I am an unaffiliated Christian belonging to no church though raised in the Church of England and familiar with Catholicism as I had a friend who had been a Benedictine monk whom I often accompanied to Mass. The fact of my not belonging to a particular church might be regarded as a lack of religious commitment or being a spiritual dilettante but I see it as something positive, and I will tell you why.
Official Christianity arose during a time of humanity's spiritual childhood. We needed authority and guidance from without. Some people still do and that is fine but others, while not dismissing the external church, have reached the point at which they must begin to know God for themselves and that means they must turn to inner guidance. They must start to rely on their own spiritual intuition, albeit helped and supported by tradition, scripture and revelation. I certainly do not dismiss any of that. On the contrary, it is absolutely essential but there comes a point at which it is no longer enough.
There is an important difference between salvation where you see through the allurements of the world, the flesh and the devil and accept the reality of God, and theosis in which you actually start to become a son of God meaning of like nature with the Father. In the former, you are still centred in your earthly personality but have turned to the truth of spirit but in the latter you begin to know yourself as an authentic spiritual being, here in this world. It's a question of perspective. The former is outside, the latter has begun to step inside the spiritual world, to become a member of the heavenly host. This has to do with the sanctification of the soul which is what Christianity is all about.
If I am not a member of a church from where do I get my Christian beliefs and practises? Like everyone else I get them from the universal teachings of Christianity, from the New Testament and from the light shed by the saints and mystics, but these are supplemented by an inner awareness of Christ who dwells within all men as "the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world", as the King James translation eloquently has it. For Jesus does not just exist in the Bible and history. He can be a living presence in our own hearts and minds if we will but respond to him as he is, and as we do respond to him in that way we start on a journey to become like him.
Outer Christianity and inner Christianity are not rivals. They are two sides of one whole just like the soul and the body. But it is the soul that takes precedence over the body. If the two are in harmony then all is well but when, as now, outer Christianity has largely lost touch with its inner self then it becomes necessary for those who are serious about the spiritual path to withdraw from what is becoming a pile of ashes from which the fire has practically departed, and turn their attention inwards. I know many will disagree and quote scripture to prove I am wrong but the current uninspiring state of outer religion indicates that it is time to move into a new and higher understanding of life in which we no longer act just passively with regard to our religious engagement but seek to know God directly, without intermediary. This is not just possible but what God wants. Indeed, I would suggest we can tell it's what God wants by the fact that all the mainstream churches have fallen in line with the globalist agenda. They have left God and if we want to know God we must leave them or, if leave is too strong a word, then we must go beyond them as they are in their earthly forms. God himself is pushing us in that direction. Will we respond or not?