Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spiders or Jesus- Which Would You Choose?

On my blog for Friday, I was talking about my going through things for a yard-sale I want to have... For me that is the worst part of yard sales... Good for getting rid of stuff, but a pain... So I was telling Chuck that he can either go through things on Sunday morning or he can go to church with me... As of right now I am going to try to make it to church... Depends on how the night goes... I can tell we are on two different paths with the answer... He would prefer to clean out the garage and shed rather than go to church... Hmmm... I am the opposite, I would prefer to go to church over dealing with nasty crawling bugs and spiders in the shed... There isn't enough spider killer to make me want to enter into that zone...

What I was thinking about though is not what he chose, but it makes me wonder why someone would prefer to deal with spiders and stuff over going to church... I was looking online about why people don't want to go to church... These are some of the statements and experiences is I found online...

CBN Website: Cliff is a man’s man. On the job he’s known as a go-getter and a very hard worker. He’s a good provider who loves his wife and kids. He’s well respected by his neighbors. Cliff drives a humongous four-wheel-drive pickup. He loves the outdoors and takes every opportunity for a little hunting and fishing. He enjoys a cold beer and a dirty joke. He does not go to church.

Ask him why he doesn’t go to church, and he’ll offer up words like boring, irrelevant, and hypocrite. But the real reason Cliff doesn’t go to church is that he’s already practicing another religion. That religion is masculinity. His work, his hobbies, his entertainment, his follies, his addictions, everything he does is designed to prove to the world he is a man. His religion also demands that he avoid anything that might call his manhood into question. This includes church, because Cliff believes deep in his heart that church is something for women and children, not men. Read More...
Here are some answers that other people have said when asked why they don't go to church: 

Church Should Feel Like Home

Let me just say that I do not dislike the idea of going to church, it is just that the experiences I had in the few churches I tried made me feel more alienated and lonely than having a feeling of belonging, perhaps it was just my luck, or that I just haven't found the right church yet. I experienced very cliquish church members, hypocritical church members, etc... I was also insecure that so many people had all these great spiritual experiences and testimonies to share, and I did not. For me, since a young age, I have always believed in God and nothing else, I have not had any particularly great periods of doubt or uncertainty about my faith even though life has been pretty hard. I've met so many nice Christians out of church and I do still go sometimes, but to go regularly just makes me feel awkward as people would try to push me to cell groups and activities which I was not that interested in, I mean I was in church choir for over 3 years, so it's not like I did not try...

Church Makes Me Lonely and Discouraged

I'm a very faithful christian - read the Bible daily, ponder, think, experience God all day every day. Going to church, though, I feel like an outsider. Some people seem to be there for insurance purposes (i.e., if you go, you'll be OK in the end), others for social purposes, others for who knows what purposes. It all feels very human and very discouraging and very lonely. So, I make my way alone and with God and that seems to work.

Arrogance and Pride

I quit the religious system because that is all it amounts to. It is a system designed by man to obtain power, prestige, money, etc. Although Jesus was powerful, he was so humble and simplistic. He washed the feet of his disciples, ate with the common people, could be touched. Believers are suppose to be a community of unconditional, loving, respectful, considerate reflecting the Heavenly Father. 

Instead you are bombarded with a hierarchical system of individuals who want nothing more than to subdue and control for personal gain. I have had enough. Why can't we all just gather in a simplistic fashion (no big I's and little you's). Everyone has a voice not just the so called leaders. We lead by example and not title. Abraham did not have a title, but he was a leader. He did not even have a Bible, or an edifice, yet he knew God, and God knew him. I do not believe in the building of all of these edifices. Love is a spirit and cannot be contained in four walls.

Judgment Runs Rampant

I don't go to church, for many reasons. The main reason is the judgment of the people. I thought pastors were supposed to be caring, I shared that I had a mental illness with one, and was subsequently shunned from the church. Judge not.... I guess it only applies when it's most convenient. I would like to find just one person who cares that I exist and wants to help me grow in Christ. I wonder if such a person exists.

Where is the Love I grew up in church. 

I was saved when I was about 13 years old. I am not perfect by any means, but when I became older, I began to realize that church, for me, seemed to be a social event. It was more about impressing other people and showing face in church rather than my relationship with God. When I made mistakes in life, I did not find my church family; who always taught me to Love one another, and not to judge others, and who were supposed to support me, people I was supposed to be able to confess my sins to... were the same people who did the exact opposite when I needed them the most. These people condemned me. They did not show love or support to me. They used my sins against me. And, when I stopped attending church, they changed their attitude completely towards me. I stopped feeling like part of the whole. It stopped feeling love and support. Not going to church has, in my opinion, helped my relationship with God. He comforts me and guides me when everyone else has let me down.

Put Off By Idolatry

I spent most of adult life as a Quaker and find peace in the simplicity of meeting. However, I feel neglected when in crisis, and feel like many who attend meetings do not reach out in a human fashion to others in the meeting. I have looked for a church, but it seems so much focus in on biblical study and participation in mindless ritual that inner Christian life, including struggles with one's own prejudices and imperfection, is lost. I want to sing for joy and sadness, I want to frown at ritual, I want to work with like-minded persons to better the community and provide support for each other. What church meets those requirements? I haven't found one and will continue to look. 

In Closing: I have to wonder if as Christians we are doing what Christ would want us to do... What kind of message are we sending to our friends, family and strangers about church and our faith? The experiences that the ones I mentioned above was just a few of over 292 comments from one site when they were asked why they don't go to church... When I asked Chuck why he doesn't go to church he tells me it's because he gets bored... He says that he likes the people at church, but he gets bored too easily at church... He likes our pastor and everyone there, but he said it isn't for him...  I have decided that I'm not going to push him into going because he has to be the one to decide... I use too and it got me more frustrated...

For me personally what would keep me from going to a church or new church is it bothers me when they ask me to stand up and introduce myself... Like I want to have everyone in the room with all eyes on me... It doesn't bother me if the people sitting around me welcome me... But I don't like to be center of attention when I am new to a church... It's one thing after I get to know people... But when I don't and I am checking out a church for the first time, I would like to observe not be bombarded or put on display... How would they know if I feel comfortable doing that? I would dread that part of the service and if you didn't stand up and give your spill, then someone would look at you waiting for me to do what I didn't want to do... I have asked people that attended certain churches how their services went and when they got to the point of introductions and they tell me they will ask you to stand and say your name, I pretty much decided right there not to go to that church with my friend... For me, if I don't go to church, then I feel I am missing something... 

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