I was raised as a Catholic and “turned” atheist when I was 18. The reason why I turned atheist was because I had never had a genuine connection with God and could not accept that nasty God that all religious people around me seemed to believe in.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to explain to anyone how I am Christian without being religious. Since I experienced a conversion, I know for a fact that there is a God. But I don’t have any desire to go to church, because I understand from Jesus’ teachings that we are the church – take a look at Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” And in case you were wondering: yes, Jesus is still there with you even if no one else is!
Again, God frees us, but this profound connection does come with taking full responsibility for who we are and what we do. Just listen to what Paul, who also experienced a conversion, has to say about that in Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. You will quickly find that your connection with God creates a deep self-awareness and awareness of how we impact others. Thus you simply won’t want to do certain things because you know they are not good for you or others around you.
So if you’re feeling a little “lost” trying to reconcile your faith in God and Jesus (which are one) with church membership, don’t. You do not need to go to a building to have a connection with God. In fact, a lot of people who go to a building do not have a connection with God, but with religion.
“So what do I do?”, you must be asking. Well, you are free – and I would think that being free you would not want to make choices that don’t compromise your freedom. You have Jesus’ teachings and as long as you keep him as your hermeneutical key to understand everything else in the bible and in life, you will be good – and you will keep your freedom.