When to Leave the Church

You can leave church for many reasons: bad teaching, lousy coffee, no youth group, terrible music, uncomfortable chairs.

But there are two reasons to leave the church right away.

  • When it’s abusive.
  • When you can’t be free.

Many leave the church for the first. More should leave for the second.

when it's time to leave the church cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

Cartoon description: A woman leaves a church shaped like a cage. A man inside says "Wait! I wouldn't go out there if I were you!"

I experienced a lot of the first and found a safer place.
The reason I finally left is for the second reason.

I migrated to churches where I could be free. But I eventually found a line I could not cross. My freedom was limited so I had to leave.

I left the church in 2010 for this reason. I felt free until I realized I wasn’t free to fully become who I am. I bumped into the bars of the cage I didn’t know were there until I bumped into them.

Do you know what I mean?

That’s when I walked out of the cage into my freedom. Sometimes you don’t realize you’re trapped until you meet the line you must not cross. The cage seemed large enough for me.

Now I know something important: THERE IS NO CAGE. I discovered that the bars of my cage were in my own mind. Imaginary! I wasn’t trapped at all. I was only afraid of the consequences of living my freedom.

Freedom is scary.  But if you live free in spite of the fear you will realize that you’ve always been free. You’ve gradually learned how to live in a cageless world.

I learned how to do it. You can too!

And it’s wonderful.

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