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 garry1949
Joined: 12/26/2005
Msg: 76
The Number One reason people leave a ChurchPage 4 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Extract from op by RDtoo:
"I am under the impression that the number one reason people leave a Church is that they do not feel wanted or cared about there."

Please don't look to the members of the congregation of the church for acceptance, RDtoo. Instead, in unison with them concentrate through prayer on the Spirit of God that will manifest for you. Remember this is Hell and we as humans are often unable to even look upon one another without awakening possible evil feelings. Somehow throughout life we must be tolerant and accepting of all our brethren and fair in all our dealings with them. Advancing only at death to a beautiful place known as "the third realm" are we finally free of hatred and truly feel "at home".
 Brer_Steve
Joined: 6/20/2006
Msg: 77
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 7:29:31 AM
It seems to me people often join a church with the vocalized intention of adopting the beliefs of that church. It's a place where one can be loved. But many people (not all mind you) but I'd say a huge chunk of people who leave a church because they are feeling judged, unloved, scrutinized, opposed, etc... and are in effect saying, I never joined the church to truly adopt the views of that particular church, but rather to keep my own beliefs and nuts to anyone who disagrees with me.

Doing so seems to me to be a somewhat pointless endeavour, because the intention of the person in question is to never actually admit one can be wrong, and try to discover what is actually true, even if the truth hurts.

Of course, this isn't always the case because there are churches no doubt that do some very stupid things, and sometimes it's just the people of that church doing something stupid. I suppose what I'm saying is, if you're one of those people who left a church (whichever one it is), if you're truly looking for a home, for a faith that makes sense and you feel is grounded in truth, then do not leave your church just because you've had bad run-ins with the PEOPLE involved. People screw up, and people don't always follow their faith. It's silly to leave a faith because someone is a hypocrite. Rather we should look at the faith itself, and see whether it makes sense in relation to people, and if it does, explore it further! Now, if the founder of the religion is a douche, then I can understand leaving a religion because of a person, since the douche invented it and therefore reflects upon his personhood.

anyway.. hope that's a bit of food for thought...
 discombobulated61
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 78
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 3:23:19 PM
I am a strong believer of spiritual warefare and place much of the blame for people leaving on the shoulders of the enemy (satan). Now with that said, and leaving the spiritual attack idea out of it, I'd like to offer the following thoughts.

Having gone through a couple of rehab programs and spent several years around the rooms of a couple of 12 step programs I've seen a lot of similarities that parallel the teachings, workings, consequences and back sliding that occurs within a church. The traditions of N/A state: "Priciples before personalities". And whenever this is forgotten and personalities are placed ahead of principles all hell breaks lose. Judgements, resentments, and offences often result in people leaving the rooms and, unfortunately, relapsing soon afterwards.

I think the same is true within the church. People often enter a church with certain expectations and already have in mind the things which they are willing to accept and change and things which they will not. Unless they have hit rock bottom and been completely broken and, are willing to surrender UNCONDITIONALLY to God, their preconcieved notions and character defects eventually sway their decision to leave.

A person may accept 95 percent of a churches teachings but the 5 percent or less which they disagree with will be the factor that causes them to leave. In essence, they throw the baby out with the bath water. People though will often site other reasons for leaving, such as: they didn't connect with the pastor; other members were hypocrites; too far to get to; Sunday is their only day to relax; were'nt getting fed and so on and so on.

I came very close to leaving the church I attend and can relate to the many people who did leave. I can only thank God that I didn't leave before the miracle happened.
 ms_fancypants
Joined: 1/12/2007
Msg: 79
view profile
History
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 4:16:23 PM
I can only speak for myself. In my life any time I have wanted to leave my church it has been because I have been out of order. MY "family" has never stopped loving me but when I have been doing things " I " feel are wrong I have pulled away. The dark hates the light, It hates to be exposed for what it is and when I was in those places of darkness I didn't want my "family" to see me, to see the dark. I pushed them away and hid from them. They didn't seek me out for the most part because I lead a busy life and when they would seek me out I was distant. I pushed them away, not the other way around They knew ... they always knew because they have a relationship with God, not with a religious system. When I have decided to come back "home" I have always been accepted back with open arms. Always knowing that I was loved and missed. I have stayed because I know that I am called there, that I am part of THAT body. How I perceive their attention towards me has always been based on my relationship with God at the time. When my relationship with God sucked due to my lack of attention then my relationship with my "family" sucked too.
Also, when a realization that I had a character defect and needed to change would become known to me the urge to flee would come on me strongly.
It is like a marriage, at first it is all fluffy. then the fleshly annoyances start. IE: don't like this or that or Her shirt is to small and her skirt to short. just personal petty stuff. He snores. If We make it through that then the deep underlying stuff starts to come out.
IE: why do i gossip? My tone towards people is rude. i snap at him when I am mad...
We are always being challenged by God to improve ourselves and when these things come up we tend to feel like fleeing, especially if we don't want to admit that that is an issue in our lives.

For the most part it seems to me that there are many on here that have been associated with "religion". That they have been wounded and rejected by "religion". I have not been associated with religion but have met a real family of Christ. That has been a huge part of why I still go to my church. They are real and touchable. They love me unconditionally and always support me when I fall.
For you religious ones out there ... no they don't condone my wrong doings. they just know that I am the one that is accountable for it, not them. they are only accountable for how they love me.
Anyhow ... that is how I see it. JMO
 IdealisticAtBest
Joined: 1/6/2007
Msg: 80
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 4:24:12 PM
Probably because religion is a big fat hoax, a business, a competition. If everyone really wanted to do what religion claims to be about (being a good moral and caring person) then there wouldn't be a need for different specific, and honestly, quite anal beliefs. Everyone would just unite, everyone would do what they could to chip in and make a gathering possible, and it wouldn't have to take place in a 2 million dollar brink monstrosity of a building. What really makes me laugh is when I contradict the catholic religion (the very one I was raised into, being a strong italian family) by asking people of the faith what they really really know about it's history. The majority of people, actually, let me rephrase, EVERYONE seems to know nothing about it's full history. The corruption, the wars, and the deaths that were brought upon this earth by a line of people claiming to be servants of god! And the way I see it, if you fail to know EVERYTHING about the very religion that you stand for, then how important was it to you in the first place? I personally just prefer to be a good person, I don't need an establishment to incite fear into me for that to happen, it's a quite simple choice.
 IdealisticAtBest
Joined: 1/6/2007
Msg: 81
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 4:38:09 PM
It's funny because what you had written reminds me of something that I often say to people when contradicting religion. I say that if we were created in god's liking then he would have surely killed or exiled himself by now, because I know that I wouldn't be able to live with myself after creating a world consumed by evil and greed!

Not to say there still can't exist a general force of "good", powerfull enough to conjure up a fight against evil if the time comes. But according to history, god had alot to say a couple thousand years ago and then he just dropped out of the books. Poof. Gone.
 IGotRhythm2
Joined: 7/27/2006
Msg: 82
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History
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 4:38:38 PM
I think it can be a parallel to why people leave a job. They join a company, they leave a boss...

Seems that most people join/select a church is because they think it aligns with their values, beliefs, etc. My experience is that they leave it because of an individual, e.g. the minister, music director, youth program person, etc. Its usually more about a personality clash than a a conflict over the "core" of the church.

Leaving a religion is a whole different thing...
 IdealisticAtBest
Joined: 1/6/2007
Msg: 83
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 4:41:22 PM
Oops, it didn't work right as to post that last message of mine as a response, but it was responding and refering to this comment below left by Xemicangirl
_______________________________
I have a question for all of you;

I know what Scripture says about this, but have you ever feared that he should be giving up on us any day now...?

I read and read the bible and it tells me the opposite, but seeing day after day our decadence as humans altogether, He's got to be ready...At least I wonder about that sometimes... (Not off topic, was it?)
_______________________________
 Justin Case Sr.
Joined: 11/29/2005
Msg: 84
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 5:21:15 PM

The Number One reason people leave a Church


Civility?......perhaps....
 RDtoo
Joined: 1/30/2005
Msg: 85
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History
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/3/2007 11:57:53 PM
I am under the impression that the reason most people begin attending a Church is to be part of something. Usually this is couples who have been married a couple of years who are seeking to strengthen their marriage through community. Many of you have stated that you have left Churches because they could not answer your questions. I think most Churches are set up to appeal to the masses. Most of them do not care about the existential questions, they just want to belong. Sadly, that leaves those who are truly spiritually hungry out in the cold. The only group I know of who seeks to answer these questions is called "L'abri Fellowship". You can find them on the web. It is too bad few Churches have followed their lead.
 discombobulated61
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 86
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/4/2007 6:03:34 AM
RDtoo
You Said: I think Churches are set up to appeal to the masses.

If this were the case then christian bashing would not be what it is today and christiananity would not be on the decline in North America and Europe. The reason the road to the kingdom is a narrow one is because it does in fact not appeal to the masses.

There are of course exceptions to this rule. There definitely are church leaders that choose to tickle the ears in order to increase the numbers of their concregation. I would call these people false prophets.

It is the straight shooter... the church leader who calls it like it is and calls members on their BS that have a more difficult time keeping members. These leaders will not water down their message. For they know what is at stake and they love their members too much to tickle their ears. Unfortunately, many people simply want to recieve a measure of comfort and don't like to be told they need to make significant changes to their lifestyle. People often complain they're not getting any answers when in fact the problem is they simply don't like the answer they're getting. And if the message is too strong? When that happens people reject the church and it's leaders and walk the easier/wider path.
 Brer_Steve
Joined: 6/20/2006
Msg: 87
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/4/2007 6:10:29 AM
well there's MANY MANY MANY churches and faiths that seek to answer those questions. As a general rule though, it's the more longstanding ones that do so. Now there's so many Christian denominations it's ridiculous. Joe Anybody is like, "hm, I don't like this one particular thing.... I'm gonna make an entirely different religion then" and he starts a new "denomination".

But, I would say a great many churches and faiths seek to understand the meaning of life—the reason for our existence. Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Buddhist, for instance. As for Christian denominations, those which have been established longer and are not primarily focused upon disproving other faiths, will also seek to answer those questions. (I don't mean entirely exclusively, there's always exceptions) So there's a whole bunch for you.

Of course, I'm Catholic and believe that although many churches contain the truth, the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth. And we already know the meaning of life. Yep. Ever since the Church was established by Jesus we've known. (Well, surely even before then, the Jews knew too)

The meaning of life is: To know God, to love God and to serve God in this life, and to be happy with Him in the next.
 gottalight
Joined: 12/15/2005
Msg: 88
The Number One reason people leave a Church(impossible_
Posted: 2/4/2007 10:03:29 AM
^^

Even the word Church is a badly translated Greek word. Ecclesia is explained in Wikipedia as such:

"The Greek term εκκλησια — ekklesia, which literally means a "convocation", was a governmental and political term, used to denote a national assembly, congregation or council of common objective (see Ecclesia (ancient Athens), Ecclesia (Church)). It was a team that worked together to resolve a problem faced by the wider community or society, but did not signify a "building"."

All of the people who work toward world peace in the name of Jesus Christ are my ecclesia. A group and a purpose.
 cottagebound
Joined: 1/18/2007
Msg: 89
The Number One reason people leave a Church(impossible_
Posted: 2/4/2007 12:25:53 PM
meow meow meow meow
 ms_fancypants
Joined: 1/12/2007
Msg: 90
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History
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/4/2007 1:07:24 PM

meow meow meow meow

Ok what does that mean?
 larry***
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 91
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History
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/4/2007 5:34:39 PM
Iam not trying to change anyones point of view,I see one person say that we make God look bad,God will not be mocked,I have been in the church system(system)system,and I never fit in,I could never figure it out,I tried and prayed so hard,just to fit in,but could not,then one day Iam in my pastors office talking to him, and the phone rings,Iask if its ok to read something(his office had a thousand books)he says go ahead,so I pick this thin article out of a pile of books,the name of the article was called: The four tradgic shifts of the early church by jon zens,well that article blew my mind,my eyes were open,within a month of reading books and articles,I came to the conclusion that the church SYSTEM,was not new testament biblical,but has its roots in the old testament,old testament biblical.If Jesus was to walk in to
one of our fine denominational churches on sunday,he would say I hear my name but were are my people,and who is this guy up on stage trying to sell me.
This church system is like a speeding locomotive I couldnt stop it ,my voice would just bounce
off it like a little pebble,remember one thing folks satan is a acute theologian not a little cartoon devil.well there is a good book called: rethinking the wineskin by frank viola,
the holy spirit will guide you into all truths,so pray,ask God to show you the truth,well that is all for now, P.S Iam a messianic Jew, so I hope this fines you believers in Christ well may the Lord bless you bye for now larry
 LBP
Joined: 12/27/2006
Msg: 92
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/4/2007 11:57:50 PM
I'm not a particularly religious person but actually enjoyed going to the church my family attended growing up. Then we moved and I never got the same feeling from any other church (Anglican).

In my church we tended to focus on the positive, family, and not taking ourselves too seriously. When I went to other churches they seemed to want to lecture you and make you feel bad.
 RDtoo
Joined: 1/30/2005
Msg: 93
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The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/5/2007 10:18:42 PM
Discombobulated, I am not convinced Church membership and Christianity are the same thing. I recently visited a Church that was the size of a Mall. In addition to several auditoriums, this Church had a coffee shop that was bigger than most Starbucks. Something like this was rarely seen 20 years ago, now there are several Churches like this in most every large community. These Mega Churches are appealing to someone but the jury is still out if these people are being attracted by the Message or just being part of something big.
 Love_on_fire
Joined: 12/31/2006
Msg: 94
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/5/2007 11:08:55 PM
I would say that it is VERY important, to keep things in perspective and understand that no church is perfect. Discouragment happens when people don't feel they belong or they feel they are not suited or like they are treated not as members but rather as numbers as the OP suggested. I would say that it is good to hold ourselves and one another accountable and help out eachother when we see or feel that another person is struggling.
 And Can It Be
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 95
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/6/2007 7:25:55 AM
RDtoo: your comments about church membership and Christianity not being the same thing remind me of the thread you started last fall about Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" church growth movement.

I can't tell you how strongly I believe these mega-churches are not feeding the flock. When the Christian Gospel is preached, in my opinion, it is an offense. It tells people that they are sinners, that they have a problem in that they have offended a holy and righteous God, and that the only way to resolve that problem is through the substitutionary atonement of another--Jesus Christ. I believe this is exactly the opposite of what the natural human man wants to hear because we all want to take credit for solving our problem ourselves. That is why the doctrines of grace are so opposed and the doctrines of works are so embraced. Man wants to save himself in my opinion.

In addition, I believe, the mega-churches almost always preach a health-and-wealth gospel telling people that they are "the King's kids" and that it is God's will universally that they be in good health and that they enjoy prosperity here and forever. Obviously these pastors have never preached on the last few verses of Hebrews 11 about how God's people were living in caves, wearing the skins of animals, etc. The contradicts the happy message of "victorious living." Then when people confront real life problems, they are not equiped to deal with trials and afflictions which are promised to all of God's people. They leave the church because the church failed them. They were promised "victorious living" and all they got was more problems.

I believe that that mega-churches cannot feed the flock. One man or even a team of ministers cannot know 15,000 people. How can you have a prayer list for that many people? I believe it is vanity to want a flock that large. These congregations should be broken up into smaller community churches that can actually impact their neighborhoods and have pastors that can know the families they have oversight of. I have read that the Puritan pastors would regularly visit each family under their care so that they knew each member of the family. That, in my opinion, is what God calls pastors to do--to love their flock and care for them instead of standing in front of a large crowd working them into a frenzy all for the glory of the pastor's ego.
 ms_fancypants
Joined: 1/12/2007
Msg: 96
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The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/6/2007 5:19:15 PM
I believe that that mega-churches cannot feed the flock.


I have to say that I kind of agree. Jesus spoke to the masses, ministered and taught with 12, bonded with 3 and was a best friends with one. It is impossible for a Pastor or Minister to see and know all of His sheep. He can speak broadly to all of them but for them to be taught it needs to be broken down into smaller groups. God does give instructions to Moses, directions on how to direct the masses and if we would adhere to these directions the people would be better taught and better loved and maybe not so hurting. I find that the thirst that many have is this ... "Yeah he preached a great sermon but what does that have to do with my life today? How does that apply to the way I live and the decisions that I make? What does God mean when He says that."

That is when there needs to be others to minister to the people. In my church We have what we call impact groups. Small cells that meet once a week and talk about the sermon from Sunday. I know lots of churches do this but I have found that it has made all of the difference in the lives of the people. Maybe the fact that my pastor addressed the fact that He is only one man and NOT God, not able to deal with everyones stuff. He admitted his shortcomings and then gave us an outlet. An avenue to take to find the information that we craved to know. It excites me inside when I get to talk about what I have heard at church last Sunday in a home setting, on a couch with coffee and a cookie!
I should say that we only have around 60 in our church and my Pastor has said that that is too many for a personal intimate relationship with us all. He does try! What I find is that he leaves the seasoned Christians to minister to the other ones while he focuses on the newbies. Takes them under his wing and raises them up. When they are firmly established he hands them off to the elder that he thinks they would do best with. It build relationship between them and it teaches them. It seems to work.
 Pleasantron
Joined: 12/6/2005
Msg: 97
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/6/2007 6:31:54 PM
The major reason is because of finding fault with members or the pastor. People will criticize in others the very faults they have themselves. They use a double standard of evaluating others. They impose a morality standard on others that they are not willing to follow themselves. When they see fault in others it often becomes their defense for not attending church anymore. Leaving a church is like stopping a normal routine of exercise for a few days. When you stop it's hard to get going again.
 RDtoo
Joined: 1/30/2005
Msg: 98
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History
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/6/2007 11:44:39 PM
And Can it be, the Mega Churches are lacking and possibly watering down the gospel, but I don't think they are the only ones who need to do some soul searching. I have met alot of disillusioned Christians in my time, and have been one myself. I think most Churches are lacking when it comes to bearing one anothers burdens. Single people especially are affected and are relgated to singles groups. People come to the Church in good faith expecting the Church to be a shelter for the brokenhearted, the hurting, the poor in spirit. Usually all they get is "We will pray for you". If only we had more places like L'abri (the French word for shelter) that offered a haven for those hurting and those searching. Alas, if you do not fit the mold of the Ozzie and Harriet family in most Churches, then you are an outcast. Sound doctrine is important. Acting in love towards these people is even more important.
 dknickerbocker
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 99
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/7/2007 4:01:59 AM
Besides the people.... got tired of feeling like I was attendind a weekly local chapter of a republican group.

I realize christianity is based on a premise that I don't believe.... that is the resurrection. I grew up indoctrinated and just took for granted that Jesus was the son of god, rose from the grave, blah, blah, blah.... But when I was older I began to examine the tenents of christianity (even took seminary classes) and what I actually believed...

did I really believe it was possible for someone to rise from the dead.... NO... In the way the earth, nature, the universe's complexity are there any examples of "hocus Pocs" ??? NO It is not the way of things....

And my seminary classes confirmed this for me; I had a pastor friend who warned me... "the hardest thing about going to a good seminary iss not becoming an atheist" beceause it will challenge what you were taught on sunday and you will learn things did not happen as the bible/church said they did...

Bottom line FOR ME.... Jesus was a local preacher.... he pissed off the local establishment .... He was executed, died.... AND STAYED DEAD.... early christianity was only considered a sect of Judeism. For mostly POLITICAL reasons is took off and was established as the "TOP DOG" religion....

I can't follow a relgionn I don't believe is accurate... Myth, superstition.... But not truth... and blindly assuming it is without CRITICALLY examining it and if its basic tenents is foolish.

I have settled in to a belief system that works for me.... scientific pantheism.... this fits with my strong environmental tendencies; that we are all part of a something larger, nature, earth, universe, and we need to pay attention to that connection, live our lives in great respect... ralizing tthat connection... to me that is spiritual. anmd regarding after life....when I die my body will break down and I will physically become part off the earth again....

To me that is a spirituality based on FACT not myth


DK
 chuckyboy
Joined: 1/9/2007
Msg: 100
The Number One reason people leave a Church
Posted: 2/9/2007 10:52:15 AM
oh, you poor poor boy = nobody inchurch lubs you, ----------ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, when will you idiots ever wake up and stop influencing others with your dead ideas and lifestyles. dont even begin to wonder about yourr spiritual purpose before becomming a man.
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