Born Again By Leaving “church”

Most professing Christians believe that being “born again” occurs in this life upon “receiving Jesus.”

Well to me I think that teaching I heard for years, getting pounded into my cranium, is hogwash.

It was not until I read and discussed my readings about this subject that it started to become less foggy.  My findings were that this subject is nowhere to be found inside the pages of scripture (like much of what is said in the pulpit of many churches). 

I do not think being “born again” has anything to do with “professing Jesus,”

I do not think being “born again” has anything to do with “just believing in your heart,”

I do not think being “born again” has anything to do with “giving your heart to the Lord”

I do not think being “born again” has anything to do with any other kind of religious experience.

I do not thing being “born again” happens at “conversion”.

I DO think the Bible teaches that it happens long after these so-called “initial” steps to become a Christian.

I have known many who believed the opposite of what I described above.  While having no idea what the term actually meant, they (including me for years) had been told that “professing Jesus” was a kind of “new birth”—that they were in some mysterious way “born again.” 

And on top of that, it also became their Christian duty to bring others to this same belief.

I have been approached more than once, over the years attending church, and asked if I have been “born again.”

You know what I always told them…  Nope!  I really have no clue what that means.

So get this… now that I have been away from the institutional church for a few years, I feel like I can finally say, and finally understand, what it means to be “born again”.

Jesus’ words: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”

I feel like I can now see the kingdom of God, and it is not inside the walls of a man-made institution.  It is out here where I am wondering in the wilderness away from all the doctrinal, and religious bullshit.

The kingdom is out here… Jesus is out here…

12 thoughts on “Born Again By Leaving “church”

  1. You are correct. There is widespread misunderstanding about the issue of being “born again”. This is unfortunate all around. But I observe no malace… only misunderstanding.

    Actually, the term born again (found in John 3) is not the best translation of the Greek. Literally, it says “born from above”. Which changes everything. The new birth is a sovereign act of the Holy Spirit. We can no more make ourselves be born from above than we can make ourselves be born from our mothers. It is something that we particiapte in but cannot initiate. It is a gift that we receive.

    According to Jesus, it is this new birth that enables us to see God stuff (aka kindom of God or kingdom of heaven). And this is the beginning of the journey.

    BYW, we obviously run in different circles. I have NEVER in my whole life been asked if I am born again.

    Best regards.

    1. thewayjourney – Thanks for the great comments. It is just weird how long it took until I started to understand the concept. (and I am sure I will still learn as I go too 🙂 )

      I have been asked many times over the last 20 years, but worded in many different ways.

      The best thing is, I have not been asked since I left the church. I think it is because many assume that I am not born again since I stop attending… sad.

      Thanks again for taking time to read my ramblings. Swanny

      1. IMO, that question is specific to certain denominations and churches, and isn’t a wide-spread one across all of Christianity. I’ve only ever been asked that by Pentecostal-ish folk, but never by a Baptist or an Episcopalian. And I’m in the Bible Belt! (Unless it was a weird off-sect, like “The Church of the Baptist-Nazarene Apocalyptic Church”. You know the type.)

  2. You’re right in that it’s a *really* confusing phrase to outsiders…and to quite a few insiders as well! It doesn’t help that different denominations’ personal takes on the Christian life have made something of a mess of understanding faith. (Seriously, the different beliefs between denominations seriously confuse me.)

    Simply put, baptism is supposed to represent our new lives in Christ, which is more than just talking about Christ to other people (“professing Jesus”) or deciding to do what He wants over what you personally want (“giving your heart to the Lord). Like you said, it’s a whole lifestyle change that usually doesn’t happen overnight. It involves learning to trust God, what Christ meant when He said “love one another”, and figuring out how to forgive folks that have hurt you like Christ would.

    Traditional water baptism was supposed to represent this. You are “putting to death” your old self, and “coming back to life” as God’s servant.

    But that doesn’t mean you come back flawless. 🙂 All it means is that you and God are on the journey together, and that He has your back in a way you’ve never experienced before.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks, Swanny. I always resonate with your posts. You are an encouragement to me.

    You are correct in your assessment, church culture (think petri dish) at large believes that church attendance is synonymous with salvation. I have been asked if i am born again, and i have also asked that question of others. I think that when you ask that question you want to assess whether or not that person shares the same faith with you, essentially “can i fellowship with you? Or am i dealing with a nut job?”.
    What i have found is that i asked the question without relying on what the Holy Spirit was already telling me, “Hey! This is your brother/sister! Enjoy the family reunion!”

    You hit the nail on the head when you said “I feel like I can now see the kingdom of God, and it is not inside the walls of a man-made institution. It is out here where I am wondering in the wilderness away from all the doctrinal, and religious bullshit.

    The kingdom is out here… Jesus is out here…”

    Sadly, in church culture, we are deceived into thinking that the kingdom will come when all hell breaks loose, um… I mean when revelation is fulfilled, of course. The earth’s system must be destroyed before Christ can reign. This is no different than the Jews waiting for their messiah. They thought he would come as a king, instead they got a servant. The church thinks they have to wait for destruction before reconstruction can take place. Or that they have to usher in the kingdom via politics and self-flagalation. What they fail to realize is that the kingdom arrived with the king!!! He said so himself!!! Once we know our king we live as the citizens of his kingdom, boo-yeah!!! When you are “born from above” then you can see the kingdom all around you. Everywhere, everywho, everywhat, everywhen, and everywhy.

    1. genoise – Always wonderful to hear from you. Thanks so much for the kind words. You always give good insight into things too. We encourage each other. Swanny

  4. I agree spiritual resurrection is completely God’s voice calling us to life, not our effort. The awareness is in the revelation. Jesus said to Peter, your are blessed because you did not come to this revelation on your own, my Father in Heaven did this for you.

  5. Having been in “church” my entire life I only knew one version of the “born-again” story…and [like many Christian kids] I was born again like four times because I was confused. I was so sincere and so afraid of going to Hell. I mis-understood its meaning — but Jesus guided me and when years later I was a truly born-again from the heart!

    Now that I am much older — I think churches focus too much on being self-occupied, and not enough on being Jesus-occupied. When we are too concerned with “getting it right” — then we miss the entire point; salvation is about Jesus not us. It was when I had a fresh revelation of “Who” Jesus was — that I understood “Why” He cared so much about me. Self-occupation confuses life. When you focus on “Who” Jesus is, the less all the “meanings” of things become and the more important a relationship with Jesus is. This alone has brought more clarity into my life than anything else.

    Just my thoughts. Thx.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s