What I feel compelled to write about is the book ‘So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore’ by Jake Colsen. Let’s get something clear at the forefront, and that is Jesus Christ loves His Church despite its flaws! Please read all the flaws of the Church of Sardis and the Church of Laodicea in Revelation Chapter 3. The Epistles themselves in the New Testament are all about correcting the flaws in the different established churches of Jesus Christ. My website is all about getting to the truth of what the Word of God really says because some churches and pastors have twisted the truth. And yes the Church has become anemic in the 21st century. But to bash the organized Church by painting an undue picture with a slanted perception and to encourage others to stay away from it is a whole other ball game.
We as Christians have our list of sins that we utterly hate. But let’s see what the Lord Himself tells us He utterly hates:
“These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV)
THE LORD HATES THE SIN OF ANYONE WHO SOWS DISCORD AMONG THE BRETHREN!
Trying to correct wrongs is good, but there is a line that can be stepped over where it becomes utterly evil. Only God Himself is the final Judge, but the Holy Spirit tells me to stay clear of the philosophy the pseudonym authors who go by the name of Jake Colsen are headed.
What I do learn from Scripture is that I am the one who can make a difference. Before I go into church and into fellowship, I always make sure that I am spiritually right. That I am responsible for my spiritual well-being. Matthew 5:23 says, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 goes on to say, “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” So, the concluding lesson is that I will do my best to come into fellowship with a clean heart, forgiving and being forgiven, and have an attitude of being a giver first and a receiver second. I am to be more worried about me getting it right than those around me in church.
Here is some excerpts from reviews about ‘Jake Colsen’:
Jake Colsen is the author of ‘So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore’. Jake Colsen does not exist. Rather, he is a pseudonym for the combined work of Dave Coleman and Wayne Jacobsen. You may recognize Wayne Jacobsen as one of the founders of ‘Windblown Media’, the company that published a little book called ‘The Shack’–a little book that has gone on to sell well over a million copies. As ‘The Shack’ has found international renown, it has pulled in its wake Windblown Media’s other title, which is also written or co-written by Jacobsen. So the success of ‘So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore’ is very clearly related to that of The Shack (where it has an advertisement on the back page).
What Jacobsen does is fabricate a ridiculous parody of a church and leads us to believe it is the normal Christian church. But what if Jacobsen, instead of fabricating a ridiculous parody of a church, had looked to the New Testament church? While ‘So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore’ is theological fiction, the reader may well note that there is little reference to the Bible. Because it is fiction we might not expect to see direct references to particular passages (and, indeed, we do not) but there is little by way even of indirect references. The character ‘John’ in the book assumes a certain knowledge of Jesus and common sense spirituality and uses this as his bridge to the hearts and minds of the reader. Rather than saying, “The Bible says this…” he tends to say, “This is what the church is like… Doesn’t my version look better?” And of course, with such a dysfunctional church in mind, it really does look better. He looks to the New Testament church on occasion, but is awfully selective, taking only those elements that further his case. He eschews any kind of church hierarchy or office (such as elder and deacon) and in its place leaves only peer-to-peer relationships. If it is in any way formal or organized, it is wrong, it would seem.
Though Jacobsen does occasionally affirm that institutional churches may do some good, the theme of the book comes through loud and clear. In the appendix Jacobsen says, without any apparent trace of hyperbole, “I can tell you absolutely that my worst days outside organized religion are still better than my best days inside it.” And from cover-to-cover, the book is heartlessly negative towards the local church. Christians should, and perhaps even must, withdraw. But the case is made through emotion and through false comparison. Those who hold closely to Scripture may affirm some of what Jacobsen teaches in this book, but they must reject its overall message.
When you go to http://www.JakeColsen.com you will see this claim:
“If you’re tired of just going through the motions of Christianity and want to mine the depths of what it really means to live deeply in Christ, you’ll find Jake’s story will give you hope for your own. This book probes the difficult questions and offers some far-reaching answers. It just might turn your world upside-down as well!”
Remember the claim of Satan in the garden of Eden:
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4 NKJV)