What is the turning point in one abandoning organized religion?
Those who have spent many years in religion, what made you leave the faith? When did the presence of God not become real or tangible to you?! What factors cause the separation? Did you abandon God in the process?
I believe a lot of people are turned off by "organized religion" however it does not mean they don't believe in God or a higher power.
Organized religion is often very political. You don't need a "middle man" to talk to God. In fact many nations used religion as a government system for ruling their citizens.
For a lot of people there are some serious questions about what is in the bible. Essentially we are being asked to (trust) the men who "put" the bible together. We're told God (told) these men what to write.
The bible was written over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 B.C. (the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D. (following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).
Personally speaking I have always been put off by the whole "canonization" process. A small group of men debating and deciding (what) books should be included in the bible and which ones to leave out. There should only be one story or (one) truth. It's either sunny or it's cloudy. The fact that there are several (denominations) of Christianity tells you they could not reach agreement!
Maybe there is some truth to the old saying: "God made man and man made religion". Either way I choose have a one on one relationship with God as opposed to joining the masses of people in organized religion watching priests and ministers fall from grace over and over again. Why follow anyone when you can reach God on your own? I've always been a bit of a "lone wolf". :-)
In my case, I had to make a decision either to do what everyone was doing or stand by my values. Unfortunately people make a church, not the other way around. I saw so much hypocrisy and double standards that I could not keep going. It was like going to a very exclusive country club. Only those that had the good clothes and tithe more, were the ones, lets see... more godly. I saw so many contradictions that it made wonder," Is this what I want my children to learn?"
The members were so unhappy working at the church, working with other people, It was uncomfortable. Money and appearances, that is all.
Leaving organized religion is not the same as abandoning the faith. In my opinion, a lot of people have started moving away from organized religion because organized religion carries a very dogmatic, mob mentality view that anyone that does not believe exactly the same way they do is going to hell, even if the person shares the same faith and belief in that particular deity. Religion in itself is a personal philosophy and relationship based on what the individual reads in their holy book and how it applies to the individual's life. Unfortunately, there are some that end up turning to atheism as a result of treatment from Organized religion because they have chose to seek knowledge and understanding for themselves rather than continue to live under the umbrella of dogmatic indoctrination. A lot of Organized religions teach that there is only one way to salvation (their way disguised as being their deity's way) and they lean heavily on holy books that have been written, rewritten, and re-translated over a period of hundreds of years as the absolute truth even to the point of taking particular passages and twisting them around to suit their agendas. People that wish to believe in a higher power should seek out the information for themselves and they will be guided to their own understanding and acceptance of where that particular faith resonates within their own lives, hearts, and spirit
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