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.”
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, or think myself perfected, 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. Everyone claims to follow the Bible 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 who inspired it. 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 divisive, bitter, or critical, the wayward child of God. I believe they must believe these things about me to avoid examining themselves in light of Scripture. Anytime you are met with ad hominin attacks it is a deflection on their end, rather than admit they could be wrong they assume the worse about you. 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 a preacher I know once said, “the church cannot understand,” the institutional church is incapable of ministering to those like myself. 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 conform to the leaderships agenda when its ideology contradicts God’s Word. 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 is 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 Word of God. 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 men’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’m not a Calvinist, nor Arminian, I’m not of the reformed! I am a Born Again Child of God! I am 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 common salvation, the Faith of Jesus Christ.