I imagine for the same reasons anyone stops following the doctrine/traditions of their religion. They question what they've been taught or the behavior of those running their organizations. It's not uncommon these days for people to believe in God but not in the church especially if it's members attempt to get into each other's personal business or if there is a lot of political infighting going on.
One really does not need a "middleman" to correspond with god.
I moved away from it because I came to disagree with it, the doctrines, the anti-woman culture, the hypocrisy (in my eyes, decadent churches would not have been what Christ was about), and abuses and mistreatment that were widely covered up. I also find the church trying to stop birth control in 3rd world countries where people are dying of disease and starvation appalling.
I was raised in that church in a family full of devout catholics on one side - and I just did not agree is the simple answer. Eventually it went from simply not agreeing with some things, to finding they went against my core values and I could no longer pretend to be something I just wasn't.
I found spiritual freedom escaping religion all together. That was the right answer for me. Everyone is different and some do find solace in the church and that's fine for them. I don't seek to bring others away from it if it works for them. I'm sure every individual will have their own reasoning, but ultimately, for those who left, something led them to different conclusions in life that didn't fit in with the church doctrine or operations (or both).
Surprisingly, there are still some things about the church I find very beautiful (the art, music etc) but it just isn't who I am.
Very well said, Christin. Everyone is different and have different reasons for leaving. Of course, many of us are so CULTURALLY Catholic we find the art, music, the ritual (and even the incense for me) to be quite lovely. Long live "Tantum Ergo"
I have a theory about that. Most of us former Catholics have been brought up with the Baltimore Catechism and have had "Religion" classes for an hour each day, everyday of our entire school career. In addition, many of us, since we were very young, went to Mass everyday in the morning with our class before school. We ate our breakfast in the classrooms because way back in the early 50s, we had to fast from midnight from food and water in order to receive communion. There were statues and crucifixes on every wall of the school. At noon, the nuns led us in prayer (the Angeles I believe) and on Fridays at 2:30 we all marched over to the Church for benediction before leaving for school. Interspersed with all that, during the week, were funerals we sometimes sang at or Holy Days and Confession that had us on our knees again. At home, at night, we tried to pray the Rosary, a monumental task for a 4th grader and with the pennies left over from our lunch money, we bought Holy Cards when the school store was open. The Priests came once a week to our class in addition to our daily religion class and on our report cards was a category for "Religion" listed right below "Reading" and above "Math". We knew the difference between faith and doctrine and when we happened to visit our friends' Baptist Bible Camps, we wow-ed the counselors with our recitations of the Beatitudes or answers to theological questions. This all continued for many of us all through high school. Some of us even went to Catholic colleges. We were totally and fully culturally Catholic as much as we might be culturally Irish or Italian.
And here's where my theory comes in. Think of all of that religious knowledge as a springboard. When you walk onto the diving board and your footing is THAT secure on the platform on which you're standing, you're able to jump off. You're so solid in doctrine and faith that you are willing to take the leap into the unknown waters of "what if". So when events that make that board start shaking, like the question of the morality of a war like Vietnam; the sickening abuses by the very priests who defined what you believed to be "true;" or the realization that had you been but born to another family or been born across the globe, you'd have a totally different belief system; it's then that you are willing, quite able, and almost morally compelled to jump without fear. And so we jumped.
Every church is run by people. People are mortal, and thus imperfect. People leave churches because they find faults in the people. Sometimes people leave churches because they don't agree with the doctrines they teach, and other people become aware that what they are being taught isn't doctrine at all (like paying for pardons)
What we need to focus on when it comes to religion, is the gospel and the doctrines, rather than the sinners, because we all are. We should seek God's true doctrines, but how? How can we know of spiritual truth? Through spiritual witness. Take into account what people tell you, what you learn in the scriptures, and seek spiritual guidance to reveal to the true and correct path. It is out there "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you"
No we are to focus on Jesus Christ , the real one. Thats what it is all about, church doctrine, and all the other churchy things are of no value in CHristianity--- its all about HIM and ONLY HIM. Meet and follow Him.
Cela, please help me to understand, how do you follow Him if you can't see or hear Him directly?
there is not room here in comments but I can write a hub or send you an email whichever you choose
Most people leave the catholic and many other churches when they start reading their bibles for them selves and allowing God to show them truths in scripture. When they see these "churches" are actually cults, teaching the doctrines of evil men instead of The Gospel of the Real Jesus Christ. People see through the hypocrisy of the false teaching and trappings of men to the simplicity and pureness of the Real and only True Gospel. Yes many leave for other reasons but more leave these days because of the false teaching, the clergy/laity setup ( that God hates) , the hyping them up to draw a large collection, the "pastoral" theatrics that bring shame to the Gospel, the binding people to the "church" instead of Christ and so many other valid reasons. Some folks don't know why they leave but are compelled by God to leave and as they study they see later why they had to leave before they were damaged by the false messages. There are so precious few "churches" that are led by God anointed men instead of hirelings. So few that understand that leaders are to serve not be served. as shown here. as Jesus said He came to serve not to be served . There is no record of a "pastors appreciation day " for Paul, but he stayed true to the real message instead of thinking more highly of himself than he ought because he understood scripture.
2 Cor 4:4- 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake.
God is getting those with a true heart for God -- out of the apostate church sytems.
nope. I have not been to church since I was married; 20 years already. I am still a catholic and yet my hubby and kids are still Buddhist followers.
A friend of mine left the church after his priest tried to blame the children being molested for "seducing" the fathers. If you looked at his face you could almost see the self restraint it took for him to not shove the nearest sharp object through his priest's face.
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