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The pain caused by a church is a "silent killer." This doesn't mean that the words and events that "burned" and hurt your heart are not very ugly and public. It is a "silent killer" because of what...
Being 'burnt' by the church you attended was probably done by only a few people, not the whole congregation. You gave no details but, if some people in the church said hurtful things or accused you of something, it is most likely a legalistic church which doesn't understand Jesus freed us from the law. We no longer live as if we are 'governed' by the law because we are under God's grace instead, Romans 6:14. Michael correctly pointed out that being bitter toward someone who wronged you doesn't hurt them at all but, if you keep dwelling on it, it will continue to hurt you so, turn it over to Jesus because He is in total control and He will ease your mind and feelings. Forgive the people who hurt you because the Lord forgave you (and all of us) and He will heal you. Find a church where God's grace is taught and you will soon choose not to remember what happened before since you will be in the midst of loving, kind, and humble people. They will teach you of God's mercy, grace, and love and show you how to let Jesus be your guide through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
We have to remember, the church is not a building, or a denomination, but those who have trusted Jesus as their savior. We are the body of Christ. The problem is, we have true biblical churches, and we have unbiblical churches. Some pastors are not saved. So they teach false doctrines. The bible is our source of truth, not a denomination. At minimum, the Church we attend should be based on a firm belief that Christ Is who He said He is, the Son of God, that when we trust Him as our only way of salvation we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and have eternal life, based on what He did and not on any of our works. There is only one gospel. First Corinthians 15:1-4. Galatians 1:7-9 Paul said, if we preach any other gospel we will be accursed. If the preacher has not believed the gospel, that all of our sin debt has been paid in full, then He can not tell others how to receive the free gift of salvation by grace. Romans 11:6 We are not to fellowship with unbelievers So if a church is not preaching that gospel, that Christ is our righteousness, because we have none of our own, then it is an apostate church. They are not preaching the truth and if they do not preach the truth, no one gets saved. Wherever you go to church follow in the bible what they are preaching to make sure it lines up with what the bible says. Many take scripture and make their own doctrines of men. The bible is of no private interpretation. Any saved person who has the Holy Spirit in them can discern the simple scriptures, and as we go on from their, we can understand more and more. Any church that does not believe in all grace for salvation is a false church. Romans 11:6 If they say you have to do anything to be saved other than believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, they are preaching a false gospel of works salvation. They are a Matthew 7:15-23 church full of unsaved people. If they say our sin debt is not paid in full by Christ's finished work on the cross, they are preaching another gospel. If they strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, pick at every little thing you do, don't go there because no one is perfect, and we all have our own faults and weaknesses. First John 1:8. Every church that does not believe the doctrine of Christ for salvation by grace through faith without works is a false church. They do not believe the gospel, that all our sins are paid for in full and that we are no longer under condemnation. John 3:18 If there are people in the church that claim to be believers, but are living in adultery, stealing, homosexuality, or all the other sins named, we are to bar them from fellowship, not even to eat with them until they repent. They have not lost their salvation, but they are defiling the church. To let those things go and not to reprove them, is to let them be chastened by the Lord. And He does chasten his children. We are saved by grace, but still reap what we sow. If you are a child of God by faith in Christ, you are saved forever, but we still reap what we sow. We who are born into God's family by the Holy Spirit when we first believed are sealed unto the days of redemption, but we can get out of fellowship with our heavenly father through sin, but never our relationship to Him. That is sealed in heaven forever. So if a person repents, quits living in adultery, or fornication, or whatever the sin is, we are to welcome them back in to the church. We are never to condemn them because Christ has forgiven us for all sin. We have to remember we are all sinners and no one is perfect in the flesh. These are just a few of the fundamentals of the faith that churches should follow. But, remember there are no perfect churches, and if they were and you go there they would not be perfect anymore. We can not compromise on the doctrines of grace for salvation. That everyone who trusts Jesus as their savior has eternal life now. That is essential to be a true bible believing church.
I gave my heart to Christ about 40 years ago and have tried to follow and love Him faithfully the last 40 years with many failings and a few successes on my spiritual journey. God has always been faithful over this period and has gently led me on despite my many faux pas. If my faith had depended on Christians that I had met in the early years of my walk with God then I would have given up within 6 months of my commitment to Him. In time, I came to realize that Christians were as fallible as I was and am. By the same token many Christians were very helpful in my spiritual maturation over many years. To summarize, we primarily look to and follow Christ and not put our faith in fallen humankind.
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