Reasons Why People Quit Church

Church isn't for everyone, even those with a pure heart, decent morale, and good intentions. There is another place where some belong, under the title 'Spiritual, but not religious' or 'Religious, but not Churchgoer'. People who feel connected to something greater, in a spiritual sense that transcends all areas of life, but choose not to be affiliated with any particular brand of denominations of church on the market. I find myself residing here with significant numbers joining me.

We've tried our best, frequenting several churches to find a "right fit", only to become increasingly apprehensive of the church going experience. Some say we're too picky or perhaps we just want to feel something. In fact, the churchgoing experience seems to get worse the more we try to fit in. We even lose a little faith every time we see what it means to be Christian. It also makes me wonder how following God begins with and depends on a church. Some would say if you don't go to church, you must not believe in anything of the spiritual or religious nature. I say, 'that's too bad' and I'm here to expose the truth of why people have lost church, but hopefully not God.

My message is intended to inspire those who can't find the right church for them or can't go or don't want to go, yet can still find a way to believe and communicate with God. It took me years of giving up on church and God before I realized I don't have to go to church to have God in my life. Nobody is less of a person for not going to church.

1. Missed out on Church 101

Nervously thumbing through the bible, pretending to know where anything is as my pew neighbor practically turns right to the exact page blindfolded with a smug grin, began my initial distaste for church. Was there a test I didn't study for- how come I feel so ill-prepared? Why do I always feel like an idiot going to church, worried about impressing the devouted followers and the pastor or preacher, but where is God in all this? Then someone makes a reference to a bible story and I'm lost all over again. Everyone around me begins talking of terms I've never heard, as if trying to outdo each other with saintly knowledge of the bible. If only they knew they lost me at the first thou shalt....

Many of us are feeling left in the dust when we go to church. Guess I forgot to study before I went, maybe I was too busy those years studying to get my college degree. "The dog ate my bible pastor/preacher." "A whale, a burning bush?" Are you talking about a Sex In The City episode?

When it comes to basic bible knowledge, those initially trying out church for the first time without prior knowledge are in over their heads. For them, it becomes too overwhelming and discouraging when other church members seem to look down upon people who are not well versed. When I've gone to church it seems everybody is quoting a verse from the bible. For some reason I can't remember a bible verse any better than I can remember a funny joke I was told just a minute ago.

2. Spiritual Versus Religious

As I mentioned in the intro, an increasing amount of people are labeling themselves as "spiritual". I should probably not differentiate between the two because there is only a fine line. However, in some formats people have attributed certain differences between the two such as "Spirituality tends to be more personal and private while religion tends to incorporate public rituals and organized doctrines."

As I have found personally, there are numerous distractions in the church going experience that lead me away from God. "Go to elaborate churches to worship, told what to pray and when to pray it. All those factors remove you from god."...as one source has put it. I compare it to writing a paper. I've always considered myself a writer and do it for a living now, but my writing pieces, even as a child, are remarkably different/disengaged when I have set guidelines and told what to write. When I am free to write on the topic of my choice, the outcome is better.

I always come home to the Bible, but just not how I am supposed to interpret it or when to study what. Those that consider themselves spiritual are part of a larger group- it encompasses and transcends all religions. It is bigger.

Just recently I attended church and there was a guest speaker who was wonderful, but to my dismay he was not a pastor or preacher, just a man with spiritual experience. He spoke of truth- our truth, the people's truth. There were gasps in the church at some of his points which made me realize some regular church goers are accustomed to, and expect, a certain message. One that stunts their growth. Growing is something we can do inside ourselves with God residing there, whereas people can get emotionally and psychologically stuck in a rut at church hearing a message that seems to be a one-size fits all.



3. Day of Rest

Didn't someone say Sunday is a day of rest, but you want me to get up early and dress up? I want quality time with my pillow and not think twice about my bed head. The thought of getting the kids ready and cheerleading everyone to church is exhausting. We want our day of rest. I don't want to get out of bed extra early to look extra churchly and put on my saint act and wear my best smile when 10 minutes ago I was yelling at my kids to put their socks on. I put on "fake" dress-up clothes that fashionably go with the "fake" attitude I feel like I have to put on too.

Really, the physical exhaustion is nothing compared to the brutal mental preparedness that goes on to create and maintain the proper definition of a churchgoer.Which brings to mind, does God think me less honorable for not dressing up for church? Maybe if we came as we are, then we would act like who we really are instead of putting up a fake appearance and attitude. Would it mean I'm less devoted if I wore jeans and a ponytail, wouldn't God want me to come as I really am? If God is inside us, why would he be concerned about what is on our outside?

4. Conflicting Evidence

There are a lot of good people who don't go to church. We put in a helping hand when needed, we participate in random acts of kindness, and we don't pretend to practice what we preach. Have you ever seen the devout in public at any given time, especially on a day other than Sunday- or even Sunday afternoon after church? They have two lives, one in church and one definitely outside of church.

Church has left a bad taste in some of our mouths from people who have purposely hurt us or wronged us and claim to be godly to the fact that there is conflicting stories and interpretations among religions and even within a single church. If a Monk can uphold almost impossible religious rituals without question to his faith or to make others feel less worthy, then a Christian can uphold general principles of Christianity without arguing the Book among each other and other religions. They can also be a good example within their community, instead of turning people off to their church by the way they act.  

I'm simply saying that people should not seek church to feel as though they have done their good deed for the week, and they can act inconsiderately the rest of the week. Church should not be a sanction for them to feel better about themselves for having done numerous wrongs Monday through Saturday.

5. Thou Shall Not Judge

The feeling of scrutiny and judgment lie heavy upon many church goers- why must we have an extra burden dumped upon us? Everybody judges, but it spreads through a church congregation like wild fire. Do you get the feeling not all of your sins have been forgiven when you walk through those saintly doors? If God ever needs help on judgement day, he need not go further than the nearest church. It wouldn't be a tough recruiting assignment with all those eagerly judging folk. They try to enforce their views, politics, and parenting advice, among other let's-not-go-there topics.

In the well-known book, 'The Shack', a shocking statement suggested we should not even judge a serial killer. Now think about that a minute, but it's true. We have no right to judge that person because God may forgive him and we probably wouldn't. God knows our hearts and perhaps the serial killer was acting out of what he learned as a child from previous abuse. God forgives more than he judges harshly so why aren't any church goers following his example?

A personal experience for me was a time when I was trying out a new church by going to a women's bible study group. I had never been to the church, but it was where my daughter went to daycare before I was laid off. I told the ladies I was staying home with my daughter and all of them chimed in with 'good for you, doing the right thing by staying home with your child, good values, that's the right thing to do.. blah blah blah' and all I was thinking was I'd still be working if my boss hadn't cut me loose. But I am a woman of good values, I wanted to work and make a living for my daughter, isn't that also the right thing to do? They judged before I told them my whole story.

I also remember church when it was taboo to get a divorce. I remember because my mom had a hard time finding a suitable church for us to attend when I was a child and my parents got divorced. Sad, but true.

6. Work

There are many industries that don't close on Sundays or even weekends. For example, I was a waitress many years and worked on the weekends, especially Sundays because that was when I made the most money- money I needed to pay the bills. Sure, I could have prayed for an extra $100 from God and stayed home from work, but not to sound obvious and repetitive, I needed to pay my bills. I especially enjoyed the bad Sunday church tippers who turned their nose up to me because I didn't go to church.

Some people don't have a choice whether to work on that day or not. One job I had in the mental health industry, I was on-call, especially Sundays. Unfortunately that's life and even when it's not our choice, as in work situations, we are still made to feel guilty by the righteous mass who faithfully go to church.

7. Church isn't the Only Place to Worship

Nowhere in the Bible does it specifically state that a believer must go to church. There are places besides church where someone can worship and feel God's presence within them. I'm sure there is a verse in the scripture stating something similar about God residing within us no matter where we are. The church doesn't necessarily represent God, the people do, and wherever the people/believers are, he will be too.

Over time, church can dull the individual excitement and spirit of worship. Church is structured with a specific layout. No matter what church you go to, there is a general format that is followed precisely almost every week, following someone else's ideas of worship and catering little to individuals or breaking away from routine. If church doesn't get you excited, you shouldn't go.

8. Creepiness Factor

Why is it the more mentally ill a person is, the more religious they seem to be? I've worked with and been around my fair share of the mentally ill and religion can get pretty weird if you listen to their 'testimonies' and the way they "talk to Jesus". The extremely mentally ill, such as schizophrenia and bipolar, are irrationally fearful people and religion claims to 'save' people so I believe it is why they are attracted to religion and it's promises.

What about the catholic priests and the molested boys- some rumor, some not and that is definitely creepy. I think this is a prime example of religions' restrictions. People feel they have to hide their true selves in order to be accepted by the church, and sadly the restrictions can cause more corruption and lure of the forbidden (sin) behind closed doors.

Religious cults; preying on the vulnerable who may wind up joining a cult. Others are power hungry and opportunistic, and they are the ones that form and/or lead a cult. The two feed off each other and create cultural and moralistic havoc. Any church that offers an escape from reality is not going to benefit anyone no matter how dire their current circumstances may seem.

9. Repetitive or dull songs

While many, possibly majority, of church frequenters enjoy singing, and are uplifted by the experience, there is an equally impressive number of us who don't enjoy it, or at least the songs. I don't want to hear myself singing, let alone granny next to me who is tone deaf- really no offense, but she is usually the one singing the loudest.

The hymns in most churches haven't been updated in God knows how long. If church music was meant to excite everyone enough to participate, then let's not leave out the rockers and rappers of most recent generations- we just don't feel included. This doesn't mean we don't want to hear others, more qualified, sing- that is very enjoyable. Maybe some of us would just like to sit it out and enjoy the music rather than participate, but it's taboo to sit out songs.

There are people who go for the sole purpose to hear a sermon and thoughtfully apply it to their lives. If singing were cut to a minimum, then we could sleep in a little later and go for a half hour church session instead. Actually I know people who arrive at church late to skip the singing part- ingenious!

10. Unanswered Prayers

"Every act you have performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something," Dale Carnegie. This is human nature and a mother knows this best when she has a baby- babies are pure wants and needs. Even making a donation and being charitable has a pay off for you- you feel better after you give and you like that feeling so you may do it from time to time depending on how often you want that feeling.

Church gives some people what they want- some go to learn, to socialize, and to get prayers answered. We expect and believe one time or another our prayers should be answered. When they aren't, some people will justify the reason for an unanswered prayer and others will lose faith. Faith may be intangible (that's the point) but we all need something to grasp to keep that faith. Enough unanswered prayers or sometimes just one prayer (or bargain) with God if he does just this one thing for you, then you will never doubt him and become devoted to him everlasting. If prayers go unanswered, then there is no motivation to believe if we don't get what we want.

God isn't a magic genie. If we believe more in ourselves, that God can work through us then we can help ourselves. Like the saying goes, "Pray to God, but row for the shore" or "God helps those who help themselves" or "With God, all things are possible". These statements give us personal power through God. It can serve some people well to separate themselves from the church to grow beyond expectations and what God owes us or a feeling God is punishing us by not answering prayers. These are all injected into us from churches.


There are several benefits for believing in a religion and/or spirituality itself. These benefits are reflected in our physical and mental health and have even been tested and recorded in psychological studies. The unanimous verdict is that someone who believes in something, of religious or spiritual nature, show more positive and healthy activity in their brain, which may also help you live longer and happier as well. However, this does not pertain to going to church, so believers can reap these benefits without the hassles of going to church. Often times people give up on religion and a spiritual life altogether just because they don't want to go to church, but church is not indicative of believing. Church isn't what makes someone happy, it is the power of believing.

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Comments 390 comments

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Izettl- I almost burst out laughing " I want quality time with my pillow" (Are you mind reader I mean I think exactly the same way on weekends)...LOL

Seriously I have encountered some of those people who tend to judge others quickly without even trying to understand them and which is so sad to see. You have made a good beginning sister and hope we all grow upto having greater love & kindness for all of us. Good hub.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

You had some good points and good hub! We had a woman who was leading and into almost every aspect of every group at church. Then, in front of two 80 year old women, she confessed in tears, that on the rest of the week, she's the state secretary of the local nudist colony. Interesting, since she was always gossiuping about women who showed too much cleave at church. LOL


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jerilee: That's a funny story and I feel bad for people like that lady because they are not living a truthful life and some people feel like they can't be honest at church, which is too bad.

countrywomen: I think we share some of the same thoughts on the big picture and getting into heaven. etc. Glad I could give you a laugh- the sleep thing is my biggest excuse. I'll take sleep over anything!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I totally agree with you on this one.


Deidre Logan profile image

Deidre Logan 7 years ago from Chicago, IL

This one really hits home for me. I was an active part of my previous church for seven years. I was even a choreographer and teacher for the dance ministry there. My husband and daughter got baptized there; I got married there. Now, my husband and I have both been gone for several months.Our beliefs have not changed. I never had a problem with the concept of 'Lord and Savior'. I still consider myself a Christian. However, I'm at a place in my life right now where I'm not real anxious to return to church. I just want a break, particularly from the responsibility of ministry. My pastor always said that "ministry is work; good ministry is hard work". I believe him.Seven years later - I just want to spend some quality time with my pillow, too.


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Deidre, your pastor was right. I admire people who can put forth the effort and be committed to the responsibility of ministry. Not going to church for most of my adult years hasn't changed my beliefs or values.


suchsweet_thunder profile image

suchsweet_thunder 7 years ago from Oakland, CA

Sunday doesn't neccesarily have to be the day of rest. I think of saturday as my sabbath just to keep my schedule clear and relax and that is how I "keep the sabbath" because more foten than not I am not relaxed on sunday with all the stuff that I end up doing. so I take a different day for my day of rest, much like a pastor whose sabbath is usually monday


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Good approach suchsweet thunder!


DeaconJ profile image

DeaconJ 7 years ago

Izetti, you've written a good hub that really hits the nail on the head about judgmental attitudes in the church. I am a regular church-goer, and am glad to say that the church I attend really focuses on acceptance and not being judgmental. Unfortunately, having attended many different churches in my life, I know how rare it can be to find a church with that perspective.

Our church has understood that some people go to church to worship and be uplifted. Others go because they are at a point in their lives in which they need inspiration and hope. Not one of us has ever gone to church thinking, "Man, I really need some judgment heaped on me today!" None of us are fit to judge anyone. Jesus said for us to love one another as He has loved us. He said nothing about us judging each other.

Thank you for the hub you've written. It speaks volumes about the hurt people can sometimes inflict on others without meaning to. Every church-going believer who reads your hub should really reflect on it.


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Deacon J~ You bring up a point that everybody needs to remember; there really is a suitable church, I believe, for everyone. It is like finding the perfect mate, you have to match your ideals and expectations with that of the church's. Just like it is hard to find a perfect mate, it is also hard to find a suitable church. You are lucky to find a church you thoroughly enjoy.

I don't think church is the only institution with judgemental folks. Any time a group or mass of people congregates, there is bound to be judgment- it's actually a natural human characteristic. Although the expectation of going to church, for some, is that they will not be judged and the let down occurs when they are. Of all places to be judged, I think church is not the place it should occur.

Thank you so much for your comment.


Jonathan 7 years ago

I totally understand your point of view! I do believe that there is huge problem with most of our churches today. They get holy and traditional confused. One hundered years ago people went to be at 8 or 9 and was up the next morning at 5 or 6 and there fore it was easy to attend church.

The problem came when the church tried to quit reaching culture. I pastor a small traditional church. But we are changing rapidly which has ticked a few people off. But I believe we are suppose to go out and not expect everyone to come in that Biblical. Church is huge and when people get plugged into a place where they can belong it suits them. By the way everyone is looking for a place to belong. Our church is not there yet but we are heading to a place where the people who has baggage will fit. Oh I forgot heck they're already there!

I came to this sight because I am fixing to preach a series on why people don't stay at church. We are calling it "The Dechurched".


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Yes, people want to belong and feel like they belong. It's hard to reach so many types of people and cultures out there and please everybody. The long time attendees tend to be judgemental and impatient with the new comers, and the new comers are put off by this non-welcoming attitude.

I have been to churches where there is too much fake welcoming and I've been to some where nobody acknowledges you're there. Striking a happy medium would be nice for all types of attendees.

Well it's good you preach to those who have baggage. I remember the days where those people had to hide their baggage to be welcomed into church. Things are changing in churches, but Overall I think as a country we are seperating from the church and community. It's too bad. I hope you are able to reach people and be helpful.


Taliesin Hoyle 7 years ago

Allow me to direct your attention to a much better argument against church attendence, which explains passionately, and honestly why you are not going quite far enough.



izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Taliesin Hoyle~ "a much better argument". Well, ok, in your opinion. Interesting read, but a 'good argument' acknowledges both sides- that article did not. I'm sure plenty agree with those thoughts because they don't know how to think for themselves and believe in whatever they are told to (ie cults,etc). Some of these people are church goers, some atheists, but all sheep.

So which came first- the absence and lack of church influence in our country or the downfall of our soctiety's morale? I think it is good to believe in something as a country or a whole (what makes the UNITED States United)?. I do not personally believe in going to church to satisfy my spiritual needs. However, I think belief/church is great for society and the lost sheep of the world because it makes them accountable to their actions. Not everyone knows how to think and make decisions for themselves and these people arelost. I'd rather them go to church than a number of other more harmful possibilities. You have to admit our society has gone downhill with lack of accountability and responsibility for our actions. Religion, for some, is like a conscience.

Research supports two scientific bonuses of 'believers'. People who believe in any religion or 'something' report being happier and healthier AND live longer! The other being the effect of prayer- groups of people getting together to support someone during a hard time is powerful if only for the placebo affect. Groups are more powerful than an individual. Even Hitler needed an army.

What do you believe in or are you a lost sheep too? Do you believe in facts and statistics because those are disproven and modified every day.


Steve 7 years ago

I really mourn to see so many turn from church because of what they see as the hypocrisy of those who regularly attend church. I would invite you to seek out a relationship with Jesus Christ and find your true peace in that. Don't allow sinful men and women to turn you against the only One who can save you for eternity


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Steve~ Just because one turns away from church doesn't mean they have turned away from God. I was taught growing up that you become, or are strongly influenced, by who you hang around with. For some, church isn't a good place to hang out at because there are many devout church goers that do not practice what they preach. Church seems to draw in people who like to judge. I think a more pure relationship can be achieved without all the politics and hipocrits.

Please tell me in the Bible where it says you must go to church.


StPat 7 years ago

izetti-I too am from the Great Northwest. I am now a pastor of a new Lutheran Church in Southern AZ. As a person trying to help people experience God, I appreciated your thoughtful response. I am deeply saddened by the state of churches in the US and by the individualistic culture that is so ingrained in us that we do not even see how it shapes our own thinking. God's people have been here before and always with dire consequences. You most recently asked where does the Bible say you must go to church. There is no ONE verse and this is no short answer. Matthew 18:20 says, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am." God reveals himself in many ways...but he specifically promises to be present in one way (the Church, ecclesia, gathering, assembly, whatever you want to call it). So Paul, who once killed Christians, wrote about submitting ourselves to Christ and the Church, AS the Church submits to Christ (Jesus Christ is God's Word made flesh - John 1). It's finally about our relationship with Jesus, individually AND together. Later in John 3:16, John writes that "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John is writing, "so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" by the way). Another note: Many of Jesus' followers gave up their earthly life for the faith they professed.

Without God's revelation of Jesus, we are like sheep without a shepherd. Even as a pastor (which means shepherd), I recognize that Christ is the true shepherd of our little church in AZ. God has promised and has continually worked through (and in spite) of those who gather in his name (Acts 2:42-47). So we are all of us on a journey, led by someone/something...but one thing is sure...this life will end...so is this all there is? God's Word clearly suggests otherwise. So back to the journey, the Bible makes it clear that people can be easily misled (Adam and Eve, the Israelites in the desert, in the promised land, in Babylon, back in the promised land, in the presence of Jesus, in the church...need I go on?). So 1 Peter 5:8 warns, "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." A lion hunts by separating out the weak ones and attacking them. Some may ridicule the notion that the devil is imaginary, but God's Word makes it clear he is not. So my point is that a church only has authority to the extent that it seeks to submit itself to Jesus and God's Word, even as each member does the same. We do this imperfectly, but as we do this together, we forgive each other, just as in Christ, God has forgiven us.

izetti, I am sorry. I am sorry for everyone who insulted you in the name of Jesus. For everyone who judged you or made you feel less than the beautiful child that God made you to be. I'm sorry for every pastor who "phoned in" a worship service and made it seem like it was not worth your time (I admit it is difficult to keep it fresh every week). It is sadder still, since the Church needs caring, sensitive, strong people who know who they are and who Jesus is and who can truly help others in his name. It seems like few are left who are willing to die for their faith. This generation has lost its faith in faith. We have seen too much Nixon and Vietnam, too many empty promises and lies. We place our faith in government and science and wonder why there is no hope anymore. We continue to try to create God in our own image and wonder why he no longer appears to us. And we try to look behind the curtain and see God where he has NOT promised to reveal himself. We have forgotten God's Word, and I am convinced that no one even knows what the Bible says any more, let alone what it means for our lives today. Scripture has become a weapon to attack and judge other viewpoints.

May you find many blessings on your journey and may the light of Christ, our Lord and Savior, illuminate your way...Again, I truly benefitted from and appreciated your honesty and your insights. If you took the time to read this, thank you for your time and respect.


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

StPat~ Of course I took the time to read it and process it. I do believe in good and evil. I don't believe people should put their faith in government or science. I explained in one comment above to TaleisinHoyle that I blame the fall of the country and it's state on a lack of true faith and one common religion. I like what chirstianity stands for and the intentions of the Bible's teachings, but too many, like everything else, have exploited it. Now fewer believe. I am glad there are people out there, possibly like you, that worship in a truthful and spiritual way.


ib 7 years ago

One common religion? No faith in government, or science? Let me say this: the source of unification for the United States of America is a powerful and uncompromised belief in freedom. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition! Never forget these freedoms and what these freedoms have provided; not only for this country, but for all of humanity.


Kimberly Bunch profile image

Kimberly Bunch 7 years ago from EAST WENATCHEE

Very Interesting! Here's one that might help: http://hubpages.com/hub/spiritualpath


steve 7 years ago

I recently have had the thought and feelings that in ny church that divorced people are kinda pushed to the side or invisable.It seens that the upper crust the select few are running a secret church within a church.I really dont know if i want to go back there anymore.you think you have found a church home and BAM here we go again!HELP with any thoughts1


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

ib~ Americans have lost faith in freedom just as swiftly as they've lost faith in religion. Any union, including marriage, needs more than one aspect (freedom) to keep them together. "Freedom" is only words like a casual "I love you" in a relationship. It is no more carried out in actions than those that do not practice what they preach at church.

kimberly bunch~ I read your hub on this subject and I agree with most of your points.

steve~ In your situation, I would pick a very large church where you can receive the word of God, praise him, and be friendly without everybody knowing your business.

Another way is to attend a church that hosts or takes part in giving groups or classes to divorced people. That way you know they accept people of all backgrounds and circumstances. good luck...


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

izetti - what a relevant hub - I totally see your point! I do love going to church - when there's no service on and it's empty - it's great communion time with God :)


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

We can worship anywhere and everywhere. Sad to say many churches are turning off people because they fail to be what God intended these places to be, a house of prayer, and a refuge for the lost. Someone said, bars are more popular because you can talk to the bartender, while you drown your problems with your drink. Of course that's not the right course for anyone. I have been churchgoing for many many years,i like practicing Christianity rather than 'church-anity!


ib 7 years ago

I can see that some individuals have lost faith in freedom; these people have lost so much faith in freedom that they are clueless as to what freedom even means. They unknowingly ignore the most basic of human rights in order to wish for their so-called "one common religion". Do you have any idea what you are saying when you wish for a single common religion upon 300 million different individuals? It's analogous to saying you support the abolishment of multi-party political systems, and the establishment of a single-party state under the probable rule of a dictator. Even countries with barely any political freedoms, countries like North Korea and China, are reasonable enough to not deny the rights to personal religious beliefs.

Don't you even know what freedom means? Freedom means you are allowed to write what you think without fear of prosecution, freedom means that you will never be under the ownership of another individual because everyone is equal, freedom means that you have the opportunity to follow your own religious beliefs instead of being forced to follow the religions of others. All these freedoms are garunteed for you so long as you do not infringe upon another individuals' freedoms.

That is the freedom that I speak of, not the shallow and easily-tossed-around term that you consider freedom to be. I only react so strongly because it is terrifying how a twenty-first century individual could possibly want a medieval standard of human rights in our modern-day society.


steve 7 years ago

I think in my situation people dont realize that when we are thrust into divorce were still the same person and when we reach out to the church for help we dont want to hear (your doing a good job or hang in there it will get better) we want real help not per say good advice. If things get to heavy for them they seem to vanish; or its lets pray and then its go on your way and move onto the next basket case. GOD puts people together for reasons and some people are just to (perfect) for me.I just want to serve the LORD!


Hxprof 7 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

I enjoyed reading your article primarily because it reflects what the Church, which is supposed to be Christ's bride, has become.

Christians are to be the salt of the earth, but today there is little taste in that salt. We've become comformed to this world rather than allowing Christ to transform us from within. Most Christians don't understand how to actively work with the Holy Spirit as He works in us. Why not? Because false doctrine is being preached in many churches.

A suggestion for you-take it or leave it-seek Christ and not a religious experience or a 'church' per se. God rewards those who seek Him with all their heart.


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

thanks for the comments.

ib~ I don't hope for EVERYONE to seek the same religion, as I would not expect everyone voted the same political party, but we came to a majority vote and that's our politcal standing for now. There are other political parties out there, but majority favored a democrat. That's all I'd like to see for religion- a majority favorite- not forced upon people though. I'm just saying it's too bad that's not the choice of our country anymore. "In God We Trust" is what we built our country on and now we forget where our fore fathers got their inspiration from. If the president (a democrat- not multi party) can have influence in a classroom or in our country, then why can't a common religion have influence too?

steve~ I completely agree. There sometimes is a lack of genuine effort to truly help others in a church. Small churches seem to be more genuine, but there also seems to be more politics and judgment. I think the churches reflect what I see in our society today, and that is a lack of genuine communication and sincerity. That's why I've lost my faith in church, but not my faith in God. I do understand the "perfection" people try to protray in church and it bugs me just as much as when I see people go in debt to look perfect and have perfect houses, etc. For me, church has become superficial, just as our society.

hxprof~ your last paragraph is exactly how my relationship with God is. I somehow lose God in a church.


steve 7 years ago

Thank you for your comments,its nice to know that other people have had similar problems,but also very sad.as born again beleivers we should all be united under God,not devided,how people get themselves into false religons,self importance,and just plain arogance is so self diseptive.


Pastor Jo Ann 6 years ago

1. I didn't go to school because someone knew more than me and could turn the pages faster and acted smug(or was I just imagining that. I didn't go to to see my family because that act like hipocrites - they tell me not to smoke because it's bad - but do it anyway. so I'm not going to see them anymore. 2. I'm not going to work today because I want more pillow time - surely my boss will understand. 3. Not going to the doctors because he just wants my money. 4. not going to the grocery store because I don't really need to eat. 5. Not going to brush my teeth because who cares if I have bad breath. ( I can't smell it) 6. not going to put on deordant because I don't think I need it. Church is not about you wanting to go or not. It's about YOU NEEDING TO GO BECAUSE YOU (AND ME STINK) and we just don't know it, until someone says TAKE A BATH


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

That is one of the most convincing arguments/comments for chruch I've heard. You have a great point PASTOR JO ANN. BUT!!! church is about you/us/me on the INSIDE, not the outside. You speak of examples having to do with odor, appearance, money/job, and smoking- all outside. I am pointing out that one of my problems with church is it is about the outside and that is a shame- "look at me. I go to church so I APPEAR to be a good person, therefore I must be." For me (and others) church doesn't fill me up on the inside, the only service I am doing is for others to view me as a good person when I go. Ever notice the outside of churches are pretty, yet most churches are filled with gossip, judgment, and jealousy. I don't want to "take a bath" in that trash. Am I less a person for sitting in my living room viewing a service from my favorite pastor on tv? I prefer to "take a bath" alone.


Chris 6 years ago

Are you people serious? I am a christian but I do not go to church? Would you go to a doctor that says i am a doctor but never went to medical school? The world today is so caught up in materialism that we lose sight of the things that are really important. I don't see anybody complaining when the have to get up early to get the early bird special at the stores. Please if you are lover's of money and yourselves that falls upon you but please do not blame churches. We go to church to worship god and nothing else.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Chris- I agree the world is caught up in materialism and therefore need to prove their religion by going to a church building (a material object). I find that everything about church, including the people, make me lose sight of what's really important- my personal relationship with God.

Your doctor example is whack!! I wouldn't go to someone who put on doctor's attire and went to a medical center. Just because you get dressed up and walk into a church building doesn't mean you're a christian either.


jhg 6 years ago

I've had similar struggles with church. Donald Miller summed up my feelings pretty well in his book Blue Like Jazz, "The real issue in the Christian community was that it was conditional. You were loved, but if you had questions, questions about whether the Bible was true or whether America was a good country or whether last week's sermon was good, you were not so loved. You were loved in word, but there was, without question, a social commodity that was being withheld from you until you shaped up. By towing the party line you earned social dollars; by being yourself you did not. If you wanted to be valued, you became a clone."

Church is just an institution with a different set of rules to rise on the social ladder. Visible good works, maintaining your social image, getting in good with the pastor, keeping a smile on your face, etc.. At it's root, I think we all try to get ahead in any environment we're in. Chuch just has different rules to the game. In a business environment you get ahead by getting in good with the boss, in church, you get in good with the pastor. I remember a pastor who was trying to increase attendence at a new Thursday night service came to a young adult group meeting and said, "If you want to get brownie points with me you will come to the new Thursday night service". What struck me was that this statement wasn't questioned by anyone since it was just understood that this was one of the rules in the game. I'm tired of that game. I think the Emerging Church movement is trying to get away from this. Maybe I'll try that. :)


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

jhg~ reading your comment made me realize how much church reminds me of high school- a social competition. I would rather "do good" on my own pretense than to please a pastor or be a good church member.

You are right, people in general get this way in group and/or institution settings- it's natural. People don't question the leader (pastor, etc) and this is how cults flourish too- a thing called group think.


Will Benson 6 years ago

Good Hub.

I would add that too many churches think that their job is to make rules, control the flock and tell their members what to think. I think a church's only function is to inspire their members to form their own relationship with God.

Try some of the newer, independent churches. No need to look at the world through stained glass windows.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Will Benson~ great point. inspiration versus control.


yew yee 6 years ago

What if i really want to go to church but i'm trying to find a church where I can fit in? I cant make friends with them and the worst thing is I'm afraid of them. I'm still looking for a church. I actually believe in Jesus last year. It seems difficult for me to get a friend in church. I started to ask myself whether I'm an Asperger!


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

yew yee~ I would beign going to a church where you first like the pastor/preacher and the lessons/sermons taught. Friends and community will come eventually. Church isn't about friends- there are many more aspects to decide on before you find the right one.


Me 6 years ago

I don't agree with some of your points.

How can you rant in #5 about 'judge not others' yet you judge people with mental illness as creepy in #8?

That's a double standard.

Also- you need to realize there is more to the sex scandal than is told. The APA was forced to removed homosexuality from their medical guidelines in 1973 under force of gay militants. There is proof out there that it exists, the removal was done without proof the disorder- does not exist. That is why- the preists were never attended to.

There is an organization out there that treats such people who need it, they operate quietly.

My point is- not having some spiritaulity to oneself is more dangerous than having some spirituality.

When I go to church, I don't sing. That's not an excuse- not to go either.

Sex in the City is feminist trash too.

Sounds like you need an excorcism. Worst article I have read today.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Hi "ME"

Glad you read my article- sorry to disappoint you. Is it really judgemental when I say that mental illness and religion is a creepy combination. The creepiness factor is less judgement than an eery feeling you get when something isn't right- you can call that intuition and a great thing to have because maybe it's helped me avoid bad people and situations by getting that creepy feeling.

I don't pretend to be non-judgemental as do many people in church. I don't pretend to be something I'm not.

If you read correctly I AM spiritual. As for the priests, there is always more to the scandal but I'll tell you exactly why it occurs-simple psychology. If I tell you not to think of a purple elephant right now, what's the first thing you will think of? Yes, a purple elephant. Dieters experience this too- don't eat any chocolate cake- what's the first thing they'll want? Priests are held to impossibly high standards as in many religions- some do just fine and others can't ignore their impulses, but everyone should be able to recognize right and wrong- no excuse. You say I need an exorcist? I'd say those nasty priests need one more than me rather than you actually spending a whole paragraph on justifying their major issues. Sorry if that sounded judgemental.

At least we agree on something. "Sex in the City"- never watched it. Sounds like you know more about it than I do. I just referred to it in my article as a joke. I know the premise of the show and that's why I used it jokingly.


doug 6 years ago

Izetti, I totally get what you are saying. I think it's hard for the church crowd to truly connect with the concept of having a strong faith in God and a spiritualy-based belief system, without going to church. I stopped attending church several years ago because I had come to the place that I could no longer filter away all the fluff of the church experience -- I find I do better spiritually without it. It really has nothing to do with specific people there -- it's the whole paradigm that defines contemporary church that I find so distracting and unappealing. I don't even refer to myself as a Christian because I don't like being identified with modern Christianity. I don't want to live under the pre-defined label. I just want to be known as Doug. Could go on and on. Are you on Facebook or Twitter? I'd love to stay connected with what you publish. On Facebook I am Doug Rudnik. Thanx!!!!!!


Patricia 6 years ago

The true Biblical definition of Church is the assembly of God's called-out ones (called out of the world). but today we see so much worldiness in the church. People go to fancy buildings to be seen in their nice clothes. they won't talk with you if you aren't part of their clique. It's a program put on by men, where the Holy Spirit can't get a word in edgewise.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Doug, all those things are exactly how I feel too. I feel more spiritual without church. It is a rare person that can separate all the "extra stuff" that goes on in church from the true message.

Patricia~ I picked up on the clique thing when I went to church in high school. THe pastor's kids were the worst snobs at high school.


Keith Risden profile image

Keith Risden 6 years ago from Jamaica

The Bible sets the principle that the believers should meet on a regular basis. Act 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

Act 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Day of Rest is not your day nor is it my day,it belongs to God.

Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

Isa 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day;

The day of rest is the Lord's Day. He did suggest we keep it Holy,he commands us to and he place a penalty on it for all those that violate this command.

I do agree that there are too many singing in almost all the churches and i know a church that people sit for two hours listen to sermons and at the end they wanted more. Just look at that. Ask me a question I am always here to help.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Keith Risden~ good comment. i would be one of those churchgoers who would love a long meaningful sermon for 2 hours and skip the singing. I haven't found a church that does less singing, but mostly less socializing. I love that church is a suport netwrk for people but with a group of people,even in a church, the purpose of the gathering gets lost in the social aspect. It becomes more about the gathering than the lord. People quote bible versus to suit themselves (as in the Church of Suits Me). I've heard a bible verse that many people give as a reason to punish their children physically. everyone can read the same book and get a totally different meaning and experience.Your bible verse about the day of rest well rest for me isn't waking myself and my 2 yr old up extra early to get dressed up and everytime my daughter goes to the church daycare she gets sick and then I have even less rest. also I think too many people misunderstand that as being a holy person one day a week and not care the rest of the week.


isaak 6 years ago

I don't think you can ever really find total ultimate truth just chit chatting, reading posts, arguments ect...If you really seek the truth about something, with a pure heart and mind ask God what he wants for you personally and at the right time he will reveal the right answer to you.


Leafy Den profile image

Leafy Den 6 years ago from the heart

Wonderful hub! Rated up and useful!

You have hit on so many valid points here.

I was particularly struck by what you said about the creepiness. As one who was raised (from a baby) in what I now understand was a cult mentality, I feel very lucky to have escaped without ending up in a mental ward with the label of schizophrenic. I have added a link to this hub from mine as I think those who find my story useful will benefit from reading this hub.

Here is my hub in case you are curious:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Box-of...


lisa 6 years ago

if you can't set aside your pride, some time, and making every excuse there is for not serving god all about you instead of finding every reason to not serve... then why would God find time to save your soul? why should your excuses matter to God when it's obvious you don't care enough about your self or your own soul. He Gave us all direction and just what everyone wants... a choice. It's all up to you. Do you want to spend life in hell or heaven? do you really want to take a chance on whether or not there is a Heaven or a Hell. If you try putting God first just for a short time... you will see just how much ex-tra time you have to do more things, how much less worried you are about things ( less stress), your finances aren't so much in dire straights anymore., ect.. think about it!!!!!! just try putting God first and see how your attitude will change. Then and only then will you break through your stubborness and unbelief and receive the peace and belief you will need to have a wonderful life on earth, which will lead you to life eternal. God bless


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

lisa~ interesting comment but it proves my point about churh goers being judgemental about non-church goers. Because I choose not to go for various reasons- and most of those reasons are the self righteous curch attendees themselves- you have now told me I will goto hell and God will not bestow his favors upon me because I am selfish. When iN fact the only way I have found peace with God and ever became closer to him in my adulthood was by not going to church. So basically you are saying God does not have time for me, or wants to save me soul, or will help me out unless I go to church and the only way to show that I put God first is by attending church. It seems you are going to church to help yourself and that's not putting God first. You are more concerned about eternal damnation than your relationship with God.


secretmemoir profile image

secretmemoir 6 years ago from Australia

Interesting hub. I quit church a while back for many of the reasons you cite. I found the hypocrisy intolerable. I met some beautiful people that attend church, and some destructive ones. I wrote a hub about my experience of religious abuse.

I actually feel much happier not going to church. I found in general people in church were more judgemental than out - trying to convert people using fear etc. Good on you for asking the hard questions, that no pat answers can satisfy. I was told I was possessed by the devil when I suffered mental illness. That was the deal breaker for me as to why I don't attend church anymore - too many fruit loops messing with people's heads


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

secretmemoir~ Religion does attract the mentally ill and the judgemental. It amazes me how people can misuse religion and church. I just read your hub on your experience with religion and left you a comment.


True Cures profile image

True Cures 6 years ago from Payette Idaho

Way to mix it up izettl. I have to add my two cents, maybe we have so many "Christian" denominations to choose from because Christ has been removed from "Christianity" in order to manilulate religion to suit the ways of the world true Christians are commanded to flee and avoid. Taking One Word and changing it to several denominations or interpretations is proof enough that religion isn't of God.

I see no evidence of Christ in mainstream "Christianity". Because of this I often question the validity of Christianity.

When I read the Bible I take it literally as it was intended back in the day and as such I see it completely different than mainstream worldly denominations who transform His word into a worldly religion used to manipulate people instead of enlightening and lifting people.

I've started a new hub where I am attempting to discuss the role of misplaced faith. I believe I can prove or support the fact that "Christians" put more faith in the ways of the world through blind faith in modern technology and medicine than they do in creationism and a perfect God given body and temple. I don't expect much participation because I believe my views are solid and sound.

You are right, religion does attract the mentally ill but it also makes people mentally ill and physically ill too.

According to the bible, followers of Christ will be healthy and joyful. Peace of mind and premium health will be the only evidence of Christ we can see or be aware of. If someone is sick, their faith is misplaced because a person with biblical faith will not be sick, so says the Bible.

I would like to be proven wrong, but I don't see it happening.

Great thread izettl. It is time to call people's faith in question.

Until mainstream "Christianity" is guided back on path, one is probable much better off avoiding the false doctrine's of denominations and the diseases associated with them.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

True Cures~ GREAT points and i am looking forward to adding your hub in my list of must reads for tonight. I think my faith wavered a lot growing up around "Christians" because I saw how unfaithful in every sense they were. My mom who is a die hard Christian is also a chronic worrier and I often have to remind her to have a little faith- so yes I doubt Chritians on a lot of the aspects you mentioned. Christians will also say, "we are not perfect", I don't expect them to be perfect in every area of their life, just in their faith to God. If their faith in God is true, and true to the Bible (not various interpretations)then their faith should be "perfect". I can't wait to read you hub.


Robert Matheny 6 years ago

It sure can be tough to find a good church. I know for persecuted Christians in Asia or Europe, it must be really tough. They could get shot, arrested, tortured, disowned by their entire family, threatened, beaten - strange, but they go to church anyway. I mean, they even walk for hours just to have fellowship. That must be hazardous walking through a jungle before the sun is up just to get to sunday school on time. I wonder after a long walk like that, how selective that person would be about the music? I bet his prayers were answered just to make it to church without being harmed. I bet he was grateful to learn so much about the bible even though he couldn't keep up, but than again, he reads his bible every day since he doesn't own a TV. But he doesn't go to church because he needs to see results in his life, he goes because his sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ, and he's looking to that day where a great hope is fulfilled by spending eternity in heaven with his God. I guess it's all about perspective, right?


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Robert Matheny~ It seems the Christians who comment on here are the most unforgiving of my topic. I present a real topic, like it or not. And I will still thank you for presenting a different perspective. Let me do the same for you with various scenarios- some simple some extreme, but all relevant.

If I am in a relationship and the man constantly has harsh words towards me- psychological abuse, should I stay because my relationship with him is better than other people who endure physical abuse? I should be thankful right? Would I enjoy that relationship if I felt I was just enduring and intimidated into it? If I am being mistreated at church by people witharsh comments, should I go anyway because things could be a lot worse? I thought the point of going to church was to be uplifted, not torn down.

EVERY church I have been to is a social gathering, gossip gathering, judgement fest, and guilt trip laden cluster of people who think it's more important that you go to church than live a decent life or act decently outside of church. You make a great point- the people I want to go to church with would walk through a jungle to get and give support and feel the holy spirit work in their daily lives. Maybe I have to walk through that jubgle because it certainly isn't in my neck of the woods. You know, you could have used an uplifting example for your comment and instead you used somethign to tear me and others down and give us that guilt trip you're famous for. Thank you for proving many of my points about christians.

You're missing a lot of points. If those less fortunate people had to choose between going to work and making money to feed their families or go to church, what do you think they'd choose. One of my points was that some people have to work on Sundays given the type of job and money.


Robert Matheny 6 years ago

What is the point of church? Is it about God, or is it about you? I like the topic, but I find your excuses highly superficial, and I think I've already proven that point in my previous post. When you say things like "it seems the Christians do so and so" - your being just a judgmental as those you've complained about. You seem really sensitive and thin skinned when you feel even slightly uncomfortable, could that be the reason you don't want to go to church? Tell me please, in your opinion, what would your ideal church be like?


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Robert Matheny~

Church is as superficial as some of the reasons I gave for not going. What is church to you? Many church goers think because they go to church they are better, yet nothing in the bible states one must go to church. I don't think it's superficial that myself and many I know have been shunned and judged by church goers for various reasons- divorce being one. So if the several churches I went to shunned my mom for her divorces then and divorce occurs in 50%- 70% of people who get married, then they are doing a great disservice to people who really need a safe place to go. I give reasons that I was picked on in h.s by the pastor's kids who took drugs, but were praised at church. I'm a genuine person- my reasons I give are real and I believe I represent sevral other people too. My ideal church would be one where the (most)people are kind to you outside of church as well as inside. Too much to ask for?

I was a waitress for years to the after church crowds and why are those people the meanest of all my customers. Even as a waitress, off from work- off the clock, I still felt I represented public courtesy and I was friendly to people in the general public so why is it I should not expect church goers to represent their church and their faith by being nice people outside of the church walls?

For me personally, I feel I am closer to God without church. When I go to church something about the highly social atmosphere gets me separated from the real reason I am there for.

I am probably more sensitive now than I was in the past because as the churches and issues arose and time went on, I tolerate less. If I don't feel good or close to God at church, then I'm not going for the right reasons. I'm just going to be going- that's superficial.


scratch 6 years ago

churh people are mean.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

izettl – You always manage to make me smile! Yes, I agree with you. Your interpretation of church is beyond all disputes. I was a devoted church-goer for many-many years. I grew up in church – my parents were extremely religious – so during my unhappy marriage of 20 years church meant ‘being home’ for me. It was my escape from reality. But after I’ve left my husband (20 years ago) I became a hermit with no desire to socialize in any way with anybody. Of course I did not reject God. On the contrary, I got closer to Him. Nowadays my daughter ‘drags’ me to church, but I don’t mind, for I still enjoy the singing (lol) and the ‘messages’ delivered by the reverent. I do believe my grandchildren should (at least) know the 10 Commandments and Jesus’s Mountain Sermon, and they should know that they have to be thankful for having the opportunity to live in this universe that no man is able to create and maintain. I enjoy your writings tremendously and found this one on the list next to my latest hub, and I just couldn’t ignore it. Have a great weekend!


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Martie~ I'll have to get over and check out your new hub. This hub has drawn all sorts of attention and comments, but that's the fun part. Yes, I agree to getting closer to God away from church. My mom 'drags' me to church from time to time and she goes mostly for the singing too. And I totally agree with you about kids hearing the stories and messages because ofr me growing up, it gave me choice. If you don't know, or never go to church, then you truly don't have a choice whether to believe or not. I absolutely want my daughter to have that choice and know about God. Thanks so much for your comment Martie.


Becky  6 years ago

Hi My names Becky, I'm a Baptist, I once went to this church a lomg time ago, They didn't help my familly I have friends that dont go to church, but they believe in jesus if anyone has facebook you should look up patty stahlhood shes a pentecostel she thinks she knows everything, my dad said they try to convert you someone should really talk to her


technologyvault profile image

technologyvault 6 years ago from Utah

People often expect church to be perfect, but it can't be any more perfect than its members. I've been in many churches, from Baptist to Presbyterian to Mormon, and I've seen all sorts of people in each one, from happy and nice to grouchy and mean. You can always find an excuse not to go to church.

That being said, I'd like to comment on the "take me as I am" principle. Going to church is supposed to promote godliness in yourself. If you find yourself griping about waking up early, getting dressed up, getting the kids ready (I'm guilty), interacting with people who sing poorly and loudly, what's likely needed is a change of attitude. When I complain about those things (too much anyway; some complaining may be healthy), I don't improve. When I sense that the issue is about me, my church worship is fulfilling.

Regarding judging, we are purposely wired to make judgments about what's good and evil constantly. The trick is to make righteous judgments, and avoid condemning, understanding that you don't know everything about every situation. Here's a good article about judging: http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=2548

Ultimately, I recommend going to church. You may have to search around for one that inspires you, but it's worth the effort.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

technologyvault~ Your comment is probably the most sensible I've heard thus far so thanks for that. It's probably not all the wrong reasons that keep me, and others, from going to church, but rather all the wrong reasons that others go to church that keep me away from them. Some people feel better by going to church and that's great but I am not able to separate all the nonsense from the message or my personal relationship with God. Maybe I'm judgemental towards them but it's never me who invades their personal beliefs or their life, it is always some other person that does that to me in church. years of putting up with rude church folks after church as a waitress left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Thanks again for your comment.I will check out the article. I personally enjoyed the explanation of judging in the book, "The Shack".


Sherman 5 years ago

izettl: Very good hub. I contemplate on it some more. You rightly list key factors the sour people on church. Your many responders verify these by their reflections. It's a sad state of affairs the nearly all church congregations and their staffs are either in a maintenance mode to protect their building and turf or are so focused on 'church growth.' Enough already!

I was once a pastor. It wore me out and stressed my family. I would not be a pastor again. Too many worldly expectations the "important" people of the congregations wanted me to support. Very Long hours. Short on rest and nurture. Made ends meet from our savings. Lived in a "glass house". We are non-active in any congregation now. I often think bartenders and waitresses do better.


Ryan 5 years ago

I had become extremely active in church the last 7 years and was always teadering on burn-out. I had to be in church an hour early, worked either the sound or computer screen stuff and often had to stay late to make CD's of service. I was involved in other ministries and in mens groups. I couldn't enjoy worship service except maybe once a month there at the end and the last two month, not at all. I was too busy making church work to enjoy it. I was laid off last year so I had gotten so busy with church, I was there almost 7 days a week.

Thank God He got me a job in another state. I visited and actually enjoyed church for 4 of the 6 months on contract till they hired me permanent. Now that I've moved and could find a church to join permanently, I find I am so sick and tired of church and burned out from past experience, I just plain up and quit. I want nothing to do with it.

Second major cause of quitting is I'm so zombiefied by the atmosphere of church from going my whole life, I neither worship God nor pray in church. It's nothing more than repeatative heartless worship. I sing the words, nod off during prayers and mind wanders during the sermons when they don't keep my attention. The moment I leave church, I pop back into the real world and forget everything that was sung, prayed for and preached. I might as well have druken myself to a stupor and passed out... not every Sunday but many of them.

I read my bible and pray every day right now and God has my full attention (thanks, praise and worship) 7 days a week outside church but in church, I turn into a zombie. God has been getting an earfull about this subject. I've hid nothing from Him.

No more church... at least for now. I find nothing wrong with the people or pastors. I just need time away... a time to reflect.


Ryan 5 years ago

Sherman, I don't know if you'll have come back to see if you get a response or just needing to blow off some frustration and be heard like me.

I completely understand. I'm not a pastor but what I was doing involved working with him in getting the sermon notes ready for service every week. My pastor there who has now moved on to another church from Michigan to Colorado actually had a breakdown from doing too much. Our worship coordinator even had taken a whole year off. Even one of the elders, when his term was up started missing church for taking time to attend another church. For those of us who were being faithful, it was a lot of work. I was spending more time with church than wife who bearly ever went for working a service job.

I miss the people there but I was missing the people before I left because I didn't have time to socialize for all the service preporation and making CD's after church. As much as I hated Sunday mornings, I enjoyed helping out with the teens and this Young Life ministry in the local school.

Living in a hotel for 6 months took the last of my energies for wanting to get to know new people being around new people daily which has also hampered my going to church. I guess I just need some alone time for a while.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Sherman~ I often wondered how pastors dealt with the expectations. In a way, we do have more on Godly people. I can imagine the stress. There are politics in churches too as you mention "the important people". Thanks for thoughtful comment.

Ryan~ incredible comment. Thank you for sharing your story. I totally understand your "zombified" feeling. Church took away the personal closeness I had with God. My mom is very much involved in church and experiences burn-out too. I see this and guess I've learned from it. I'm glad to see you still have a relationship with God. So do I and find it better the less I go to church. Thanks again for your comment


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Izetti thank you for the enlightening hub about church going or not? For me I gave up attending a church 15 years ago and I am all the better for it. I was sick and tired of listening to hypocrites with two faces, one for church and the other for everything else in their lives.

I am spiritual and I speak to God my way and we have a wonderful understanding of each other. I was a student of the Bible for many years, taught sunday school,prayer meetings, bible studies, etc etc etc blah blah blah.

I am so happy to be free of ORGANIZED anything especially religion. There are far to many spiritual actors playing their roles in churches, selling their videos, books, music and even assuring you leave with their TOLL free number so you can go right back to your home and order up their stock and make them richer.

I will stop here, I could say a lot more but I don't want to bring up the lovely dinner I just had. Peace and hugs from the saddle.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

saddlerider~ sounds like you could write your own hub on this topic. You would have an even better persepctive than me. I was always a fairweather church goer because I struggled with the decency and "should's" of going to church but felt better and closer to God when I didn't. FOr years I thought I was the only one with this issue, but I've realized I'm not. Love your last funny comment there- yes, let's kep down your dinner. I feel like I've had bad dessert when I'm around many of the elites in a church.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Izetti, a beautiful Hub, full of good insights and wisdom.

What you seem to describe in all that is negative about church goers is also what I consider to be the root of all evil -- namely, ego (the heart of selfishness).

And by the way, _all_ prayers are answered. No exceptions! The only discrepancy is in the way people ask. The way to understanding is through self-awareness.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

THanks for the comment lone77star!


DavePrice profile image

DavePrice 5 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

I'm coming back to this one more than once. Really enjoyed your responses as much as the hub - thanks for a great hub.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

DavidPrice~ some people get the wrong idea about this hub, but it was written in honesty and some personal, some not, but just things I've hear from other people. THanks for the comment.


Briton profile image

Briton 5 years ago

You are probably far closer to any form of a God like being when you sit with your back against a good old solid oak tree on a high place and gaze out on the world and all its faults and wonders.

The gathering together in a place of worship that sits idle most of the time appears to be a complete waste of not only time, but of a perfectly good building that could be put to better use.

I understand the feelings that are laid out in this hub, being sent off to church regular as clockwork from an early age, because you had to be seen to be doing, and being made to feel guilt if you did not go.

Like many such institutions there was always the unofficial governing/controlling clique, ever ready to pass judgement and lay down the rules both real and imagined, and if your face did not fit then heaven help you. ( no pun intended ).

I have come across so very many "born again Christians" who outside of their church and fellow devotees were any thing but.

Rank hypocracy, it is there in all its forms and with it the pigeon hole mentallity that assigns people to this box or that, because your accent or clothes or neighbourhood or your job mark you down in their eyes, who needs that?

If you believe, truly believe in a God, you dont need all the trappings, parasitic hangers on, pious fools, goody goody do better than you folks, all you need is a bit of yourself in a time and place of your choosing to pray to or curse against whatever diety you align with.

If you are in basic a decent fairly honest person who holds no strong biggoted views, then you do not need a church to profess your beliefs, others will recognise that decency in you by your actions and the way you interact with others.

Go forth in peace, and to thine own self be true.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Briton~ I am just amazed at your thoughtful comments. I was ruled by guilt for years because church was a "habit" like taking a vitamin. I did not know nor feel God until I stepped out of a church. So many people are leaning this way nowadays.

Thanks for the comment.


drumboy 5 years ago

I have to agree with pastor Joann. We stink, but we must follow the advice of Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 10:25 Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer (CEV). Church worship is a must for an average church christian today. Keep searching for a church that is right for you.


drumboy 5 years ago

I have been in many churchs and I have find out that there is no perfect church. When I or even you enter in a church the church is not perfect anymore. Imperfect people makes up and imperfect church. Therefore, it is great thing to go to church because you can take the good experience and add that to your life and discard the bad experience that many of us will encounter.

Always remember to activate the three Stewardship principles in your life:

1. Stewardship of Time: Keep the God of time in your time.

2. Stewardship of Treasure: God is the one who give you the power to get wealth.

3. Stewardship of Talent: God want you to use your skills for his glory.

When I study these three Stewardship Principles and put them in practice in my life, my whole view about church changed. If you study Stewardship, watch how your life will change. Now I go to church to please My God and not to please man.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

drumboy~ thanks for your comment and I really like the 3 stewardship principles. I drift away from things that make me feel more distant from God and many churches have just made me lose sight of the main focus. Maybe that's something I need to work on. I worship early daily in my own ways, whether that's saying a prayer, reading a Bible or even watching a religious program. Thanks again for your comment.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Wow - what a lot of comments!This is certainly a thought-provoking hub.

Both of us are regular church-goers, although we don't attend the same church.

The problem with most churches is the people who attend them, and sometimes WE are those people - yikes!

Pat started going to church when she found a church that held services at 6pm on a Sunday evening. Sadly those are far and few between.

Pat's grown-up son only likes church with NO singing - again unusual.

Tricia's grown-up daughter only likes church with LOADS of singing and preferably a band.

For many people, either of those kind of services would feel 'unchurch-like'.

I guess the main way to be a "good" Christian is to try to maintain a focus every day and not save it up for church.

Thanks for a good hub.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

2patricias~ I like your comment because I can realte to Pat and her son. Now I just need to find a church with night service and lack of singing. For me singing in public is embarrassing and I hate feeling that way especially in church and I hate that if I don't sing, then people will react negatively to that.

I just go or (don't go) wherever I feel Jesus and God the most. Sometimes that's praying every day or watching a Christian program with wonderful sermon.

I loved your last statement there- well said. Thanks for your comment and contribution to this dicussion.


mackerroonie 5 years ago

Many thanks to Izetti and all those who have commented. I have just discovered Hub Pages today and found this thread fascinating. I am a British national, somewhat high on the humanist/rationalist/agnostic/atheist spectrum, and do not believe in the Christian (or any "god" for that matter) you allude to. I was an attendee at a Methodist church in my early years and enjoyed exposure to the scriptures but considered them in the end to be no more than a mixture of myth, history, wise words, philosophy, etc created for a multiplicity of purposes - education, control, shared values, posterity, conversion, submission, and domination - authored by human beings, inspired by human beings and consumed by the same. I do not believe in the strident and shrill atheism of a Richard Dawkins but in a gentler, questing form of doubt...my nature is that I am seeker of proof and nothing I have read on this hub (or others in a similar vein) convinces me of God's existence. All the arguments I have ever read or heard for the existence of the type of god in which Christians believe, now leave me cold. I am not without a spiritual side and believe in compassion, good works, charity, doing people good rather than bad turns (my Methodist background and exposure to the bible and other religious works has had an impact!). Pascal argued that if you had a choice, it was surely better to believe in the (Christian?) god, as the alternative was certain oblivion at death. However, I cannot doubt my doubt and can't find the faith to bridge the belief gap. However, forgive my temerity for joining your hub but I enjoyed the experiences described and viewpoints expressed. Let's hope the significant powers that be in the world continue to tolerate differences of belief and non-belief. May yr God be with you and give you the strength to deal with the travails of life and treat those around you well and with respect.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

mackeroonie~ Thanks for your participation in this discussion. This hub has gotten a lot of interest from all sorts of believers, non-believers, in between-ers.

For me personally it was exactly when I stopped attending church that I found God. I found a much better realtionship that whenever I try to go to church. By not going to church it takes the pressure off me to feel like it's a chore, which is the difference in believing and not. When i go to church I start asking myself the hard questions about Bible stories and elements of religion and I start turning toward my logical side which squashes my feeling and spritual side that finds it easy to believe. Since there is no proof for either way of belief (or non belief) then I choose to follow my heart, feelings, experiences, and gut instinct. Logic has let me down. Being involved in science for a few years versus being a mother and hands-down the feeling part of me always triumphs over the logical when it comes to being right. When I dissect anything too much, they even do this in church, it loses it's value.

My goal with this hub was to get the point across that church isn't for everyone because of various reasons ,there fore it doesn't mean we have to stop believing either.


Beege215e profile image

Beege215e 5 years ago

I am a Deist. I believe in God but not the religions of man. I have stopped making excuses and even clarifications for those that have no idea about my belief system. I talk with God, I listen, and above all else I try to express moral behavior. Socially acceptable behaviors. I try never to judge, nor condemn. If I disagree with a person or behavior I admit I disagree and walk away. God will deal with them, I have no need to.

But, our society needs rules because if its size. And these I consider man's rules. If I disagree with them I may work to change them because I am a member of my society. I will not violate them for the same reason. I am my society, and my society is me.

I will not heed the rules of any religion, but I will follow the rules of society until such time as they either become frivolious r unnecessarily impinge upon the personal rights of the members of the society.

But when that society attempts to involk religious rules upon all of its members, then I will stand with God and reject and stop those types of rules.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Beege215e~ I agree with you. To be honest, I was in your position for several years then I came to enjoy certain lessons, verses, etc in the bible, but not necessarily belief in the stories. I think the Bible is inspiring, just not church as you probably can guess from this hub I wrote.

I believe society needs rules- eventhough I consider myself, and you are too I'm sure, a person who knows right from wrong don't need rules to tell you how to be a good person, there are many people who do- most of society does. L

Like I said, there are good lessons and things to adhere to in teh Bible and some of those are translated into our society as some of our rules, but I think that is good. It's a good foundation. Other countries have much stronger history than us and much of it is religious, including architecture. I don't think adopting a religion as a country is harmful.

For the most part, I agree with what you have to say and a appreciate your comment.


Old Pete profile image

Old Pete 5 years ago from Brighton UK

I'm now 75 and I've been a 'committed' Christian for more than 50 years. I have been 'outside the walls' of traditional Christianity for almost 40 years. I have never seen anything that comes so close to my own thoughts as the points made by Izetti.

I have been blogging for some years. It is said that there is a book inside each of us. I effectively finished writing that book on my blog a couple of months ago - it was at about the same time that I found Hub Pages.

I have a bit of a problem.

I have come to recognise that there is an enormous difference between the Christian RELIGION and the Christian FAITH. There are tens of thousands of committed Christians (including many leaders)who feel that they have been drawn away from the churches that they may have attended for many years. Many of us recognise that we are being drawn deeper into what might be described as the mystery and paradox of the Christian FAITH. We might describe this in different ways but for me it is a place beyond which any organisation with it's doctrines, traditions, rules and regulations can take us.

The real problem I have is that I recognise that we are all on individual journeys and we are all at different stages of that journey - and that the majority of 'Christians' (including many leaders)are NOT being drawn away from their churches.

But at the same time I have realised that over the last 7-8 years I have been learning so much about WHY people believe WHAT they believe as a result of often divisive, denominational theology.

I feel far more at home with agnostics and even some Atheists than I do with some evangelically minded Christians who think they have all the answers.

How can I share my thoughts here for example without upsetting the faith of those who are still on the early stages of their journey?

There is an introduction to my story on my profile with a link to my blog.

In "From Christian to Atheist" I have told something of the story of a former full-time minister - a sad reflection of the failure of the Christian community to find the right answers!

Granddad would appreciate your thoughts.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

old Pete~ nobody, Christian or otherwise, ave the "right" answers. Supposedly the answers can be found in the Bible but those answers, and even the bible itself, can be interpreted in many ways- hence, various denominations. TO avoid confusion and hypocrisy more people are avoiding church. Since being televised christianity is getting a bad reputation and some christian minded people are not wanting to be associated with that. many ahteists and agnostics are very decent people and also do not want to be associated with the reputation of churches and christianity. I was like this, but found that I can be a good person and believe. I personally get side-tracked by all the "other" stuff in church. I lose focus of God.

One way to share your thoughts, I've found, is to have an open mind here. Establish yourself first. People on hubpages get to know YOU, then if they appreciate and respect you, they will accept your views and writing. This is just my personal opinion on here.

I believe you have a lot to offer. Your comment peaked my interest and is very insightful.


A small potato 5 years ago

I've followed Jesus faithfully since 1963. Churching has been across many 'brands' in that time. Good and bad in each one.

Now I'm leaving the 'going to church' habit for good. Am quite weary of the gossip-mongering that starts with pastor big potato. I doubt I will ever trust another professional minister again.

Life is short - and Jesus is alive and reigning. I'll follow him constantly.

Seems he didn't have weekly meetings for his disciples - nor men's ministry, women's ministry, youth groups, Sunday schhols, etc. Seems they were free-range believers - and not all were at every event in our Lord's 3-4 yrs ministry.

.

Good-bye "church". Happy birthday Jesus.


arb profile image

arb 5 years ago from oregon

Izetti, Wow! What have you started? Wonderful piece with valid observation and natural conclusion or so it seems.

I've heard so much of this for so much of my life, indeed, from my own heart as it made the attempt to grow up despite my getting in the way. In all fairness, there are no ideas or feelings expressed within this thread that have not made an attempt to steal my heart. In response to the feelings which decorate this thread with honesty and passion, I am stirred to so much more than I can address in a comment box. Instead, though I've want for more, I will simply share a thought from which reflection may answer such inner contradiction. What if, church isn't about us?


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

A small potato~ I can relate to some of what you say. Thanks for the comment.

arb~ To me, church is about my relationship with Jesus and God. If what happens at church effects that in a positive way, then I'll go. If it effects me in a negative way, then I have to leave because I haven't found a way to separate my feelings in church from the way I'll eventually begin to feel in my relationship with Jesus and God. When I get backstabbed by people at church or feel tired and bitter for getting up so early, then it wears on my relationship with God. It all becomes a duty. I personally find that when I don't attend regularly, I read in my Bible more, pray more, and am more aware of that relationship- more renewed and happy in my belief.


jay 5 years ago

okay folks back up. the problem with her argument is actually in the truth. the word Church is Ekklesia or ones called out- the Old Testament Temple which held the presence of God, because of Christ, now dewlling in the believer throgh whom the Holy Spirit which takes up residence upon conversion. The Holy Spirit taking up residence in the person is the church, not the people taking up residence in a building. The design was ultimately for a universal church comprised of all believers everywhere. Those believers are, according to Paul to "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" for things such as teaching of the WOrd, prayer, fellowship, encouragement, etc. The problem is the dynamics of human interaction. Because though saved, they are stil human or clothed in flesh with sinful propensities. That's why we needed Jesus! In this human dynamic, some are newly saved; some working on it; some seeking; and some seasoned. That is a mix ripe for what the author here is speaking about. She writes not to judge but judges in her writing. She writes as if she has entered the door of every church and examined every Christian community. Our Church is ot like that. We actually don't practice many of those things that turned you off. Perhaps you couldn't navigate through the Bible fast enough because of your lack of hunger to actually attend a class, bible study, or personal effort to understant it which takes time. For those who come to our church, we have new beginners classes and actually people in the pews to lovingly help those find certain books. We wear jeans or dresses or suits. People who drove a Mercedes sit next to the person who scraped bus fare to get there. How about a church like that. Dear, when you are saved you are saved into the church. How can you believe in Jesus and not become a part of what he established and died for "upon this rock I will build my church. " Yes, church, with flaws and imperfections of any human organism, but the difference is a savior to serpearate them from the fate of a sinner. If you are going to church for the right reason, you will find the right thing...which is the Word of God. You are so right in saying that many people skip the singing and formalities, come late to get the Word! Because that's what people want..understanding, meaning, significance in a practical, pourposeful, powerful Word. FInd a good Bible preacher who does that and don't be bothered by all that stuff you wrote about. A good preacher will get you out of bed in the morning!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jay~ I haven't been to every church or claim to have gone, but I worked in science long enough to realize if I've been to well over 20 different churches and all ended up being the same of what I don't like, it's pretty safe to say from my perspective, the odds are church isn't for me.

You are right to say we are human and these issues arise form human nature so your church isn't exempt, it's just that you haven't had to experience being on the negative side of things or you are blind to it and maybe for exactly that reason- you haven't been gossiped about or other negative things. If people in my everyday life treated me the way people in church have treated me or people I know, then I wouldnt't put up with that either.

I always way the odds of going to church, but since it is a choice, if I get more negative out of going than positive, then why would I choose to go, especially if it compromised my relationship with God.

The idea of a universal church is a joke nowadays. Christianity is practiced in several churches of various denominations or names and each one "don't like each other". Oringinally when I witnessed the hurt my mom endured from being being a divorcee in the church, then the next church where the pastor's kids were bullies and addicts at my high school, I left God and especially the church for a long time. It wasn't until I realized I could have God back in my life but not the church. It's not necessary for great faith. I watch sermons of prechers I enjoy on TV and that motivates me without all the drama. Thanks for the comment Jay. I enjoy the conversation and point of views.


macrobin profile image

macrobin 5 years ago from Amarillo, Texas

I put this on my FB page and clicked on 'like'. This is truly the most 'eye opening' article and ALL church going people need to read it and realize 'church' MUST change! THANK YOU for writing this!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks macrobin~ I meant this article not as excuses people use to not go to church or only the negative aspects, but only realistic reasons people don't go. I'm glad you got what I intended. Thanks again for sharing it on your facebook.


saintodd profile image

saintodd 5 years ago from Snohomish, WA

Thanks for the perspective, I've experienced much of what you're saying and do my part to help others not feel this/that way. I'm so thankful that church doesn't have to be what we've all experienced in the past. I look forward to reading more of your Hubs. Keep writing izetti.


lorddraven2000 profile image

lorddraven2000 5 years ago from Wheelwright KY

This was an amazing read. I enjoyed it very much. My old church could seriously benefit from this document, lol.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

saintodd~ thanks. I know you're a pastor and I certainly don't believe my experiences are like everyone else's. I know many have had my experiences and I want them to know they aren't the only ones, but also they don't ned to abandon God if they feel they need to leave their church. THanks for your perspective as well.

lordraven2000~ I wish a lot of the churches out there realized how people feel- their members and ex-members. Thanks for the comment.


lorddraven2000 profile image

lorddraven2000 5 years ago from Wheelwright KY

No prob, at some of the churches I have gone to not having enough cash for the offering plate would be one.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

lorddraven2000~ Very good point. I forgot about that. I hope to find a church that gives me some of what I'm looking for- I sound like I'm shopping for a car- pretty sad.


Sunnyglitter profile image

Sunnyglitter 5 years ago from Cyberspace

Wow. This was an excellent article. I feel like you read my mind.

I've stopped going to church lately, which is weird, because I consider myself to be fairly religious. I wasn't sure what led me to stop going, and now I understand. I'll probably go back again soon; I think I just needed to know that I'm not the only one who doesn't have the bible memorized or enjoy singing hymns.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sunnyglitter~ well, you are definitely not alone on this. A church can't please us all, but there are some general themes that seem to chase people away. Taking a break is necessary, as with anything. Thanks for the comment!


a. mccombs 5 years ago

After years of being scorn growing up and bitterly scorn by many in churches due to my being born to a mentally ill father who was brutally abusive to my mom and mysiblings. I have always had greatmental issues as early as I could remember . Growing up eventhough school officials told my mom repeatedly I needed serious mental care as well as my brother who lived a very sad and unproductive life as a sziphronic but at age20 he added some drugs to his mental problem and was permanently damage. After being a scorn and total outcase at school with no real friends..at age 18 while attending a business college I became determine to avoid rage and violence and my mother also more or less controlled me thinking if she kept me away from a social life with people my age and EVEN AFTER HIGH SCHOOL ALL i COULD DO WAS GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY. GO TO BUSINESS COLLEGE M-F, GO TOMY PART TIME JOB AND STUDY THE BIBLE AND LISTEN TO CHRISTIAN MUSIC. bECAUSE OF MY MOTHER MAKING ALL DECISIONS FOR ME ...I LACK GOOD JUDGEMENT BEIGN OVERLY TRUSTING AND LOVING TO ALL...I HAVE LEARN WELL THROUGH LIFE THAT YOU CAN TRUST NO MAN NOT EVEN ONE WHO PREACHES IN THE PULLPIT. ALL PEOPLE ARE ARE HUMAN NOT PERFECT AS CHRIST NO MATTER HOW HOLY THEM PROFESS TO BE THEY ALL HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE A LIAR, CHEATER, HATER, SCORNER AND NOW I NOT LONGER HIDE THE

FACT I WAS ABUSED AND POSSIBLY BORN WITH A MENTAL ISSUE SINCE MY DAD AND HIS DAD BOTH WERE VERY DISBTURBED. I HAVE HAD MUCH PROBLEMS WITH BLACK BAPTIST CHURCH AND THE SCORN FOR MENTALLY ILL BECUSE THEY FEEL THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE SINNERS AND MENTAL IS NOT AN ILLNESS. I LEFT THE CHURCH FOR YEARS AT AGE 20 WHEN I TRUSTED A YOUNG MAN WHO SAID HE TAKE ME TO MEET GOOD FRIENDS ....ALL I WANED WAS PLATONIC FRIENDS MY AGE AT 20 AFTER NEVER REALLY HAVING A REAL FRIEND ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL AND BEING TREATED WITH GREAT SCORN BY SOME TEACHERS AND MOST CLASSEMATES. MY MOM HAD ALWAYS TOLD ME IF ANY YOUNG MAN ASK TO TAKE ME OUT, I WAS TO BRING HIM TO HER FOR CONSIDRATION AND I HONOUR THAT I BROUGHT THIS YOUNG MAN TO HIM AND HE WAS A VERY CONVINCING PERSONS WHO EVEN MY MOTHER WHO ACTUALLY WAS NO AUTHORITY OF MEN SINCE MY FATHER HAD BRUTALLY BEAT HER AND ABUSED HER FOR 14 YEARS AND HE WAS THE ONLY MAN SHE EVER WAS REALLY INTIMATE WITH AND HAD KIDS BY. SHE BROUGHT THIS DECEPTIVE YOUNG MANS ACT AND I WAS SO HAPPY TO THINK A PERSON MY AGE LIKED ME . HE DID IN FACT TAKE ME OVER SOME PEOPLE'S HOUSE A YOUNG MAN AND HIS MOTHER. I LIKED THIS YOUNG MAN AT THE APARTMENT A LOT AND WE SHARE THE SAME INTERST OF ART. ABOUT 10.00 HE SAID I HAVE TO TAKE HER HOMME HER MOM SAID SHE MUST BE IN BY 11:00. MIND YOU I WAS ALMOST 20 THEN. AS WE WERE WALKING BACK HE STOP AT A SCHOOL YARD AND IT WAS AN OPENING IN THE FENCE . WE DIDN'[T COME THIS WAY BUT HE KNEW THIS AREA VERY WELL. HE SAID WE WILL TAKE A SHORT CUT. I AM SO NAÏVE I SAID OKAY AND WILL GET BACK FASTER THEN...HE TOOK ME IN THE PLAY GROUNG IN THE SIDE OF THE REC BUILDING AND BRUTALLY RAPE ME AND LEFT ME TO FIND MY WAY HOME I WAS COMPLETELY DAZE I FOUND MY WAY HOME THROUGH THE DIRECTION OF SOME YOUNG PEOPLE HANGING OUT BY A STORE,..I DID NOT TELL MY MOTHER OR ANYONE EVER...HOPING I COULD JUST FORGET IT BUT TO ADD TO MY MISREABLE LIFE OUT of THIS RAPE I GOT PREGNANT WITH MY OLDEST CHILD WHOM I RAISED AND NEVER ABUSED HER BUT I SUFFERED GREAT GREATTRUMA BEHIND IT I NEVER TOLD MY MOTHER THAT AND I DID FINALLY TELL HER MY DAD HAD RAPE ME WHEN I WAS 4 AND UNTIL SHE PARTED FROM HIM WHEN I WAS 9. HE HAD RAPED MY OLDEST SISTER TO BUT SHE TOLD MY MOTHER IN AN OUTBURST WHEN SHE WAS 17 AND MYMOTHER NEVER WAS HARD ON HER FOR HER BEHAVIOR EVER. I WANT TO SAY TO ANYONE NO MATTER WHAT YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEVE ALWAYS TELL SOMEONE WHEN YOU ARE HIT BY GREAT AND PAINFUL SITUATION. I WORKED FOR 30 YEARS BUT LOST JOBS CONSTANTLY DUE TO HAVING A CONFLICT WITH PEOPLE'S PERSONALITIES . I WILL SAY THERE WAS ONLY ONE FIT OF RAGE I COMMITTED THAT WAS NOT DUE TO SOMETHING THAT INDIVUAL HAD DONE TOME OR SAID NEGATIVELY. I PRAYED FOR THE SPIRT OF RAGE TO BE REMOVED WHEN MY MOM PASS AND MY BROHER PUT ME THROUGH HELL USING HIS DRUGS AND NEARLY CAUSE ME,HIS SON AND MY YOUNG DAUGHER TO BE MURDERED. I WANTED TO KILL HIM FOR THIS AND MUCH MORE ...I FORGAVE MY BROHER BUT I LEARN FROM BEING TOO RUSTING IN THE FIRST ADULT RAPE, THEN I WAS RAPE BY TWO PERSONS I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD DO SUCH A THING A VETERAN DETECTIVE AND A MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR WHO SOEMIZED ME AND SAID I ALWAYS WANTED TO DO YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE PRETTY BUT I NEW YOU WOULDN'T DO IT WILLING BUT I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THOUGHT ABOUT DOING YOU. THESE HATEFUL WORDS HURT ME MORE THAN THE MOLESTATION ITSELF. I HAVE LEARN IN LIFE THAT IT IS REALLY NOT STICKS AND STONES THAT WILL HUR T YOU BUT UGLY WORDS THAT YOU REALLY CAN'T PUT A ICE PACK, A CAST OR A BANDAGE AND ITS SUDDELY GONE....UGLY WORDS ESPECIALLY FROM THOSE YOU TRUSTED CAN HURT MUCH LONGER

LIKE JUST BECAUE I WAS PRETTY PHYSICAL AND NAÏVE WITH MENTAL ISSUE I WAS ONLY TO BE USEDFOR SEX. BACK TO THE CHURCH ISSUE AND HATING OF MENTALLY ILL. I HAVE CAME TO LEARN THAT THESE HATEFUL BELIEVES VARY FROM RELIGIONS. I LEARN THAT IT IS DEFINITELY NOT CATHOLICS, LUTHRANS BECAUSE I WORKED IN MANY MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES THEY CREATED FOR THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS. HOWEVER, I LEARN FROM BEING RAISE IN BLACK BAPTIST CHURCH AND KNOWING MANY PERSONS IN PENTACOSTAL THERE IS A VERY NEGATIVE VIEW POINT TOWARD THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLENESS. WHEN MY MY DIED I WAS BAPTIST IN THE CHURCH UP THE STREEET THE CHURCH I ATTENDED MANY TIMES PRIOR TO BEING BAPTIST AND THEN THERE WAS A TRULY COMPASSION AND LOVING PASTOR , THE FOUNDER OF THAT CHURCH BUT HE GOT OLDER AND PASS AWAY. THE NEW PASTOR WAS GREAT INITIALLY AND HE BAPTIZEE ME IN 93 THE YEAR HE ARRIVE IN THAT CHURCH. HOWEVER, WHEN MY BROTHER LOST MY MOTHER'S HOME WE ALL HAD TO LIVE SCATER ABOUT AND I WAS THEN GETTING VERY SICK, PLUS I WAS CARING FOR OUR GRANDFATHER OF 92 AD MY THEN 10 YEAR OLD DAUGHER AND MY OLDEST GIRL WASY AWAY IN COLLEGE THEN. I HAD A HEARTATTACK AND I HAD NO WAY TO GET TO CHURCH SO SINCE I LIVED NEAR A BAPTIST CHURCH ONLY A FEW BLOCKS AWAY I STARTED ATTENDING IT

I WENT TO SUNDAY SERVICE,S UNDAY SCHOOL AND BIBLE STUDY. THEY TOO GOT A NEW PASTOR AND HIM AND HIS WIFE I FELT SUSPECT ABOUT INITIALLY BUT I NEVER WAS ONE TO SAY NEGEATIVE THINGS ABOUT SOMEONE WITHOUT REAL EVIDENCE.

ONE OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHEERS AND ATRUSTEE GAVE ME A RIDE FROM CHURCH AWAYS. BY THIS TIME I HAD WENT TO A MENTAL FACILITY AND HAND TAKEN VARIOUS MEDICATIONS. SHE WAS MARRIED TO A DOCTOR AND ONE OF HER SONS WAS TAKING A DRUG I HAD TAKEN SHE GOT TO TALKING ABOUT IT AND SAYING HER SOME WAS HAVING GREAT DEPRESSION AND THEY SAID HE WAS MANIC -DEPRESSION . FEELING SECURE THAT I COULD TRUST HER IF HER SON SUFFERED THIS DISEASE I OPENLY CONFINED SOME OF MY HISTORY TO HER. WHEN I GOT BACK TO BIBLE STUDY THE NEXT WEEK I AM BEING CALL A PITTY SEEKER AND THIS IS AWAYS WHAT THE SO-CALLED RELIGIOUS PEOPLE REFER TO ANY MENTALLY ILL PERSON EVEN WITHOUT KNOWING HOW THE HAD FAITH AND ENDURE THEIR GREAT TRAILS VERY WELL. AT THIS POINT I WAS NO LONGER HIDING AND I WASN'T GOING TO JUST BE CALLED PITTY SEEKER WHEN I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE LEAST OF ANY PITY SEEKER. I WROTE THAT PASTOR A DETAILED LETTER ADDRESSING THIS MATTER AND THEN IT STARED EVERY CHANCE HE GOT HE WAS INDIRECTLY SAYING NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT MENALLY ILL PEOPLE. SO SINCE I REALLY WASN'T BAPTIST IN THE CHURCH, I LEFT AND THERE WERE SOME OFFICIAL THAT BEG ME NOT TO DO THIS BUT I DID IT ANYWAY AND RETURN TO MY REAL CHURCH BUT I WAS IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING BECAUSE HE HAD CONVERTED THAT CHURCH INTO A FULL BAPTIST CHURCH AND WAS IDOLIZING THE LEADER OF THIS FULL BATIST RELIGION AS IF HE WERE THE LORD AND SAVIOUR OUR REAL GOD. ABOUT A MONTH BEFORE REJOINGING THE CHURCH AGAIN MY FAMILY HAD A TERRIBLE SITUATION TO ARISE MY NEWPHEW THEN 20 WHO WAS THE SON OF TWO DRUG ADDICT PARENTS AND HE SUFFERED GREAT GREAT ABUSE UNTIL MY MOTHER TOOK HIM AND WHEN SHE PASS I TRIED HARD BUT HIS FATHER TRIED HARD TO DESTROY US ALL BY INVINTING ALL THE DRUG USUERS, DRUG DEALERS IN THE FAMILY HOME WITH US AND NEARLY GETTING U


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

What a story a. mccombs. I am sorry for what you've gone through and I can see how church and religion has left a bad taste in your mouth, so to speak. I have had several instances when I've lost my faith in church, religion, and human nature. i never lose my faith in God though.

You do have to guard your heart and be wary of the words of others- not to let them define who you are. Be easy on yourself, it's not your fault you were mistreated or had mental issues. Don't lose perspective either. I once read a book, "The Shack", and it gave me a different perspective about how God forgives and judges. It is not the way we do it. It is possible for him to forgive even the worst human acts, not saying there is an excuse, but everyone has a story and why they do what they do. You need credit for overcoming many of your issues and not repeating the abuse on your kids that you received as a kid.

I once dated a man who was the son of a preacher and O thought my mom would be proud because she was so religious. It turned out to be my worst experence ever- I was almost raped by him on our 3rd date. Thank God his friend stepped in and saved me. Ironically, his friend was a black man whom I was always taught not to trust when I was I was kid, by my parents.Since then, I've learned not to judge a book by it's cover and to be cautious no matter what. It's sad to not be able to trust even folks in a church.

I hope your story will have some happy endings too. Thanks for sharing and take care.


Bryan 5 years ago

Why does the church care about what unbelievers think of church? Makes no sense.

The church is for the redeemed child of God who serve Jesus Christ as the Lord of their life. Unbelievers are welcome but not encouraged to attend. The church is not for unbelievers!

The author of this article is clearly an unbeliever. Who cares what they think about church it's not for them????


SheZoe profile image

SheZoe 5 years ago from Idaho, USA

well spoken. thumbs up


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Bryan~ uh duh! Are you kidding me right now? Churches are famous for caring what unbelievers believe- what about missions and missionaries. Those are geared toward "unbelievers" and sharing the word with those who don't believe. Read a little more here, my friend and BELIEVE it or not, I do believe in God, just not church. And read a little more of your Bible, not going to church does not make me a non-believer.

Can I use you "Bryan" as a reason not to go to church? Maybe I should write you into this hub. Sadly, I know non-believers who care more about others, believers or not, than you do.

You said, "Unbelievers are not encouraged to attend"???!!! What? I hope you like church because I'd rather end up in heaven. You can have your church I'm going to heaven and by the way you treat "unbelievers" not sure where you're going. God doesn't encourage that attitude toward others regardless of their beliefs.

P.S you're lucky I accepted your comment- it's righteously whack! And what made you think I don't believe in God- church is not synonymous with God.


6hotfingers3 profile image

6hotfingers3 5 years ago

Very interesting article. I understand and respect your views as shared in this Hub. I left the church for about 10 years because I felt pretty much the same as you expressed in this hub. The inner me wanted to go back but I kept telling myself the church is full of fake people and I wanted nothing to do with them. That was especially true with regards to the minister.

But I believe it was the Holy Spirit that got my attention. It asked me one question, that question was,"Why do you go to church.? I thought about the answer and I said, "to worship God." After it became clear to me the reason I go to church, I realized the preacher is only the messenger of the Word. The people and the preacher are all trying to find their way as I was trying to find my way. We all have short comings and we all do things we should not. We have one thing in common. That is to live our lives as best we can through our Savior. Thank you for your hub and for reminding me of how I once felt but now know I had a lot of learning to do. I am still learning.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

6hotfingers3~ thank you for your comment and I agree with what you say, it's just I haven't been able to separate things yet. I haven't been able to separate how I feel about going to church and when it sinks in as a habit rather than something I am energized to do. I haven't been able to look past how others treat each other in the church compared to what I view as some of the worst attitudes and treatment in any place I've walked into. I used to work in a bar with occasional drunks and I never saw such rude people as I do in every church I walk into. You see, I believed, even when I work for a place or just the fact that I have a young daughter, I am always setting an example for myself and everything I'm affiliated with, including the Lord. But the worst customers I ever had while working the customer service industry was church folks after they got out of church- awful, unbelieveable. I know better and have found God in spite of them, but others don't see it that way. Those who were undecided on faith, just took what they saw from church folks, and decided they didn't want to be like that.

Do people walk into strip clubs without being tempted? some can and some can't. For me, I fear going to church and being tempted to partake in gossip and rude behavior if I hang around people like that. "Ethics are inseparable from atmosphere". If I don't do drugs why hang out with drug dealers? Since I don't partake in church gossip, I will not be around it.

I understand your view too and you are probably better for being able to separate the two, but for me, church still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I appreciate your comment.


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

izettl, I have to commend you on writing exactly how you feel - because I think there are way too many who feel the same way - yet the "Church" does nothing about it.

As you say, it is the "people" who make up the church. Not the Church that make the people.

Too often, we allow our religion to get in the way. I think more often than not, we allow our pride in our religion, or the fact that we are well versed in our religion, or the fact that "God talks to me - but I'm SURE He wouldn't bother to talk to you" attitude to override our concern for others.

I believe the purpose of the "church" is to gather together, encourage each other in our faith, to learn from each other and to share that with others.

Today's church does not do that. Sad but very true. I wish it did because there are often times when I could use that type of encouragement. It very seldom happens, and when it does - it's usually not someone from the church who makes it happen. Another sad fact.

I am actually reading this on a Sunday. Ironic no?


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Duchess OBlunt~ THanks so much for reading this. Your words are exactly how I feel and many others as well. What you say about what church should do for people is so true. I view it as a "community" in itself with an opportunity to inspire and enrich people's lives, but too often I don't see that at all. Not only is that not present, but quite the opposite in a lot of cases.

I really wish more churches would open their eyes to this. It is sad, as you state. THat's how I feel about it as well. Thanks again for your comment and taking the time.


victor2322 profile image

victor2322 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Great hub. More of us that feel this way need to be vocal and I thank you for being so. I too, have a hard time with Church and although I am not ready to throw in thowel on church for various reasons, I just don't think this is what Jesus had in mind.

I just can't see Jesus on the cross right before He died saying "It's ok, someday they will have million dollar facilites and wonderful multi media presentations. It's all going to be so good and visually stimulating."


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

victor2322~ I understand your point. I haven't made it to that point where I can overlook and not become part os the problem in a church. I feel closer to God by seeing Him verywhere else besides church- it's brought more variety and reminders to me that He is everywhere and can be worhipped in much deeper place than church. Church has always been a social event- it's how I was raised too so it's been good for me to be more aware of God outside of church.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


independentwriter profile image

independentwriter 5 years ago from the Snowy Northeast

You did a really awesome job with this hub! I have just spent the last half hour reading through some of the responses and I will say that it is truly sad that some people have labeled you as on your way to eternal damnation.

I didn't start attending church until I was an adult. I am glad that I didn't start until then because it has been an eye opening experience. I have also suffered under the judgmental church crowd. It really does leave a bitter taste in your mouth. I guess I said all that to say this. Church is suppose to be about God and him alone.I still actively attend church and serve god. I don't teach, lead or sing. I am happy right were god wants me. There are many people who attend church that will be shocked when the books are open. God has a problem with gossip and slander. God also says that we should remove the plank from our own eye before we try to remove a speck.

Happy Hubbing


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

independent writer~ thank you for reading. There's been ups and downs in the comment section. FOr years I gave up on God altogether because I thought I had to go to church to be with God so I want to let others know they don't have to do that. If there are reasons one doesn't go to church then they can still have God in their life. I've done this and my relationship with Him is so much better. I don't give up on church, I just need a break and focus what's most important. Thank you so much for your comment.


Cyprian 5 years ago

I think there are potential issues with going to church but personally I don't think it matters which religion you follow as spirituality is an inner experience, the religion is just the costume which you experience that sense of spirituality.

Some people say they are not religious but every morning, they have their coffee, brush their teeth, take the dog for a walk, etc. And every weekend they watch the footy, in other words they have their own rituals. Church to me is being conscious of the spiritual experience during a mass ritual.

True you can have spiritual experiences without attending church but church can offer an avenue to that spritual experience if that is what it means to you personally, you can't get that inner experience without being open to it. I don't beleieve that you have to agree with everything about the religious teachings and you can have beliefs different from your religion and still be part of a church. Most people have their own interpretation of their religion anyway, just ask any honest person. What is essentially important is that you see religious ceremony as an opportunity to share the spiritual experience with others, that to me is the most important part and what makes the expereince meaningful. Also, as I've gotten older I have learnt that the real truth to the church's teachings lie in their symbolic meaning. All this praying about the 'People of Israel' and Jerusalem stuff is a metaphor pointing towards what it means to be a part in the family of God. It doesn't matter what words you use, you can talk about Tibet or the Noth Pole, it just so happens that the authors of the Bible lived in that time and place and used those words. They should not be taken literally.

Thank you.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

cyprian~ very valid comment and relevant because people do have rituals. Even though I don't go to church I watch a previously recorded religious program when I need a boost. I pray with my daughter before she goes to bed. I guess I'm more private about my worshipping because I lose the meaning when I go to church regularly. It becomes a "ritual" or habit like brushing my teeth and not as special to me or meaningful.I also like what you sa about religion in general and symbolic meanings- very true.

THanks so much for your comment.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

There are allot of comments to read here! I personally think it is sad that some churches can be a drudgery to show up, and get preached at. What's really awesome...is when you find a church that you can't wait to get in the doors! Because the music is so heart lifting, variety of new songs, balance of ages in the congregation, and the pastor is teaching and talking to the people...not yelling he'll fire and brimstone. Insightful and relational teaching, humbled enough to share his mistakes and imperfections, yet still able to show you what has helped him to be an overcomer! Meeting new friends, kids also making new friends. I do agree with you, that you don't have to go to church to be spiritual...it is a place to where you an have fellowship with like minded people...and for those who like to sing, they can sing till their hearts content!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

heart4theword~the singers would love most of the churches I've been to. Mostly working at nights, I don't have a singing voice in the morning nor do I want to sing. I want to be quiet and sip my coffee. I know churches try to mix in a variety of things that appeal to everyone and that's next to impossible, but I haven't found one that excites me. Thanks for your comment!


M.harrison 5 years ago

One reason why people quit is because some of them began to read their bibles and finding out that some of them preaches not according to the bible. That also shows that the Most High God was not in it in the first place due to false teachings, preachers in it for the money, etc.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Good point M.Harrison


Victorino 5 years ago

Hi all ok this issue about Church,the bible explains that as a believer you should not forskae the gathering of other belivers Hebrews 10:24-25.So i dont think its right for anyone to tell/advice someone to stay away from Chruch on the other belivers/Born-Again assemble mainly at Church and the bible also says Hear what the Spirit says to..... Revelation 3:6 Thank You and dont be decieved


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Victorino~ I respect your comment. The Bible still does not mention anything about church. Gathering with other believers is fine. Church has become far too institutionalized and far removed from what Jesus intended "gatherings" to be.

I am not advising people to not go to church. I am just putting info out there for church leaders to understand why over 1 million people leave the church each year. You can't ignore it.


Robert 5 years ago

Quality time with your pillow?

My ex-wife is ADHD, BP, OCD, ODD, BPD (a total nut job). She is in the choir at St Mary Magdelene, Toronto. Sundays, she would leave with the kids at 9:00a returning at 4:00p or later. She would complain that I drank beer during that time.

What she did not tell anyone is that at 9:00a I would start with what had to be done..

- stripped, flipped, remade 3 beds

- 5 to 8 loads of laundry

- vacuum end to end, 8 rooms

- dusting & glass cleaning

- garbage & recycling

- cat litter box & toilet cleaning

Mixed with..

- balcony cleanup

- fridge & freezer defrosting

- household repairs

- carpet & upholstery cleaning

- oven cleaning

- floor mopping

Always ending with..

- initial dinner preparations

- ironing

- putting wash away

Weekly my Sunday tasks from 9:00a until 12:30p. So yes, I went out for a few well deserved frosty ones for 2 hours with my brother.

My ex-wife initiated divorce to stop ADHD diagnostics for my son & also to join a second choir at her church. Several names from that place were included on her court documents ("were afraid to call her in case it caused trouble"). She now spends 2 nights a week, all day Sunday, additional time before x-mas & Easter at rehearsals & services (narcissistic sociopath).

The cost of her excessive church going?

- our marriage of 17 years

- our children's family holidays

- everything

Church is filled with mentally ill people, why would anyone normal go? My kids & I will never attend another service. There is too much which must be done. After all the housework is finished, there is life to be had!

If there is a heaven then my wife will be sent back to earth.. "You have not lived any life to judge. Go back & this time don't spend so much wasted time."


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Robert~ I completely agree and I bet we're not the only ones that have found the descrepencies in church. My husband's ex-wife is mentally ill (bi-polar) and she is an avid church goer. Thanks for the comment RObert.


mabmiles profile image

mabmiles 5 years ago

Great hub, Izetti!It is very informative and written carefully.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thank you so much mabmiles!


paulinekhoo profile image

paulinekhoo 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Hi izetti, I spotted your eye-catching hub title. I am interested to hear what you have said. I am not here to persuade you otherwise... Spiritual experiences should not stop the minute I exit church. I experience God 24/7 . LORD GOD is with me all the time. I agree that in church, there is lots of people issues. After all, it is a human community. And as a human community, there are all sorts of human needs, yours being some of those human needs. You are going to church to fill those human needs, am I right? Those that you are meeting in church are inadequate to fill these human needs. Only God can fill your human needs. That's why you feel closer to God outside the church than you do within the church. One of the useful Bible teachings I have ever received is that I must be able to hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand, and then I must be able to solve the problems in the newspaper by what I learn from the Bible. In other words, practical applications of God's Word in your life. Jesus said that I am the Light of the world and the Salt of the earth. For those people who wear Jesus, you will also be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. You will shine your light into the darkness, and show the way through the unmapped territories and the uncharted waters. It only takes a little light to light up the darkness. That is what is meant by being the church. Izetti, as you read the Bible, find the practical everyday applications to God's Word. Also, He gives you wisdom to live everyday life (by revelation) for you and for those around you. This is what it means to be the church, and to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Do not be distracted by those that profess to be Christian, yet behave in ungodly ways. Focus now... Have I got your attention? I prayed that LORD GOD will speak through me as I try to reach out to you. There is a point to your faith. You do not need to wait for an ordained minister to minister to people. As LORD GOD speaks biblical truth to you, you can minister to another person. Read my hubs... I minister to both the churched and the unchurched, the believers and the non-believers. Starting point from here: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Credential ... Hope you have fun and faith-filled adventures in your everyday life.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Pauline~ I go to church for God- only. If I don't interact much with others, I am considered a snob or anti social, but that's not my social spot- only God. I find that the people part interferes with my agenda for feeling closer to God and feeling a message. it just distracts me too much and I know many others who have good intentions but end up caught up in the people and social aspect of church. I like your Newspaper analogy- very true. I find God everywhere and look to the Bible for inspiration and during troubled times. I am pretty happy with how it works for me. Thank you for the link!


tee tee man 5 years ago

I go to church every sunday. When i get out of church, i go to the store and try on like 30 pieces of clothes and leave them off the hangers in the dressing room. Then, I get into my car and ride someone's butt trying to go 30 miles over the speed limit.

I am blessed and will go to heaven because my preacher told me so. He said all i have to do is believe in Jesus and god, and pay him some money each week.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

...You and millions of other proclaimed Christians


raguett profile image

raguett 5 years ago

the church is losing because people are becoming more aware of truth, god lives with in each of us and we mustent worship false idles....be good, be happy love and laugh and god will be with you always......you don't need to donate money or read false scripture, the world is millions of years old, we will go on with church or with out.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

raguett~ agreed!


Rachel 4 years ago

Read all your page, now will you read mine?

"I" - That I sense is the real problem with your church experience. Too much I and not enough of U God.

Take out the I and experience a real relationship with Jesus. Let me respond to your bullet points:

1) When you go to church you can learn your way around the Bible a little at a time. Memorize a verse and you'll remember it.

2) Sing to and for Jesus-Maybe He likes His songs. A.W. Tozer puts it like this: "I can't sing a lick but Jesus thinks I'm an opera singer."

3) Rest?: Matthew 11:28 come to me all who are weary and heavy laden & I'll give you rest.

4) If you become a Christian you too will at times be a hypocrite. Can't always be perfect as we would like to be but we are perfectly forgiven and Keep on trying.

5) Matthew 7:2 in the way you judge, you will be judged

6) Give it up for God. I urge you by God's mercy to present your body a living & holy sacrifice acceptable to God especially on Sunday; Bed head and all.

7) Actually Hebrews 10:24-25 says Christians should not forsake assembling together as is the habit of some.

8) James 5:16 says Confess your sins to one another and to God through prayer-not the priests.

9) Last but not least, Jesus said I am the way, the truth & life. No one comes to the Father but thru me. John 14:16.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I go to church for God and it is overwhelming and quite distracting with all the people who don't- many go for socializing or obligations. I understand your points you've made, but no offense should be taken if I don't go to church and if it's my personal relationship with Jesus and God, then how would you know if I have a "real relationship with Jesus"? Please find me something/scripture in the Bible about having to go to church to have a relationship with God.


Lynn 4 years ago

I find your story self centered. I work with homeless, addicts, suicide victims, human slave victims, and etc. Most have found the Lord on their own. Given a Bible their choice to read it or not. They chose to read it and study it. Their own findings were they found there own situations in the Bible and related to them. It's not about you. it's about the Lord, his word for his children and finding His purpose and plan for a wonderful life. The people I work with tell me of their Blessings and teach me how the Lord is helping to restore sanity,respect,Hope,security,comfort,salvation,redemption,and the greatest of all gifts love back into their lives. Most are helping new victims to be like them victors. They chose to find their God through reading the Bible. The few who chose to do it themselves are still struggling and in turmoil. We have choices still available in this America. Some chose for the better and some not. So quit complaining and step up to the plate be thankful you can choose. Don't go to church if you don't choose too. Help the homeless,addicted,abused,and etc. you can make a difference for God if you choose,too There's a lot of hurting children out there as well as adults. they all can use a friend with good intentions.

and that's where these humans started. Church is the following of people. The people make up the church not the building If your find fault with people in these church's


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lynn~ self-centered? 1-2 million people leave the church every year. Damn them too! I find your comment judgmental like most of the self-righteous folks in churches and self-proclaimed religious folks. What should it matter if I choose not to go to a church so long as I've found God and his blessings? It is about the Lord and your comment is negative toward me when all I've stated is I have God without the church folk and the building.

Ever heard "Ethics and atmosphere are inseparable. Where are you hanging out?". When i hang out at churches I lose sight of what's really important...God. The churches I've been to are a social gathering, gossip center, potluck happy, money getting and giving center- all of which I do not need. THe focus is not God...and I've been to many churches. You worship the way they want you to, talk about today's sermon even though it's not what's ailing you today. I've held open "church" days at my house and it goes well- people are able to intimately share more, more one-on-one time, etc.

I am happy that you help the homeless, but did you know that helping the homeless and being charitable is also a selfish act? You do it because it makes YOU feel good- it's a fact...been studied, etc. So don't start out with how you help others to automatically give you more credit here and inadvertently suggest you're better. And just because I don't go to church or "volunteer" doesn't mean I don't help people all the time. I just don't wear that badge of honor like you and I don't brag about it.


snowbird77 4 years ago

I love the Lord will all my heart but just don't like attending church that much due to the fact that church people always try to get me overly committed to their projects and never listen to what I want. I read my Bible daily and pray throughout the day! I love my personal relationship with Christ and don't need anyone putting me, my money or lack thereof on their agenda! I don't feel that church attendance is the only way we can reach out and help others! I have my own ministry where I sing and play the keyboard for nursing homes! I also have many on line sisters and brothers in Christ that I pray for and encourage every day! Thanks for your honesty!


snowbird77 4 years ago

I just wanted to add that when people quote scripture they had better know what they are quoting! We are living in the age of GRACE not in the old testament age of the law! We treat others differently and for the most part better than the way people treated others back in the old testament days. We are living in the age of Grace not the age of the law before Christ! Do we still stone people for adultery? I think not! Christ came to fulfill the law not to make us live under it! The Apostle Paul wrote on several occasions that the Jewish Christians kept trying to fall back into their religious habits and that this was wrong! We have been freed from the religious practices of the old testament days! Tell people who quote scripture to look up the word Bible dispensation first! Christian legalism has done more to hurt Christianity than anything else and I don't think Christ ever intended us to beat our children! This is why some people hate Christianity because they were abused by their well meaning yet very much mislead Christian parents! We have to be careful about taking the Old Testament literally!


Warren Baldwin profile image

Warren Baldwin 4 years ago from Kansas

Very insightful. Some of the reasons people give for leaving a church are hard to take, but they are true and we (those who go to church) need to listen to them. Church too often becomes a matter of maintaining what we already have rather than becoming what God/Jesus/Holy Spirit mean for us to become. When that happens, churches and Christians stagnate.

There is too much work to do today to waste time on some of the games that get played at church (As one of your comments above pointed out: "The churches I've been to are a social gathering, gossip center, potluck happy, money getting and giving center- all of which I do not need."). I'm saying that as someone very involved in church work and activities. I know some of our shortcomings.

You've hit the nail on the head here, excellent article.

Warren


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Snowbird~ love everything you've said here. Very humble and you know a lot about Christianity and Christ's teachings. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Warren~ Thank you for your comment. I can see you understand and realize some of the shortcomings. The message I would like to get out to people is that it's OK to not be a full part of a church and still worship the Lord. The personal relationship matters most. When I first quit church I thought I couldn't believe in God because I no longer wanted to go to church and this is a big misperception. I now have a better relationahip with Jesus and God and I bring that into my life in all aspects. I know there are many good people in a church and you being one of them- thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kindness, and not attacking me for my thoughts.


Darlene 4 years ago

Ha I love this. Fricken people think i need to be saved cuz i can't attend church every week. I work nights and if i am going to hell because i had to work a night shift and missed holy day church "Easter Sunday" services, then whatever people. Who are you to judge me. I can pray and believe in God where ever I may be, I do not have to be in a building to praise and worship my God. I think your a bigger sinner and less a christian for not accepting me for who I am.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Exactly...and well put Darlene! Thanks for stopping by!


davenstan profile image

davenstan 4 years ago

Great bub! Saturday or the Sabbath is the day of rest. I have quit a couple of churches for various reasons. It's ironic that my hubby and I will be starting our own congregation soon.


davenstan profile image

davenstan 4 years ago

oops i meant hub


Steve 4 years ago

I agree that since 1600 so many new man made denominations and none denominations have been invented by men alone specially by English Kings in Englan, some thing like over 200000 kinds around the globe. Example King James bible which was created by King James, an ordinary sinful king who corrupted and abused his power like any other politicians and kings in history!!! But f you stick to the very old traditional and original bibles and churches that has been around for couples of thousands years, you will be safe. It is time for all Christians to go back to what we supposed to be and are called for. I have been gone through a lot of transformations myself and at some point I thought why even bother to go to a church!!!! But just being a good person (since our type of humanistic definition of being good and human is different then the type we supposed to be since as humans we only have limited knowledge to know what is truly good or not! (Example, I will only treat those people nice who treat me nice in return, I will scratch your back if tou scratch mine). On top of that you can be spiritual without believing in true god! There are tons of spiritual practices out there today who believe in no god or tons of different gods!!! Going to a traditional original true church is like exorcism. Each week you go there to make your spirit clean and strong against the evil forces. We all have some evil inside and we can't stand strong against evil forces and temptations alone! Evil force is stronger then humans that why we need to go to church to clean ourselves and get spiritual help from a bigger higher power to stand strong. People who stop going to church, they get farther and father from any help and at one point some of these people stop believing in god alltogether. We should keep our souls like a burning candles, if we stop going to church the candle will at some point, loses its light and its power. And once you stay away from church, you temptated to sin and forget about god's love and protection. You need to put this efford to save and protect yourself or slip away from hopes faiths and all protections from higher power! The church is not for god, it's for us the humans, you are not doing any favour to god, it's there for you and me.....now the choice is yours, God Bless


Born-Again 4 years ago

7. Church isn't the Only Place to Worship

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.- Hebrews 10:25


Freedom 4 years ago

I understand y u gav some of those reasons, but be careful not to mislead urself and others. Church ought to draw u closer to God and other christains.


Lefteze1956 4 years ago

I apreciate your article. Glad I'm not the only one who feels as you do. I, too, have to sometimes work on Sundays. Besides, I fell and messed my leg up 2 years ago and have been walking on crutches for as long. Not one person in the church I've been going to even asks me how I am doing. I have been just sitting in the pews and I barely speak to anyone because they aren't interested in anything I have anyway. The best one was I went up to pray for my sister to leave witchcraft, the pastor gave me a dirty look, so I turned around and sat back down. I'm tired of just sitting there. I've tried on numerous occasions to get involved with several events they have, including fundraisers, volunteer work, bible study, etc. only to be rejected by these people. I feel closer to God when I am doing my work away from church more than with these people. I don't feel guilty for the decision to leave either. I do watch many of my favorite Christian programs on my computer and do listen to Christian music and radios. It's just when I go to church, I feel different, like I'm more of an outsider than part of the body of Christ.


Hermione 4 years ago

WOW, I thougth I was alone in my feelings. I attended a Baptist Church with my mother since I was a little girl, I loved it. As an adult I tried to find that same connection in a Church but it wasn't there, it felt exhausting-trying to empress, participate in everything, etc. Now I have mini services with my children on Sundays and it is filled with praise, however, I would prefer to be in a Church with people that were just as happy to see me or embrace the Lord as I was.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

I totally agree with you.

I stopped going to church because many people made fun of me because I was fat (I have since exerciced and eat right so most of the fat is gone.

Then there is the self righteous who look for any little thing to throw the Bible in my face when they see an opportunity and scream I am not a true Christian (one example is because I smoke) all the while what tehy do is much worse.

God bless you.


Kim 4 years ago

Just as we should not judge the seriel killer, we should not judge Christians who are not perfect and will make mistakes just like everyone one else. This should not reflect upon God's love for all and it is up to us not to let it.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks for all the comments. I wrote this because I knew many people felt the same way and they shouldn't be ashame or guilty. Like "Freedom" above commented church should draw you closer to God... and I will add...if it doesn't then it doesn't mean you can't be close to God even if you don't attend church.


Steve Cornish 4 years ago

God is infallable. Humans are not. Christians are humans and therefore make mistakes. Even though the "Church" was created by God through Jesus, the people who make up the church do make mistakes and do sin. The expectation that church people must be perfect is unrealistic. Throughout the history of the Jewish people they were continuously losing their way then returning back to God. God created the solution that took the errant ways out of our weak hands. He came to earth as his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus took the burden of our sins upon himself so that we could be sin free in God's eyes. Even though we are free from sin to God we still make mistakes and sin. People outside of the church expect those inside to be faultless. This is an unreasonable and unfair expectation. Give yourself a break by not setting high standards for Christians. We are after all human just like you.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Steve Cornish- very mistaken on your part. I do not (and stated such in my hub) hold Christians to a higher standard. The joke is on them (and you) actually. Christians at church act as if they are above others. In fact it is hypocrisy that drives me nuts about people in church. I would like to tell them all to GET REAL. They act perfect in church and are rude in public. I've seen it al lthe time. Christians (church goers) are the ones that act above the rest of us. So far it's all christians in the comment section trying to convince me that I should not expect them to be perfect. God, would I love that- I'd like them to stop acting like they are perfect and just be normal. That is why so much corruption in churches. I grew up with a pastor who led us all to believe his family was perfect when actually I knew his son was on drugs and his daughter wasd a rude snob at school. BUT all the christians believe it is me, not them. They are perfect, it's me and my views that need fixing. Blah blah blah- come back to me with something better. Yes, it is an unreasonable expectation to hope that churchgoers can act normal and not perfect. It's not exactly what I've seen in church but what I've seen from churchgoers outside of church- totally different people. All I'd expect is that they be who they really are- be genuine and authentic.

If you're all human ,then act like it. Show your flaws in church as you do outside of church. You commenting that I should change my views is acting as if your view and opinion is better than mine- you'r eright I'm wrong. There you go.

This hub is for the purpose of not condemming those that don't go to church but to let people know the things that turn people off from church are not reflections of God. They can still have a relationship with God even if they are not going to church- that is most important. DOn't you think?


Darren 4 years ago

I am very sadden by this view on what church is to izettl and some commentators. God is perfect and Holy and the truth is all of the time the people is works with are imperfect people struggling in their own sins. I go to Church to meet God and His community of people as we spur each other on in our walk with God. Truly a church has to be a place where it is okay to not be okay. For the church goers, at the end of the day don't be like those in Matthew 7:21-23


Justbeyou 4 years ago

I really enjoyed this article so much. I myself was raised in church. My parents and myself were there everytime the doors were open. They looked down on others that didnt go to church, as well as i did myself. I also grew up thinking you HAD to go to church "to be living right" "to have a relationship with God" and that is totally wrong! No u do not! How dare we say people arent living right just because they dont go to a building twice a week? How in the world do we know how many times they pray? How are they living their lives outside of church is whats important. The church is not made of sticks and stones, it is made of flesh and bones. We ARE the church. When it says to gather together it does not mean in a building. It means any where at any time. God has no religion. Please tell me in the bible where it says he does. Tell me where it says we have to follow a religion. It doesnt. Religion is man made. He wants us to be united and love him and each other, and praise him. We are NOT united when we are seperated by religion. Whos right, whos wrong? It doesnt matter. All that matters is that you have a personal relationship with God. And you can do that anywhere, and at any time.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Darren~ my point of view has some truth to it. You'd bel blind if you didn't realize that. There is nothing sad about it except people are ashamed to admit how displeased they are with church. I can meet God anywhere, not just at church and I can reach more people by being out of church- more people who need to learn about God than those who already know God. Yes, I agree a church needs to be a place where it's ok to not be ok. Couldn't agree with you more, so why do church goers act like their perfect and put on a fake front. When I was a kid reality was my mom got a divorce (my dad cheated) and many people at our church stopped talking to her and inviting her to functions. That is sad. I am fighting for God, not church. I gave up on God because I gave up on church. Then I figured out I didn't need church to have God- that is not sad. I want others to know that too. Later in life my own mother looked down on me for not going to church -s he still has issues with it and all because she's been basically brain-washed into psychological abuse from churchgoers. You don't have to go to church to matter to God.

Justbeyou~ thanks. You really get the point of what I've said. Especially love your last sentence of your comment.


Justbeyou 4 years ago

Yw. I hope people will wake up and realize that religion is not all its cracked up to be. I was brainwashed for many years on religion, but now im not. Im free. Free to worship when i want, wherever i want, and HOW i want. I dont need a preacher to tell me his version, because thats what it is, his version, on how to live. The bible tells you how to live. The 10 commandments sum it up. Think about it...the only reason we follow a religion is because someone else told us how its supose to be. We see it the way they see it. Well what happens when u switch religions? Well you start believing the way they do once again. Its almost like people cant think for themselves. Like they are toddlers who need to be told what to think. There is no openmindedness. You close your mind, and you close your heart. And sadly thats the way alot of religions are. IM RIGHT they say. Well what if i say IM RIGHT. See we are divided once again.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

justbeyou~ i didn't even know God until I left the church and gave it up. For me, it seems all religion and churches I've been to are some man's interpretation of God. When you think about it, most people are like sheep- there is a strong need to follow and belong and I jsut don't subscribe that mentality. I am happy with God and without a church fellowship.


Justbeyou 4 years ago

I am right there on the same page with you. There are lots of people who are sheep and its really sad. People have gotten so use to being controlled, i dont think they even care if they are. Its easier to just let someone else do your thinking. It takes courage to go your own way. And our world lacks alot of courage. You are more accepted if u just follow the crowd. I think more people should find their own way. Think for yourself. You might just find that most of the things you were taught as a child were wrong. Some right, some wrong, but make your own decision.


Stephen 4 years ago

When was this article published?


the ball was dropped in bible times 4 years ago

as a studied minister,i believe that the ball was possibally originally dropped in biblical times.also,i sincerely believe that we have not discovered all of the texts of the bible and this has left some confusion as to the sound doctrine and foundation of christ as well as some contradicting teachings.the church has for example been teaching for at least 100 years that god reprimands us and spiritually smacks us on the hands and even trials us now and then.this is a huge lie!! the old testament teaches that these things were true but when jesus came in to the picture,god's anger with man ended and jesus bore ALL (past present and future)sin of mankind on the cross and at that point all that a person needed to achive salvation is to accept christ.forgiveness of sins occured at the cross upon his death and resurrection.to say that we have to frequently say i'm sorry and ask forgiveness when we fall or come short every time is to say that jesus has the ability to continue to forgive us everytime we ask him..that's absurd!!!he forgave us once..read the bible..the war is over..god doesn't give us trials and smack our hands and reprimand us!!that is old testament teachings!! the devil does that!! not god!! god's anger with man ended at the cross!!but nearly all of present day minsiters teach that god's angry and full of wrath toward mankind,etc etc.the bible contradicts that lie over and over and i don't understand why studied men of god don't see this!!maybe their not as studied as they think they are/jesus doesn't forgive us our sins over and over..our failings are covered by his blood.if one truly goes back into sin after receiving christ,then it's probable that the person accepted christ from mere passing emotion.or that there's an emotional problem existing./the bible says a person becomes a new creature in christ after acceptance.not maybe..he becomes one..if he doesn't..then he didn't accept in a genuine spiritual state of heart.probably in a passing state of emotional feeling)/and legalism is also taught as being a requirement to heaven's acceptance.it's not your performance as a christian that get's you to heaven.you're not left behind because you're a huge mel gibson fan. you're saved by grace and by the blood of the lamb.not by your performance!!


momathome 4 years ago

Thank you so much for your comments, they have given me some peace that I am not alone. We moved to a very small southern town about 4 years ago. It has taken that amount of time for most folks to figure out that we don't attend church. My son came home from school recently and informed me that a few of his friends no longer want to play with him because he doesn't attend church. (I am not sure how to handle this, I had hoped we had gotten away from the judgements.) I assume this revelation has come from the parents. My heart is broken for him, but I too have been judged in the past at church and did not want to experience that again. Therefore, I "home school" religion. My two sons are taught bible stories from me, pray, and worship God just like I do - away from church. We live in a gorgeous area of the U.S. It is a wonderful thing to be in nature and be spiritual with God when I want to and on my terms.


Pringles3030 4 years ago

My two cents,

I believe that as there are many different kinds of people, there are many different kinds of churches. Or more specifically leadership styles. Many are filled with judgment, condemnation, and as the Bible says "pulling the speck out of someone else's eye when you have a log sticking out of your own "

This does not mean all church leadership is that way. I have left churches for that very reason. I am currently at one that trys very hard not to foster that attitude. At this time in my life it works for me and I have growth spiritually and as a person.

If you are the type of Christian who can read the Bible, pray, and look for God's leading? It really shouldn't matter whether you go to a building.

I find many benefits from attending my church. Spiritual and non. If at some point I don't then it may be time to move on. Left a church of 10 yr attendance for that very reason.

I guess what I am saying is, congregation or not, if you are seeking God and listening then you will come to know his will for your life. Paul did.

God bless.


godsdiva 4 years ago

I have found church (buildings), just a place to control the masses. The previous year,I began questioning WHY I attended church so faithfully when all I was hearing preached was money, money, and more money. I soon found that I was only attending just so I could play dress up and that my attendance was more habitual than anything else. Touche'!

I was no longer growing (spiritually), and all the "faithful" church members wanted to do was pray for this or that w/o actually putting any action behind it.

Moreover,the more questions I asked, the more even the pastor would turn in the other direction when he'd see me coming towards him or even looking in his direction!

The last straw was when I submitted a 5-6 page proposal (to get the church and it's members moving), to our administrator. I kept waiting for the pastor to "get back to me", but he never did. After about 3 months, I went to him and he said he hadn't seen it! Furthermore, he made an excuse for the administrator by telling me that she probably put it on his desk but he just hadn't seen it.

The slap in the face came when the administrator used one of my ideas and passed it off as her own!

These lukewarm self proclaimed "Christians" are great at deception and they will actually shun you if they feel you are not showing them some god-like devotion. I only feel sorry for those I left behind,for I see them all as blind slaves to do the pastor's (their god), bidding.

It took me a while to realize and to learn (via spiritual revelation), they and the spiritual deadness within the church were reason why I always felt drained, lethargic, stagnated etc.

In fact, the local pastor would sit amongst the rest of us (albeit in the front center row with his wife), and watch the stream of the lead pastor along with everyone else.

I also realized that our local leaders felt that there is no need for them to do any work - since the main pastor was doing it all via stream - especially the preaching.

As of today's date,there is only ONE active "ministry" within the church ... Intercessory Prayer and even this is a laugh.

Simply put, I just got tired of "playing church" with the rest of the babes in Christ. The LORD and I get along just fine IN MY HOME!


Stephen Sweitzer profile image

Stephen Sweitzer 4 years ago

When you write that your mom met a hard time "finding a suitable church" are you saying that the church judged your mom because she was divorced?


Jon Mack profile image

Jon Mack 4 years ago

i find a none domnachen the best for me thay not so quick to juge you right off the bat.and when i heard the holly goost tell me to stay sober i did and was reveled to me a pease for the first time in my life and love came for man cind after vast noleg and with that noleg came the same voice that told me to get sobor teach man kind to pray / talk i was heasatent at first but hear i am first cleare your mind fockes what your going to say and with out speeking say it in your brain and that it its easy when you dream he will come as the chriches grow more crureped and need more money you can keep your fath and dump your chirch. my sin was drinking what ever yours is you deside to be all in or gust thare to watch the show.ferget the group thing and walk with the good god. most chriches are posing as a place of worship like a vending chirch put a twenty in the baskit and fill out a pray card and your wish will come true you think haysoze wanted to be like that the romand added that to the bible to give revine to the chirch


Lefteze1956 4 years ago

I recently went back to church with my husband, since I knew that he wanted me to. I'm the one that was walking on crutches. Well, I had hip replacement surgery, and can now walk without my crutches.

I was very excited about this and was smiling, and praising God to be able to walk again without those crutches.

This one rude lady, who happens to be an usher, came up to me, while I was minding my own business and had to give her "spiritual" (lol) comment "I see you're still hobbling around" I turned to her and said "Do you see that something is missing, my crutches. Then I quoted a scripture at her Isaiah 40:31 "He who waits upon the Lord will renew his strength and rise up like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." She just looked at me and went away. Everyone else was happy for me that I wasn't using the crutches anymore, even though I still have a slight limp. But, there always has to be some rude person givng their stupid opinion. What gets me is these people never appologize for their inappropriate remarks. But, it is my choice whether I go to church or not go to church.


Leana Jo H. 4 years ago

Great post! No wonder I never cared much for church. I had tried 4 different churches in the 8 years I lived in this northern Arizona town. But they were all like what was said on this post (all 10 too!). No wonder my husband doesn't like church (but he's a true believer in God).

I believe in God too, but I'm more spiritual than Christian (but I do believe in the Christian philosophy and some of the Buddhist philosophy too). I love both. So, I'm just spiritual and very mindful on things I say, do, & my actions toward others.

I believe a Higher Power is with you 24/7, not only at church, as I think most church-goers think that's the only place to get close to God. Your Higher Power is with you ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE, & ANYTHING you do...That's my belief.

So, spending more time with my pillow (and a good book, along with nice soft music) on Sunday mornings is my ideal Sabbath!


Andy 4 years ago

There are reasons people quit church. They don't wipe out good reasons to be a part of a church family: 1) Jesus died for the church, as well as the individual (Ephesians 5:25). To say you love Jesus but hate the church is to say to a husband, "I like you but hate your wife"! 2) The church, with all it's flaws, is God's plan to reach the world and heal people from despair, defeat, and the devil (Matt. 16:17-19). 3) To be a 'lone ranger" in spiritual things is to have no real spiritual influence on others, no real eternal legacy, and a further source of spitting on God's love in the death of Christ on the Cross for all of us.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

the ball was dropped~ very interesting theory.

momathome~ sadly the woprld is like this and many like myself least expected it from those who worship God. But it happens and sorry your son had to figure this out so early in life. I also teach my daughter bible stories, about God and Jesus and we pray. I attend church periodically because I want her to see for herself. No where in the bible does it talk abotu church. Jesus usually gathered with people outside informally.

Prinlges3030~ thanks for stopping by and yes I believe as you do. I absolutely believe in God, but have yet to find a suitable church. My friends...some go to church and some not but all are believers. Church has many benefits- it can be a community in a world where thats not seen as much anymore, but it can also be e burden of judgment. Glad you found one for you.


4 years ago

sounds like you people have your priorities in the wrong place. First of all you. God gives you the strenght to work and have health.Secondly, you wake up early to work. You can't even get up a little later in the morning to worship God? Others quit going to church because you felt burnt out?? Really, how come you don't quit your job when you feel that way. Church is about worshiping God and if you feel burnt out stop doing what you're doing, take a break, but don't stop going. You're only affecting yourself. And by the way, there is a verse that says that you should not stop going to church:Hebrews 10:25. If you can't get up early, try finding a church that's time suits your pillow.


Scott Shifferd 4 years ago

I plead with you to reconsider Jesus' words about this. What we often find missing from church is a connection and communication with God. May God bless us in our study. Here is part of my response to your thoughts here.

1. Missed Out on Church 101. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

2. Repetitive and Dull Songs. Jesus said, “In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” (Heb. 2:12, cf. 1 Cor. 14:15, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, Jas. 5:13).

3. Day of Rest. What did Jesus do on the first day of the week? We read, “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week,” (Mark 16:9).

4. Conflicting Evidence. See #5.

5. Thou Shall Not Judge. Why judge people for judging people? Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

6. Work. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). What are “all these things” (Matt. 6:19ff)?

7. Church Isn’t the Only Place to Worship. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20, cf. 1 Cor. 5:4, Rev. 1:10, 13, 17), and His Spirit said, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries…” (Heb. 10:23-27, cf. 10:27ff).

8. Creepiness Factor. Christ said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:15-17, cf. 2 Pet. 2:12ff, Jude 6-19).

9. Point of View. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14), and He stated, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).

10. Unanswered Prayers. Jesus stated, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matt. 7:7-8, cf. 2 Cor. 12:7-10).


Luther 4 years ago

The Bible does in fact tell true followers of Christ that they should join together to worship him ('go to church'), as the previous poster has said. In his letters Paul also warns true Christians against failing to do so.


miriam boye 4 years ago

thank you Scott Shifferd and may God Bless you. Many quites church because they don't have good motive of going to church. Chritaians who don't go to church do not honour and respect God. Bible says 'if ye love me, keep my commandment. So committed and faithfully christian should prepare when they see the day of the Lord approaching, making it their reasonable service to go to church.


Redley 4 years ago

Since accepting Jesus Christ over 26 years ago, I have have always been a church go-er. In fact, I used to go three times per week, run my own business and did ministry in the church.

Yes, I was tired on the weekends, but my wife and I would come home and knap between church services on Sunday. But, I did this for eight years, mot missing so much as a Sunday evening.

Why did I do this for so long? I look back on those years and wonder. Was I growing to love Jesus or was I just in a church routine?

After those eight years of attending church, my wife left me. Hmmmm, that really left me thinking. I guess I didn't understand something about being a Christian. If I had, she might not have left me, maybe.

Well, I knew I couldn't stay at that church anymore, so I departed in order to find another one. I did, but it was the same kind of church setting. This was not going to work, so I went off to find another one. Eventually, I found a church that accepted me and life was good again meeting with like-minded people and feeling apart of a family.

Several years later I remarried and moved from my church to a much larger one. It felt like going to a university. Lots of children, adults coming and going. Did this for almost 6 years then slowly stopped going to church. Its going on 2 years since I stepped foot in a church. During this time I began writing to people as a Christian online missionary. I love it! I have the biblical background to help people. I have written to over 3,000 people, helping them to see Jesus Christ for salvation.

I know the verse in Hebrew 10:13. God wants me in church, but I need His help leading me back. I pray and ask Him. Me being in church is His will for me. If you are a believer in Christ, it is His will for you, too. It doesn't matter the excuse His people use to not attend. It is all about being obedient to the will of Christ.


lost and not found 4 years ago

I have been going to a church with my husband for the past 10 years that has made me lose my faith in christianity. I always believed that pastors/preachers were called to do their work and that organist/pianist did it for free. Boy was I wrong! I also found out that in denomination churches, the small country churches get the preachers just out of seminary school. For some reason, I never felt the presence of God in this place. I never felt moved to tears nor did I get a good preaching from the bible. Gone through 3 preachers, now a new one is coming. This last one finally preached from his heart and a few times from the bible, but he was there only 2 sundays a month for the past 2 years. I did not like the alternate preacher and wouldn't go on those sundays. Since I couldn't keep up with the schedule, i went even less often, once a month or so. So.....the one I liked, I revealed to him, on his last day, that I never felt the spirit in this church and kept going because I liked the people. He told me that some people go to church expecting to be fed, instead maybe I should bring the spirit to the church. Well, I understand that everyone has to bring something to church, but I really am there to be fed spiritually, otherwise why is he there!!!!! And being paid for it!! I basically bore my soul to this man and was sobbing for no apparant reason, except that I know I am hurt for the fact that I have lost my religion. One might ask, why didn't i find another church. We already travel 15 miles to this one, and i wanted to stand by my husband since he finally found a church he liked. I did this for him to my own detriment. I am dissapointed in him because he knew how I was feeling about this church, even losing my faith and did nothing but make me feel guilty for wanting to find another church. Yes, in a way i am angry at him and myself for allowing this to happen. I give to my own detriment. You may wonder how this has anything to do with this thread....the bible teaches women to give of themselves to their husbands, to be nurturing or whatever!!! So in this process, I began to look to other forms of believing in God. I found that all religions believe in God, they may go about it differently but they believe in a creator and higher power. We all believe in God, just go about it in different ways. I used to think I was giving up my belief in God as I had learned in the Christian way, but now realize it is the same God just a different way of worshiping him/her. Besides the Christian way does not accept that there are spiritual beings around us, or even angels that visit us. Preachers say it is the work of the devil when I ask why they don't acknowledge things people see or experience. I had always wondered why it is mentioned in the bible but the church does not recognize or preach on it. I still wonder what is the true religion. Hell is only in the Christian faith, but it is hard to shake a belief you have had all your life. So I keep all my spirituality books on alternate beliefs locked away. I don't want to be persecuted since i am still on this journey and don't have a stronghold an anything. I do live in the bible belt! I still go to church, I have never believed in giving 10% of your income to a church, and I don't like it when my husband gives more than i want to. I do believe we should give of ourselves, help others who are less fortunate; 10% of ourselves can be money and good deeds.

I will not go to hell because I don't go to church.

Thanks for giving me this outlet to express my feelings.

May all who read this be blessed in some way today!


MuffinTop 4 years ago

I wish that all of you would understand that being a christian involves making sacrifices. for example getting up early or not understanding half of the things being said! if you are a christian then you should WANT to go to church.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

MuffinTop~ your comment is as silly as your "Muffin Top" name. Dont you think if most churches were inspirational that some of us would want to go to church. I get more inspiration in my backyard. More Christian preaching from you...

Lost an Not FOund~ thank you for sharing your story. I bet many can relate.

Redley~ some important lessons in what you've shared. Thank you.

Miriam Boye~ thanks for the sermon.

Luther~ "True" Christians. Us versus them mentality- you don't reach anyone with Bible versus plucked here and there and give your interpretation and expect people to relate to you. One of my points in this hub is obscure Bible versus and people having hard time understanding or learning all them. So how would you describe your fauthe in God- does it involve church and/or a Bible verse. Is that real faith? People who comment on here and leave a Bible verse are just proving my point about missing out on church 101 lessons. Thanks anyway.

To all~ there are so many good people out there who are not being reached because people just spew out Bible verses. I guarantee somebody considering a church or leaving a church is not inspired through Bible verses alone. It's like present day pre-schoolers who have all the countries memorized but have no meaning to them- rote memorization is not meaningful.


gx 4 years ago

If i could only be thinking about myself and lay down on my pillow,and if everyone would feel they should do the same, who would then tell the world about Jesus? isnt it that He commissioned us to GO and make disciples of all nation? to GO out and teach the world?

If there would be lesser people going out to reach and teach the world about His coming, then i believe the end times is really here.

Luke 12:43

It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.

It's not about what the church (God's people) can do for you, but your obedience to Him who has told you what you are supposed to be doing while still on earth.


NotLazy 4 years ago

Brothers and sisters,

I am praying you get over your laziness and paranoia.

God asks little more than 45 minutes/week from you.

He is with you 25 hours/day, 8 days/week, yet you are too busy for Him on Sunday, or too worried about what the person in the pew beside you is thinking.

How many flocked to Church after 911? Once things appeared safer, also left in droves. The sex-scandal of the Catholic Church was handled horribly, yet too many "victims" demanded money instead of Justice. It was easy to accuse dead Priests; they could not defend themselves. The live Priests, found guilty, belonged in jail-not writing checks. Those that never attended use the scandal as an excuse not to go to Mass; what was their excuse earlier? Would you disgree that The Apostles were "good people"? No; however, even they observed the Commandment to keep Holy the Sabbath, and went to the Temple weekly. Who among you are better than The Apostles?


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graceomalley 4 years ago

My mother left our church when I was little - she was too embarrassed to go back. She had just had a hair cut, and was wearing one of those polyester pants suits popular in the 70s. She looked quite spiffy really. She suffered from clinical depression and rather often bathing, hair dressing and clean clothes were just beyond her. But this one day she was all cleaned up for church, and wouldn't you know it, the preacher delivered a fire and brimstone sermon on the evils of women wearing slacks and cutting their hair short. She was mortified. We never returned.

But this whole thing cuts both ways. As an adult, I've just had to wonder - shouldn't the church be a little more judgemental? One church i was in, the youth pastor got a 15 year old girl in the youth group pregnant. Why was he still the youth pastor I wondered? Some thought the church was not 'forgiving' enough because he was asked to step down for a few months before returning to preaching to these poor, confused kids.

In another church, one of the pastor's sons joined a drug dealing gang, and was arrested threatening someone with brass knuckles. Another of his sons got an underage girl pregnant...twice. The third son, baby of the family, was sweet kid, who looked to weigh close to 250lbs in the 8th grade. Was the family under too much stress? Everyone praised them constantly.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprized. When i was growing up, my cousin's pastor had affairs with many of the women in the church. His wife divorsed him over it, they reconciled, he started up again, they got divorced again. Through all this he remained pastor of the same church. Apparently they didn't think it was a problem.

I've finally given up on church. I 'do church' by spending thursday nights having potluck with friends. We all have teenagers. Our kids are great friends, and so are we. Its working out great.


pam 4 years ago

i was truly offended by this article, and i feel very sad for you, you do not have any relationship with god if you did you would not have talked badly about this honey read your bible and find the answers you are looking for. you are a lost soul and i am sorry that the churches you went to made you feel that way, there is a church out there for you and the members will truly help, god comes first in life then everything else.


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 4 years ago

Pam - I have been to many many churches. 30 plus years of churches, and not just Sunday, but weekly bible study, women's fellowship, retreats, ect, ect. My life with God, and my life in the church were getting further and further apart. God was great, but the church thing was a chore.

This is not an isolated experience, this is a whole movement that is gaining momentum. Christians are leaving institutional churches in droves. They experience God more authentically outside of the forms that have dominated for centuries. Some people call it organic faith, organic church, simple church, house church. The numbers are big on this, and as your comment shows, those wedded to the institutional church find it threatening.


Yvette 4 years ago

it is not that serious. I want to agree with you like all the other comments,but I have my own brain,sorry. I go to church late most of the times because I stay up late on saturdays(it starts at 10) I get there at 11:30,if i cant find it in my Bible,I just close it & listen to the preacher(I learn best by listening anyway)dont care if anyone turns their nose up at me or stares because they dont have a Heaven & thats where im going.some people wear street clothes because we take people where they are & I am still a prayer warrior child of God....


jean 4 years ago

Its the point of keeping our eyes on the prize which is heaven with jesus


Ryan 4 years ago

I've been out of church for a good 2 years now. I haven't lost faith. I still pray practically daily. My relationship with Father God is most important to me. Church is like school that is suppose to teach people about Jesus and God and how to have a relationship with Him. Once you've learned, unless God has called you to teach or preach a person should be able to live without church. I'm not anti-church. I just have no need to go for the time being.


jessa baldonado 4 years ago

some people dont go to the church because their always busy...and their busy doing something that is not religious....some of them is gumbling...they just compare the money to their christianism


Andy 4 years ago

I was officially shunned by my church today for turning in a sex offender who was violating his probation by being at the church. I am a licensed social worker and was bound by law to do so. Everyone in the church is furious at me and the priest is saying that I should have consulted him about it before doing so. In their view, I am blocking him from salvation. In my view I am trying to keep him from raping anymore children. I feel like throwing up and know that I can never go back to that church; which was somewhere I felt like I belonged after leaving my old church. I feel like I am not meant to be a member of a church and this is very hurtful.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

This is one of those hubs where my comment sgrow beyond control. But I will try to comment back on some.

Jean~ I agree.

pam- I've stated throughout my comments and the article that i DO have a relationship with God. read it mroe carefully before you jump on the judging...proving my point. And thank you for that.

NotLazy~ oh yes i must be lazy with a 4 yr old and 4 month old and an arthritis condition that makes mornings difficult. Would you mind if I worship Jesus at home with my family at night? Is that Ok or will I go to hell? lazy...get out of here.

gx~ you're right "it's not about the church". And dang folks, I'm not lazy- i have a chronic illness, part-time job from home while caring ofr a 4month baby and a 4yr old. Would God approve of you calling me lazy?

Grace~ Good God, thank you for the voice of reason. i like your very thought-provoking comment about how the church should be more judgmental...maybe I like the word more discerning. yes, I agree. Sounds like we've had some similar experiences. i too will not go to church when it becomes a chore. I'll admit my defect. I fdidn't find god until I left church and scared to go back for losing that faith again and connection again.

yvette~ i like your thinking.

Ryan- it's kind of like homeschooling- I can still worship at home and with others anytime. Peopel say that God is only asking for one day a week, but I choose to give more than a Sunday.

Jessa B~ everybody is a sinner

Andy~ oh how awful. You did the right thing, but don't lose your faith. Church ain't my thing either. I can love God but not all his people.


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 4 years ago

Andy - Thank you for protecting the children in that church. If that sex offender wants salation, no power on earth can prevent it. That church does not own salation, but they are responsible to protect their lambs from the wolves.


Justbeyou 4 years ago

Why, why, why do people keep referring to being Spiritual, and religious the same thing? Its not! There is a huge difference in going to a church building, and being spiritual. We ARE the church. The church resides in us. If we cannot talk or listen to God outside the church walls, then why not just live there? Wait, we already live there, because the church is within us. Religion was created by man. God has no religion. If he does, then show me where it says he does.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Justbeyou~ yes i completely agree. I know some people have that connection in a chuch but for majority i just see social connections and not much spiritual


suze 4 years ago

social connections are mostly what it is all about, Read the bible and do what it says(that includes not forsaking the gathering of believers )regardless about what you think about it just find one that fits you.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

suze~ I have found one that fits me- myself and my relationship with God- what more could I want. To seek out a church when I have a great relationship already is like saying its not enough for me...but it is.


Edwin Daniels 4 years ago

Church was never meant to be the screwed up place it is nowadays. The Bible warns people who think that they are more holy than others just because they do more for church. The Bible says that we are saved by Gods love and mercy not by what we do, or say or how we dress or how well we sing or whatever.

Being a Christian is about living like Jesus everyday and if you struggle with sin its still ok because we are all human and Gods love is there to help us.

I can fully understand how you feel about this. I am a pastors son and grew up in church my whole life so I have seen it all when it comes to the attitudes of people.

Thank God, I am now in a great church called Hillsong Cape Town; a place where everyone is accepted no matter who you are, regardless of your race or how you dress or whether you are a beggar or billionaire. Even then, you still get people who say things to upset you but I have decided to bigger than them and serve my local church, my city and ultimately, God and no jealous fool will stop me.

I can attest to the fact that when you do find a good church it really is something awesome.

I have been at Hillsong for a year now and as a young adult (24) there is nothing I look forward to than going to church on Sunday.

Church is meant to be a place for all the messed up people like me, because I need God. The Holier than Thou crowd should leave church, they dont need it. They belong in heaven.


LucyLiu12 profile image

LucyLiu12 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Man, you hit this subject right on the head! I agree completely, so many traditional religions lack any logic. My experience is in a Hub called P0st-Religion Rebellion. I left an overly restrictive church, and thank god (or the universe, or whatever) that I did. I raised my child completely differently than I had been in the church, and she is a very well-balanced person (vs some of the baggage I still carry around).


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Edwin Daniels~ Well said "Being a Christian is about living like Jesus everyday and if you struggle with sin its still ok because we are all human and Gods love is there to help us."

I agree people will be people, but I would not accept some of the behavior I've seen at churches from my friends for example. I'm glad you fund a good church.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lucy~ I agree. We all need to take a close look at how our kids are effected and raised in churches. I know my childhood experience of church was awful. I'm glad you are giving your child a well-balanced approach. I am also. My daughter is 4 and she knows of God, knows some basic but I don't live my life by church and it's principles. I think it's fair she knows what's out there.


Laura 4 years ago

You know, I thought you really had something to say with this article, but the more I look at it, the more I read, the more I saw how much you are a hypocrite. I'm really bothered by the 'mentally ill' creepiness factor- Did it ever occur to you that the ones who are mentally ill and are creepy are the ones who are the most obedient? Even to a fault? Here, in your article you complain about how the church is not this or that, but you also poke fun at 'creepy' religious- who are obviously meaning well- so much so, they put their own minds/hearts/wills on the line. You may think that is stupid, but these are the 'little ones' that Christ is talking about, that He doesn't want to see hurt, but by your very article, you hurt because you propose that they are somehow deficient without throwing them a line of hope. Of course they are ultra religious and need to be saved... they are suffering terribly and you go on and poke fun. You are a hypocrite. You think you have it all together, don't you? Best of luck to you.


Laura 4 years ago

There are "creepy" religious who are really wolves in sheep's clothing and there are those who out of love of Christ and wanting to hold things together (which gets harder and harder these days when people like you seek to abandon responsibility) put up with the evil so that some sort of house can stand for others who need it to come in. The loss of those Christians who leave creates more pressure for those who stay and that sort of stress causes the "mental illness" that you speak of. (LIke GOING POSTAL type stress.. or even military like stress in times of battle.)

I am offended that you lump the EVIL ones who are in the church with the ones who are suffering (and seem or go mentally ill) because they wish to be obedient in the only way they know how. You lump them together as if they are of the same family.

You sound like someone who wants the Kingdom but you don't want to work for it, or suffer for Him and His Kingdom as HE suffered for you.

Is Christianity about a FREE RIDE??????


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Laura~ I like your name...mine as well. Anyway, I am repeating what I've heard from others...complaints about church and religion. This is not my personal opinion- I was schooled and trained in psychology so mentally ill wouldn't detour me from going to a church, but I know many people whom it would. Some of these on the list are my personal opinion, but like I said, not all.

that being said I do know mentally ill people who commit crimes or sleep around (bi-polars who tend to be promiscuous) and feel it pertinent to repent and go to church because of their consistent sinning. So mentally ill are not prime examples of devoted religious folks. But on that note... people whom I've known to be turned off from church and religion because so many mentally ill or bums on the street are religious is because they think why would God let someone so devoted to Him be in dire straights?

The "creepiness" factor is cults we hear about on the news- that is creepy, sorry but true and many of the leaders, if not all, are mentally ill...raping children for God's sake. If that isn't creepy please let me know what actually creeps you out. If you think they "mean well" you are out to lunch yourself. i certainly don't have it all together, but I am not a hypocrit I am calling out church leaders who rape and are mentally ill while committing crimes- they are true hypocrits. If I were a hypocrit that means I would be mentally ill calling out the mentally ill, but I'm not. Sorry to disappoint you.

As far as the "stess" of holding it together and going to church while others are leaving, well something like PTSD which many soldiers have is not helped by church itself- those people can go to church all day and night but if thehy don't get sufficient counseling and/or medication they will not be helped.

if you've read any of my other comments, I am devoted and "work for it"- although it shouldn't be "work". I read the bible, I pray, I have conversations with God in times of stress etc. I think about him and what He'd want me to do. is that a "free ride" or do I need to stress myself about going to church too?

I do lump many church people together- they have treated my mom poorly because she was divorced. So if people go there to relieve stress then why does it ofte ncause more stress? I was treated horribly by churchgoers coming into the restaurant where i worked at. I think many church goers feel they've done their "work" by going to church- i live my relationship with God...not just on Sundays. And on that note, have a good Friday.


imperfect church 4 years ago

Laura is right ""You sound like someone who wants the Kingdom but you don't want to work for it, or suffer for Him and His Kingdom as HE suffered for you.""

..when one reads Scripture you will see the call of Christ...it's not easy, they mistreated Jesus & He suffered & told us that we would suffer as well if we are His followers......

..Izetti...you mentioned in the point about unanswered prayers.......about not believing if prayers weren't answered....about not getting 'what you want'...God is not a genie to grant wishes...He is sovereign & in control...He knows tomorrow...we do not.... & His grace alone is really sufficient....


Justbeyou 4 years ago

If you have love in your heart, and you share it with others, then its not work. It comes natural. Its only work when you are forcing the issue. Love is natural, well for some it is...lol


Tee 4 years ago

I find this article whiny, in error and irresponsible. It's a typical post from someone who is spoiled and unrepentent, blaming their lack of spiritual maturity on others, distorting God's word to spread snti-Chritian propaganda. The main aim here is obviously to mislead people to stop meeting to worship(satan hates when people come together to serve God and worship him), and to taint the perspective of people going into churches, creating negative & hostile impressions in people's minds so they may be discouraged easily from pursuing or even approaching God. Truly it's evil to disguise your gossips and slander by calling it an article.

First, it is COMPLETELY rediculous to say God doesn't want us to go to church. HE DOES. The Bible says:

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrew 20:25

Secondly, you obviously don't go to church to praise God, but it looks like you go there to get approval, friends and acceptance, or else you get upset to shoot everyone down. Has it ever occurred to you that YOU have sin just like the very people you accuse? What does the Bible say? Forgive, love, humble yourself in front of God and pray. Why do you say people judge when you do it on an world wide web scale without any shame?

The point is that true Christians go to church to glorify God and to share. But people of this generation go to church to get a show, to get their ego massaged and demand, take and be told things their itchy ears want to hear.

NEWS FLASH: God calls us to be servants, not Paris Hiltons. Ask yourself, how have you helped or served others at church?

You said it yourself church is not about the building. It's made of people. Are you not people. If no one is welcoming, why aren't yoy volunteeing to welcome? If everyone is giving you the judgemental look, why aren't you giving the encouraging words?

Are others required to be more Christians than you are? When you say "they" should listen to your problems before giving you encouragementa, why have you done for them?!

God has required YOU to read His word. You don't seem to be worried about your lack of reading, but rather focus on the looks on other's faces.

Instead of looking at his lacking, Cain killed Abel because he attributed his jealousy to Abel's righteousness. Are you not doing the exact thing in your heart. You don't have the right heart.

I serve at church and focus on growing in God's love to serve others. But everyone who serves know that we are saved by GRACE, not by our own goodness, and often I fail to reflect God even when I try because I can never be perfect. But I'm growing and learning to be a true sister to others in an imperfect church. But who is perfect? Isn't that the whole point of family, the point of love, the point of forgiveness, the point of Jesus shedding His perfect blood for me so I can be forgiven, and can learn to forgive others?

At our church we also get some people like you, coming here with agenda different than what God intended, but with the loudest voices of complaint and critism. Expecting attention and approval, but without humility nor true belief in God. No one will please you because we're not here to please people but please God.


Justbeyou 4 years ago

Wow! Thats awesome that you resorted to name calling there Tee. Now thats real cute. But anyways i wont even go there. In reference to your quote on scripture there, its all in the way that the verse is read. To me, notice i said to me, that verse does not say you have to gather in a building every Sunday. What it says to me is to gather with others. Does it say where? I didnt see where it did. Can you not gather in your home? At the park? In nature? Basically anywhere? I have friends and family, can i not gather with them at any time, or any place we choose? Where does it say to follow one religion? Noone has answered that yet. Ive asked it many times in this article and still no answer. Probably because there is no answer. Noone knows. To confine God, or whatever name you give him, to one place is to limit him. He is unlimited. He is every where, all the time. And yes he is even in the church buildings. I never said he wasnt. If people attend a church building thats their right, and i respect that. But i also expect the same respect if i choose not to attend. Just because you dont attend a church building once or twice a week does not mean you are lost. In fact we may be more found than you think. Not all that wonder are lost. About a year ago i had a conversation with my dad about church (hes always been an avid church goer) and i told him i think we all need a little less church, and a little more God. The conversation stopped there. He had nothing to say. I made my point and the subject has never came up again.


izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

imperfect church~ seems you read Laura's quote perfectly but failed to read mine correctly at all. I do what's right by the Bible. I treat and help my fellow human beings well, I pray, I do what's right by the Bible. Are you saying going to church is all that gets people the "kingdom"? Just go to church and you will have "suffered" enough to go to heaven. Ethics is atmosphere, where are you hanging out? So going to church in spite of the not-so-desirable people hang out is good to be around. Yes, I'm sure Jesus would love to see how church has gone. I'll be going to hell I'm sure since I don't go to church. All of you types are not convicing me of that.

Also read in my comment back to Laura that not all the things I've mentioned in the article are directly from me- just what I've heard many other people say. And yes many people are unde the assumption that after their prayers are not answered God must not exist or care about them. And yes God is similar to a genie if you go by books such as Prayer of Jabez and many church leaders will recite that 'ask and you shall receive'. Me personally i figure God has a plan for me so I'm careful what I pray for. Read things before you go spouting off and crucifying me for representing people outside of the Christian realm- yes, other people exist besides those that go to church. But why would you care about them...according to you they just go to hell so to hell with them.

Justbeyou~ yes totally agree. I don't know what some of these people are saying that we should suffer to get to the kingdom. I don't think being a decent human being is "work" or "suffering".


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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Tee~ looks like you fit some of my descriptions in the article to a "TEE" (teeheee). Judgmental for starters. Your first sentence addressing me is whiny and irresponsible. I'm sorry if my article represents the majority of how people feel. I am not anti-christian. he article states more of an anti-church sentiment.

You must think peopel are sheep- my word (someone they don't even know) is going to pull such weight as to convince them not to go to church. I encourage belief in God (as I stated in article and my many comments) but there are people out there like me who believed that since I did not like church that I must not believe in God either. I am trying to save those people from making the same wrong assumption I did. That people can have God but don't have to go to church.

You're right I don't necessarily help those at church, I help those outside of church...a lot. I think everyone, non christian even, deserves help....and a voice.

That's interesting that you mention this generation is bad because I've seen the elders at the churches behave the worst and the most unforgiving and judgmental of all. I find others to be quite fake at church...speaking of Paris Hilton. I've come across more fake people at church than anywhere.

I've also stated I do read the Bible, I do pray so basically since you think me different than you, I deseve your persecution instead of help. Is this how you generally "help" people.

I don't think anyone can grow in god when not being their true selves. I don't find authenticity in church...sorry but that's my experience.

"At our church we also get some people like you, coming here with agenda different than what God intended, but with the loudest voices of complaint and critism." I don't really get this. I had no prior agenda as a kid about church but that didn't stop the pastor's kids from treating me poorly at school or them taking drugs or two churches shunning my mom because she got divorced. And the list goes on..like being treated poorly by church ogers after church when I was a waitress. They tipped awful and treated me like a slave, even yelled at me. I don't think anyone owes me anything when I go to church. yes, I expect them to be as nice as someone at a grocery store- is that too much?


Justbeyou 4 years ago

I agree izettl....you have in no way, shape, form or fashion said to not believe in God. That was never mentioned. People here are talking about why they dont attend church, not why they dont believe in God....isnt that the title of the article? Why people stopped going to church? You can be close to God without a building or a specific religion. Im living proof. Once we limit our beliefs we limit God. He is unlimited. To say people cant be close, or closer, to him outside a building is to be close minded. When you close your mind, you close your heart. Dont believe me? Just try it. When you close your heart there is hatred, no accepting of others unless they believe just like you, there is resentment, and most of all, no love. Our greatest commandment is to love. You cant love with a closed heart. Its impossible to let love and acceptance in if your heart is closed. Man that was such a good post, i impressed myself...lol


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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Justbeyou~ exactly- I'm not against God at all. To say everyone should feel close to God in a specific buiding is silly- I like to be with family or by myself to feel closer to God- I suppose its like studying. Some people can do it in a crowded cafe and others need peace and quiet to get the most out of it.

I have no need to condemn those that don't agree with how I worship God, but wow some of those churchgoers already had me going to hell. Which sadly proves my (and yours) point.


LuvAutumn 4 years ago

I have found that I'm having a better relationship with God since I have left the church. When I was attending, my focus was not on the message, my ministry, and teaching Pre K-3rd grade, but on the hurt, gossip/slander/making fun of others that is such a big thing at church. I would go and sit, and worry about these things. The church has about 80 members, and some of them do brag of the money they give, the committees they are on, and the power they have in church. I have talked with the pastor, and he tells me since some of these people allocate lots of money, and he knows they are trouble makers, but he can't upset them, because he feels they may not put forth the money they do. He told me these people pay his salary, and he will not upset them by talking about what they are doing. Sad..really sad.


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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

LuvAutumn~ yes, I completely relate. I'm sorry if I can't keep my focus on the message rather than the people, that's just how I'm wired I guess and do not want to be faulted for that or told I do not believe in God. Yes, I have also run into pastors who wont do anything because of monetary cnotributions. And I'm supposed to follow their lead- no thanks. Im with you on everything you've said.


Justbeyou 4 years ago

I was raised my whole life in church. From birth to about 18, then i got out on my own got married, had kids, got divorced, got remarried and had another child. During those years of my first marriage and now this marriage, i strayed away from the church because i was forced to go as a child. Everything happens for a reason, and the reason i didnt attend church all those years, was to bring me to the place i am today. I have learned more about God being out of church, than i ever did in church. The churches only touch the surface. They dont go as deep as they should. Ive had many awakenings in the last few years. And its amazing. I saw a quote on fb the other night that really really woke me up. With all my younger teachings in church about put God first, it never really really sunk in till the other night. That one quote did it. And it wasnt in a building. It was in my own home on my iphone on fb. There are many many paths to God, be it in our homes, in nature, on the phone with a friend, in silence, and yes in a church too. Dont just limit God to a building. He is every where, all the time, in everything we do. He never leaves us, we leave him. To me love and nature are my "church". Those were created by God. Just him. Its natural and perfect. There is no money, power, greed, dogma, ego, in nature. God is with everyone, any where and at any time. All we have to do is remember.


homo 4 years ago

Not true. The church does not accept homosexuals. The reality is that the church wants to hide themselves just like Pilatus did to Jesus Christ cleansing their hands and acting himself not guilty of the sin. The church has big sins that no one has any idea. Some guys are jealous that thinks someone will take his wife or his boyfriend and be with him or her or took him to the hotel with him.


Sandra Wylie 4 years ago

Fair enough you do not want to go to church, but Jesus said: You must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven." I do not go to church, but I am going to heaven!


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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks for stopping by homo- you don't need to church to know God.

Thanks Sandra- yes indeed


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ananceleste 4 years ago from California

I am considered conservative and try to be as much as I can. But this is the best, and funniest article I have read in the subject! Amen! I don't attend church at this moment for health reasons; but I can relate.

Actually, this reminds me of the youth classes I gave a couple of years ago. And how we would spend most of the class discussing these things. This is AWESOME my child!!!


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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

ananceleste! thank you so much for the enthusiastic awesome comment!


Wendy 4 years ago

Church is not suppose to be a country club that makes you feel like a cushy member that fits in. Its a place you go to worship and praise God with other believers, and a place you go to connect with other believers in order to serve them and others in the community. Those other believers are just like you -not God- and therefore not perfect. Cut them the slack you cut yourself. Its suppose to be a place that has worship, teaching, and gives opportunities for believers to serve each other and others. Its not about you. American culture is to self-centered now. We can't see anything past our own wants and comfort zones. All of what you describe as reasons for not going to church wouldn't even matter if you went to church with a mindset to praise God and for what YOU could give, not receive. Maybe that dull song would mean more if you thought about the words in it and directed them towards God as you sang, instead of looking for an ear fancy. Christians aren't magicians, and church isn't for entertainment, concerts and kicks. Why don't you find a church and instead of criticizing it, find a way to improve it. Maybe your insight is whats needed to change the church for better. But how can it, if the people who are suppose to help cant stop thinking about their self long enough to make a difference?


Wendy 4 years ago

BTW (if you read this bcuz its long) - I have had bad experiences from Christians as well. My mother has been bi-polar all of my life. She JUST got diagnosed and started meds this year. Im 24. Can you imagine? When I was younger and going to church with my parents people felt sorry for her so they tried to "do the right thing" by having her over or coming over to "be her friend". That lasted one, maybe two, if she was lucky 3 times. It always proved too much for their psyche to have a friendship with an emotionally unstable, overly sensitive person. Many times I watched my mother cry and stay in her room depressed for weeks because people ("christians") bailed out on planned outings she was looking forward to all week. She was a person who just wanted to be loved and wanted people to spend time with her, but instead they avoided her and brushed her off. Why? Because they couldn't get passed certain feelings of discomfort she may have caused. They couldn't be selfless long enough to learn to accept, appreciate, and love who she was. All she wanted was a friend to talk to and spend time with. So, she suffered. And in turn I suffered and still do in ways that you might not imagine I would from something like that. You are right in stating that God is bigger than the church, and of course you can have a relationship with him outside of the church. That is, the institution of church. He is a spiritual being, not a religion. The relationship is what it is all about. But the real church consist of people. The church is the people who have a relationship with him. The real problem with the real church is the lack of love we are showing to everyone. We are too selfish, and unwilling to sacrifice much - if anything - to serve a greater purpose other than some self serving, feel good purpose. And that includes dealing with uncomfortable people, and uncomfortable situations that gathering at the same place with the same flawed people every week might bring. But let me give you a verse - and ill explain (although I challenge you to study the Bible beyond just reading it ..for yourself so you can understand that random verse someone throws at you). The first being something that Jesus said to the pharisees and Sadducees( these were like harvard grad, popes - highly educated, high Jewish leaders). They asked Jesus what the greatest commandment from God was and Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ........So the MOST important rules that God gives us are to love him, and love others as if they were our own self. Do we REALLY love others like we love our self? If we're honest, no we don't. We take care of our self, we forgive our self, we are patient and merciful with our self, we try our best to make our self happy and provide for what we need. But with others, well, they can take care and worry about their self. Because that's what we do in this country. We are independent. If someone we DONT love offends us, we say "the heck with you" and we get away from them. Thats natural right? Thats also sin nature. But Gods nature is to love your enemy, and those who spitefully use you. God is faithful and just to forgive us when we fall short and make mistakes....but we are impatient, unforgiving, judgmental, and flaky. We don't love like God. When Jesus was teaching his disciples he told them this "43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."******Its easy to give up on people we think are wrong, but God doesnt. He doesnt want us to either. He wants us to love them like he loves them! That is not easy when we feel we are getting either nothing, or disrespect in return. It requires sacrifice, it requires persistence, it requires patience. It requires feeling angry, annoyed, overwhelmed, sad, yet not stopping. Don't we feel that way with our husbands though sometimes? But we dont just walk away from them, because we love them. Love is an action. Love is not proven by how easy things are, it is proven by whether or not we are faithful through the hard times too. The institution of church as it once was is changing, and needs to change. But the way we change it for the better is not by posting blogs against each other, or staying away from each other and only going around those who make us feel good. We change it by first loving God, and being led by him to show love to whoever HE wants us to. Even if that means putting up with the same ole music, faces, problems, and baggage that may be in one of these churches for a time- for the greater cause of greater change! We change it by improving relationships with each other. God is all about relationship. Relationship first with him, and second with the people he created. He is faithful. After all, im sure those nails didnt feel good going through his hands when he was dying to save those very people who were killing him. But he still did it because He loves God, and he loves us. He is our example. (sorry so long!)


Bobbie Rodriguez 3 years ago

One of the reasons I don't go is because we live in a small community in which many people are sue-happy. My husband asked me not to get involved with any activity here; although in other cities, I was active in the community and at church. We live in the mountains so every day is a day of worshipping God as I look up onto the hills from whence cometh my help.


hates churches 3 years ago

When my husband passed away in my arms, I was reminded of the passage that Jesus said, "Blessed those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Good sentiment, huh? Well here in New England, the sentiment is "Blessed those who are RICH who mourn, for THEY shall be comforted." I went to 10 churches and because I was poor they turned their backs on me and slammed the door in my face! I had a parishioner yell at me, and the pastor wouldn't do a darn thing! So I written an article in the newspaper and they headlined it "CHURCHES SHUN POOR WIDOW!" Not one of the churches or whom are online HAD THE GUTS TO REPLY, so I have a direct line to God outside. That's where Jesus prefered to preach. I always believe God was interested in what's in your HEART NOT IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT!


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Wendy~ thank you for reminding me about another point I made here. Church is about God, not me, not you, etc. For me, I want God and community out of a church, but when I get backstabbing, cliques, gossiping, judgment, and people acting like they're perfect, that's not for me. In fact I've stated before that I expect people to be like people I meet in a grocery store or anywhere....not perfect of course, but most in church are worse than the average.

I also want to point out that as a Christian or believer in God in genera;l, I believe you are a person who sets an example. I'ts like being rude around your kids and telling them how to be instead of demonstrating it. I want to be an example and I NEVER expect more out of someone else than out of myself. Even when I was merely a restaurant I conducted myself in the community as a goodexample because I would be doing my place of work a disgrace, seeing the public a lot while at work, if I was being rude outside of work to someone I may have to serve food to.

For me personally, my intent is to tell people that they should not give up on God if they don't want to go to church.


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Bobbie~ thanks for the comment. No church going but at least you can worship and have a relaitonship with God, without church. You probably miss the community I'm sure.

"Hates churches"~ that really is an awful story- I am so sorry for that. I hope you continue your relationship with God. And yes he knows whats in your heart- its most valuable.


docsimo10 3 years ago

I also thought that was very interesting and have recently returned to church. For the many reasons you left and stayed connected just not through church, I found what I was looking for. A meaningful relationship with God. I had never had this before. I am not perfect and nor are most of a members. My Pastor who I love is the first to admit that he is not perfect. I am sure there are some of those high flying believers in our church, and those who judge, but there are also enough of us that love the community of church. My Church has made Sunday the best day of the week and my kids are more excited to go. I wish everyone could find the church that fits them like we did. We are growing, but my family has too many issues and sun burns to trust going back to church formally and hate that they may have to give up some sinful things. Not knowing is easier for some then knowing and then still partaking in activities. They say we have judged them because we have chosen not to drink as much. I love my wife's family and hope they find a church or just find God again truely with or without church. We do need a church or spiritual community to keep us from danger and evil that is out there, as is good.


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

doc~ thanks for sharing your experience. I think a lot of people would go back to church if they could find the right fit. No, I don't expect people to be perfect, but like you said, your pastor admits that- that's all I'm asking for. Not to be seen as any better or worse than the person next to me in the pew. I don't like when the majority of the congregation thinks they can do no wrong because they go to church. It is about community- glad you found that.


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lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

izettl,

You make some valid points, but overall it seems that perhaps you missed the point of church along with most people. Church isn't about what we get out of it. It's about worshiping God. We tend to focus on what others can do for us, how others make us feel, etc., but it's not about me at all. It's all about Him. If I'm there for Him alone, it really doesn't matter what others think, do, or say. I don't answer to them.


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

lifegate~ quite possibly I'm not the only one who missed the point. I don't need church to worhsip God- nobody needs church to do that. i worship him each time I talk to Him- in a car or wherever or at night when I pray or when I teach my children about Him.

"Church isn't about what we get out of it". EXACTLY my point. People go because they get something out of it- a selfish need to feel good about going, doing their Godly duty, gossiping, social mingling, and the list goes on. Exactly why I stopped going- it was about what people got out of it. It is not about God. That's the facade. If I felt it was about God, I'd go back. If I'm here for God then it doesn't matter where I worship Him at.


Joanna 3 years ago

Hi, I'm struggling with the decision to leave church or not, although I am inclined towards doing so. I've only joined a few months ago, previously I read and followed the bible and prayed every night and have continued to do so, so I was proud to call myself a Christian.

Since joining church, I have felt no connection to God whilst there and felt pushed to declare that I wanted to start a new life - my old one was fine. I wanted to go just to be taught on readings I wasn't sure on and to be inspired but instead I feel obliged to offer to help with their meals or coffee mornings when I'm stressed over being busy at university (and I'm not a very sociable person either). The church is a non-denominational church and the music is more modern etc., but I just feel sceptical.

I feel like I'm being selfish or not a good Christian because I'm constantly being told how important it is to take part in fellowship or be part of the church in order to be part of God's holy body but I just felt so much closer to Him when I'm praying at home and not worrying about what I'll be doing at church.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Joanna~ just like there are different learning styles, I believe there are different worhsip styles. I never felt more connected to God in a church than in my own home or when I chose to worship Him whenever or wherever. While attending church I always felt pressured to attend all their functions but honestly I just wanted a message to inspire me or help me learn a little more about the Bible, I never wanted the "extra" stuff. I kind of lost God in all that. I think my connection to God feels more intimate when I'm not in church and quite possibly that is exactly the way you feel. I don't think you nor I should apologize for that.

You shouldn't go to church just for the sake of going to church. I wouldn't discourage you from trying others in the future, but if it doesn't feel right then I wouldn't stay- don't feel bad cause God would not want that. Jesus worshipped and taught whenever and wherever. Only God knows what's in your heart.


Joanna 3 years ago

Thank you, that is definitely how I feel and you've really encouraged me. I do feel a more intimate connection to God when I'm praying alone and there's just no feeling that God is there with me when I'm in church, at least for me, and I'll spend all week thinking 'urgh I don't want to have to help them with that coffee morning', which I know is a selfish attitude to have but it does detract from the real reason I wanted to go to church - to learn and hear from God.

I was wondering if you could give me any advice on how to tell them I'm leaving. The church is just down the road from my house, it's a new building and they're a fairly new church so I don't think they'd be very supportive of my decision to leave, but I want them to know that I've not 'lost my faith' or anything like that.


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wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

Great Hub, you've made many excellent observations! Even though I myself am a committed christian and church goer I agree with much of what you say. A few years ago I considered just having a church in my own house and inviting poeple over. I also agree that worship should be primarily outside the church.

My only difference with you is I don't feel its scriptural not to belong to a local church body if there's one availible. Over the years I've observed those who no longer go to a church and those who go from church to church and I have never seen this as a good thing. They all seemed worse of than when they were attending church.

Now granted there are many churches that are abusive and I would say that it may be right to leave but no church is perfect and I feel that I'd need to hear from God to make a move.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Joanna~ What I did when I left a church was explain that I felt a stronger connection to God worshipping on my own, but if that should change and I need a larger community base to worship with, I would look them up.

I am the same way as you- it's not wrong. Actually I think many others are like this too but still go along with the social nature of church and get caught up in it. I grew up watching my mom going to "social events"/ church and I lost my faith early. Then when I realized I could have a relationship with God without the church, it all changed for me.

I want my worshipping to be about God...not coffee (in your example). I have Rheumatoid arthritis and I only have so much of myself to give so I concentrate on the "big" stuff. God is bigger than coffee mornings. lol. But seriously, I wouldn't mind getting together with people to worship, but somehow it turns into something totally different and that's where they lose me.

I have a friend that pastors a non-denomination church and he has changed. I knew him before he did this- in fact when he was a non-believer. My point is that even for him, his faith has changed. First, he found God and I saw it in him. Now, he recruits people and it's all about number of members and whether they "lose" somebody. All is not lost if you still have God and that should be most important to them...and you of course.


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

wba~ I don't think going from church to church is a good thing either. I study and share the Bible in my own home whether that be with family members or by myself.

If church in general is not suitable for certain people, then jumping from one to the next one won't ever work out. Not to say they should give up. I attend my friends' or family church periodically but do not regularly attend.

I also want people to not give up on their relationship or believing in God because they don't like church. I think the former is more important, don't you? It would be awful for someone to say (as I did at one point) that I might as well not believe or have a relationship with God since I don't want to attend church or cant find ones I like.


jeanine 3 years ago

there is a book, you can get to hold you over until you find the church that's for you... It's called..."My Utmost for His Highest"... by Osward Chambers... you'll love it... I think he passed away at an early age... 29... and it was never meant to be a book but his wife took his writings and put them together... it is my favorite book other than the Bible as spiritual matters go...

Izettl... I believe God is about the big things, and you surely should take care of your time and rest always but He is also about just being with you and I... for a cup of coffee...he has healing in His hands... also he is the most romantic being I've ever encountered.... "We lay beneath the willows... waters whisper His name... He smile... stars cover me... never to be, quite the same.... a tender touch in a sea called serene.... wisdom to fill my sails while waves of joy in the mist of marriage... follow my tears, falling in warm caress... the earth in a heavy rain... hearts do not faint... and the mind will clear... morning comes.... my love.... so good.... so dear."..


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks Jeanine


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hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

I defy religiosity and the pompous pseudo-piety in some church services. But spirituality is a comfortable bed under the stars and a driftwood pillow for my head. Thank you for your VERY REAL statements in this article.


Branko- Croatia-Zagreb 3 years ago

izettl - This topic was started many years ago, what are your views today, any changes, how do you satisfy your spiritual longing?


Pastor Jmie 3 years ago

Attending church has little to do with what "you" get out of it, but what you're giving while you're there. I'm not talking about money. We all enter with needs, but those needs are not our focus. God is not a genie and His house is not a bottle. Almost all of the listed reasons are related to your preferences, insecurities or desires. There are only three reasons you should go to church.

1. To worship God.

2. To learn about Him.

3. To encourage and serve others.

Hebrews 10:25 does command us to go to church. Now "church" is a place, any place, in which the above three are taking place. Church is not about you, it's about God. You get past distractions and judgmental people all week long so you can get past it at church right? If not, why? Church is made up of imperfect people like you and me and will always have it's problems, but no excuse, even death, will hold up to God (Luke 957-62).

Unfortunately I know exactly how you feel because I came from a very legalistic religious background. What matters most to me now is what matters most to Jesus-knowing Him (Matthew 7:20-21), loving my neighbor and loving my enemies.

I encourage you to do what I did; go to church with the intention of the above three things, rising above the distractions you have and you will fall in love with the Church, which by the way, is the Bride of Jesus. Beware of how you speak about her. Blessings to you. I enjoyed this article very much.


dan 3 years ago

bro i appreciate your honesty about this article..but i think you have spend more time knowing God's wisdom and His plans for you.A road to maturity is not easy and perfect.along the way there is a lot hindrances, burdens,distractions from people we don't like and things we wish to do..it takes a genuine effort and time to know God and understand that He loves you...understand it takes very hot fire to refine a pure gold and it requires time for a good craftsmanship for a precious jewelry..God wants you become a person so precious to Him..a diamon,pure gold..not just an ordinary stone..So don't be discourage to go to church..im sorry for those people who made you less value,people who wrong you even hurt you..but it will benefits you if you can handle them for you to grow and patient and flexible but if you can't ,be surrounded with people will watch over you and can give a good advice and encouragement .You can find them in the church, your pastor, your brethren,..Im sorry about the condition of the churches in your country but you just find a church right for you... ..its not about other people but take God personally and be in His love and in His joy and and be a blessing to your fellow human..set aside the complaining and be happy..God bless you bro..


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Hawaiian O, thanks for stopping by. I like the all encompassing definition of spiritual I believe in God, but religion just seems to serve those who stand to benefit from its hypocritical terms. So I think we're in agreement.

Branko, thanks for asking. My views are the same. I'd claim less shallow reasons for not going to church. Sleeping in seems pretty shallow but my reason behind that now is having a baby and a chronic illness so I absolutely need my sleep. I think many of these reasons had commenters over the years think these were all my personal reasons but I've written more personal hubs recently on this topic. Such as Losing Church and Finding God. I have small children and my daughter age 5 has been to church a handful of times. She really enjoys learning about Jesus, etc and I don't discourage it. I think if a person chooses to not go to church they should still find time to worship and learn about The Lord. I have noticed more and more people who do not even consider their belief in God, they don't even think about it. That's sad, but I still believe church is home to many of those people. Politics and socializing get involved and the true meaning is lost upon even those who regularly go.

Pastor jmie, Interesting you mention those three things because you can do those even better outside of church, in my opinion. All of those you mentioned do not have to occur In a church.


KennethNY 3 years ago

All i can say is..... Thank GOD and Jesus for people like you that are still using the greatest gift GOD ever gave us... Freedom of Will.

You took every single thought in my mind and wrote it all out.

I believe in God and Jesus, But i can honestly say i don't have the Good Book memorized... How ever , I have had a great relationship with the top dogs just from remembering 2 verses.

1. Let those who have not sinned, Cast the first stone. " Jesus "

2. The Kingdom of GOD is within all man and not only one. "St.Luke"

Again thank you very much for taking the time to write this post, because i have not been to church in a long time, but i have always had GOD and J.C. in my heart. I missed a church meeting today for the first time and my new friends are acting like i am a outcast.

At the end of the day. it turns out even better because my Faith is Stronger than ever, with or without someone else or a certain place telling me how to worship or talk to the Big Man himself.

And Yes He does answers prayers , just make them reasonable.

Kenneth M. Lee 2013


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moonlightlady339 3 years ago

The Bible says, "I am the vine, you are the branches". This article was obviously created by a person who walked into a church and expected that church to cater to her needs, when the focus should be on worship, praise, quietly listening to what God is telling us within our Spirit, and learning and appreciating God's Holy Word, which yes, can be done away from the church and Body of Christ, but warning. Once away from the vine, unless a person is disciplined enough to seek their own resources, oftentimes we fall away from the Spirit and spending time with God simply because without the structure and the offerings of the Church, it is very easy to lose our focus. I think the writer of this article is also guilty of a massive generalization when it comes to her opinion of those who choose to worship in a public forum, which is ironic, because you come across as someone who doesn't want to be generalized as not being obedient to a higher power by simply choosing not to participate. It's almost as if you want permission from someone to worship, or not worship, as you see fit, but don't you see...you already have that freedom. What I don't quite get is your almost antagonism towards those who choose not to follow your particular spiritual avenue. I only know this. A person who develops a Personal relationship with Jesus Christ doesn't feel conflicted, doesn't expect any one church to cater to them, because it's not their focus. A person who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ simply talks over their life and how they live it with The Father, and together they work out what is most pleasing to Him. Not everyone's life, or style has to be the same with The Father, but I would suggest that while you are in quiet contemplation with the Spirit, try listening to what God is telling you. You sound like a person who wants to please God. Well, just talk to Him and I'm sure you'll be able to find a balance that works with your life and your God. But to make a massive generalization that the majority of churches are failing those who desire to attend, maybe the problem isn't the Body of Christ, but the problem is the "lack of focus" on the one attending. A lot of people attend church for the fellowship, food, the social aspect, and they seem absolutely clueless as to "worship", and what this means. It becomes too easy to become distracted when dealing with so many people in one place that we can oftentimes become overwhelmed, disheartened, and lose our own personal focus, which again, isn't what the church is supposed to do for "us" but how can we come into the situation and bring our obedience, our kindness, our love and worship, and our desire to please God into focus. I wouldn't give up on it. Organized religion has it's flaws, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. If a person gets involved in "any organization" be it secular or religious, you are going to have to deal with the human element.


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Kenneth NY~ I think those of us who don't frequent church have ot work a little harder to practice and worship because we don't have a sermon laid out for us or a place we go every week like clockwork, but I get the most out of taking that time and that extra effort to be wit hGod in ways I feel closest to Him.

Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad I could write your thoughts : ))


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

moonlightlady339~ it amazes me that someone who walks with Christ can ridicule somebody else or shame them because they do not worship like you do, but we believe in the same God (more than likely). Your first bible quote there doesn't say anything about going to church (it says "you" and "I", not the whole congregation). I have stood up against those who have commented with an attack first.

"walked into a church". Try walking into them my entire life...many of them, not "a" church. I expect to not be thrown out or outcasted for my mom's divorce. That was my first experience then there was the time I was bullied at school by the pastor's kid at another church.

How can I "lose focus" if I pray every night with my kids aand if I teach my daughter about God at least once a week. I think more people drop God fro mtheir lives based on experiences from church than people who drop them from having a relationship with Him without going to church. I also write how the lack of God in our institutions such as school is a major downfall in our society. I belive God exiting our everyday existance is the result of bad experiences at churches. It's too bad. People are judgin God based on church and I want there to be a separation for the sake of giving God a good name again.

The whole of this article is not everything I've experienced (some but not all) as it was written to people I have known and why they don't believe in God. Sadly, if you get beyond the church walls there are tons of people who are misled about God BECAUSE of church. I always write for others becasue I know this about humanity...we are not all so different, if I feel something chances are many others do too so I wanted to post something for those people. I would have loved to read something like this for the few years I didn't believe in God because I had bad times at churches.I thought the two were inseparable and they aren't- I want others to know that.

I'm not keen on "organized" thought. You're right about this. I have degrees, but I am not keen on school as an institution as well. I should write a hub about how people can be smart and successful without school. That should piss off some educators. Just kidding by the way...

I love my relationship with God, I love to see my children's love for Him. I think if it ain't broken, don't fix it. I'm doing just fine!


Lefteze1956 3 years ago

I just got back from visiting my son. I felt more of God's presence during this week I spent with him than I did at the church where I live. He doesn't go to church, he works on Sundays. He reads the bible. He is probably one of the best examples of a follower of Christ I have ever seen. He is living proof that it's not church where you feel God's presence, it's where 2 or more of us are gathered in His name. We prayed and even studied the bible for a night. He loved doing that with me.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lefteze1956,

I used to work on Sundays to...being in the food industry for several years you don't get the luxury of having weekends off often. That's when I learned if I wanted God, he needed to be a regular "habit", not just a sunday worship habit. It's good practice and I am so happy to hear your son has found that out too.


Mark 3 years ago

I don't mean to point out what you're saying is wrong. All of the reasons you gave are valid...but I want to put out the truth to you, the Bible tells us that the day of worship is the 7th day if you check the calendar the 7th day is Saturday, which is what the Jews called Sabbath or Shabbat. No where in the Bible does it make a reference to Sunday, unfortunately it was overtime that Man decided to change the day of worship to Sunday, unfortunately many don't know the truth of that. Look I don't want to be a burden but please understand, we don't necessarily HAVE to go to church but if you want growth in your life spiritually going to church can help you...many of the people who go to church themselves are trying to find their way and do right and some of them are stuck up...and you find people like that everywhere. Honestly being a Christian doesn't mean memorizing the Bible back and front but it means following the word of God to the fullest and worshipping in honest faith. Many fear the truth because they hate change, I just hope you come to realize that yes many of the people at churches are at times hypocrites and judgmental but pretty much everyone is. A church is similar to a hospital...it's a place for sick people, church was made to get people who lacked knowledge of God to learn more from others with a better understand. I'd love to explain to you many of the flaws of some of the Sunday worship religions and how some people make Christians look bad but please be patient and ask God for an answer...God sometimes doesn't have to answer directly for you to know that he replied. Usually God's answers are YES, NO, or Later. Learn and be patient with the Lord because he could eventually do amazing things in your life trust me. Pick up a Bible and read it, don't read it to memorize it, but read to learn lessons from especially valuable ones.


Mike Duty 3 years ago

Your article and most of the responses made result from one simple thing. YOU HAVE NEVER READ THE BIBLE. When you do and it begins to conflict with what you WANT it to say, you put it down. People say the bible can't be understood. This is exactly what Satan wants you to think.

Not much in this article is in keeping with God's will. If you are stalled in the middle of a railroad track, does someone have to tell you to get out of the way. READ THE BIBLE DEAR!


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Mark~ I agree. I believe the Adeventists still worship or rest on Saturday...something like that.

You make a strong point for me...thanks. Yes, you can find churchgoing type of people everywhere so why do I or anyone else need to go to church to be with them. THey are exactly what I don't want to be around if I am worshipping God. I worship God and spiritually grow much better when I separate myself from some of those people at church. I think we should expect those people to be better...after all they are spiritually growing and need church to do that.

I think it's similar to needing school to learn about various subjects. Well, honestly couldn't one learn without going to school? I'm not much for standardized learning about anything- I think it stunts our growth.

Mike Duty~ Over time, I've proabably read most of the Bible. It doesn't conflict with what I think. I believe people who go to church are learning someone else's (denomination or pastor) view of the Bible. I believe we are meant to take form it where we need to grow in and get something personal from it to apply to our lives. I think everybody interprets various parts of the Bible differently. I understand plenty out of the Bible and read from a couple different variations. Thanks for inquiring though...

I never said anything in this hub about not reading the Bible.


ROBERT 3 years ago

you made some good points that i must say. but if i can say seem to me that you are doing the very thing you are talking about, judgeing.you are right church foke black white and every other color are messed up. the bible says matt;13-30 let both grow together until the harvest ; and in the time of harvest i will say to the reaper , gather ye together first the tares , and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barns. GOD knows whos right and who belongs to the devil. yes there will always be gossip hate liein evey and so forth in the church but its not our job to say who is right or wrong only GOD knows the heart of man and woman. the reason some people dont like church is one thet may not be saved, two they belong to the devil. yes some time church may be boring but its only boring because those who think that are not doing nothing but judging the people, and as far as dressing up before we were saved went to partys and made sure we looked our best so i see nothing wrong with dressin up, and if you have been to a church were they tell you how to dress then you need to pray and ask GODto lead you somewhere else. there is not one perfect church in this world. fellowship is good they had fellowship in the old and new testament. it helps us know tht we are not the only ones who are having trouble. i can say this if you are a pastor how will you teach those tht come to you in a house, GOD said his house to to be filled. i pray if you area pastor GOD will touch you and let you see the truth. there is no perfect church at all only GOD knows the heart. you pray for me and i will pray for you GOD bless you and yours.P.S MIN ROBERT HAMMONS


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Robert,

I think church is a great place to find one's way perhaps, but for me there is too much judging of people there. I am not judging by saying that- its just my observation and a fact when I hear it all. The judging I am referring to in church goes something like; shame on that woman for not staying home with her kids and working instead. My mom was shamed for getting a divorce and how was she supposed to grow in a place when people stopped talking to her? I think thats whats wrong in society is that we settle for whats bad for us...abusive relationships, bad churches, and we just keep subjecting ourselves to it for the good of simply going to church or being married.

I am not shaming anyone, I am not drawing conclusions- I'm just stating fact. I don't personally like that and will not grow in a place like that. That's just me. If there are people that grow among them then great, but many of us don't. As humans, we can easily get caught up in that and I know I probably would so its not a place for me to grow.

We expect cops to be law abiding and hold them to a higher standard of the law. I do not see whats wrong with holding some seasoned religious folks to a higher standard. I hold myself to that. I live by my morals and as close the Bible's words.

You're right about a perfect church and I think thats my point is that are we not perfect just by ourseves in our relationship with God? I think anywhere you gain the most from a relationship with God is perfect. If thats church then fine. God's house is each one of us. It is not a building. I pray most nights and teach my daughter about the Bible. I have seen worse things in church than outside of a church. That's my observation,. not judging. I have seen horrible things in schools and choose to home school my daughter until she can protect herself, which is not age 5.


savannahjaine 3 years ago

Hello,

As I was searching for some enlightment about a particular situation... I came across your hub. I have been reading for hours! I, too, am one of those that became disheartened about church. I, too, now have a much closer relationship with God than I ever had.

I come from a disfunctional family, which is another story altogether, but we went to church on a hit and miss basis. My Father did not go at all, and with four children, my Mother did her best for awhile. By the time I was 16, the disfunction was so toxic I left home and never went back. I searched many different churches for what everyone told me I was missing..... and although I was baptized as a child... I didn't really find the Lord until I was AWAY from church. It is amazing to know He was with me all along.

When I had children, other children and their parents criticized my girls for not going to church. Having two children from two different husbands did not help matters when it came to judging. But my husband and I decided to try church once again. We went to the Baptist church where we were invited.. I happened to be on the cradle roll all those years ago there! I was excited to take my family and actually be a part of "God's family". But what transpired over the next 3 years was anything but inspiring. Some days I would leave feeling physically ill.. and definitely emotionally drained due to what I would see and hear.

We went every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday nights. I involved myself with the choir and made robe accessories, etc. I really tried to be an active member and fit in. But in my heart.. I knew I didn't. In my heart.. I knew it was wrong, some of what I saw and heard. In my heart... I knew I did not want to raise my children in this atmosphere.

Some examples so you don't just think I am running off at the mouth:

My husband smoked cigarettes. Yes- a nasty addiction.. but even more reason to get closer to God, right? Worship his bodily temple. Well, he was criticized on more than one occasion for smelling like cigarette smoke... and one lady said it so loud that half the congregation could hear her!

Then, a chili supper, for our Sunday school class. Oh, one of the members didn't attend. Why? Because they labeled him as "The Drinker". Not because he drank.. but because he grew up in a house where his parents had a liquor cabinet. Well, you know what? So did I.

Another time, a church member came to me and told me he had been kicked out of his Sunday school class. He was high level, although mentally challenged- I used to give him rides places because he couldn't get a driver's license. I told him NO ONE could KICK him out of any Sunday School class and he told me they did. When I asked him why.. he said they told him he smelled. Now, to me, the right thing to do would be to take this guy and buy him some toiletries and teach him how to use them. No, let's kick him out of his Sunday School class. Ugh. I was brought to tears another time involving this same guy. It was time for the benediction prayer and song and in this church, like many others, all held hands. When this guy went to hold his neighbor's hand, he happened to be a teenage boy. The boy looked at his Father standing next to him, and the Father took both of his son's hands and left the mentally challenged guy not having a hand to hold. The reason? He had a few warts on his hand! Thank goodness a woman that I knew reached across the aisle and took his hand. Another time, I was at a local park with my children. I had been going to this church for over 2 years.. and at the park I saw the Pastor and his assistant. The assistant recognized me and said hello yet the Pastor made a crude comment as if he didn't know me. You could tell the assistant was embarrassed.

And if all of that is not enough.. the final reason I left that church and never went back:

I was employed at a halfway house for girls and each Sunday I would take them to a differeent church. It happened to be Easter Sunday and we went to a local church but they were having a wedding. Odd, I know, but oh well. I wanted the girls to know the Story of Easter so I told them that the Baptist church performed a play on that day. They were so excited and begged me to take them. They all got dressed up.. and if you know anything about halfway house girls.. their attire is not your typical Sunday go-to-meeting clothes. But I knew God was not concerned with that and would be glad for them to be there. As we walked in the church their smiles turned to frowns... the fellow church members that I had known those 3 years looked at me as if, "How dare you bring that trash into our church!" I was sickened.. no one greeted us.. no one talked to me... and the girls were more than uncomfortable. They asked if we could sit in the balcony.. and I agreed. The longer I sat there.. the more ill I got.. Finally I told them they didn't deserve this treatment.. they were better than that.. and let's go. We left the church and as I was driving away in the big, white van... a man who I had known since I was a baby came up to me and asked where we were going. I told him the story and told him I would NEVER step foot in that church again. He told me I shold not judge a church by it's congregation.... REALLY? No thanks.

I have sisters, and even a daughter, that are SO RELIGIOUS, they won't speak to me.. or my younger daughter.

If that is religion.. I don't want any part of it.

God knows what is in my heart and I love Him with every last beat of it.


savannahjaine 3 years ago

And one more comment before I go... My younger sister said to me one time and I quote, " Oh... if only YOU could have a relationship with the Lord like I do." And I said... "How do YOU know I don't?"


I am done 3 years ago

True, true. Today I found out, that I am all church out. I had enough of the fake folks and highly favor flesh. People are so Havenly bound, they are no earthly good. I am done!


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Savannahjaine,

I know just what you mean. Most people who have criticized my hub did so because they felt I was the one being judgmental. The opposite is true. I want to go where people are accepted, for who they are regardless of habits or backgrounds. And it just isn't the case in church...often times. Am i being judgmental on those who judge. Perhaps if we play semantics on the meaning and the workding. Perhaps I am just as judgmental on those who judge or perhaps I just don't want any part of it and I choose to leave instead of join in.

I am glad to hear you did not leave God or give up on Him. Neither did I despite some who would think that because I am not involved in church. My Sundays are for relaxing and opening up the Bible in the morning or praying and having a conversation with God or reading a couple Bible stories to my daughter. God knows He is part of my life as well as yours and this is how we thrive in Him. Thanks for sharing!

i love the comment to your sister!


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I am done,

Be done with church but not God.


BRae 3 years ago

I too am considering leaving church and going back to being a "solo eagle" Christian. Church has done nothing but distract me from my walk with God-it has steered me farther away than it has helped to draw me closer. I cannot get past the tendency for others to personally meddle in the lives of others. We are to lead others to Christ and salvation, but many people blur that and instead become like advice columnists and overly pry and judge and that does great damage and usually those who do that are the ones who are most lost in their own lives. I can't hack that. I am on my right path-have followed it all my life and it is the one God intends me to be an and any time anyone has steered me from it I ended up suffering greatly and almost became lost to the darkness forever. So, if going is causing me more harm than good I feel it is a hindrance to my walk and I will end up back in that same place and will experience utter failure I am not willing to experience nor do I need to experience.


Doug 3 years ago

Izettl, I think you might be missing the point of church. When you go to church it is not for you, it is for God. You should choose a church you enjoy, but shouldn't look for a church that only says what you want to hear. Remember, you are going to church not for you but for God! God Bless!!


Adrien 3 years ago

The bible absolutely says you should go to church, haha. I see in the comments many times that you say it doesn't. There are a myriad of reasons why. Surprisingly, an about.com article spells it out beautifully. I invite you to read it.

http://christianity.about.com/od/whatdoesthebibles...

I mean, Jesus went to church every Sunday (Luke 4:16), and you can only imagine how annoying all of the people were to a TRULY perfect person. Sometimes "we" just need to get over ourselves. ;)


Mark 3 years ago

I have read many of the conversations above. As a Pastor, I just took our church through a 4 month process of studying what the church really is to be. I took people from age 20- 80 through this and we learned what God created the church to be. We studied scripture in depth for months and asked questions and found all our answers in scripture. I truly believe if the church is what God created it to be, every single Christian could not live without it. To know what a true biblical fellowship is, you have to invest yourself in learning it. Churches would not ever have enough room any day of the week if they actually became the church God intended them to be in scripture. I absolutely love the fellowship of the church more now than ever because we understand what God intended the church to be and my church is more now than ever trying to be that. I really feel sorry for Christian's who have never taken the time to study scripture and find out what they are missing in being a part of a fellowship of believers. Fellowship is the key to any church. The more we study the word church we more we found tons of scriptures telling us not to miss out on what God has for them through a fellowship of believers. Please don't judge every church by another church. there are thousands of fellowships who are doing it right. Everything written above is personal opinions. The only opinion that really matters is God's not mine or yours or anyone elses. Before you give up on church, study the true meaning of the word and then do an in depth study of scripture for the church. I believe God's word to be truth. When we study God's word we will find truth not opinion. Not every Christian is doing right. But some are doing their best to be who God created them to be and are seeing God move mountains in their communities because they have invested in what God created his fellowship of believers to be. I absolutely can't and will never live without what a true fellowship of believers can do in my family and my life.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Doug~ I think you might be missing the point of God. He wants a close sepcial relationship with each of us and I have that. I have that more so when not in church so what do you think pleases God more?

BRae~ I agree with you. People tend to get caught up in church, especially church goers, and believe it is the ONLY way. If I am closer to God without going to church then that's where I want to be and I believe that would be God's preference as well.

Mark~ I wish I found what you have created within your church. I have not unfortunately. Someday I may search again, but having a relationship without Him without church has sometimes been the only way for me. I gave up on God for years because I stopped going to church and believed they were synonymous- can't have one without the other. Now I have found a different truth.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Adrien~ Even in that article it does not state people should go to church ( i have never witnessed those words in the scripture myself). It may state to have fellowship or gather together, but not "church". I teach my children bible stories and gather with my family for reading the Bible- is that not what is stated in ever example from the scripture in the article you put a link to?


Betohiem 3 years ago

There's many unbiblical teachings. That churches teach like sinners player. There's is no sinners player in the context of scripture. None. The method of biblical convert true teachings is: Mathew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18,Luke 24:44-53, John 21:24,Acts 2:37-47, Acts 8:35-39, Acts 10:43-49, 16:25-34, Acts 19:2-7, Acts 22:16 as a results of John 1:12, John 3:16, Acts 2:21. Church Goers and attendees aren't truley converted unless they followup the biblical way of conversation. Just believing doesn't mean your saved because according to the scriptures a person must : Believe the Goslpe/Repent/By Faith/Be Baptised(immersion)/ And Elohim(God) will add you to the body of Christ. Mark 16:15-18 & Acts 2:37-47. Many Pastors are taught what they were brought up. According to what denomination doctrine beleifs. Many practiced unbiblical teachings. In the Bibleof the N.T woman cant be teachers of men. 1TIMOTHY 2:9-15. Woman must keep silences. In Churches. Having no Authority in churc. That's the Man positions Ordinan by God.1Timothy 3:1,3:8-13.(No Woman!). 2 Timothy 3:12-16, Romans 1:17,


Michael Haley 3 years ago

There are some people that do go to church, but some people who don`t go to church is worrying about paying money just to pray to God. But what i don`t like what i have been seeing is that the Pastor has been kicking some people out of church, just because they don`t have a ride to go to church. What can happen to the Church, by do that?


Megan 3 years ago

I just had to stop and comment once I read reason number 3. Of course, sleeping in on a Sunday morning is almost Heaven in itself, but I think, as a growing Christian, that Christianity is about 'making-the-effort'.

I asked my parents the same things when they dragged me out of bed and forced me to 'look nice' for church! But my dad replied that devotion to God and his way of life will ALWAYS involve extra effort. Where is the effort and respect to God when it is mere laziness that prevents us from attending church on a Sunday morning?

Believe me, however uncomfortable it may be in stiff clothing surrounded by stiff-like people at church, I go for the sermons and, no joke, the sermon has ALWAYS reflected upon something that has affected me in recent days and weeks. I think He's trying to get my attention...


webwatcher 3 years ago

Thanks a ton for your written content. Might you happen to have your references? Reg Zooka


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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Michael Haley,

Churches should not have restrictions like that. The reason I go to church is not expecting everyone to be perfect, in fact it irritates me when they all act that way.

Megan,

I agree, I just haven't found a church that was worth it for the sermon. I go for a few weeks and the sermons all start to sound the same. When I was younger, it was the fact that I worked- I got up earlier than more Christians (lol) but it was for work. Now, the thought of getting two small children out the door and I have an arthritis condition so morning are not my strong time, but yes all excuses I suppose, but they are prominent on my list. I enjoy sitting in my robe (as Jesus did- lol) when he sat with people and praised the Lord.

webwatcher,

My references- did I quote a study or something- did I give some statistics? No, so my reference are in my head and unofficial info gathering throughout the years. It may be bias in your mind, but plenty of people are reflected in these statements.


dellea 3 years ago

I do agree with some of the reasons why people quit church, I feel that primarily it's because too many Christians are narcissists, read http://dellea.hubpages.com/hub/Dont-be-a-narcissis...


Legacydad profile image

Legacydad 3 years ago from Northeast

Funny, I found your Hub after a talk with my teens about religion versus relationship. I was raised in a strict, legalistic, conservative type of church and until my late 20's thought faith was about being a good person and following a set of rules and doctrines. I was even an atheist for a while and I used to ridicule Christians. It wasn't until I had a life changing event that I came back and this challenged me to really learn about my faith from a historical, scientific and theological point of view.

I had to do this on my own though, the church did not do this for me.

I agree with many of your statements and think the reason why many of us feel this same way is because many "church people" today have lost sight of the original message of Jesus. Jesus consistently preached about being loving, graceful and accepting. Jesus spent most of his time with the sinners and the scourge (lost) of society and ridiculed the religious hypocrites more than anyone else. The Bible also says that in order to have a relationship with God, we have to "die to ourselves" meaning trusting God and putting our entire faith in His plan. The problem, in my opinion, is that many people today have learned how to "play church" but have never really had a true relationship with Christ or ever "die to themselves." - See Matt 7:21-23

People have learned to look, act and even speak like they have faith but inside they are "whitewashed tombs" . I myself went through the motions for years of "playing church" but then living my life for myself. I always maintained control of my own life and never fully surrendered to God. I tried on different churches and versions of Christianity to see if they would "fit" my life, instead of surrendering my life to God, giving him all my trust and letting him lead me. It took me until my early 30's and many failures in life to final come to the decision that I am not in control and I needed to surrender to God. Since that time, I no longer have to "play church" and even though I attend a church each week, I attend a church that is grace-filled and discourages legalism, judgmental attitudes and hypocrisy.

Spiritual Maturity is not about head knowledge, memorizing Bible verses or acting and playing Christian. It's about authentic faith and fully trusting Christ with our lives in good times and bad times. It's about being the Salt and Light of the world by being loving, accepting and graceful to EVERYONE. Jesus taught us that we can hate sin while still being loving and accepting towards the people who sin. In fact, the last time I checked, we are all sinners and were told numerous times to "Judge not."

By the way izettl, the early Church followers and apostles first met in the homes of believers and shared together in their faith and fellowship long before there were Church buildings. The church is not a building but a group of believers. Matt 18:20. If you feel your relationship with God growing through a home church or small gathering, don't let anyone tell you you are wrong!

Thank you for sharing!


JollyRancher 3 years ago

I read an old comment about how religious people are happier. Why do you think the pragmatic value of religion is a good reason to believe in God? I could point to secular societies that are well off but that doesn't make any believer convinced that they should be an atheist.

I'm not going to pretend I know what you believe and why, but I get the impression that most people who are spiritual but not religious want the comfort of religion and social acceptance but don't want to have to face the religious claims seriously.


Scs 3 years ago

Church?

Or churches?

There is a difference

Don't agree!!!! hope you can make it


Cheryl Riddle 3 years ago

Friend, these are common thoughts, (even among people who attend church so much that they may as well have a locker and a cot there. ) I think it's possibly true that a lot of these are valid complaints. The Bible says (ad thus, God says) to not forsake the assembling of yourselves together. This is in reference to local, New Testament churches. Sometimes I feel the same way! I'm exhausted at the end of Sunday! But, even with the whole service (pre-meetings and post-meetings, too!) I know that I'm not going there because it's a "blast" that excites me. If anyone ever tries to say they have never felt drained due to church=going, they are a LIAR. The key #1 main thing is, WHY do we go? If you don't go because you love God, then you won't be able to get past all these mental hang-ups. The church music is to worship God in a way that is orderly and decent. It's not so people can hear the rappers and "get all excited". The hymns are sung because we value the lives (usually tough lives) of those who wrote the songs, and we draw strength because God saw them through and He will see us through. Have you ever even read the stories of hymns and who wrote them, and why they were written? (Check out nethymnal.org) We don't read the Bible just at church, if we did, we would not be able to find out place in it, either. As for work, yes! It's very hard to get Sundays off, and for some of us, we need even more days and evenings off than that. It boils down to this: If you really believe in God, and are really seeking a close walk with Him, and He DOES want us to fellowship with other believers, then you have to stop thinking about church in terms of comfort. We're not going to comfort ourselves, if anything we go to "afflict" ourselves. Get out of self, then maybe you will be able to scratch most of these complaints off the list.


FSlovenec profile image

FSlovenec 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Many people will reflect and agree with your hub. The problem with church is we are the members making it IMPERFECT! I love to go to church, I love my church family, I love being Spirit Led. Jesus created the church because He knew we need it, we need to fellowship with Christian men and women...hope you give it another try..you will find you will get out of it what you put in...


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Legacydad~ thanks for sharing your experience.

Fslovenic~ That's my point is the church people are imperfect, but majority go there to act as thought they're perfect. If we walked in that door as our authentic selves, we'd get a lot more out of it. Just find that I cant be my less than perfect self in a church.

Cheryl Riddle~ you make a good point at the end there. We aren't going there for comfort. I attend for growth and I find that church tends to stunt my growth. I try to appease be the perfect church attender as everyone else seems to be doing- I get sucked right into it.

Jolly Rancher~ I have read a lot about various religions and many seem to be this way or nothing, whereas spiritual to me means I am who God wants me to be- I don't need to belong to a group to help me get closer or feel God's presence. I want to live that life. I have more respect for those that live their religion and it is apparent in their daily lives than those who go simply go to church. Go is everyday, not jut one day and not just one building. Spirituality transcends all areas of life.


NotLazy 3 years ago

"That's my point is the church people are imperfect, but majority go there to act as thought they're perfect".

You may as well profess that all Blacks are lazy and all Japanese are geniuses. What a stereotypical whitewash. Go to Church and do Church things there. It is not a Country Club. There are plenty of social aspects to Church outside of the Mass. If you are infirmed, or with children. or elderly, ask for help if you REALLY want to get to Church. If you are too PROUD to ask, see The Seven Deadly sins...


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

NotLazy~ You may as well take my point to the extreme. What harm is done by some people not wanting to go to church and have a better practicing relationship with God outside of church. My message is that people not give up on God if they give up or get frustrated with church. Churches I have been to, in my experience are mundane- I do not grow there. Let's face it, church is for the people, not for God. Do people who go to church mean more in the eyes of God? I don't want the social aspects- in fact that's a turn off for me and I find that most people go for the social event. Please don't put words in my mouth...about blacks, etc. I don't like many churches because they are exactly like a country club


Amber 3 years ago

Going to church is not a salvation issue. So many people get caught up in defending their beliefs that we miss the point of sharing Jesus and enjoying an intimate relationship with him. Some people love going to church, they feel better about it. Some people don't.

I really liked your article. I think it shares a good insight. I just didn't agree the Judging part. Everywhere I go I get judged. But that doesn't mean I am not going to go. We are human, all of us, and as such we are sinners, it's hard being perfect all the time. I am glad that that is not your sole reason for not going, but for certain people it is because people expect church-goers to be perfect. And that is a unrealistic expectation for anyone.


Formerchurchgoer 3 years ago

I am so happy I left church. God has given me SO much scripture to let me know I will be ok. Romans 10:9, Romans 10:13!

It's ALL by faith, not by works. God did it all, us humans cannot. Walking into a building does not impress God.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Formerchurchgoer~ I like what you said, "Walking into a building does not impress God".

Amber~ I think there can be so much besides Jesus and God in the church that for some, like me, it is a distraction and after leaving church I made the effort to build that relationship and read the Bible from a personal perspective. You have a good point about judging. I guess I expect it less in church where we are all the same in God's eyes and should check judgment at the door. I do realize it's completely human though.


Grace 3 years ago

I am a Christian and up until 2011, I attended a "Word of Faith" church for over 20 years. I NEVER felt like I fit in and a lot of the staff including My Pastor Bishop Keith A. Butler and his son Pator Andre Butler(now Pastor of Word of Faith in Southfield, MI) went out of their way to let me know I didn't belong.

They would preach love, acceptance and helping the poor, yet they turned their noses down at the poor members of their church. They always found a way to twist the gospel and make nearly every message realte to "tithing" in some. All I have to say about taht is, when your Pastor and his family are millionaires and 70% of the church is poor and struggling and you tell them it's because they don't tithe enough and think BIG enough, you neeed to sit your snaky ass down and shut up!

They canceled a food program they used to have after the church expanded and my cousin witnessed Bishop Butler throwing a lady out of his office after she expressed her outrage that they would not provide her with any food after she told them she'd just lost her job.

They've always looked down on the poor and openly acknowledge members who give $10,000 and more in front of the entire congregation. As I recall, Jesus acknowledged a woman who gave two pennies cause that's what she had to give!

They are snakes as I believe the entire Word of Faith, or as I call it, Word of FAKE, movement is! I still read the bible and pray everyday and do my best to be a good Christian, but I can't believe I was taken in by thesees snakes for all those years and blindly went along with it. I'm still embarrassed by my former association with those kind of people. I trust NO PASTOR at this time. God definitely opened my eyes and led me out and I have never felt more free and content. Going to church won't get you into heaven. And the mean imposters I met along the way at Word of Faith need to wake up, stop worshipping Bishop and Pastor Butler and stop looking down on other members who don't dress fancy, have wealth and speak well of Bishop Butler 24/7! Even when he's caught in sin! He has many a scandal attached to his name yet they all get swept under the rug. Ravening wolves they are, nothing more. And the church lacks multiculture which I always thought totally sucked and still does and always will.


Grated profile image

Grated 3 years ago

And another thing that gets under my skin is when I meet Christians and tell them why I left the church and the first thing they do is JUDGE me and tell my I 'need to get back to a church immediately'. As though not going into a building week after week will somehow bring destruction to your soul. Even Jesus said it was merely a building built with hands. People like that are the reason I left in the first place. I got tired of going out of my way to be kind to a bunch of hateful, judgmental, Pastor-worshipping hypocrites who would snarl at me everytime I smiled at them and said hello, and who questioned my salvation because I wasn't some loud, boisterous , vain showboater like most of them. Church did me more spiritual damage than good. And you couldn't pay me to go back. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in God, pray and read the word daily. And I will never turn from God. "Going to church" just isn't all it's cracked up to be.


FSlovenec profile image

FSlovenec 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Jesus created the church for a place where we worship Him, hear good preaching and fellowship. I grew up not liking Church, I have lived all over the country sometimes finding great churches and other times nit so good..Being good does not get you to Heaven. It is clear Jesus died on the cross to open heaven for us. The only way to Heaven is through Him! Going to church is an important part of Christian living. The Christian walk is hard and without good leadership (Pastors) and good fellow ship it is almost impossible. Take advantage of this great relationship that Christ created for us...Find a good Gospel, Spirit Led Pastor then support His church by attending, participating in ministry work and leading a ministry. God Bless You...


Grated profile image

Grated 3 years ago

Jesus did not build the church, MEN did. GOD led me out of the church. The problem is that certain members of the body of the Christ can't see the burning forest for the swaying trees, and it's with the LEADERSHIP. Boy, are you snowed dude!

~Izetti, a friend of mine became totally turned off by the "Word of Faith" churches after suffering a breakdown. I believe it was the result of brainwashing. She warned me that they were not the real deal. I was blind at first, but now I see exactly what she means. I truly believe they are nothing but a witchcraft cult. When a well known Pastor(Creflo A. Dollar Jr.) and that's not even his real name btw cause it's Michael Smith, it's just a reflection of his love of money, chokes his daughter out and claims she punched him when he's a 6 foot 200 pound amazon and she's a 100 pound petite weakling, something's quite off. God said that a tree is known by it's fruits. There are too many peach trees producing oranges in the word of faith cult for me. They are the money hungry elite. The "Church" is not to be trusted. The blind need to wake up and see the light of day!


marion langley profile image

marion langley 3 years ago from The Study

What a great topic...the hypocritical church. I agree there is often a complete lack of relationship with people going through the movements which is often where new-comers feel stuck. We moved recently and it's hard to establish roots in a new church. There are no perfect people and it becomes more and more blatantly obvious as we spend more time together doesn't it? I think that was brilliant starting with a small bible study to get to know people before committing to the full service stuff. I wish more people had the mind set that we are the church instead of we go to church. Maybe we should be the start of something more authentic?


Chris 3 years ago

Thank you for trying to present a good discussion. I agree with your view but disagree with your assumptions. Bible does say to go to church and they did meet in buildings, and I'm sure if the wall needed painting they probably did it. The early church was a pure communist society. They collected all they and redistributed. No Marxism. Church has hypocrites...have you ever been in a girls softball league. The church is nothing to child sports organizations. I take your words to heart and have tried to create a genuine church. I am crass and tell it like it is. I teach in studies not sermons because we need dialogue. I have forgotten the offering often because I grew up poor and know that feeling. The world not the church is what you described. A church is one place you see worldly behavior manifested. ever in Murrieta CA. see Promise church. I wish what you said was wrong, but too often it is the truth...but the truth for all organizations. Just be careful about some of your claims...just not true. Try having any organization that doesn't fund raise and see how it does? Some churches judge, but are told to, BUT ONLY in love and for the good of the whole. Ignorance of people is not the churches fault. Hymns are used because they tell a story and have a particular melody line that supports understanding. Try reading them. National anthem never changes and we still sing it and get made if someone takes liberties, and it was a beer song. Critical thinking requires knowledge and an honest look at ones self first. I'll stop, but really our world needs a lot of training. I can't save the world, but I can affect my church in Murrieta and be the best I can for the people I serve. Hope you all find a church or create one yourself. Remember home churches without a leader is not biblical. Eph 4. They must have a Masters in theology. Start there!


Tony Myles 3 years ago

I appreciate this article, and am a senior pastor at a church that is preaching through a sermon series about this type of stuff. What a lot of people don't realize is there's another side to it - we don't just attend a church for us, but for the greater mission of God. It's why I have a bit of an issue with the idea that if church isn't exciting you don't need to be there. I'm sure that advice sounds American, but it certainly isn't biblical... we're called to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

The catch is you're right - the Bible doesn't say that you need to attend "First Baptist Church on Main St at 10am every week." What it does clarify is we are to be a part of a community of believers with authority and accountability to further the Kingdom of God, reach lost people and mature in our faith. Saying you don't need a church is like an eye doctor who thinks he can do his own eye exam and accurately prescribe his own glasses. Hebrews 10:25 says we shouldn't give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other daily toward the Lord. I can't think of a better hub for that than a church.

I recently wrote about this from the senior pastor perspective. I'd love to post it here to complement what you've shared: http://www.morethandodgeball.com/general-ministry/...


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

There are many people who agree with you. I gave up on organized religion long ago. Not into all the self-righteous babble that I heard there. Also it was terribly boring. Good God you have received some long comments.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Grated, yes good point...men built the church. Jesus had a simple meeting place and got the word out anywhere to anyone who would listen.

I also believe you are right in that church and God are used to develop a cult like following. People follow people and many become obsessed with the community or pastor within a church. I use my intuition on these things. If the Bible is good enough for a pastor or specific church type to translate it, then it's ok for me to translate how I see fit to my life.

Marion Langely,

I wrote another hub about in-home churches and this is more like a Bible study. It's a fairly new idea and I like it. So often people go to church just to go to church. If you truly get something out of it, then go. Personally if I don't practice it in my daily life then it just becomes a duty to go to a church.

Chris,

One thing stands out to me- you teach in studies, not sermons. I wish more were like that. My experience is that I really enjoyed guest speakers at churches because they told it like it was- unfortunately many were missionaries and did not have their own church. But I liked that they were practical and talked to the people not at the people. Wished more were like that. I work from home cause yes, I got tired of all the wasted time in organizations. Just do work, not talk, not gossip, not waste time, etc. but that is the way to world works- it's beneficial in some ways but not in others. Missionaries often don't have a theology degree and they gather in poor villages to get the word out, don't see why we can't in our own homes. I know the world works this certain way, nothing is perfect and I expect much less than perfect at a church. That's my problem. I expect people to be themselves and instead I see a polished up, best behavior version of our true selves.

Flourish Anyway,

Thanks for taking the time to comment on your experience. I can relate to the boring experience. We are often introduced to church as kids and most of the time we find it terribly boring and that attitude can develop more into our adulthood. Unless a pastor is excellent at relating biblical lessons and stories to our day and age, it is boring. Older/elder church members are usually the ones who preach more biblical versus whenever they can.

Tony Myles,

Thanks for the link. I don't think a church needs to be exciting, just relevant and excite something within us so we FEEL something, we FEEL inspired.


Susan 3 years ago

Thanks for the article.. I just left church do to when I wanted to serve I was told a couple things.. First, you don't decide where you want to serve the nominating committee does, Second, "We don't know you well enough yet" (after attending about 1 year and serving as their treasurer)

I had enough.. I listen to online sermons, got my praise and worship music, do my personal bible times with God and devotions. I give my 10% to non profit organizations and help in a local community endeavor


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Susan,

Sounds like you've done what's best for now. I don't like church politics either. I don't think that's what Jesus intended, but that's man's interpretation. My message in this hub is even if you give up on church, do not give up on God- you are a perfect example of this. Thanks for stopping by.


Susan 3 years ago

I will NEVER give up on GOD!!


Catherine 3 years ago

test post


Catherine 3 years ago

I am mentally ill. And I hate church. This is how I found this Hub. I will tell you why. Because I was bullied constantly when I was a little girl from everyone in school. And it made me sick. It made me withdraw from reality and start hearing voices. It was a combination of the constant bullying in school and the beatings at home from my highly religious mother who beat obedience in to me. So I turned the other cheek. And as a young adult on SSI and in an out of mental hospitals and board and care homes I blamed Christ for my suffering. Why was I not allowed to stand up for myself? At the same time I tried to be saved. But I carried hatred for Christ himself. When I was 22 God ordered me to kill myself or I would go to hell. The reason being is I was no longer a virgin..having had sex with a guy I didn't end up marrying. I was no longer perfect and must die or go to hell. I almost did die. I grew older..my resentment boiled. I hated Christ. I was angry at Christ..

I have been reading all the comments here, and there are many of them, they speak to me telling me how dare I not be willing to suffer ..and get up early in the morning. I have to say to those people that sit in judgment of those who don't go to church..to consider maybe we are not there sacrificing ourselves in your estimation because we are too busy hanging on our own cross...one you can't even imagine.

I am finally at age 45 beginning to draw in a kind of peace with the Lord and yes, forgive him for the damage obeying him caused me in my younger years when under the domination of my abusive mother(who thought good Catholics should suffer anyway) . I am fortunate to develop my own relationship and starting to realize that

he isn't on the side of those that bullied me.

I had my own cross to bear and that was it. And as a mentally ill person on SSI I still have great stigma to bear ..not only among conservatives who love to demonize me as lazy and seeking handouts..but among people like my half-brother who before getting to know me, generalized the mentally ill as violent..or people like you who generalize the mentally ill as judgmental church goers.

I am neither. But I generalize also. Because I think all Christians suck.


James Prince profile image

James Prince 3 years ago from Los Angeles

Wow...


krillco profile image

krillco 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

Let's talk about the gorilla in the room: congregations can and do get as dysfunctional and sick as families do. Many rely on 'cheap grace' to ignore, bypass, cover up, hold secrets, and avoid the reality that the devil just loves the space between people (especially in a congregation), and makes good use of gossip, rumor, triangulation, reactivity, and so many other evil motivations for covert and destructive communication. It is the RARE congregation that is wise enough or open enough to admit to these things, let alone do something proactive about them. Counselors for congregations that are dysfunctional? Why yes, yes indeed; just invite my team, pay our expenses and for our time.


jcmd_24@yahoo.com 3 years ago

Spoutspringschurch.com


Jeff Porter profile image

Jeff Porter 3 years ago from Georgia

Everyone needs to understand that churches are not museums for perfect people, they're a hospital for sick people.

Also, there are no perfect churches, and if there were, not one of us could attend.

We should expect there to be imperfections in churches. We should expect there to be hypocrites in churches, just as there are everywhere else.

I suppose all churches have their dust-ups now and then, and I know all churches and all church members have their warts.

I go to church, and I see those things, but, just as I don't get annoyed and walk out of WalMart just because I saw someone doing something goofy, I simply remember why I'm there.

Some people get caught up in the politics and the dress up games, etc.

I go there for the message, delivered from a man of God, to help me lean and grow. I fellowship with everyone who is sociable and I don't sweat those that aren't.

Having said that, I do believe that one doesn't have to attend church to be saved. But, a healthy church life will help a Christian grow in the word and go from an immature Christian to a Christian who is mature and able to help others see the need to have Christ as their savior.


A Rhodes 3 years ago

The majority of issues I see written here is because of what you think about other people, and how you think they look at you. Why don't you just consider your relationship with Jesus. You're not responsible for others actions, just yours. If you think not being active in a local church is okay, the bible says not to forsake the assemblies of men. It sounds more like excuses for laziness so you can do your own thing. If you're looking for the perfect church, find one with no people, then when you get there it will once again be imperfect.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Catherine,

Perhaps you misunderstood the context of "the mentally ill" and church portion of this article. I am stating that there is mental illness that goes undetected in churches, such as priests who molest children and cult leaders. Schizophrenics and even bi-polar do have a tendency to be paranoid- that's not a generalization or stereotype, it's diagnostic criteria/a symptom of the illness. Consequently, paranoia brings on the religious factor in some mentally ill. It's not necessarily mentally ill people who go to church but a large segment of those that run churches or are in leadership positions within a church that give church a bad stigma and make people want to run the other way.

I absolutely agree with you about the restrictions placed on people within church and put upon people under Christ's name. Jesus was forgiving- all that he and God stand for is forgiveness of our sins, but sometimes what we learn in church at young ages is that we are sinners and shall pay ourselves- as you said that you must sacrifice yourself, yet Jesus has done that for us and churches need to remember that.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jeff Porter,

I reiterate this so many times I think I'm going to go blind or bonkers. That IS my point- there are no perfect churches nor people so why do people ACT like it in church. I want to go with normal people (normal = with problems and with perfectly perfect imperfections). That is worth it. There is no value going somewhere where nobody is genuine, where everybody acts like their perfect selves then go home and abuse their children, cheat on their wife, or treat their local waitress like dirt because she works on Sunday (yes, that was me at one time).

Jeff, I didn't grow at church- in fact it led me away from God for a while because I felt like I could not be as perfect as these people were. Fortunately I wizened up and realized these people are not like that at all. It was fake- a front- a façade. I want no part. I go periodically so my kids have the experience and one day can make up their own minds, but other than that, I've enjoyed a wonderful relationship with God away from church.

A Rhodes,

You are why nobody wants to go to church. Judgment #1, "laziness". You don't even know me- how do you know these are MY "reasons" (not excuses) for not going to church. I here these from various people- they are NOT all my own. Laziness would be if I never opened my Bible or sought a place in me where I commune with God. It takes more work to have an ongoing relationship and knowledge with/of God outside of a church where you can let others do the thinking for you and mark it off on your good deed to-do list for the week, than it does to carry that relationship into all aspects of your life, which many Christians do not.

Again, let me clear this up with people, I am looking for an imperfect church where people don't walk around with a stink of fake perfection hanging off them. I want people to be themselves, a place to go to relax and focus on Jesus, not trying to obtain perfection in the eyes of others. I could care less, if you haven't noticed, what others think of me. that's why I'm not a church goer.


Jeff Porter profile image

Jeff Porter 3 years ago from Georgia

You aren't responsible for how someone else acts in church ...or in a convenience store, or a chicken shack.

I wish you well on your church search. I have found one myself, where I attend, that, thankfully, isn't full of 'mentally ill' people. And, thankfully, it's not ran by 'mentally ill people', either.

It's ran by someone who is a good person, but, a sinner just like me and everyone else there.

I'm sure it takes a lot of work to have a relationship with Christ outside of church. Keep in mind, the bible tells us that we are supposed to gather together. What you, and others do is akin to planting a flower; not in a garden, but in an abandoned plot of ground, where it rarely gets sun and enough water. It may grow, but it will rarely thrive. (I'm not saying it's not possible.)

I do understand that there are churches who miss the mark.

I think where we differ, in a sense, is that I do care what people think of me. I say that, to say this; what people think of me has a bearing to how they'll hear what I have to say about my Jesus and what he means to them and their eternal life.

That being said, I will tell you that no one I know would think I was perfect, even if I did walk around trying to fake it. I am also aware that no one (inside or outside of my church) is perfect, nor do I expect them to be. Not the pastor, not the deacons, not the people in the back row.

Keep in mind that you'll find that same sort of person of fake perfection at every church, at every sporting event, at every grocery store, at every family reunion; everywhere.

Church is no different, and it never could be; being made up of sinners; from the greeter to the pastor. Myself chief among them.

May God Bless.


Epabaxter profile image

Epabaxter 3 years ago from Georgia


TheTruth 3 years ago

why should i go when i am all alone and don't have a love life like so many VERY BLESSED men and women have together with their families?, Gee Wiz, i would love very much to have that too if i can only find a good woman that is not GAY and doesn't have to CURSE at us men when we will try to start a conversation with the one that we would really like to meet.


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 3 years ago from Northeast United States

A very interesting and heart felt hub :). It is very sad that you have not found a warm, friendly and genuine church (I have problems finding one too). I want to go back to church someday so I may grow, but I know there will be obstacles because I am very stubborn and strong minded. First off I would like to point out that some of those who you think are the bible pros are not living by the Lord's example. NO ONE should EVER look down on anyone just because they can't navigate the bible like the wind. Being warm and loving, non-judgmental, forgiving and compassionate is what I look for in a church, but we all human and will never find that "perfect church". I think it's best to focus on your own relationship with Christ, than worry about what others think of your progression :) Thank you for writing this amazing hub that is honest and a lot of people can relate to(I'm one of them). Keep the faith :) and keep smiling. Have a wonderful week.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Jeff Porter~ I get what you're saying. Church and it's people are not perfect. Many have made that case. I want imperfect, somewhere I can be myself, not fake. I quite the 9-5 jobs cause of office politics. And church politics aren't for me either. Less worship with politics and less work time with office politics. If I keep getting crappy service or food at a restaurant would I go back? Not unless I like crappy stuff. So we can't really compare that to the chicken shack.

I wrote this hub to reach the people who gave up on their relationship with God or are fed up with church and it's effected them. I also wrote it for members and leaders in a church for a reality check into why some people do not choose to go to church.

I worship regularly. It's like when I quit the gym- sure it was easy to keep a nice body having a place to go that ensured a great workout, but I've learned I can also just be more active overall and walk often to keep in shape without a gym. Does it take more work? You might say so, but to me it takes more effort. Nothing wrong with putting in effort for a good cause. It takes being mindful to do it on a regular basis. Same as how I worship. I don't have a church to go to so that I can forget about it during the week- God is part of my week.

Carrie Lee Night~

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree. People have commented on here that I'm looking for people to be perfect. No, I'm looking for people to not expect me to be perfect. Don't look down on me because I don't homeschool my child or fit into "your" ideals. That's what I don't need in a church. I think many people, like myself, have found God in difficult times and should be more open and honest with each other because that's how God wants us. I'm trying a new church this weekend- wish me luck!


Phabiolaa 3 years ago

You probably haven't accepted God in your life FOR REAL. You don't understand Christians? You question everything we do? YOu even don't feel comfortable in Church? If You knew God enough, if you understood his word enough you wouldn't even recoginize the people who judge. You'd have fun and have a good time.

When Jesus returns, he's coming for the church. Not Independent Ally, in Michigan, or Lonely Dave in Arizona. Not just you. THE CHURCH.

And if Christians sound like they have some type of mental problem, such as Schizophrenia, then You don't know the first or last thing about God.

When a fellow Christian Brother or Sister, cries, you cry, when they laugh you laugh. All you feel inside, is understanding or empathy.

You maybe, have no clue who God really is, and its just the beginning of your Journey.

I'll pray for you, and suggest you ask God for more understanding. Ask him to clear up all the thing you just don't understand.

And he will. And ask more questions, don't let your curiosity just sit there.

God is not the author of confusion. He wants you to understand him.


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 3 years ago from Northeast United States

Izettl: Wish you the best :)


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Phobiaalalaaaa,

Ummmmm....ok. How do you know God is only coming for THE CHURCH?

I have a closer relationship to God without church. I have community within my neighborhood and when they laugh I laugh and when they cry...

Were there church politics when Jesus was here? No. Many churches are not what was intended. But you are proof of non-acceptance to anyone who does not think like you do- typical churchgoer that I run into.


Estephania profile image

Estephania 3 years ago

Hi Izettl :) I just read your article. I do think u have some points and in other stuff I think you need to just read the Bible. I will adress it in the points u did as well. Hope it doesn't get too long :)

1Bible: I do not understand why you feel bad that you can't find a book in the bible right away. That is only normal. Heck I have been going to a church for 2 years and I myself have trouble finding some books sometimes. I think sometimes, people go to church prejudiced(feeling bad and less already when they shouldn't). In my church, if u dont have a Bible, people look up the book and lend u theirs. Because they want to welcome you.

2 I do understand that shaking things up and changing things is good, we do that in my church. last week a scientist from US came and talked about how science directs to the Bible being true it was exciting!. But remember, God speaks to all of us through pastors. He uses all of us like instruments to make disciples of Jesus. Mathew 28:19.

3 In 1Peter 3:3 talks about what God thinks as well as in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and Deuteronomy 22:5. So God does care about the outside my dear.

4 I do understand what u mean Apocalypses 3:15-16 talks about this. Mathew 6:24

5But remember u aren't the one to judge either, and in this article you are criticizing the mere thing u are doing, judging, u have to be careful with that. Mathew 7:3

6 U are totally right about ur job. If u have to work then yes. But as a Jesus follower try to seek God's blessings to hears God's word. Romans 10:17. Also the Bible does exhort u to go to church. Hebrews 10:25.

7 Mathew 18:20, u need more than one person for God to be there wherever u are. In Salm 133:1-3 says that it’s good for brothers and sisters in Christ to get together in harmony, because God sends blessings. Also Ephesians 5:23 states that we the church are the body of Christ. Don’t miss understand a temple is not the church. Nevertheless the primitive church (that originates after Christ’s resurrection) always had a place where they could meet. So, God himself likes that u go to Church, if u read the whole New Testament. Oh and I almost forgot, God also states how he wants his church to be organized. So pastors, deacons and all that comes from the Bible (NT).

8 I know a lot of Christians and but I don't know of mentally ill Christians, it’s just my experience maybe other people do know them. I’m not one to deny if Go talks to someone. I do know of my bf that had an experience that I could tell u in another moment. God deals with us in different ways, because every relationship with God is personal. 2 Corinthians 3:15-17 & other passages talk about how different non-believers don’t understand the Gospel and why Christians do things. (keeping in mind we are humans and we are still in the flesh according to the Bible). -- The priests vow of chastity, is nowhere in the Bible supported or stated, I can send u verses that state the contrary. I went to a European history class and learned that a Pope set this measure so the Catholic church could inherit the priest’s inheritance. I have a documentary on the history of Christianity that could help answer some of this doubts.--- 1 Corinthians 1:21, Mathew 28:19( the purpose of every Christian individually, and the church as a community is making disciples of Christ, it is stated in the Bible many times my dear,).And read Hebrews 12:2, our eyes not on the errors of men but in God who never fails.... and Jude 1:4 for the ones who do it for prosperity, that is not of God.

9 If u don't like the songs that’s alright. in my country there’s a saying “for tastes there are colors". But hun, granny just wants to praise the lord :). Just like every Christian should think more of the words of the song rather than the rhythm. Galatians 5: 13, 16... talks about satisfying the spirit. The styles as rap, rock etc. many of them satisfy the flesh. I know, because I like them. When I praise God is not that i can’t choose a rock song, there are many Christian rock songs, but the style of the song should satisfy my spirit and not my flesh. I guess that’s why many churches don't use these rhythms. And about the 30 min cult/sermon. Don't u think is best to spend ur time glorifying God rather than your own pleasures? 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17.

10 2 Corinthians 9:7, We give for the glory of God and the expansion of his Word dear. God always answers our prayers, but we hardly listen. James 4:3. Faith doesn't need a grasp. Hebrews 11:1 u believe and u don't need a grasp of anything because Salm 39:7. Ur hope is in his Word. Romans 8:24 says it all. Without God we are nothing. God wants us to depend upon him not ourselves, that is Christianity, living day by day depending on the only one who can. God.

Please watch this video How great is Our God - Louie Giglio.

I hope that u may grow closer to God each day, remember it is only by his Word that we grow in faith says the bible. I love you, and I’m here when ever u have a question. and by the way I don't know the bible by heart; I just spent 2 days looking for the passages in the internet. not because I want to contend with u, but because I want the Bible to speak to u. :) Sorry that this is very long.

Much love,

Esteph. :)


Estephania profile image

Estephania 3 years ago

Oh sorry, I tried to add something for point 4 and 5. remember Hebrews 12:2. Put ur eyes in Jesus, because men are imperfect. If I there was a perfect church I'd be running away from it because of how imperfect i am, u are, everyone is.

Love Esteph :).


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks Esteph...these are not all MY reasons. Just reasons I've heard over the years from people. trying to represent all those out there and their reasons for not attending church. Thanks for stopping by.


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 2 years ago from Australia

Firstly thank you so much for being brave and putting all this out there.

I just want to say that you are on the right path, the search of truth begins between an individual and God, not between four walls. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, not a place. God has brought me out of church to minister in the way of the apostles in the early church.

I would like to set some of you free, church service attendance is not written anywhere in the bible. Fellowship is a good principle, being fed is a good principle, but unless we are connected number one to the source we can fall into useless tradition and dead works.

Many people are actually missing what God wants to do in their lives because they think it is a the devil trying to get them home on a Sunday. For example, I am being called to minister at Sunday market stalls for this stage in my journey. I would not perceive this if I was attending church as a rule.

"See, I am doing a new thing... Do you perceive it?" Isaiah 43:19


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Insearch of truth,

Funny, I've been to church when they've had guest speakers and learned more from them and could identify with them. Those guest speakers were all missionaries and ministers on the go in various countries and wherever needed. Perhaps those "four walls" hinder us a bit.

Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your words and what you do.

Laura


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 2 years ago from Australia

Laura, I too have been ministered to in church, very much so. My story is different to most, and I know that my journey isn't everyones. Many people are following God by going to church. I am not one to think that my path should be everyone elses. The reason I challenge is to make people think about whether or not they are going in the direction they are because God is calling them there, or because they have made an assuption based on tradition.

Bless you, seek God always. Keep on Questioning, and writing things like this. It makes people think.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I have yet to find a church where I can really fit in. I have no doubt about my being a Christian and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but evangelical churches and other types of churches, if you get over involved get more detailed with more "you must believe ...." based on the biblical interpretation. Sometimes they feel they are so spiritual and that unwittingly ends up as spiritual pride, though they are not aware.

People I know say they go to church because they feel good after service. I don't get that feeling anymore. I feel good praying to Jesus, listening to spiritual songs, that sort of thing. A book, a movie that has a spiritual message.

So you could say I'm unchurched. Happy to be in your club.


Susan 2 years ago

After taking some "leave time" from my church (due to the just politics and personality issues) I am glad to say I go ONLY to the first service which has the fewest members in the pews. I feel I could not got back to the larger service anymore for those at that service just drain me with the drama and the after the service attitudes. I leave peacefully now and God's word stays with me much longer. Before, I would leave service go fellowship and hear the gossip, the drama, etc. that I had headaches and did not want to come back. If any of you have a church where you can step in at their earlier service. please do so. God is waiting for you!


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

insearchoftruth,

thanks for commenting. I think it is wise we don't get stuck in everyone's else's idea of following God. Everyone has their own path. I feel closer to Him worshipping him by myself or with family. We should follow Him and not others. And YES, I love to make people think.

Samita Jassi,

Thanks so much

grand old lady,

As I've tried to make my roots within a church it tends to be less about God and more about the church so I can relate to you as well.

Susan,

All that drama, politics, and gossip does take the fuel out of a good worship with God. I never though about the early service- good idea. Thanks for putting that out there.


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 2 years ago from Australia

Izetti, thank you, you beautiful mighty woman of God.


Church goer 2 years ago

All of you are just looking for ways not to go to Church ! What , is there something more important for you to do that day ? Going to Church takes about an hour, plus driving plus getting ready huh BIG DEAL !You must be pretty important and have a lot going on if you can't find the time 2 hours Max unless you go to a Mormon church ! And even then you can walk out any time you want! I feel sorry for you !


YMP 2 years ago

wow, this article makes some really great points - and I think represents what so many people grapple with - the precious fresh time they need on Sundays (esp. after working all week) and the country club feel - or fake social circle - well some valid points are noted. However, do keep in mind that the Bible is very clear that we are to "not forsake the gathering together" as Believers - because it is for our strength and fortification - like a solider who needs his fellow warriors. But the problem is that suggesting that an hour on Sunday is the best time to meet - well that just is not aligning with folks more and more.

Technology changes and work schedules have evolved -but then somehow we expect the classic sunday morning slot to be welcomed by each generation. Now of course it would be respected if (as this article notes) if it were mandated in the Bible (but it is not) - and also - CS Lewis called it chronological snobbery - which means that some things apply to all generations and to all times - because they are timeless. But Sunday church? Well it may not fit into this category - and look at the folks that find Saturday night services meet the needs for their family - or those that go Wednesday night and Saturday night. Indeed it is time for a change - because very on-fire Christ followers want to "gather" and worship together - but Sunday morning set ups may not be an option....


Marti 2 years ago

Salvation is gained through faith in Lord Jesus Christ. It is not gained through works. My personal experiance with the Lord showed me an unconditional love ,being loved with the agape love of the word is virtual and you just cannot be the same. I am sure that every person who truly believes has felt that love and acceptance. However, we tend to forget that church is not a museum for perfect christians but a hospital for the sinners. We are all growing differently because we are all individual and God is working individually in us while we are spending time with Him and we give him the first place. Even we are unfaithfull God is still faithfull.The idea of Church itself or christians gathering together is exactly this-to grow,to support each other ,to love and appreciate each other. This is not an excuse for us to be doing by purpose and by knowing this bad things, but I believe that if you truly love God and have a personal relation with Him then the change comes itself,you are developing and you are becoming better because you are just being happy to improve.This should come from the inside because there is no change apart from Him,as everything is in Him. We are often becoming so heavy hearted by rools and ministering that we tend to forget our first love. And we start to serve people's opinion before God. I can understand your pain. I am in full ministry now and there are people who are really Christ alike but for sure there are also individuals who are very hard to cooperate with. However,I really understand your pain because I have felt that way many times. Still I am remembering myself that I do not go to church to please people or to show my clothes.I go to church because this is the place where you can feed yourself . Because it is not just a question about us ,it is a question of the whole generation,of our children ,of our children's children, of the whole world. We should go to church with the attitude that we go there to respect the Lord . Yes, you have to respect him at Home and in your Heart at first but come on people how many times you have said :"Wow this word went straight to my heart". Letting hurt to poison your soul is the easiest way but how you can grow up only meeting people who despite being good or amazing...are just non-christians and they don't get your point because they have not felt that amazing anoiting and love.Even if you don't go to church it is good to gather with christians who you can trust and who can be a real family for you.And I believe that if you ask God in prayer he will lead you to a certain place. Cuz we are the people,the sault of the Earth who can bring the change in the world.Just try not to put your sight on all of the negative things you can see, try to think of all of the things you can experiance through your journey. Do not live for people's opinion live for God's opinion,be an example,show love and respect,don't be judgemental towards others,pray for them ,offer your help ,as everyone is fighting their own battle. We should support ourselves because we will be known by our love . So,yes showing the right example is crucial .I am sorry if my english is not good enough,it is not my native language. I am happy that you have been so sincere and God loves you and he knows exactly how you feel but feelings are not the best instructor.Stretch your faith.God bless.


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Church goer,

I have two small children and a chronic illness, including pain and fatigue, but what's more important than those excuses to not attend church regularly, is that I've got a solid relationship with my savior. Besides that, I'm not sure if you should judge because church going is obviously your utmost concern.

YMP,

great points about the "Sunday slot". Yes, it's tricky for people and sadly when church goes out the window, sometimes God does too. My point in this article is that for whatever reason you can't "do" church, you can still maintain a relationship with God.

thanks for stopping by.

Marti,

Thanks, lovely words. And God bless to you.


RKeithAndrews profile image

RKeithAndrews 2 years ago

You wrote that nowhere in the Bible does it say... attend church to be faithful. "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." Hebrews. I understand and appreciate your angst with organized religion. Your article began with flair and captivated me. But the more I read the more the article downgraded itself into a gripe sessions. Beginning well usually ends well. There were apparently hurried points made, sometimes rash comments and grammatical errors which an additional proof reading probably would have caught - that was a distraction. The article, on the whole, read as a newspaper editorial without substantial qualifying evidence for points made. Basically your opinion. Rewrite the article with more intellectual appeal rather than a submission to garner support from additional frustrated people, with added frustration after reading your "comments." Good article. Good topic. That's all. Graded 80.


janet 2 years ago

I went to church as a child, I liked the sunday school but as an adult I felt it wasn't helping me, I felt like I wasn't learning anything new or growing. I liked helping other people. I found them to be judgmental and wouldn't understand that special needs kids could end up in the jail simply because of needs, nothing to do with not knowing about god.

Also If they want people to be pure why cant they help people rather than judge? In this day and age young men and women are doing things that are far from pure, shouldn't we be helping those that want to be pure or more moral lead better lives by setting up dates?

I still like helping other people and being kind.


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

RKeithAndrews,

If you're done with your gripe session...just kidding. the article is meant to be relatable, which if you read some comments, you'd know it resonates with many people. these are not my personal gripes, some yes, bot many no. It is what I've heard over the years as people's complaints with church- it's reality. May not like to hear it...sorry for that.

"Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together"...does not say "go to church"...so still...nowhere in the Bible does it say exactly or very similar to "thou shall go to CHURCH". I absolutely agree with assembling together, which I do with my family and periodically at church. There are organic churches in homes as well where people assemble together.

The "hurried points made" is because hubs are meant to touch on a subject. It's near impossible to write something short (a hub) on a vast topic such as this. But I did my best. I look at a hub as starting a conversation, which it certainly has. goal accomplished!

No evidence? I could probably find you a bias study or ten if you really want. Of course this is opinion...as I stated before these are opinions I've heard from people throughout my life, some I've dealt with personally. I think it would be extremely impersonal, defeating the POINT of this hub, if I included "substantial qualifying evidence". What evidence would you specifically like? That's just weird. The only evidence you need is plastered all over the Internet- look at the declining stats of people going to church or the increase in people leaving the churches. Or the trend toward spirituality rather than organized religion. Where have you been? In church? Thanks for the 80- for this busy mom of two little ones, I'll take it.

Ironically, the only critics I have are those who are churchgoers...wouldn't expect any of those folks to like this read.


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Janet,

Thanks for the comment. I've had a similar experience as you with going to church as a kid and the same disconnect with church as an adult.

I think church, or rather God, follows us. It isn't in one building. I believe it should be part of our lives such as helping people, the people that feel as though they don't belong in church. More is happening in our world, it's changing, and the churches aren't. It's still very judgmental, which leads to false personas in church, which leads me right out the door. Glad to hear you value helping others and being kind.


The Real Truth 2 years ago

I certainly have no reason to go to church since i have no woman in my life to share with, and now that there are so many Very Mean And Nasty Women out there which is the reason why many of us men that are seriously looking can't meet a Decent Good One At All.


RKeithAndrews 2 years ago

My, goodness, izettl- I touched a nerve! Thank you for attending to my response to your hub. Having moved beyond that dreary and elementary place of point-counter-point discussions I will leave your emotional malaise to loosely hang like a wet noodle with the occasional drift in some breeze hoping to stick to another noodle.

No, I take that back.

You deserve better- perhaps a tweaking of your attempts to excel in writing, to which I am happy to oblige. Only for you, izettl.

“The article is meant to be relatable.” A weak excuse for quickly wandering from the thrust of some good starting points. Relatable is a red herring. Relatable is laissez-faire, stale and a bullet instead of buck shot, hitting only a very small segment.

“…which if you read some comments,” Poor justification with no validation of how many articles I have read related to your hub. (Judgmental – kinda like church folks, huh?)

“…you’d know it resonates with many people.” And the number of those people is what? 200? And their credentials are what? A traffic accident resonates with people, too.

To the contrary, these are your personal gripes as well as what you’ve heard over the years as people’s complaints with church. Hell, people can gripe and complain about many things and after reading through such mush what are they left with? How better off are they for having read through such a hub which is truly yet another merry-go-round of the same ol’ same ol’.

Remember, the hub is meant to be (preferably high caliber) “relevant, informative, well-written, with a succinct and compelling customized summary.” Included here only to remind YOU of the purpose of the hub.

“…does not say ‘go to church’ so still... nowhere in the Bible does it say exactly or very similar to “thou shall go to CHURCH.” (You likely meant to say “shalt instead of shall.) Some understanding of Hebrew and Greek would do you well at this point, even minimal. Research your references to other expressions and translations and inferences before making a determination on what it exactly means – unless, of course you intend that, as well, as ill-informed grips and complaints and personal opinions. (Which becomes rather limp when others ditto such comments!)

“The ‘hurried points made’ is because hubs are meant to touch on a subject.” Then do just that. Touch on the subject and refrain from wandering or editorializing. It’s said that a half truth is worse than a total lie. Similarly, hurried points (points: multiple) can be devastating to an article, particularly a hub, when one or two main points are thrust into public awareness with an appropriate ballast of supporting evidence.

“…defeating the point of this hub if I included ‘substantial qualifying evidence.’ What evidence would you like? That’s just weird.” izettl,

“That’s just weird” is playground talk and in all likelihood apropos for the low intellectual threshold you have set for the reading of this hub. How can you possibly defer substantial qualifying evidence in order to support any strength for the POINT of your hub?

“The only evidence you need is plastered all over the Internet…” Please, please don’t tell us you are researching your hubs from the Internet and that you believe or rally around what you read on the Internet?

What a wonderful idea it would have been for you to have included brief reflections from interviews you did with the many people throughout your life or even through the course of a few months as you made it a POINT to interview people for your hub.

I guess since you opted away from such substantial qualifying evidence you merely went with your opinion… which any of us can get anywhere, any time. No doubt there are many out there who would, if they cared to nod in your direction, rebut your claims and assertions in your hub. They would respond with as much and more opposite claims and factual presentation.

“Where have you been? In church?” Please, please try to cultivate and nurture the fine art of replying without sarcasm and with something above and beyond the remedial intelligence quotient you have and are displaying.

“Ironically, the only critics I have are those who are churchgoers…” And you base that on what? Have you polled your critics? Are you absolutely certain they are churchgoers? Am I? Tell me – please tell me – how you can deduce so much? (And please reassure us all your two little ones aren’t being home schooled by yourself.)

Now, that was a little fun, wasn’t it?

A bit of caution: tread lightly when maneuvering through the population of people who are well read and well versed, experienced in matters about which you dabble and can shame your efforts at literary attempts as well as logical thinking.

But there are some in the population who pause to lift others and guide them. So here it is: Re-read the goals and structures of a well-written hub.

izettl, the idea for your hub is truly a very good one, but one which, in my considered opinion shared by hosts of others, is not meant for stream-of-consciousness writing or in the style of a diary.

Again, it is a very good idea. Most timely. But just as a good school curriculum can be torn apart by a bad teacher or a bad curriculum can be presented in a solid manner, so too can a very good idea splatter itself all over the place.

Re-read Hub’s goals, and guidelines and re-work this hub into something which can become a masterpiece and not yet another piece of rabble or as the poet would say, “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Your points were good. Expounding on them, even within the confines of a hub, bordered on a waste of the reader’s time, except for those who would say (for lack of a better term), “Amen!”

It’s a hub, izettl, not a chat room. Of course, if you wanted to relegate such a good point to a chat room in order to jump start conversation, that’s fine, too, but can also be found in thousands of other chat rooms – and likely will become a stop sign for others to be drawn to the real hubs to hope to write in the future.

You want to, I would hope, attract readership and not say, “Oh, there she is again. Forget it.” Again, you can be satisfied with the few (200?) readers and replies, co-gripers, etc…

Your article was graded 80. Your reply to my response is graded 70.

Keep trying. Or… just go down to Starbucks and whine for an hour or two.

All the best. -RKeithAndrews


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

RKeith,

In the years I've been doing this there are those of you who try to touch a nerve to get a response, which I "attended to" for you. With my dad as a genius, yes Mensa member and all...WOW! I've dealt with the types (insert...YOU) who talk intelligently, nit pick to strike a nerve (Ha! my dad does this with columnists) but don't actually know anything of substance. Something like the idiot savant. Or someone who is too afraid of rejection to put themselves out there. My dad has never wrote a column in his life but he certainly has a lot of critique for them, and it's not like he's not capable. He's more than qualified, but afraid of rejection. You use a lot of words and tactics he does.

I simply addressed everything in your comment. You're welcome. Might I add you could write beautiful poetry...about a noodle. I didn't catch much in that first paragraph except something about noodles. Read my profile dear, I don't appeal to everybody, and I'm OK with that. Been doing this for a while, it serves my need to write, my need to put a voice to those dealing with issues, my need to help (some, not everyone), and makes me money, and I'm not in short supply of commenters and supporters. If only one person said thank you, you helped me, it would be enough for me. I am not the church and look at numbers only. I don't need 200 people, although I've had at least that many thank me for helping them. I only need one. So pat yourself on the back that you got my response...and run along now.

Relatable? Since you gave me your personal definitions, I'll give you mine. relatable is 500+ comments on a single hub. Relatable is over 1700 followers. Try it sometime.

I have a feeling you don't relate to many people so I'm going to surprise the heck out of you...RKeithAndrews, I can relate to you. I also have Chihuahuas, I love yard work and quiet dinners with my husband. I have two children...not grown, but under 5. Remember those days? I'm lucky to get dishes done or take a shower let alone continue my love for writing, but somehow I manage to, maybe not always spell checked or perfect, but I'm thankful for the small stuff. Three years ago I couldn't walk. Most days I can't type anything due to pain in my hands from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I know you don't feel much, especially sorry for me, but sometimes people need to get a perspective other than their own. I also have one mortgage and two cars. My husband loves history and chess, but admittedly I hate those two things.

I'll let you in on a little secret before I finish reading the rest of your comment because it's turning a little sour at this point and I want to respond to you in a light mood...I have a style of writing that may not appeal to you, but Stephen King got a lot of flack for his writing style in the beginning and grammatical errors. J.K Rowling got turned down how many times? All it took was one publisher though. Even the great don't appeal to everyone.

Also try not to be so logical because it's not relatable. I've worked in research where that's useful and I'm good at it, but there's a time and place. Oh, God you were in ministry and you tear down people like this? I'm just a simpleton, form you I expect more. Why even stoop to my level? I have education credentials too, but I am so thankful to be able to think outside of that space. It's a bubble.

...it's always the people who have nothing to back themselves up. I have not seen any of your writing. I don't see any published hubs. Now I'm going to pull out some psychobabble. I ask myself if this person is like this to me, how are they to themselves. People like you are much harder on yourself and loved ones than you are to me. I'm sorry for what you put yourself through. You write comments well, but what else do you write?


RKAndrews 2 years ago

Hi, izettl,

This is almost fun, isn’t it?

“My dad has never wrote a column…” Not only did I touch a nerve but caused a bit of distraction from how sentences should be constructed.

“…and it’s not like he’s not capable.” The double negative entendre. (Google that.)

A very big introductory paragraph about your dad, coupled with a psychology major you “own” (?) explains enough about your intellectual limits and the meager sights you have set for your writing future. Please note all you culled from my response was truly nit-picking and personally mean-spirited and completely blind to the guidance I offered in critiquing your “piece of work.”

Apparently, the noodle imagery was too low for you to comprehend although I attempted to stretch logic to your level. I have read your profile (and please don’t call me “dear” as the title coming from “your kind” is an affront to civil sensibilities.

Your profile is driven by the quote: “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.” Well, you’re certainly emptying your mind! Personal attacks framed in sarcasm is no way to exchange ideas or assist each other in the literary craft or make critiques for the betterment of another.

Yes, I do write beautiful poetry and you, too, can write some kind of fiction. “I am not the church and look at numbers only.” There are no numbers to support your vague claims in this particular article. Perhaps your readers would be better served if your numbers included a teaspoon of this or a table spoon of that in recipes you ‘publish.’ Or perhaps write about something dealing with children or housekeeping or even something related to the psychology major you “own.”

“…pat yourself on the back that you got my response… and run along now.” Truly infantile and in keeping with the genre of writing most appropriate for you.

isettl, 500 comments and 1700 followers cannot be relatable. Even dogs follow garbage trucks. (But they do relate to trash.) Pat yourself on the back that you can “relate” to others of similar short-sightedness.

isettle, highlighting your health conditions, distant suggestion that you can relate to me, daily time constraints, neglect of writing 101 (spell check), and general grasping for straws to buffet some kind of response which has done more to you than touch a nerve (!), your extra sensory perception (“I know you don’t feel much…”) is robbing you of the genius you do have even, in some special sense, exceeding that of your dad. Distraction is one of the enemies of any writer and for writers who hope to excel beyond the mediocrity of “relating” to a comfort zone of readership, the small-minded ones who troll the bottom waters for sentences and paragraphs which continue to accommodate their stale station in life. Anyone can complain. The truly significant ones are very light on the complaints and utilize them as springboards into something which can lift people and be of benefit to a wide readership.

“I’ll let you in on a little secret before I finish reading the rest of your comment because it’s turning a little sour at this point and I want to respond to you in a light mood…” Distraction. Complete all reading before making a response. And sour is merely another side note on yet another nerve touched. Sour is another term which means you’re loading your gun for yet another personal attack.

“Also try not to be so logical because it’s not relatable.” That statement defies any kind of logic! And you’ve worked in research where that’s useful and you’re good at it? Then, if you’re good at it, what have you done with it…?!

isettle, get a grip- I’m not tearing you down. (“Oh, God, you were in ministry and you tear down people like this?”) Put on your big girl panties. Writing is an art, a craft, constantly honed, critiqued, re-written, thrown away, started over – again… The likes of Stephen King and JK Rowland wandered some lonely paths for a while (and not only rejection by publishers), as (I highly suspect) they were critiqued by friends and relatives who had some significant input and impact on their style and persistence. Do some more (logical) research and look for any - any – author who did it on her or his own.

We thank the wind and waves which come into our life because such produce perseverance and strength and character beyond the morbid and mundane.

To desire to write is an automatic invitation to well-wishers and those who critique with well-meaning advice albeit counter to our own sensibilities. Writing is meant to soar with eagles and not scratch with chickens.

I don’t care about your educational credentials.

You will be seeing writings from me on the Hub. And you can have at it all you like- to diffuse, critique, slam dunk, counter, highlight, punch, suggest, condescendingly comment and compliment – all of which I have done with your one article.

I don’t care about that either. I’m not doing to become all dis-jointed about it or go off the deep end or cringe in a defensive posture.

…all of which I have done with your one article. One article. I will sway away from other articles as I’m confident I’ll see more of the same. And again, that’s okay, as I noted in the previous reply (which you overlooked as well), because your style is your style and there’s some kind of audience out there for that – perhaps and hopefully for you beyond the Hub community.

Nurture your style for others as well as your own self-gratification. “Owning” a major in psychology you hopefully know writing is good therapy particularly for those of low self esteem which, as an added critique, as a bit of constructive criticism, is written all over your replies to me.

I wish you well in your endeavors, washing dishes, showering, the yard work, and – seriously – your love for writing. Because, isettl, it is your love for writing which matters most, regardless of your readership… as you scan the horizon looking for your niche. And ponder that: find your niche, you topic or two or three of strength and not the smattering of this-or-that as a fisherwoman throwing multiple lures into the water in the hopes the “numbers” will help her catch something. Maybe the smattering of topics by so many Hubbers is an attempt to be heard, as in sending up a flare.

But methinks Hubbers will return again and again to an author who is a specialist and not an amateur generalist. And when they see her headline they’ll want to check in, and that will, no doubt, double your readership beyond the “family” of Hubbers who “like” you.

Try not to write to be liked. Write to be heard. Write to inform. And, yes, that means yet another term paper with credible evidence and factual back-up. Your opinion is pointless.

I would offer, too, to slow down, and bridge your sentences and paragraphs with an appropriate segue. Writing is not like throwing darts (unless that is the desired style and if so roll those dice!)- it’s similar to the coherent brush strokes on a canvass making for an appealing and longing gaze, to present a logical and sensible pondering by those who give the canvass or the paper their valuable time. Otherwise it’s merely more, as you say, “psychobabble.”

Re-read your replies to me and count the number of times you write the word, “you.” I have addressed you by name and have concluded my remarks on a positive and supportive note. (Although you may not care for my style of making my point, particularly the Starbucks reference. )

“People like you are much harder on yourself…” Please, I’m not paying for this psychoanalysis and it isn’t asked for and you certainly don’t have the credentials to assume yourself on me. Yet again your opinion.

(-continued-)


RKAndrews 2 years ago

Again, all the best to you in your writing ‘career.’ Keep at it! Write, write, write. But don’t expect Hemmingway-esque productions every time. Be prepared for critique. Accept it as something positive. Avoid personal attacks. Be careful when utilizing sarcasm. Burn the word “you.” Back up your presentations with more than your opinion, else make application to write editorials for your local and close-minded newspaper.

Or… just answer your own question to me: “…what else do you write?”

Take care, be well, nurture joy in your life, and settle down into your niche. You can be very good! Your writing CAN be as attractive as your avatar!


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

This is my hobby, not my "career". Do you have a hobby other than paying mortgage? I make a living writing in two other genres....which have nothing to do with my "niche" on hubpages. I believe some things deserve a conversation, some things that people don't like to admit or bring up in our "perfect" society. Hubs is cool in that I get a fulfilling hobby, help others, and make some extra cash as well.

I brought up my dad because I have your card, so to speak...google it. I know your type and I'm sad for you. I'm the one with a chronic illness and I'm sad for you. And you even misspelled my name on purpose...my dad does that to the columnists as well. Cute touch but kinda boring. Honestly I just bring this up because it's uncanny!

Speaking of distractions, you get so caught up in the logical you forget how to relate to people. Just cause you can put together a sentence well doesn't mean you have any common sense. It's hard for people to be around you, difficult for you to be around people while I walk into a room and can light it up, get along with anybody, relate to anybody, and shine! I'm extremely confident and comfortable and I'm actually just sad that you'll never find that, you'll never experience that. People will hang onto your words, only if they value your intellect, but nothing else. You're a shell and what you do is skim, never getting deeply involved or invested in people. You see, the majority of people spell worse than I, make more grammatical errors than I do so that means anyone who is a regular person, which is the majority, can relate to me without getting caught up in grammar or spelling. Have you ever seen a manuscript sent to an agent? Oh my, I have several times and authors are notorious for spelling and grammar errors, but luckily agents and editors exist.

So let me be the first here to just give up- I'm not going to change your point of view and this is severely off topic. you're not even a teacher and you feel the need to grade me. Actually the only point you've made, especially on this hub, is how judgmental and unappealing church folk are. You spent 30+ yrs in church service and this is how you treat others? THANK YOU for making my point. Why the hell would I want to go to church where people like you reside?

P.S. this hub is meant to be lighthearted and a vague top ten sort of list. It isn't a how to. I have some of those if you'd like and I di post sources. However, coming from the field of research psychology studies, stats, and anything is quite bias anyway. So what's my opinion compared to someone doing the research of some stats and studies I cite? It's all opinion ANYWAY. I also like to add good old fashioned experience, much more valuable than academia.

Don't comment here again unless you can give me some factual back up related to my hub or this topic. I guarantee I can find the bias in it or discount the reference. Now doesn't that sound fun?


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Here's some evidence that bad grammar exists among the great:

Hemingway ("But I would come back to where it pleases me to live; to really live")

Gene Rodenberry ("to boldly go where no man has gone before").

Jane Austen "Fanny could with difficulty give the smile that was asked for."


RKAndrews 2 years ago

You win. I don't know what. But you win.

A long time ago I was told that one cannot take out of a person's mind with reason what reason didn't put there in the first place. I heeded that, sporadically. The times I did not were wasted. Similarly, reason was declared to be something subjective which... defies definition!

Again, I wish you all the best. I sincerely hope your chronic illness will continue to translate into literary productivity for you. You have a genuine talent which must continue to be nurtured.

Stay the course, remain true to yourself, as you indubitably are.

I understand The Hub is, among other purposes, a place for writers to exchange notes and share experiences and offer guidance one to the other.

“Don’t comment here again unless you can give some factual back up related to my hub or this topic.”

Perhaps in some small way I can underscore the premise of your hub.

Born and raised in the church. Not overly religious. Middle-of-the road.

Product of a physically and emotionally abusive father to myself and my mother. A loner in grade school. Introverted.

Sought out another home and discovered it in the church. Once there I subconsciously began to idealize the church. Visiting minister placed hands on my shoulders and said, “One day you’re going to be a minister.”

Thus, the journey began. College and seminary. Not one of the golden boys in the denomination. Went against the grain. Theologically liberal for my time.

Married. Two children. Sold my soul to the church, not “the company store.” Became a good example of, “The cobbler’s children go without shoes.”

Every church I served, striving to lift it from mediocrity and stuffy conservatism, beat me up. Elders cursed me. I came to realize the truth of the repeated statement: “Some of the meanest people I’ve ever met are in church.”

Health began to deteriorate. Began medications for depression and physical health problems related to serving the church and some semblance of God’s people.

Remembering resenting a father became paralleled with being resented as a father. Left the church. Haven’t darkened the doors for nearly five yearas.

Want to think two things. (1) “I didn’t leave the church, it left me.” (2) I have moved beyond the church.

Days are now spent, for the most part, wondering what I ever accomplished. Keep reviewing in my mind the scene from the movie, Papillon, where Steve McQueen’s character is walking in the desert and sees a line of people on the horizon. As he approaches he recognizes guards from the prison. Then the warden speaks. “You have been found guilty of the crime of a wasted life.”

And now that which I once knew as my source of greatest comfort has become the source of my greatest consternation. The church. That which I once figured offered the greatest job security.

How’s that for some factual back up related to your article?

As a psychology major and a survivor of sorts you can pick this apart as well… Be satisfied with the grade of 80 and 70. My grade doesn’t even register. And it’s not self-loathing, just stark reality until some kind of dawn approaches which I know is impending. “Hope floats.”

And so, your article of why people quit the church resonated with me. Perhaps, in some underlying and even distorted manner, I was appreciating your hub but knew it could have been so much more direct and pointed, per my own experience. If one is going to set forth why people quit church pull out all the stops.

At any rate, your directive is well taken, as I will not comment here again now that my meager factual back up has been related to your hub.

In some strange sense, I would ponder trading places with you- your chronic illness and all. The wounds of the heart and soul have no other companion…

Help and (literary) guidance can come dressed in many clothes. I think my life experiences can gain momentum and meet up with something productive and make some kind of contribution. All-the-while I'm cognizant of the critique of others, as I have a heart filled with them.

I would hope my critique of others would be met with the same well-meaning spirit conveyed.

izettl or is it izetti - ? cannot read it well enough... you are a blessing to many and have a unique "ministry" and a sweet spirit despite the side-swipe we have made with each other!

You have a legacy and are an instrument of positive enrichment for so many people.

Hey - I might borrow your title and add, "Why People Leave The Church, Part Two!!"

Regards,

RKA


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

It's not about winning...it's about standing up to a bully. I viewed your comments as those similar to bully behavior. Now that I know where you came from, your upbringing and the path you chose in the church, I understand.

And that last comment from you I respect because now I don't believe you were just aiming to hurt or tear down someone. You opened yourself up a little and I have respect for that kind of courage. When I started this journey on Hubs I thought to myself 'I have not written in 18 years'. I loved to write as a child and my dad told me sometimes in high school that there is no money to be made through writing. I stopped. I was stupid enough to stop like the elders at the church did to you. They killed your spirit. Inevitably we all come across someone who does that. My responses to you come from a place of not allowing anyone to kill my spirit again.

Fast forward to the beginning of the recession I got laid off from a lucrative living in Human Resources (same career my dad had). I was bored sometimes even though I had a 6 month old. I got on hubpages and I knew I didn't have the time to write. Then I realized I had the time to write, but not perfectly. Since having kids, the harsh reality, and sometimes relief, is that I can't do anything perfect anymore- a tough reality for a former perfectionist...4.0 student. So I decided to write anyway...what could it hurt? No one would read it anyway. One of my first pieces was a huge weight off my chest. I admit it was a selfish act at first. Then people started to comment how they went through something similar as well. For a person who is very private in real life, a preferred loner, and a stay-at-home mom with no connection to the outside world on most days, Hubs saved me. I do research for some of my hubs, but research becomes outdated quickly. I don't put a lot of emphasis on studies for that reason- today coffee is good for us, tomorrow it kills us.

I would encourage you to write something on this topic. All I needed to look up was the stats for people leaving churches and the new trend toward "spirituality". I knew I wasn't the only one. What I stress in my religion hubs is for people not to get discouraged with God and lose sight of Him even if the church failed them.

I don't need to scrounge up some psychobabble for your experiences through life. But I still encourage to you to write on some of those experiences and add in some factual backup too. You have the time to research so there's your edge. I too went through some emotional abuse as a kid- I was always stupid and my dad was the expert, being a genius. I am free of that now. My mom has always been a victim. Me, well I won't be like either. Productive? I hope you find your own definition for that- don't let others tell you what that is. I wanted to write, but realized I don't have much time so I had the choice to not do it at all or just go ahead but know I wasn't writing my best. I don't regret just doing it.

My other writing gigs...business documents, blogs, and newsletters (can't make mistakes on those), and my passion which I continually revise and perfect is children's fiction. Still some facts involved in that, but mostly I use my imagination, my area of strength.

I find that writing on personal experiences is a challenge. It is rewarding but sometimes logic gets tangled up with emotions. I think if you do something with your personal experiences RKA, they will not be wasted lessons. Maybe one day they will wear them like badges of honor.


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

To correct one of my many typos..."you" will wear them like badges of honor, not "they".


RKeithAndrews profile image

RKeithAndrews 2 years ago

Pretty good article! Definitely thought provoking. Guess the term "quit" annoys me a bit. While reading I wondered about other less pointed terms such as "leave" or maybe something along the lines of "distance themselves."

At any rate, the author has embarked upon negotiating a rather spindly topic and is to be commended for rattling some branches to get folks thinking about something not only timely but pressing upon our American society.

The points she makes are merely a few, as Hub space limits her extending the article much further. And yet that is likely a good thing as once one sets out upon this topic it can become a rather bumpy ride with so many nuances.

The article does well to initiate or jump start conversation on this matter of religious flux in America.

Without additional comment on the article - it's flow of information, style, etc, I'd like to chime in on the four year-old topic (still breathing fresh readership) and ask if there are ponderings on "quitting" the church as related to location in America - the South, Midwest, Northeast, etc. And how location may or may not be a determining factor toward walking out the door of the church.

Further, are there, for lack of a better term, substitutes for having left the church?

And for those having left who have young children how does this factor in to relating religion or impressing spirituality and spiritual formation on their children?

Please leave some notes on this and refer your readers to this Hub and the authors main page because she has additional topics which are spread in many directions.


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I might change some things in this article. It's probably the only one of my aged hubs that hasn't been revised over the years. It's time...and you bring up some great points. I've written other hubs pertaining to this topic such as an informational hub about in-home churches (a possible substitute for leaving a traditional church). I wrote a very personal hub about nearly giving up on God. I dabble in this topic and often times learn things as I go concerning religion. I'm not the expert that you are- that's why encourage you to write some hubs. I'd be interested.

I'd like to write something concerning the children of parents who've left the church. For my children, God is part of our every day lives. We still pray- we teach long the way. There are always good teaching moments to relate to God.


pam 2 years ago

I am a Christain I can not believe all that I'm hearing I am human I am a sinner saved by grace I am no where near perfect that's Gods department rather we are church goers are not we all are sinners we judge people and don't even realize it if you don't believe that back up and read all these again. God steal loves us all he wants us to do a work for him we go to work and at the end of our week we want our pay. I pray that God will touch our hearts and minds and we will realize if he didn't have work for us we wouldn't be hear. when our work for him is over he will take us from this life and than we will get our pay. Before that time I pray that my head along with yours will have given that pillar up for Him amen.


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

pam

I realize we judge others but church, or any place of God, isn't where we want to be judged. It is a turn-off for people who have sinned and I've heard many say things about not belonging in a church because of the stereotypes of not fitting in, someone with tattoos, someone whose gone to prison, someone who lost their children due to drugs. I'm just mentioning some I've heard. Don't shoot the messenger. And for me personally I saw the church turn my mother away because of going through a divorce back in the 80's. I think by judgment, I also mean that the elders in a church or the regulars are often the worst. How can that be justified?


pam 2 years ago

hey I understand what your saying I have been there I have a son in prison I have a son that just got off drugs a daughter that would not be here if she had not stopped drugs which means I would not have my 4 adorable Grandchildren Logan, Wesley, Cooper, and my little April, she was named after my other daughter April she has gone to see Jesus oh you don't think I could blame so many things yes I was mad at God and when he took my Daddy 2 weeks after my Daughter yes I still wonder and I still make excuses to stay on my pillar but God has a plan for us and with out him I would be nuts you guys its not ok to play God on Sunday and Satan The rest of the week we all could just say God help me to live more like you. We cant justify everything but I was such a good christen oh yea please listen to this I was a Sunday School teacher and guess what I was setting in Church at a revival and during invitation oh yea I was saved right there you know how I felt so you know instead of walking away start praying for who upset you they may be lost or just a sinner God didn't say when your saved you will never sin again he said repent daily I love you all and hope I have not said anything to hurt but help.


Kukata Kali profile image

Kukata Kali 2 years ago

I appreciated the expression and enjoyed the opinion :)


Seriously 2 years ago

Well i certainly feel that God is very much punishing me in the first place since i am dealing with my Loneliness right now, and when i see so many other men and women that have been Very Blessed By God to have met one another with a Family, it hurts me even much more. Why should i go to Church when i don't have a Love Life like so many others have?, and many of us good men hate very much being Alone all the time Too. And with the Holidays approaching, it is even worse.


Ericajean profile image

Ericajean 2 years ago

Well well. A nice hub that I have been praying for. I voted this one Up because after reading "So You Don't Want to Go to Church" about three years prior I learned a few things:

*Church is a building- yet, it is supposed to be an organism, a body of Christ. So if I need help or a friend, no one should say "do you belong to a church?" No. I belong to God. Buildings crumble and fall.

*When Paul wrote his letters to Ephesus and Corinthians and other churches, these were mostly homes in a certain area. Even the Amish visit each other's home on Sunday and not an actual church building(according to my finite understanding).

*Sunday is a day of rest and I've always believed that if I am getting up early, dressing up to see people I do not want to see- how is that worshiping God? How am I honoring Him?

*Some people are just plain addicted to church. They literally fall in love with the pastor's sermons, the thousands of ministries and the cliques. A lot of separatism there- but aren't we called to be Holy and set apart unto the Lord? Not form evil factions within a church.

So for these reasons and many more, my husband and I have decided to fellowship in God's home- which is this Earth, this land. Anywhere is a fellowship meeting spot. The important thing mentioned in Acts and elsewhere in the bible is that we fellowship. So even if we do not go to a church building, getting together with other believers often is good.


StillLearning 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this article. I was one of those judgemental Christians who took everything the pastors said as Gospel until last year. Then I had one of the hardest years ever and my eyes were opened. See I'm a follower and a people pleaser; I hate any kind of conflict and just learned to go along with pretty much whatever at church. I was at the same church for 22 years always trying to fit in, doing what I was told was right, and never questioning anything. Sure I felt judged and put down I never once felt like I was good enough for those people, but church was something I was supposed to do or so I was told.

Last year seemed extremely difficult for me at church. People from my church started posting on Facebook putting down my kids and what they wore or messaging me privately telling me my daughters shouldn't date this guy or whatever. In the beginning it made me feel like a failure as a mom and upset that my so called "church family" would treat me this way.

Then one of my friends' daughters left home when she was 18 after she had a falling out with her mom. Well after her living arrangement fell through she moved in with me and again I felt the displeasure of church opinions. This mom acted like the grieving mom at church so sad that her daughter left, but outside of church was different. She told her daughter she broke her trust and couldn't come home and she gave her daughters stuff and room away to her siblings. I took the brunt of doing the right thing among others at church. Well this lady decided not to talk to me ever again and wouldn't forgive me for helping her kid out. I felt like by what the Bible says we should try to at least talk it out, but that never happened. I was having a really hard time going to church there after that, I felt like the hypocrite knowing this lady is there that won't even talk to me and we are singing a few pews away from each other about God's love and forgiveness.

But I trudged on, then my mother in law got sick and came to live with us. She could no longer be alone or go out. So I stayed home with her on Sunday mornings and went when I could. I felt very judged when I went, I would get comments like "You haven't been here in awhile" or "nice to see you showed up".

I think the final straw came as my mother in law was with us for 3 months and during that time I received no phone calls, no visits from any of my so called 'church friends'. I was shut in as much as my mother in law and felt utterly abandoned and alone. Sure the church was there for me if I showed up, but no one was going to take the time to be there for me if it was inconvenient for them.

Last year I saw the real fakeness of church and its people. You know everyone throws around the phrase don't forsake the assembling of yourself together, but they don't quote the whole verse and what I believe it is trying to say. It talks about community, lifting each other up, being there for one another, spurring each other on to good works and love and sadly church isn't the place to find those things.

When I left, the women's minister condemned me of course and her words after I told her all my problems with others was. "You go to church for God not for other people." Really? Well give me a church building that is empty and I will go for God. I'm still searching, still trying to figure out who I am after fitting myself into the good little church goer role for so long, but one thing I know for certain I don't need anyone else around me to connect with God, to worship Him, or to come before His throne.


Cnunn85 2 years ago

Reading your article just makes me realize that some people (such as yourself) only come to chuch to criticize everything and everybody. Not knowing exactly where chapters in the Bible means that you have taken the time read the bible, you don't have to keep up with everyone else we learn at our own paces. We simply come to church for the fellowship not to focus on all the negatives. There is NO perfect church or building because is first in us:-)


Soundness 2 years ago

Although I do not support all of your areas of concern, I absolutely understand some of your points. There are Christian believers and followers - then you have some Christians who are both. Being a Christian is about loving GOD above all else and loving others. I am not spiritual because that leaves too much to chance. I embrace the holy spirit because I know the purpose. Some people confuse fellowship with only going to church. A church is "a body of believers" assembled anywhere (to share the gospel (good news of Christ) but many think it's a building. The concept is to share the positive love of GOD and witness by telling trying experiences in your life and how GOD brought you through them in ways one could have not ever foreseen. Allowing your life to be an example doesn't mean that you will always be at your best at a specific point in time, however, many successes emerge from failures. Although saved at a young age, as an older women I began to read and study the Bible. I took "my time" on a personal level and then later through academia (hermeneutics, genres, etc;) . It was extremely enlightening and just because someone is fluent in quoting scriptures does not mean that individual is more of a Christian, more knowledgeable or comprehends the true interpretations. A lot of what I have come to learn is different from what is demonstrated publicly, passed down through generations and told ... how Christians are "supposed to be, what we are to wear, who we can associate with, we can't make mistakes else we're no longer a Christian" - it's nonsense. Some are still living by the Old Testament (society couldn't abide by those laws then) and it is not the covenant (agreement) we (who have given our lives to Christ and profess his deity) are now under "WITH" GOD. It is not always easy, and at times it seems like more hardships now than before. I love GOD and "KNOW" what his love feels like. It is that experience that should be shared ... whenever and wherever.


UK bird 2 years ago

LOVING this ... am based in the UK but this rings so true!


pigletsfriend 2 years ago

i have a question can anyone help me. i was brought up in baptist church and that is where i became a christiain and baptised. i have struddled to keep and maintain friends. so i thought i would start to go to the church of england where everyone is accepted!! i thought very wrong. i started to attend a speical choir in town run by one of the pastoral carers and got bullied to a point where contracts needed to be signed. then i joined the free spirit gospel choir same lady ran all was fine there for a bit. then i went to a open mic and talk a support worker so i could learn some new socail skills as i have aspergers. the first choir i attended was a specail needs one where folk with mental health problems and learning disabiltes attended. one day at first the contract was broken i had a strange message after we was not suppose to talk about it so i refused and sent one message to the leader of the choirs and told her that the contract had been broke. it never got sorted so i went to my private lesson again with this leader i paid for it and there was laughing and the bulliy was there so that day i decided i would not go back there as there is no way it was going to work no one was going to sort the mess out. that evening i had some problems with my daugher and i drove out to a grave yard sat with my friend who recently passed away i no i can not tak to her so i prayed to God. i then decided that all i need was a friend and to talk to some one may be have a prayer with them. but i got a socal worker call me instesad and we had a laugh and there was a mis understanding and it was over i was told it was the leader that called. so i decided to leave that too. i then thought about a few things as she was not acting ver christina like i do not no the rules of the church of england at the time so it is not realy my fault so i deced to bomb blast her with very home truths and send her some scripture to back it up. she did not like it so she blocked me from all groups on face book and blocked her self. so i decided that it was morily rong of her so i asked to see the rev at the church. i emailed him with very informal complaints about this leader and he said to me to come and see him so i did ther was a nother rev there too. he said to protect the leader and me being the vonrable adult that i needed support to atend anythign that tis lady ran. unknown to this i went to open mic before the meeting no support worker but took my mum who i care for i also have children at home. i do have aspergers wich is a form of autism. he told me later that i could not come less i had support workers with me my budget does not cover this the only other option was not to come. how can that be possible. why was it not sorted with the leader and me to put it behind us and move on and sort the contract out that was already there. apparently there was some misunderstandings beween us and that is why they decided that. i am a indpendent person with a few socail issuse and need a bit of support. there is no way i can get more and would not want to embarace myself in fround of some friends i like wither they mix with me or not. and when we perfom with these choirs i have family and other friends from other churches come to see me why would a support worker want to sit near a choir and not sing or join in with these things if they did not have a chrsitian belif any way? so i ahve decided i will take the ole mater up with the prist higher up and see if i can make it more efficial that somthing gets done. i feel be littled and intimadated all because of mis understandings between 2 people. if they want her to just be a choir leader and not be her friend or be her sisiter in christ then find i can cope with that but take away all i had on my door step i enjoy and not beable to atted nothering that she leads like preayer things in lady chapel on sunmday or when she give the bread and wine out i have to have a supprt worker or not attend is very dscrimanating and very b littling. when i was in baptist churches or in another one i worked for metnal health in one running a social support group alone. i have taught in sunday school and a holiday bible club for teens if i was not trusted since i was 14 to help out in a church i am not 43 and this as jut came up is there something moral wrong i belive deeply it is between me and the choir teacher but no one will let me sort her and least of all her self. so now i have to see if the prest will sor t it all out or i will need to make it formal complaint i am not sure any ideas what i should do does it come under disablty discrimanation? this lady as a brother with autism like me i wonder if it is something to do with that i never met him and she nver spoke of him i heard it from a socal worker that she had a brother with it strange! i wonder if she does not like to mix with the likes of me or aspergers or autism people i am not that bad i have lack of eye contact do not mix too well but never nasty i give a lot to i reaise money for cancer that is what my best friend died of who was a good christian friend and accepted just as i was. now she as gone i have no one close to me to pop by for a cuppa and no one ever comes to see me or calls me to see how i am nothing. i am not sure where i belong and to scard after this to step foot in a church for the fear of being be littled if something went rong i can not let it drop i do not want others to go through it i want to get it sorted before someone eles goes through it. it will never changfe the fact i beive in teh Lord Jesus christ but settling in a church as realy rocked me and got me very nervos. i need a apology and i will for give and put it behind me so i can continue to do the things me and one of my children and my mum injoy and that is going to church we are christian and need to be part of a church as that is what God wants i pray daily for the situation but do not find guidence only come to the concluion that i need to sort the mess out what do you think i no i go on a bit but that is how it is when i email folk or tell them what i think i can be far to honest but is that a crime in a church? it is also part of my condition it is too hard to lie i ahve to go in to detail and facts.


nicole 2 years ago

Thanks for this, I agree with the majority of it, I been to church my whole life and honestly its when I stop going that I get close to God. When I go to church it seems like its more about what we all look like that matters to its wonderful members, its about what we can do for them which makes them determine if we are worthy of their approval, but like I said I've been to church my whole life and because of that I feel like I have to go, and who would want to be in a place where they want you to believe they care for you but they don't, they are too buisy judging your outward appearance, the car you drive and the amount of money you have oh oh and what you have you have to bring to the table to ever really care or love you with the same unconditional love they preach about and expect you to have.

I usually find peace at church when I'm alone, when I can talk to God my way without people listening and wanting some perfect well spoken convo.

Well this just helped me really realize where the problem in my life is, the more I go the more I lose faith, and I'm guessing this must be how other people are.

The really good people I've met, I've actually never met at church, they were judged tooooo much to go there, every fake friend who took so much time to judge my and all my friends was an strict church goer, they kill the spirit, creativity and individuality in the name of God, the same God who gave us those gifts.


Mandhla Moyo profile image

Mandhla Moyo 2 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

The Church needs to change to its already different and dynamic environment. I dont know why we still keep the ideal that the old is gold when we have diamonds and platinum and other such more fascinating rocks and rubies. Truth is, the problem of how to blend the word into the reality of the world?


muhammadahmed71 2 years ago

The reason is western self created democracy,which totally destroyed God rights, parents rights,family rights even self rights.


donald reed 2 years ago

for me it's been hard all the back stabbing gossip and the like

I'm finding that most of the people that go to church are not right in there heads and think they have the right to hert good people

and as long as the areas in life are up it's ok the damage that they have done. And they no how to quote the bible very quickly but wont look at the sin that has caused others to get into sin . But it is all neatly justified


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks everyone for the comments. Those that disagree, well, someone else mentioned this...the old world church hasn't caught up with the new. Many still hang onto the old definition of church and God, but has grown with us as he should and things have changed while many churches have not. I actually believe many have stunted peoples' growth. A new term has been introduced in our society and that's spirituality. People are gravitating to that and it's a personal relationship with God, not the old style.


Tony T 2 years ago

I didn't read everyones post but I agree with the author on almost every point. I think the true answer is right in the scripture. In Matthew 6 verse 1 on, Yeshua (Jesus) warns us against all the things that occur in church Doing charitable deeds among men, praying out loud in front of others repetitious prayers, and worrying about what we are wearing. If we can' t listen to the very words of Christ then Christians we are not. Worship the lord in your home with your family wear you are comfortable. Where the prayer and worship will continue to flow throughout your week and your life. Where you can get a little mor pillow time and not have to dress up. Believe that the Holy Spirit will bring you all you need in understanding the Word as you read. We don't need pastors or any other human to learn about God . To me that is an insult to The Holy Spirit. Why would God design a system where we needed to rely on other humans to understand his word.

Food for thought


glidagida 2 years ago

The Baptism of Love by Francis Frangipane

By Francis Frangipane

It is hard for us in this anxious, fearful age to quiet our souls and actually dwell upon God in our hearts. We can engage ourselves with Bible study or other acts of obedience. In varying degrees we know how to witness, exhort and bless. We know how to analyze these things and even perfect them. But to lift our souls above the material world and consciously ponder on God Himself seems beyond the reach of our Christian experience.

To Dwell Upon God

Yet, to actually grasp the substance of God is to enter a spiritual place of immunity; it is to receive into our spirits the victory Christ won for us, which is oneness with God in Christ.

Thus we cannot content ourselves merely with the tasks we are called to perform. Ultimately we will discover that study and church attendance are but forms which have little satisfaction in and of themselves. These activities must become what the Lord has ordained them to be: means through which we seek and find God. Our pleasure will be found not in the mechanics of spiritual disciplines, but that these disciplines bring us closer to God.

Paul’s cry was, “That I may know Him!” (Phil. 3:10). It was this desire to know Jesus that produced Paul’s knowledge of salvation, church order, evangelism and end-time events. Out of his heart’s passion to know God came revelation, the writing of Scriptures and knowledge of the Eternal. Paul’s knowledge was based upon his experience with Christ.

On the other hand, we have contented ourselves not with seeking the face of God, but with studying the facts of God. We are satisfied with a religion about Christ without the reality of Christ.

The Bible is the historical record of man’s experiences with the Almighty. Out of personal encounters people had with the living God, our theological perspectives have developed. But knowledge about God is only the first step toward entering the presence of God. As much as the Bible is a book of truths, it is also a map to God. As Christians, we study and debate the map yet too often fail to make the journey.

Love Surpasses Knowledge

There is a place greater than knowledge; it is a simple, yet eternally profound place where we actually abide in Christ’s love. This is, indeed, the shelter of the Most High. Remember the apostle’s prayer was that we each would “know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). As important as knowledge is, that verse tells us love “surpasses knowledge.” Doctrinal knowledge is the framework, the vehicle, that opens the door toward divine realities, but love causes us to be “filled up to all the fullness of God” (v. 19).

There is a dwelling place of love that God desires us to enter. It is a place where our knowledge of God is fulfilled by the substance of God. The Amplified Bible’s rendering states:

“May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [that you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!” (Eph. 3:17-19)

Is this not our goal, to be rooted deeply in love, to grasp the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s love; and to know for ourselves the deep, personal love of Christ? Can any goal be more wonderful? Indeed, to be filled and flooded with God Himself is the very hope of the gospel!

You see, God cannot truly be known without, in some way, also being experienced. If you had never seen a sunrise or a starry night sky, could any description substitute for your own eyes beholding the expansive beauty? Awe comes from seeing and encountering, not merely from knowing that somewhere a beautiful sky exists.

Likewise, to truly know God we must seek Him until we pass through the outer, informational realm about God and actually find for ourselves the living presence of the Lord Himself. This is the “upward call” of God in Christ Jesus. It draws us through our doctrines into the immediacy of the divine presence. The journey leaves us in the place of transcendent surrender, where we listen to His voice and, from listening, ascend into His love.

The earth’s last great move of God shall be distinguished by an outpouring from Christ of irresistible desire for His people. To those who truly yearn for His appearing there shall come, in ever-increasing waves, seasons of renewal from the presence of the Lord (see Acts 3:19-21). Intimacy with Christ shall be restored to its highest level since the first century.

The Baptism of Love

Many on the outside of this move of God as well as those touched and healed by it will look and marvel: “How did these common people obtain such power?” They will see miracles similar to when Jesus Christ walked the earth. Multitudes will be drawn into the valley of decision. For them, the kingdom of God will be at hand.

But for those whom the Lord has drawn to Himself, there will be no mystery as to how He empowered them. Having returned to the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ, they will have received the baptism of love.

Is this possible, my Lord? Is it true that I might know the love of God that surpasses all knowledge? O God, I seek to know You, to live in the substance of Your love. For Your love is the shelter of my protection. Help me, Master, to recognize Your love, not as a divine emotion, but as Your very substance! Help me to see that it was neither Pilate nor Satan that put You on the cross; it was love alone to which You succumbed. Remind me again that it is Your love that still intercedes for me even now.

Francis Frangipane

www.frangipane.org


RJ 2 years ago

I enjoyed reading this. I went through the church going rat race for many years so everything you said resonated with me. I too used to ask the questions that you ask, like why are of society's rejects flocking to church, where the heck are the normal people? The other issue I had is with "God only helps those who help themselves" kind of thinking. Well if you help yourself then your doing it yourself anyway, so divine input wasn't happening although credit was always given. I then committed the real unpardonable sin, I began to question and search for answers. After much searching, praying, pleading, etc., I realized that I no longer believed in any of this stuff. I asked myself how is Christianity any different from a cult? The only answer I could come up with was the Christianity has more members, so it is an accepted religion. The Bible is rife with contradictions, errors, etc. and the apologists explanations for all of this are very unsatisfying. Does anyone really believe in the talking snake, the talking donkey, a strong man that can carry the gates of a city who loses his powers when his hair is cut, Noah's flood and many more unbelievable nonsense? Would anyone believe this stuff if it was written in any other book besides the Bible? It is so obviously false that it strains my mind to wonder how I once believed this stuff. So now I get to enjoy my life without worrying if unsaved loved ones will have to endure hell since I know it doesn't exist and I also get to sleep in on Sundays and keep that 10% that used to go into the collection plate. Life is good and I continue to have success in my life that I formerly attributed to God, but now the I can actually give the credit where it belongs, my own hard work. No more fake religion for me, I have been set free from the cult of Christianity!


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mrsannestedt 2 years ago from Alabama

I agree with your post there are many reasons why a person doesn't go to church. We all want to be closer to God but seem to find so many others things to do. I am a prime example I have tried to say it was the preaching style of the pastor. So we changed churches. We love the new church but we have to get up 30 minutes earlier to get there for preaching. After working all week I enjoy getting to sleep late. My point is when my husband and I were going to church regularly life seemed to go smoother and the aches and pains lessened. It is amazing how much better things get when you are walking hand in hand with God , he makes everything better.


Pam 2 years ago

I trust GOD I like a visit to church but it seems like churchgoers wont let you have private time with your savior they are always doing what the church as a whole does right away want to you to join some kind of prayer group or bible study better people than me have tried to study the bible and never get the answer cant I just read the bible GOD doesn't say study the bible there are ten folks and we cant even do them right .I would like to walk into a church and be left alone I don't want to meet you or hug you or shake your hand I want to be with GOD not a sinner like me if they was a church that would do some of the things a am talking about maybe more would go and passing the plate before the service is so well GOD isn't happy I am sure I pray to him almost every day while I go about my life sometimes I cry because I know what I did made him sad but I am not a fake and I like people and hate to judge but I am sure that most people would get more out of going to church if someone would just let them worship our LORD I don't jugde anyones reasons for going to church I just pray that someday some one would start a church like this that doesn't put any one faith or how they do it GOD BLESS YOU AND ME .AMEN


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Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

That was a refreshing hub on the outlook of churches in general. I was brought up in a very heavy churchgoing family, but I was never allowed to ask the questions that I kept directed and the preacher during bible classes. He probably did not have the answers. Needless to say I do not ever go to any church anymore. I simply respect myself and any person with a pure good heart who lives by one rule only. "Never do to others you do not want others do to you!"


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deorganicchurch 2 years ago from Claymont, DE

The church is supposed to be a body of Christ, where each believer is a part of his spiritual family, and they can count on each other in good times and bad. It is sad that those churches do not function as an spiritual household of faith by walking in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There should be a brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ that exists between members of a given church because they are fit the frame together. Sadly to say, the biblical example and the real world reality are far apart from each other. A Christian should be reaching towards his/her Savior in order to be more like him. To have a cold, judgmental attitude towards others is evidence of a person not walking close to Christ. Many of these people are not even saved at all. Going to church doesn't make somebody a born-again believer. They need to be spiritually reborn through the salvation process. If this has not happened, no amount of religious study or church attendance will make up for it. The lost are still under the penalty of sin and do not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. This is why, despite going to church for years, they are unable to exhibit any Christlike behavior. I attend an organic, house church where this is not the case. The members love one another and walk through life being guided by the spirit that lives within them. It really helps to be around other Christians who walk in faith, since they are able to help build you up in the faith. If a church like this is not available nearby, you can meet with one or two other believers and start sharing your lives together in Christ. Perhaps over time, the group will grow into a house church, and you will have no need to attend a typical traditional church.


keepthisinmind 2 years ago

Faith is the evidence of things not seen the substance of things hoped for. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house. Men and brethern children of the stocke of Abraham,and whosoever among you feareth God,to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Hierusalem & their rulers, because they know him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day,they have fufilled them in condeming him. And though they found no cause of death in him,yet desired they Pilate that he should be slaine. And when they had fufilled all that was written of him,they tooke him down from the tree, and layd him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: and he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Hierusalem,who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,God hath fufilled the same vnto vs their children,in that he hath raised up Jesus againe, as it is also written in the second Psalme: Thou art my sonne this day hath i begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him vp from the dead ,now no more to return to corruption ,he said on this wise i will give you the sure mercies of Dauid. Wherefore he saith also in another Psalme, Thou shalt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. For Dauid after he had served his own generation by the will of God fell on sleepe, and was laid unto his fathers and saw corruption: but he whom God raised againe saw no corruption. Be it known vnto you therfore, men and brethern,that through this man is preached vnto you the forgiveness of sinnes. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of moses. Beware therefore , lest that come vpon you which is spoken of in the prophets, Behold ye despisers and wonder and perish: for i worke a worke in your days a worke which you shall in no wise believe though a man declare it vnto you.


Dave t 2 years ago

It's sad that the original post starts off about why the writer doesn't go to church, and veers towards why they don't have a faith. Many of the comments go the same way.

A church should accept anyone, in whatever state their life is, just like its leader Christ did. Where a church makes you feel unwelcome or looked down upon, that church has a problem.

Note: feel free to replace the word 'sin' with 'things that God doesn't want' below...

Please remember though that entirety of a church is sinful people, including the pastor ("everyone has fallen short" if you are looking for a reference). Some of that sinfulness will be poor behaviour by how they treat each other and you as a visitor.

I encourage readers here to see past that, and recognize that they can still learn from God, and grow their faith even in a building full of inherently bad humans. Spending time with other Christians is a blessing and encouragement. Worshiping together is a key part of that, and it's not about finding a group of perfect people to be your role models.

Looking for a perfect church is futile, but do keep looking till you find one that genuinely welcomes you as you are.

Of course, awful histories of church leaders' behaviour often in the news is clearly wrong, but if you reject everyone who has ever sinned, you will in fact reject everyone on the planet. Sometimes in a church they'll say or imply that you are a sinner, and that just makes them sound like hypocrites. It's the message that matters. I hope you can see that.

My advice: try to forgive those who make you feel unwelcome. Look to the teachings and life of Jesus taught at the church, not whether the attenders are immaculate. Ignore what you think is the dress code and just turn up, late if you want; listen to the message, drink the free instant coffee and leave.

The life changing message will eventually help you realise that the other stuff doesn't matter.


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deorganicchurch 2 years ago from Claymont, DE

It seems harder these days to find a good church, since so many people are so into themselves that they have problems relating to others. I can go online and download many great messages without ever leaving my house, but I can't download spending quality time with other believers where iron sharpens iron. I think if a church fails in developing quality people that are becoming more Christlike, it has failed in a major area. I do commend that many churches preach the gospel to the unsaved and lead them to Christ. This is perhaps the strongest trait of a great number of churches. The problem is what happens after they are saved. The Bible tells us to go into the world and make disciples. Making disciples involves more than just preaching saving faith, it involves promoting continual growth of the believer as they spend the remaining portion of their life conforming into the image of Christ. When a large number of people attending a church do not display Christlike behavior, there is a serious problem in that church. It seems like Western society, especially young people, want less to do with Christ as each year passes by. This might be the falling away prophesied in the Bible.


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Dion Walker 2 years ago from Maryland

It is unfortunate that people call themselves Christians and talk/act otherwise. Just because someone calls themselves a Christian or go to church does not mean they are one. Christians can be easily identified by expressions of love, nonjudgmental, willing to help, humble, respectful, sincere, and honesty. There are many other adjectives I could use, but I think you get the jist of what I am saying. Again it is unfortunate for the body of Christ because a lot of GOD'S gifts are never realized because the so called Christians behavior and speech hardens the hearts of people looking for a church to go to. I know it is important to go to church where you feel comfortable, however first and foremost Christians are suppose to go to church to have a relationship with Jesus/GOD. Once that relationship is established you can then through behavior and speech show love which will attract people. Regardless of the negativity you receive from the so called Christian, YOU THE REAL CHRISTIAN will be a light upon the hill as an example of what a Christian is suppose to be.


BY:WATERSTAR 2 years ago

FROM: WATERSTAR. are people really quitting Church or is it running out of spiritual vitamines . in any case one of the main reason is the Facts that Most of The establish Old Churches have lost their Vision of who Jesus really his and what he stand For and Most of the Old Churches have become Cold and Lukewarm Not enough Love For People Soul and Too Much Love For Money $ .and we are in a knowledge age where everybody see and feel the lack of love.but The Main reason is because we are in the End of Days and the Rapture is about to take Place and only the wise Virgin who Love God can see it ,as it is written in the gospel of ST. Luke in the Last days before Jesus Return people all over the World will Love Pleasure more than God all kind of marrying and Living in Common Law living a whole Lot of dont Care attitude so it really not Leaving The Churches as to Falling out of Love With and For God and have become UN THANKFULL for what Jesus as done in giving His Life so that man Can Have Everlasting Life in Paradise Mankind have Forgotten what God have done for them and dont care much about anything or anyone but themself alone they quit on themself they gave up Like a runner in a race that just stop running , But it not too Late to Jump back in Just shake off the Dust go back to the Book of acts of the Apostle Chapter 2 and verse 38 and get started and this time Find a Holy Ghost Jesus Believing Church and get going we are running out of time so Snap to it You dont want to missed Jesus at the Rapture of the Church it will be a very hard day for those left behind. Heaven is wort it just to go to Church and give Thanks it simple just be humble Jesus Still Love you the way you are. BY: WATERSTAR


john smith 2 years ago

BRILLIANT ! you,ve been to my church hav,nt you?

Just left it 4/4/14 Full of matthew chapt 23.... OH WOE !


Bob7777 2 years ago

A house divided among itself will not stand. I am not against the church or body of Christ nor will I ever be. It's just that I can't seem to find a church where people actually can understand or have taken time to understand that there are even different situations/ scenarios (if U will) in life and personal levels of integrity other than what the average church goer has experienced or is willing to give credence to and that some people want to give God 100% whereas most church goers don't understand that this means giving more and more to God (including our simple trust) as our walk with him progresses on a daily basis (God may even literally ask someone to lay down their own life for another eventually if our faith is proven strong enough). Things are not always so black and white. And yes while we should acknowledge that sin is black and white, we are to hate the sin and not the sinner with exception to all out hedonistic behavior or apostasy (in other words if ever U have complete evil opposing Christ then yes I believe the war is on). The problem I have encountered almost constantly is that within the 4 walls of the church U have the holy of holies (and I believe that they are often true Christians) who are so afraid of sinning that they force their uptight standards on U and then U have the cool Christian club who go too far in the opposite direction almost having no moral code or holy reverence for God or respect for others. I believe the devil is quite aware of this and it's one way he divides a church in this day and age. Go to the two extremes and let even the fish in the middle be tempted into doubting that God really loves them or that he is even real because at the end of the day you are left numb with all the head games and a lack of the true issues being addressed. And it's all wrapped up and disguised in church politics so that a church member who is seeking the truth gets a neatly packaged but surface level answer or is even told in so many words, " don't be a problem just walk with God, because your questions are causing problems or unrest". I have experienced in my own life gossip and slander sweeping thru an entire church only to leave the target of these attacks feeling justified in leaving that church. I have seen a mob mentality in a church in which people gang up on one person like they are going to war instead of putting themselves in that person's situation and being understanding and encouraging (and no I am not saying to be accepting of sin and there are many times that somebody has not sinned (other than they have made mistakes in the past but other church members decide it's easier to label them as a bad egg), it's just that they didn't give others around them that perfect churchy impression one must expect in a church gathering or it's that they did or said something that looked bad to the scrupulous human eye or ears). I have seen people caught up in being accepted by others because they would rather be liked and seen as cool than to speak the truth or bee seen with others who don't fit in with their idea of cool (very common in today's often times unholy and unChrist-like churches). I have seen a church resemble more of a materialistic popularity contest where it's members literally sit around (a good portion of them so as to affect or influence the spirit or attitude of that church) and assign the members of that church a sort of popularity status on a scale of 1-10 so that U would be temepted not to do or say anything so as not to be lowered on their ranking scale and if things would continue long enough in that manner most of the members of that church would be influenced to live for the approval of people and lose their focus on serving God. Need I mention situations that require deeper spiritual levels of understanding or capabilities which not all Church goers may possess depending on their walk with God so U can be seen as an odd ball or outcast by other members of your church simply because U have given God 100%. C.S. Lewis once said that if he could define what hell would be like it would have to be like a giant office building with many politicians inside never doing more than they have to and never looking like the culprit. I hope we can't say the same thing about the Church today. I know there are good Christians out there and I thank God for those he has brought into my life to encourage me especially thru their Christ-like example. We have hope in Christ and I encourage everyone to run the good race and to finish to the end giving God the glory. The only answer I can find is to go out there and do God's will as the HolySpirit (that Jesus sent to us when he tore away the holy veil) guides us accordingly in each situation.


Anil 2 years ago

After attending evangelical churches in the USA for 16 years, I am disillusioned and cynical.

Pastor-directed church models encourage exploitation and spiritual abuse of the people (congregation) by leaders. Furthermore, they tend to lead to pastor-centered churches. It is true that even the best model can be corrupted due to man's corrupt nature. Yet God wants us to pick a model that has the principles of the body of Christ.

Here, I describe My Dream Church from my study of the Bible.

https://sites.google.com/site/mydreamchurch/


Bongani Sibeko profile image

Bongani Sibeko 2 years ago from Johannesburg

An-eye-opening, insightful and truthful article. The most divisive mechanism man has come up with is religion. Religion creates all these rituals we have to follow and obey and when we do not do so, we are called and labelled names. We become slaves of religion.

God doesn't dwell on man made temples. Going to church especially the way religion has made church to be is very discouraging. We go to church for some meaning in life, we make a mistake that if we don't go to church God will not hear from us. God is not restricted and limited to a church building, he doesn't even live there!

It's time for us to rise up and denounce religion and join what our hearts yearn for, the kingdom of God. God doesn't recognize all these religions, he never designed any religion. He calls us to his kingdom where there is true love, no prejudice whatsoever!

God bless you for exposing such truth!


Raine Law Yuen profile image

Raine Law Yuen 2 years ago from Cape Town

Just completed a hub on manifesting through prayer. Although I was bought up with Christian values I have come to a point in believing that spirituality rather than organized religion is the way to find truth. Spirituality is an inner focus to finding your truth whilst organized religion places an outer focus to faith. It can also be said that this is where the historic difference between Eastern and Western philosophy lie. the East developed along holism and the belief that inner reflection is necessary to obtain individual and societal harmony whilst the West followed the philosophy of ancient Greece and the belief that man is the centre of his universe and pursued Individuality, reasoning and duliasm - Mind body and spirit are all separate. This philosophy served the interest of the West over many years but only to learn that we are all interdependent and with technology its all seems to be backfiring - We just cannot compete with smart technology - hence the need to go inward and back to basics. As the old Chinese curse goes 'may you live in interesting times' I think such a time is now.


Mackwho 2 years ago

okay throu all of this has anyone talked to you about the miracles of the Echuarist of the Catholic Church?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Lanciano

There is no explanation and the miracle could have not been faked... So a God must exist and using reason would not a God reward Hid Church if it was the true Church?


Mackwho 2 years ago

Here is another good link... And thank you for your patience of approving my post!

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lancia...


mark 2 years ago

It is my oppinion , simply put the living word will make a change in any ones life - however this takes to open it and read it with intent ,purpose,and dedication the result is understanding ,application and good truth of how one is to lead a good moral and righteous life .this is not without trial and error . Albeit life teaches us that obeidience and discipline takes effort and many dont want to put in effort as this costs us . Church be it what it is (a sick place and many are sick simply is indicated by how one thinks and acts ) - for those needing a place to start it is good - for those that have started and growth is needed study the Word - for those that know the Word , practice it - for those that need encouradgement go - for those that love it continue - for those that are serrious with wanting a relationship with their God of the Living, go and seek His face - for those that love music go and enjoy it with all heart - for those that want a position in church SUCK UP TO THE PASTOR AND WIFE AND ELDERS AND THE ELITE you are sure to make a way and find out you still arent good enough . ............

But for those of you that are serious about living a meaning full life that pleases and honors God - practice undefiled religion with a good heart , in all you do be righteous , honor the ways of a loving God , help where you can , tell no one of the good you do when giving alms , trust God , do not moan and groan , be fare , if married treat husband / wife with love and honor , dont send your children to sunday school - fathers teach your children gods ways .

There is many ways to serve , praise , and worship God - none greater than a heart that does it with a smile seasoned with compassion and always trusting God regardless of the circumstances in faith .

so if the pillow is calling sleep with joy - if a run ,run with joy - if to fly , fly be gratefull and be thankfull , no mater what do all with thanks giving .

However since their is a season for all good things and you feel that there is more you can do - ask God for His spirit to Fill you and get busy with some miracles - helping - share the gospel - and making your self available to work for the kingdom of God .

Enough said - this be the truth that keeps all together Love the Lord God Almighty with all your Heart ,Soul , Mind and strength .

FOR THIS GOD DESERVES .


Ericajean profile image

Ericajean 2 years ago

Thanks Mark! Your answer makes sense. I actually do see the physical Church as a place to go for encouragement if someone needs/feels led to go there.

There is no Scripture that says someone goes to hell if they do not attend Church. However, being with others of the same mind and Spirit is good - and not just in a church building.

Blessings!


izettl profile image

izettl 2 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I completely agree Ericajean. It is good to be with people of same mind and spirit...and I'll add values too!

THank you for stopping by Bangani Sibeko and Raine.

Wise words Mark.


gwesley 2 years ago

Today's Consumer Driven Society

cannot help but see church from the consumer seat.

I pay my money---you, the church, provide services

Today's Individualism

has reached narcissistic levels.

People are just in the way of my ambition until they can give me what I want.

Today's Theology has created numerous designer Jesus figures.

If you don't like the God in the bible, make up your own.

Today's Church decided to go retail. We have bands--Dove Awards, Jesus dolls, and a host of other money making proposals. Our preachers have big grins, houses, cars, planes and ego to match. Send your money and be blessed with a return on your "seed faith" investment. It's the Jesus Lottery!!

No wonder people are turned off with church. ? Too many church leaders and churches have become the world we all need respite from.

Today's Church has gone into the Performing Arts. Used to, a minister needed Seminary for preparation to serve people--Now they need a performing Arts degree. The church has no mandate to entertain people or to make people excited or happy. In Christian worship,

The congregation are the performers--God is the audience--and the Ministers are merely prompters. (paraphrase of Kierkegaard)

The church building is a place for Christians to gather. As someone has well said, "It is a hospital for sinful people--not a haven for "good" people. This makes me right at home.

Non Christians must always be welcome, but they really have no reason for attending beyond curiosity or search. I am not a member of the Lions Club and I would resent it if they kept insisting that I go to their meetings and behaving according to their charter. BUT, as a Lion's Club Member, wouldn't it be natural for me to attend regularly and abide by the charter I agreed upon? Perhaps the biggest immature fault of many Christians is their expectation that "outsiders"-- "non-Christians" ACT like they are. Changing ones behavior does not make one a Christian, changing ones belief does.

"Money paid to workers isn't a gift. It is something they earn by working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in Him."

Romans 4:4

I take my sorry self down to the meeting house and go inside with the rest of my church who is just as in need as I am for Grace, Discipleship and Encouragement. Ain't one of us got it all together. I do this weekly as the early Christians did each first day of the week--Sunday (not the Sabbath which is Saturday) the Lords Day--a resurrection Sunday.

"Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that." Hebrews 10:25

Most importantly, I worship and study the bible daily. My daily worship and study help to define my understanding of God and my relationship with Him. THEN, when I join with other believers (the church) for corporate worship, my expectations are more in keeping with biblical truth. I am more interested in what pleases God more than myself.

"My friends, when you meet to worship, you must do everything for the good of everyone there" I Corinthians 14:26

Those who love God in private worship--Daily--understand this verse of scripture and practice it. A building full of the church doing this very thing makes for an attractive place!

A building full of people who never read the bible or pray?

There's your mess!

"You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following Him. Plant your roots in Christ and let Him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful."

Colossians 2:6-7

Glenn


sigministries 19 months ago

The bible says fail not to assemble yourselves together like some do. The purpose of the church(building) is for believers to fellowship together to get empowered by one another. So the church( building) serves its purpose. Then to the church( in us) is what Jesus is coming back for. So we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The key is fellowshipping being connected with a body of believers . God does things in decent and in order. To rationalize the word of God is dangerous because it can lead to sin. Now God is the true Judge. But we as believers are allowed to judge sin and not the person. I understand in this day in time going to church isnt popular for some based on different experiences, but be encourage in this season, the bible talks about a great falling away. So lets be carefull in this season the choices we make as believers. Read and obey the word of God. Dont put your own thoughts and feeling based emotions and feelings and lack of results. Its not about religion but relationship.


Elder redwood 19 months ago

You know there is a kingdom called "Self" and we must be careful that we aren't trapped in that kingdom. If we are trapped in the kingdom of self then we will loose the ability to develop relationships, both latitudinal and vertical. Our relationships with our families and friends will become face value because until you can identify with the God of the Bible and have an understanding the grace of God then one will be as two ships passing by in the night. I am praying that the God of the Lord Jesus Christ will open our eyes so we can begin to see like him.


izettl profile image

izettl 19 months ago from The Great Northwest Author

Elder Redwood

I understand but I feel closer to God and more self disciplined when worshipping within my own family. When I went every Sunday- it was duty and I felt "done" for the week. When I do it at home, it's part of my everyday life.

I think you're mistaken that all these points in the article are me- I represent what many out there think, have experienced, and what I hear from others. Perhaps some have been me at one time or another as many of us mortals have experienced.

The saddest part of your comment is you don't know me yet pray for me to see like God. I live with morals and values and with God in my home. I wanted to point out also that just because one doesn't go to church, it's people like you whom chase them away from God completely. It's your all-or-nothing thinking. They think (I've been there before) if I don't go to church or even want to, I have no place with God. I really hope it's not all or nothing with you- that's sad. People like you put such a high price on what it takes to get in heaven and for God to accept us, it's just not true. I hope God helps you find peace.


Carlos 16 months ago

I avoid the "critics" within any church. My salvation is mine and my responsibility. There's a parable on wheat and tares, that Christ taught. It's pretty much with anything in life, the positives are along the negatives. Show me a good loving wholesome church with all pure Christians and I'll show you heaven.

God bless.


izettl profile image

izettl 16 months ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks Carlos. I love the saying about pure Christians in church and heaven. that's great! I agree. I must ADD cause I get distracted by the gossip and ironically some of the worst people I've ever me in church.


Cop-Speak profile image

Cop-Speak 14 months ago

I love your Hub. It's too bad that so many churches today are just a country club for Christians, instead of a hospital for those that are hurting.


food for thought 14 months ago

I just felt the urge to comment about God's love. If we are to delve deeper into understanding God's love than going to church and dealing with frustrating individuals seems like an ideal environment for growth with God.

For one thing, we are involved with others who believe in God enough to show up at a believers meeting place regularly.

We are also given a prime opportunity into understanding a deeper aspect of God's love (He loves all and wants none to perish which is incredibly deep). Our opportunity with these difficult individuals will teach us the most optimum methods to ineract both in ways of support and rebuking. Hence, in time, all within the church can grow and those who don't would leave out of a feeling of discomfort from those growing within the body. It also teaches us humility because we must accept being rebuked ourselves.

It is far more difficult out in the world away from church to come across other believers in this manner. If you follow God at home and share with those of like mind, spirit and morals than your growth can be severely stunted due to a lack of growth in understanding God's deeper love. It is possible to seek out challenging people outside of church but it's far more work. I am not against that I just felt a need to mention it. There is no attack on my end; I am actually fine with what you wrote (after reading all comments as well). I do hope you consider this deeper aspect in some way. Please remember that Jesus said: if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?


food for thought 14 months ago

I forgot to put the beginning of that quote in but when I tried to (having done this on a phone because it's my only internet) it jumped to the top of my post and I could not scroll down. Here it is: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Right after that is what I quoted in the first post. Then it finishes with: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Basically by putting ourselves in situations that are challenging we are refining ours spirits as well as those we affect who were initially difficult to us (iron sharpens iron). I truly hopes this message reaches you properly, you seem to be a decent individual.

I would like to mention also that I am bipolar. I had almost no interest in religion or God until I had a psychotic break. This break was actually very peaceful and without fear. I am not a fearful person and never have been. I just thought I'd mention a suggestion of not making such a blanket statement such as : schizophrenics and bipolars are fearful etc. There are paranoid schizophrenics but that does not entail the entire population of schizophrenics and clearly not all bipolars seeing as I am not. You did not hurt


izettl profile image

izettl 13 months ago from The Great Northwest Author

@Cop speak,

Thanks and that's a good way to put it!

@Food for thought~

Interesting thoughts. Thanks for the clarification of the bi-polar and schizophrenic. My point was that is what other people think or assume. It's not my perception personally.


foodforthought 13 months ago

I am glad to hear that is not your perception but sad to admit that many do have that perception. Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. May God bless you.

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