessed but it is in the dying of ourselves and the life of christ shining through us that is the sweetness of the gospel that leads us into His fulness and others to Christ. In the dying we become conformed to him and know Him so intimately and life is a blessing that way. We are to be sheep lead to the slaughter just as Christ was so that we can bring others to Him. It is not our giftedness or big houses and mega churches that change a persons heart it is the life of christ flowing through us as we are given over to death in our fleah that is a sweet smelling savour.

    I am sorry for rambling/venting. I believe as the true Bride we will walk alone or in very few numbers and it will push us into greater intimacy just as was quoted in your post. Thanks again for sharing your(my) heart.

  5. Thanks for your comment, it’s also an encouragement to me as well. We have no one to meet with, my wife and I have tried to find a Bible study group but so far nothing has really come together. We continue to pray about it. So glad to hear that you have someone to study with. God bless

  6. It’s encouraging to see that I am not the only one who feels as this blogger does. I no longer attend the institutional church. At present, my main fellowship consists of two or three close like-minded Christian friends and a small weekly independent Bible study that meets at a local fast food place. This was a very good article, thank you!

  7. Bro.
    I feel the exact same way you do. Reading what you have wrote is as if I wrote it myself. I often pray for my heavenly Father to bring someone into my life to encourage me and pray with me. I just keep waiting.
    Bless you bro.

  8. Ah brother – yes Tozer hit the nail on the head. I am going to keep in touch brother – thanks for your honesty. The blessings were found outside the camp – that is where Christ died for us and that is where we will meet Him in these last days. The teaching of the tabernacle being pitched outside the camp and that Christ died outside of Jerusalem may have been prophetic for the last days.

    May God bless you.

  9. Yes, I’m so thankful Jesus cares for His sheep. I know God has His remnant, I just wish I had some close to where I live, fellowship would be awesome! I know many of the churches and pastors in my area, in my opinion, none are worth a grain of salt. I look for the day when the Lord returns and we stand before the throne of God, in unity, praising His Holy Name!

  10. Oh my, A.W. Tozer nailed it! Praise God for his understanding of the lonely hearts that belong to the remnant! There are other’s of this righteous remnant who sigh and groan amid all of the wickedness masquerading as light in modern ecumenical churches. Remember how Elijah thought himself to be the only righteous one left in Israel? The LORD assured him there were 7000 others that he reserved for himself who had not bowed their knee to Baal. And I’m sure all 7000 of them, like Elijah, felt the same loneliness!

    I am indeed grateful for the internet where I can fellowship with other’s who have forsaken the loveless, compromising, corrupt, dead, and lukewarm churches of this late hour, in favor of the faithful and persecuted churches that our Lord Jesus commended in Revelation.

    I finally came out of the Word of Faith heresy nearly 4 years ago, but only through great personal loss. I had been one of their dupes for about 25 years. Jesus is so good to go after his lost little sheep, isn’t he?

    God bless you all, and keep the faith!

  11. Pingback: On the Loneliness of The Remnant (Comfort and Encouragement) | pnissila

  12. pnissila, your more than welcome to use this, and my approval is not necessary on your final draft. Thank you for a heart warming comment and encouragement. I actually wrote this as a response to a family member that insisted I needed to be “in church.” Then I ran across Tozer’s quote, the rest came easy as I’ve been meaning to address this for a long time. I’ve just been putting it off. Who knows, I may do more as I have many more issues to address concerning the institutional church. God Bless!

  13. Godlee4life:

    RE: your comments: “But the ignorance behind the pulpit seems to have dulled their hearing. It’s hard to try to hang in there and pull some out of the fire.”

    Know what you mean on both counts.

    One thing my sister and I realized (and now others locally with whom we fellowship) when we tried to find a church not into various and sundry “dogmas du jour” is that at least one local pastor in a denomination we had attended for over thirty years, actually told us “We don’t have time for (teaching on the gifts/ministries of the Holy Spirit, in this case). We keep it pretty vanilla around here.”

    The very church/denomination when, years prior, there was a rich banquet of both milk and meat of the Word of God but that has since “gone business-model,” for lack of a better description. And communications with other pastors/elders in other churches we visited (and we stayed at times for months in a sincere quest to find a church home, not just “church hop”) similarly defended their truncated Gospel message. So we came to shockingly realize in some cases the lack of the full Gospel message is a choice, not ignorance. Whoa. But we just didn’t want to believe it at first.

    On hanging in there to “pull some out of the fire,” I have sensed this metaphor for some time. My sister and I realized that we ourselves were, as we with amazement can only describe it, “asleep” for several years sitting in the churches that previously offered the “full meal deal,” as it were, and gradually shifted focus and message. I guess you might call us classic examples of “frogs in the frying pan,” or cognitive dissonance. We kept believing this was the same church in which we had received so much full-Gospel teaching and in which we had grown so much over time and, suddenly, we were now hearing about trips to the Vatican by the head pastor and the (Protestant version of) ecumenism, business model influences (my BA is in Human Resource Management and was puzzled when I began to hear buzz words and about programs that tightly align with the old TQM-type corporate structures, for one), and New Age influences (I used to work for a ministry that counseled people who had left cults, and here were some of the same, albeit re-packaged, ideas!) and so on.

    Of course, one says, “What? NO! Not here! This can’t be happening!” Then, sadly, so sadly, after going through appropriate channels to express concern, comes the moment of truth: this is not the same church/denomination. And the quest begins…

    In the grieving process, we came to the same understanding and sense of trying to “pull some out of the fire” that you and your husband have. But we sorely miss the larger fellowship.

    However, a scan of Scripture does show that often what remains at the winding down of a spiritual era is a “remnant”. Revival may still happen before Jesus’ return, but in the meantime, though there may be few left clinging to Sola Scriptura, the Holy Spirit is still mighty to save.

    Once again, thank God for our “worldwide web” family and we cling close to Him Who is mighty to help us stay the course.

    MIKE: may I cite your post in a post on my own blog? And I will forward it before I post for your approval. I think it is a crucial “voice” of the day as we mourn the loss of local fellowship for all the reasons you cite, and need encouragement. I consider myself an encourager in the Body of Christ and your explanation of the situation so many of us find ourselves in today (not all that different from others who have gone before!) covers the issue so well. I think many will benefit and be comforted.


  14. Hi Pat and Mike,
    It’s been a while since I’ve touched base with you all. Hope you all are doing well. So glad you are continuing to contend for THE faith—-the true faith, undistracted by the constant uprising of Apostasy. What you’ve written here is the exact experience of my husband and me on a daily basis. But thank God we at least still have each other and thankful God has made us likeminded when it comes to the true gospel.

    We’ve been reluctantly trying to attend a little church down the road, full of down to earth people and neighbors we love, so we can try to reach them with the truth. But the ignorance behind the pulpit seems to have dulled their hearing. It’s hard to try to hang in there and pull some out of the fire.

    My husband (Tony) went this morning, but I told him I just couldn’t bear the thoughts of being distracted from the glory of Christ’s presence I feel today. I’ve been walking in the sunshine with my beagle and studying God’s word, but yes, there’s the loneliness for human understanding and fellowship. Thank you for this uplifting yet sobering article.

    It’s not easy being in this world, but Jesus’ yoke is easy and He separate’s us from the chaos, just so we can find everything we need in Him. I’m so thankful.

  15. This is a very sharp and well written post of something that I too have found myself confronting in churches and push the Gospel Americana in our culture. Thank you so much.
    My brother and I have an inside joke about fast food and junk bought at convenience stores. We stop in and grab some “not-food”. It fills our bellies but ultimately there is no benefit to our health from it.
    American churches are serving up a lot of processed an recycled “not-bread” and “not-water”.

  16. Mike,

    Whoa! Well put! Your are DEFINITELY not alone, brother!

    This gets shared in my small fellowship today.

    For years, now, some of us have been wondering “WHERE ARE OUR PEEPS?” as in, what happened to churches that used to teach biblical truths, in context, thoughtfully parsed, using the original languages, cultures, and intents, and where is the power of the REAL Holy Spirit evidenced in BIBLICAL gifts, callings and ministries?

    As noted, there are PLENTY of programs, innovations, entertainments, and hip, slick, and cool products for sale in the vestibule and on display at venues featuring rock stars (but the Rock of Ages seems absent).

    But where is truth in all that?

    Sometimes, mighty hard to find, if at all.

    I wrote once about my sister’s and my odyssey trying to find a church in our own area. Last count, we figured we’d been to about fifteen. If it wasn’t gold dust and feathers, it was neo-mysticism via old Catholic trinkets, idols, and chanting, and/or lessons from a plethora of business-model programs from the Drucker school of Church CEOism where the “narrow path” is now “broadway” and the test of prophets seem to be the profits, not the souls, they can harvest.

    Anyway. God has generously blessed us with others worldwide via the Internet who are faithful to minister in this venue. Although our efforts may lack warm bodies they nevertheless reach hungry nations.

    Be encouraged! And keep up the good work and the good Word.

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