If You Must Leave a Church

5. Unwillingness to submit to authority.

Aaron was more spiritual than Moses. And Joshua was a better leader. But the rod was in Moses’ hand. Don’t fight those the Lord puts in leadership over you.

Of course, you should not sit under unbiblical, immoral, or abusive leadership. But there is a way to deal with disqualified leaders (1 Timothy 5:19-20).

Without a doubt, you should hold your pastors accountable. But don’t handcuff the spiritual leaders of the church to personal preferences, empty traditions, or unbiblical priorities. Let the leaders lead. And be willing to follow (Hebrews 13:7, 17).

6. A low view of the church.

There is no chapter and verse that commands you to be a church member. But scripture teaches by what it assumes, just as much as it teaches by what is commands.

There is no biblical category for an “unchurched Christian.” The apostles would have asked, “Why are you calling her a Christian if he is not a part of the church? Christ is the head of the church. And he does not have out-of-body experiences. You cannot be connected to the head and disconnected from the body. Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-27).

And to love Christ is to love what he loves.

7. Disregard for truth.

Paul charged Timothy to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2). He then warned that faithfulness to the charge would cause some to flee: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Faithful preaching will drive some away from the church. But they will not go home. They will find a church where the preacher will tickle their ears. Don’t let that be you. If you are under sound teaching and faithful preaching, for God’s sake, stay put!

Green lights: When it’s time to leave a church.

Here are three basic and acceptable reasons for leaving a church.

1. A gospel reason.

If the church you are a member of does not believe or teach the biblical gospel, you need to leave. Now.

Sinners are saved by grace through faith in Christ, plus or minus nothing. Nothing we do saves us. Salvation is God’s free gift to those who trust in the righteousness of Christ who died for our sins and rose from the dead for our justification.

Anyone who teaches any other “gospel” is accursed (Galatians 1:6-9). And any church that embraces a false gospel is not a Christian church.

Run for your life!

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H.B. Charles, Jr.
H.B. Charles, Jr. is a pastor, speaker, and writer. He lives with his wife and children in Jacksonville (FL), where he serves as the Senior-Pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.