the weblog of Alan Knox

When I left the church for good…

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in blog links, books, definition | 44 comments

When I left the church for good…

This post is part of a short series based on Jeremy Myer’s (from “Till He Comes“) book project “Finding Church.” Jeremy asked for contributions in the categories of Changing Church, Leaving Church, Reforming Church, and Returning to Church. As I worked through my own contribution, I realized that my story could fit into any of the categories. So, I’m writing a post based on each category.

This post describes when I “left church.” This is how Jeremy describes this category: “These are stories of people who felt that ‘going to church’ was inhibiting their walk with Jesus, and so left the institutional church to follow and serve Jesus in other ways.”

Of course, I already told most of this story in my previous post about “changing church.” But, in this post, I’m able to point out what I’ve “left.” Because, as I explained in that previous post, I didn’t leave the church – it’s impossible to leave the church that God is putting together once he places someone among his family.

However, I did leave “the church” – that organizational, institutional, locational version. This is the entity or location that people refer to when they ask questions like, “Where do you go to church?” or “What did you do in church today?” or “Have you joined our church yet?”

I’ve left the programs and the hierarchies and the vocations and the positions and offices.

The church is not a place that someone can go to, nor is it an event that someone can attend, nor is it an organization that someone can choose to join or not.

The church is the family of God, the body of Christ, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. I’m still part of that church, and I always will be. If you are in Christ, then you are part of that church with me.

It’s the other “church” that I left. And, guess what? There are people who remain part of that “church” who are also part of the church with me. Even if they never leave “the church,” they remain part of the church of God by identity, in the same way that I’ve always been part of that church and will always be part of that church.

So, I’ve left “the church.” But, in a way, my heart remains tied (through mutual relationship with God) to the hearts of those who are still part of “the church” – in the same way that my heart is tied to all who are part of God’s family.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-16-2012

    so could this fit with the verse where two are gathered one is left, two in the field, one is gone the other left. for the body is all over the place and so the bride/groom is not a building
    I left the Church that I was attending many years ago. Read a lot of differant authors on grace and read bible cover to cover. asking god for revelations all the way through. Found after rereading catching things I did not catch priorly. But I do not miss the bldg, that man has made with all the rules and regulations nullifying God’s grace and yet claiming it at the same time. For out of one side of the mouth I hear we are forgiven, Christ did it, and then from the other side we need more forgiveness, when in truth we already are forgiven before we were ever born on this side of the cross, just not all have received this yet and for me I found i could not move on to the new life until I finalized I am forgiven from God’s vantage point

  2. 5-16-2012

    Alan and Howard, The path may have been different for us, but the results were also very enriching. We have found new clarity from the Holy Spirit since we are now relating to Christ as our ONLY head. The voice of Lord is our ONE guiding light. Our fellowship occurs most naturally with like minded family members, and with our Internet friends. We are very grateful to the one who loved us enough to die in our stead, and provided this freedom for us with His so great salvation.
    In this hour, we feel like the “pseudo-church” age is passing, and Jesus will be revealed as our all in all. We feel like to all of the “whosoever wills”, will hear His voice and come out of the false church,leaving only the apostate church behind.

  3. 5-16-2012

    Marc and a haleluah to that, God is somehow always in control, through the free will he gave us. It is by the free will we see the unfathomable Love of God that I know I do not deserve, but yet while I was a sinner he and he alone saved me and all that believe here as well, through our each free wills of acceptance of what he has (past tense done) for us, made us perfect in his sight through the one sacrifice of his Son Christ Jesus, raised us from the dead after that we saw this truth and thus we are anew in the Spirit of God. this is amazing grace.

  4. 5-17-2012

    Marc and Howard,

    Quick question for you both: Before you left “the church”, were you in Christ, a child of God, part of the body of Christ, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, a member of God’s family? Or, did that only happen when you left “the church”?


  5. 5-17-2012

    Alan my salvation came to me at 12 years of age, I had a miraculous experience in Christ. I thus went on in the world, and The Devil sifted me like Wheat, had guite a few tradic experiences, death, drugs, booze, military service, not long there though, out on a medical in 6 months. all This back in the 70’s. went on into the 8o’s.
    Satan definately sifted me like wheat, yet through all this God showed me God’s faithfulness, still just loved me inspite of. This is what I saw as what is so amazing about grace. Everyone else forsook me, no one else really cared unless they got something from me, and I started going that same way, and again I saw that God just kept on giving me GRACE, to the point I broke down asking why when I knew I do not deserve this kindness. The Answer I got was I (God) just do! Then I realized to just accept it and respond to it. Thus I became in the right position, I responded to God I understood then that God is the initiator and I am the clay, So God has been molding me ever since.

    Sorry for being so long winded here, YES I was before leaving the Church building yet I am glad for the experience that it gave me, I do not wish to change my life and any of the terrible experiences I have had or even could still have, for they are all learning experiences in Christ
    thanks Howard

  6. 5-17-2012

    Alan, Actually I have never been a part of “The Church”. This is the same for you, and I, and millions whom belong to the Lord (the Lord knows those who are His). We are joint heirs with our older brother Jesus, and family members in particular. We are the 7,000 (representational)who have not bowed the knee to Baal, the Dearly Beloved, the Chosen, the Elect. The Lord chose us to be in Him before the foundations of the world. Now for all of those who will hear His voice, He is calling to us, with them, to come out of her and to not share in Her sins. Her bed of affliction is upon her, and she will no longer rise up.

  7. 5-17-2012


    I appreciate hearing your story. Like you, there are still many who are in Christ who are also part of institutions and organizations. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ (church) also.


    You have never been part of a religious organization that called itself a “church”?


  8. 5-17-2012

    Marc, definately led to see

  9. 5-17-2012

    Yes Alan there are, and God is either calling them out of there or strategically has them there to do the Job of love, not law

  10. 5-18-2012

    Alan, No I have never been spiritually connected to the imposter. I have, like so many others, been in its buildings and attempted to join in with the systems, but it never worked out smoothly. The Lord protected my inner man from the woeful compromises that were necessary to come into agreement. As spiritual infants, millions are now waiting for the revelation that will rescue them from the spiritual forces behind those institutions.

  11. 5-18-2012


    Yes, we exhort people to love God and others and to follow him, wherever he leads them.


    When you were part of those systems, were you in Christ? Were you part of the body of Christ?


  12. 5-18-2012

    Alan, I was in church, the very same as Israel in is Babylon. Yes, then I was called out of Babylon the same as God called Israel out of Babylon. In this analogy, you are saying go back to Jerusalem, and rebuild the dwelling place for my name, but it is alright to call it the first church of Babylon. ; )

  13. 5-18-2012


    So, you were both part of the “institutional church” and part of the body of Christ at the same time?


  14. 5-18-2012

    Now you are just taking a position, and have stopped listening. That is alright, at least you have heard.

  15. 5-21-2012


    I hear you. I even understand what you’re trying to get across. I hope, though, that you’re also listening to what I’m saying. At the same time that you were associated with (what you call) “Babylon” and the “imposter”, you were also part of the body of Christ. In fact, you probably even associated with two with one another at one time. There are many who continue to make that same association, and just like you, they are followers of Jesus Christ and part of the body of Christ – your brothers and sisters in Christ.

    While I disagree with your interpretation of various metaphors and imagery in Scripture (especially in Revelation), I think that you could help many of your brothers and sisters in Christ understand the nature of the body of Christ and understand what it means to share their lives with one another. However, I think a little humility on your part (and less condemning rhetoric) would go a long way in getting people to consider your position.


  16. 5-21-2012

    Dear Alan, I am sorry if I offended in any way, truly I am. I want to remain faithful to the message I have been given, all the while being graceful; as I am a moment by by moment recipient of His love, kindness, and grace. The only hope for a lost world in this hour, is a clear clarion call to find true life in Jesus. That includes outing the originator of church, which I believe to be a demonic principality of a pretty high order, Babylon the prostitute most likely. Not doing so, in this hour will repeat the error of the reformation, which is to attempt a reformation of a demonic principality. Clearly this will not occur. As for all of us called by His name, breaking agreement with this spirit is our only hope for empowerment to do His will. Continued agreement will just leave the devil laughing in the imprisoned Bride’s face. So Yes, Yes indeed, come out from amongst her for her hour of judgement has finally come. I know this sounds really unusual, but it is true. Leaving Babylon was proclaimed then, as it is being now. The Lord is calling to His remnant, come out of her, and no longer partake in her sins. Church was not an accident, the mistranslation of the word ekklesia was intentional. As a matter of spiritual warfare is was a stroke of genius,strategically. Look at the difficulty you and I are having in our discussions, about “church”. If you have not read the book, I will be happy to send you a copy.
    I love you in the Lord,

  17. 5-21-2012

    Marc, the only way I see to come out of her is to die in the flesh Spirit of my mind dead to the flesh (Law) for sin takes ocassion by the commamdment, and the Devil has set up shop in the present day Church sitting in Moses’s seat and trying to be like Jesus, introducing law to bring the people captive under captivity. mixing law and grace which does not mix. Like oil and water can not mix, it can be stirred up, yet after it settles it still seperates. This is what I see has happened to the people in gatherings.
    Does this make sense to you?

  18. 5-21-2012

    Howard, Metaphorically is does make sense in some way. But to be very clear, all that represents itself as “church” is not of God. This is true because church is a lie, it has been from the very beginning. Everything that accepts the label “church” has submitted itself to another authority, not Jesus. This authority has lead millions over 1,700 years either into destruction, or into such error as never to grow into maturity in Christ. Jesus is a righteously jealous husband. All who submit to the imposter has lost connection with the One true Head, Christ himself. If any man loves acceptance and praise from man, above praise from the Lord alone, he too has lost connection with the One True Head. This is the time of separation, this is the day of the Lord. All who hear His voice respond.

  19. 5-21-2012


    I’m not offended and not upset at all. I hear what you’re saying and I understand your position and your arguments. I simply disagree with some of your interpretations of Scripture, some of your interpretations of history, and your understanding of linguistics (the way languages work). And, like I said before, I think the way you present your position is often detrimental to the very thing that you’re attempting to do.


  20. 5-21-2012

    I am all ears, If I can be a better instrument, I certainly want to be. You can post here or email me directly. I do know, with great certainty, what I am hearing from the Lord, however I have no presuppositions about my ability to communicate wisely and effectively. I really admire your ability to communicate with a wide audience in edifying ways.

  21. 5-22-2012

    Marc, I hear this in Hebrews chapter 8, where if Jesus were here today he would not be in the church seeing how they still offer sacrifices by the law

  22. 5-22-2012

    Howard, Indeed I think you are right. Church is primarily a return to the Old Covenant law deigning the blood of the New Covenant. Church leadership has, and is, usurping the authority of the One True Head, Christ, for it’s own ends. Seeing as it has usurped the place of Christ, that is why we call it the harlot. Church, is opposite of Christ, as demonstrated with it’s rule keeping, professional clergy, temple focus, and authoritative hierarchical leadership. Church has no resemblance to Christ because church was instituted by the anti-Christ. So I fully agree, Jesus ministered outside of the religious institutes of His day, and I still think He would today.

  23. 5-23-2012

    Yes Marc, and I think alan is seeing the same thing, looking for reform to the true church through this forum, Which is the one that God built not man.
    Church acronyyms to me are:
    C hrist
    H as
    U ttered
    R essurection
    C houice
    H eaven

  24. 5-23-2012

    Howard, Our (Alan and I) differences are minimal in number, but major in importance. As best as I can tell, Alan’s and his love for our brothers and sisters in church, leads him to take a different approach to the “church problem”. My love for the Lord and His Bride coupled with what the Holy Spirit is talking with me a bout every day, leads me to teach people about the spiritual nature of church, and what it is and has done to the Bride of Christ.Church is a English word that was intentionally mistranslated by Arch Bishop Bancroft and King James. This was done, along with a half dozen other critical words,to maintain absolute control of all of those who would be Christians. Church is the wrong word with the wrong meaning, by definition it means a building where religious services occur. On the spiritual level, it (church)was a strategic move by Satan to stop the Bride of Christ from coming into her maturity; fully prepared for her Bridegroom. This has worked beautifully so far, in this hour the Lord is calling all who will to leave church, at least in their hearts and minds. Most will be called to leave physically to come clean from the evil spiritual influences there. Many may be protected by the Holy Spirit and angels, as it will so difficult for some of them to physically leave the structures and institutions. My point is you can not reform the devil, he just won’t co-operate.

  25. 5-23-2012

    Marc, I see what you are saying about the elect might be so fooled even the devil acting as an agngel of Light. Glad you are seeing this, for The devil has infiltrated the assembly, through itchy ears, and vain wisdom , where the people get fooled through their emotions, and can’t see reality. Thanks Marc. So let us keep on keeping on being available for God to use us to help others see the truth and be set free

  26. 5-23-2012

    Howard,I am glad to be on this journey with you.


    PS: If you have not read my book yet, I think you will like what it has to say.

  27. 5-24-2012

    Thank you Marc, and yes I liked and like the Matrix, and yes it goes very deep into the deception, for man and his flesh has overtaken the church. Major development in this was in Constatine’s time. There was a lot of worship places and noone coming to them for these priests of that day did not believe in the Christ, they were Pagan.
    So Constatine brought in these priest and said in private to them, if you want wroshippers at your church, start saying you had a revelation and you now believe, the people will come since we cannot stop this belief we can use it to our advantage. So they did and here we are fooled
    So I want to play the song that says Don’t get fooled again, Spirit in the Sky, and on and on back to by belief and belief alone in the ressurected Savior Jesus Christ, having direct communication with Father via The Holy Ghost. It is a personal relationship for each believer that collectively have fellowship in the Spirit, for that is the only way is in the Spirit. For god can only be worshipped in Spirit and truth. Truth he (Jesus) took all sin out of the way from his Father’s vantage point John 1:29, So Father through the holy Ghost could live in the believer, for Father cannot see sin and Father doesnot because of his Son’s finished work John 19:30. Thus the believer receives new life and this new klife is in te Spirit, made one with Father’s Spirit ands thus we receive the truth and are no longer in bondage to this world or flesh.
    If one believes that truth will set them free. Then if one is in bondage of this world and flesh then their is error in their truth and need to seek from God himself truth the truth that sets one free from bondage of this world

  28. 5-25-2012

    I love that line in the song by the Who “We don’t get fooled again.” Yes we have an open door now to know Christ personally. I believe we just need to protect and guard that relationship from contamination from those who attempt to insert themselves between us and the One True Head. Thanks for reading the book, I am glad is has been a benefit to you.

  29. 5-26-2012

    Marc i only read part of it and am interested in reading the whole book.
    You said you think we just need to protect and guard the relationship from contamination. Please think about this for a minute, the moment I try to protect and or guard I have gotten in the way, my flesh and blood has tricked me into thinking I can do something about the evil all around me as well as others.
    I am and you are today from belief made alive in the Spirit of God, dead to the fleshly thinking, our consciences purged from Sin for Christ paved the way via the cross (stake) actually that he was nailed on. Regardless he took away the sin in his Fathers sight, so the Father couould live in you, me and all that believe, for Father can see no sin. So through Christ you have been made perfect in the Fathers sight, recreated in the Spirit that was lost at Adam and Eves eating of the tree of evil. So just walk in the Spirit and you already are guarded and protected. Remember what the Spirit produces love joy, peace, and righteousness in Him (Holy Ghost) all we the believers do is just bear the fruit of the Spirit, and father can only be worshipped in Spirit which is where all truth is in the Spirit, and your Spirit now agrees with Fathers Spirit making you one and me, along with all the believers, just not all believers understand and are still carnal as Paul told them through out 1 Corinthians, and Galations about this you began in the Spirit perfect who bewitched you. Romans the just shall live by faith alone 1:17 of Romans
    Love Howard

  30. 5-26-2012

    let them attempt, you being in the Spirit will reply with such truth that those attempters can not get in and will eventually see and come to belief and be set free as well. No weapon formed agsainst the believer shall ever prosper, no one can snatch you out of his hand. all things work towards the good for those that believe. the day one believes they are called according to his will
    Do not worry for what you are about to say for the Holy Ghost will give you the right words and with such truth that the opponents can not reply. For if they did the would make an open spectacle of themselves showing that they do not believe and are a work up in man’s wisdom no poweras paul said when he showed up he would only know them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

  31. 5-26-2012

    Hey Howard, I am not fearful in any way, and I do not recommend fear : ) . What I am seeing is when we allow, or invite other humans to tell us what the Lord is saying for our lives, we loose our love connection to Him.

  32. 5-26-2012

    marc, that is powerful, and yes for we get focused back on earth. I am glad that God being perfect love casts out all fear. Thanks Marc for you edification and especially the fellowship you have shown me

  33. 5-26-2012

    Marc do you mean that when we invite or allow others in the way they can take over as the mediator between you and Christ?
    Kind of like saying swallowing our physical mechanism of swallowing shall enable you to live physically here. Yet truly swallowing does not enable life. It is what one swallows that leads to death or life. So it is not Fatih by itself it is what one has faith in.
    Am i on the right page? I am asking for your knowledge here in this area to sharpen iron

  34. 5-26-2012

    Yes, that is exactly right. The way that the scriptures were translated by King James and Arch Bishop Bancroft in favor of the authority of men, have given men the bible basis to usurp the Lordship of Christ from our lives. It only took a handful of mistranslated words for men to take the scriptures and misuse them for the promotion of men as our head/leader and not Christ Himself. Those mistranslated words are “church, obey, rule over, office, and the office of.” Without those mistranslated words, what we call church would not look anything like it does here in the west today.

  35. 5-26-2012

    This link is a good resource for understanding the mistranslations and their effects. Also, if you, or anyone else would like to email me directly please use Thanks.

  36. 5-26-2012

    Marc, what you said is sadly true, yet they claim belief, and do not excercise the faith in. For the angelic beings were there when Christ was crucified, they believe, they know, but the problem is they do not put their faith in Christ. There is a big differance to say One believes not trust in, even fool the elect to their own gain. So what does a man profit when it is to his own gain, and lose his soul. and one that does believe putting their trust in the living Savior, gains life everlasting with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Thanks Marc it is worht all the tradgedy this world offers. Who can seperate us, not death, not anything. where is thy sting oh death, for it is swallowed up in victory

  37. 5-26-2012

    Marc, thanks I am a liking that website, Howard

  38. 7-27-2013

    Honest sentiments that will be supported by anyone out of sync with their ‘local’ church which probably numbers millions. The analogy of leaving the locale whilst academically supporting the family does not hold water though. Your journey is akin to that of the prodigal son, who whilst away from the locale was always a son. My bio family all have a locale, Paul only writes to local Churches. The universal church as an entity simply does not exist. She is simply the sum total of all her locales. The father of the prodigal could be located in the family home. Time to go home for you ought to be now, or soon.

  39. 7-27-2013


    Can you tell me how you define “local church”? In Scripture, I see the authors talking about “church in a locale” – i.e., believers in the certain city, or believers who gather in a certain house. If that’s what you’re talking about, then yes, we are part of a “local church,” and we gather with believers regularly. I’ve never left the church of God in our location.


  40. 10-16-2013

    In our pursuit to define and differentiate between the organization and organism we call “church”, I think it can become very easy to exchange one form of legalism for another. I believe that if followers of Christ are fulfilling the Great Commission by way if the Great Commandment, we are on the right track. Whether that be by more or less organized communities of faith.

  41. 10-16-2013


    I agree with you. This is one post in a series… So, I would encourage you to read the other posts as well. Also, in many posts I encourage people not to separate from their brothers and sisters in Christ who remain part of more organized gatherings of believers (church).


  42. 10-16-2013

    Thanks for the reply. I arrived here via a link on Google+. I will definitely read through your posts. I am a strange bird in that I maintain very “organic” views related to life in Christ and Biblical community, but yet find myself a servant in the organized parts of the body. I am excited to glean from your insights!


  43. 10-22-2013

    Awesome article Alan!

    Yes so deeply is the “building” concept ingrained into the minds of church going Christians, that even when discussing with them the benefits of getting the terminology right, they will still continue calling their building the “church”.

    I’ve also done some digging of my own, and wrote a 2 part article about how the word “church” even managed to make its way into the Bible:

    Keep up the awesome work with your blog!

    In Him

  44. 10-25-2013


    Interestingly, even in languages (such as French and Spanish) in which the terms for “ekklesia” continue to be used, the meanings of those terms have changed to include buildings, organizations, leadership, etc, instead of pointing to the people of God. Whatever term we use, we need to understand what the translated terms mean in Scripture.