Why Don’t Young People go to Church?

 

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My friend, Pastor Jeff Crippen, who blogs about domestic violence at A Cry for Justice posted the following note on the A Cry for Justice Facebook page and I asked pretty please if I could share it with you. Yes, I really did say, “pretty please.”  LOL

Sadly, at Spiritual Sounding Board, we do often discuss controlling and abusive pastors, so when I have the opportunity to show you a pastor who gets it and really cares about people and their souls, I like to share it with you.

Jeff is part of a network of people I work with dealing with abuse issues in the church and I’m grateful for the encouragement Pastor Jeff has been to me in my life as he has sometimes cared for my weary soul.

~ja


 

 

Why Don’t Young People go to Church?

by Jeff Crippen

Jeff Crippen, Young Leaving Church

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Recently I was up in the woods cutting firewood and talked to a forester who happened by. Turns out he knew some people that I did, and as we talked I told him I was a pastor in town and that I had written a book and would give him a copy. He said that he attends a different church here and that he is perplexed because young people “just don’t go to church anymore.” He seemed like a sincere fellow, and his observation is accurate.

Why don’t young people go to church anymore?

Now certainly we know that some people, young or old, simply love their sin and hate (yep, hate) Christ. That’s why they don’t repent and believe in the gospel. That’s why they aren’t in church.

But there is another reason many young people aren’t in church and it is the very same reason that many of you do not attend a local church on the Lord’s day. I don’t really even have to state the reason, do I? Many people do not go to church because they have seen gross, ongoing, injustice and hypocrisy in the church they grew up in. Some of them saw it in their own families and homes. They saw the abuser in action at home in all his wickedness. And then they saw him leading a Bible study at church, regarded by the people there as an eminent saint. Eventually young people figure it out. The thing is a farce. They want no more of it.

Our Lord had some strong commands about raising children up in His name:

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Matthew 19:13-14 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, (14) but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Let me suggest very strongly to you that many, many local churches, pastors, and church members are indeed violating these sobering commands of Christ. They might as well go start looking for a rock to tie around their neck right now and jump in the ocean. Why? Because they are enabling and justifying evil in their midst. They are not effecting justice for the widow and orphan. They are not champions of the oppressed. They walk in sin, then come to church on Sunday with their holy disguise on and no one ever calls them to accounts for it.

But the children see it.

Might I also suggest to you that if churches and pastors would repent and start obeying Christ, if they would begin to confront “Christians” who are walking in sin and hypocrisy, several things would happen:

1) There would be rioting in the pews.

2) Many people would leave.

3) Children would see justice and righteousness modeled. Real Christianity. The real stuff Jesus calls us to.

And maybe, just maybe, those kids will grow up and know Jesus is real, that God’s Word is truth, and that Christ has a remnant of His true flock against which the gates of hell have not prevailed.

 

 

photo credit: Katie@! via photopin cc

139 comments on “Why Don’t Young People go to Church?

  1. Might I also suggest to you that if churches and pastors would repent and start obeying Christ, if they would begin to confront “Christians” who are walking in sin and hypocrisy, several things would happen:

    1) There would be rioting in the pews.
    2) Many people would leave.

    It’s not just “Those HEATHENS(TM)” who “simply love their sin and hate (yep, hate) Christ.” And the sin they love isn’t necessarily Sexual(TM).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely, failure to address abuse in the church has a lot to do with it, just like failure to evangelize and failure to present Christ as He is (and concentrating on rules instead) has a lot to do with it.

    And I’d add that I’ve found often that when I’m embarrassed about something going on in church, I also tend not to invite people there–and that one of the big reasons for embarrassment is when people get all wrapped up in rules. So I think it goes together. Fix one, fix all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That “yep” is to say, the apostasy is not “out there” but in house, and the Church can’t affect “out there” until they deal with the heart issues in house.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think there’s a myriad of reasons why young people don’t go to church.
    – Not feeling comfortable staying if their beliefs have changed. For example, I know of a few of my friends that are now part of the LGBT community, and attending a church that preached against homosexuality would be awkward
    – Pressure to marry (the starting of rumors of which young persons were dating are started by only observing two young people talking to each other after a service is just plain ridiculous – yes – it happened to me)
    – Lack of other young people
    – Desire to be your own person and not recognized as “So-and-so’s grown-up child”
    – A church is normally a very small community – even if when I moved out, if I went to the church I used to go to, my activities and whereabouts would get back to my family – sometimes young people just want a little space to breathe! I have noticed quite a few of my friends have chosen to attend a different church from their parents.

    JA’s daughter – Hannah

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think rigid viewpoints and extreme pressure to conform both to those viewpoints and particular ways of behaving and thinking and “showing spiritual growth” are also big reasons why young people (or people of any age, for that matter) leave church.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I stopped going to church at fifteen because it made me feel miserable, I had been sexually abused by a man, and all I ever heard was how glorious men are and they are suppose to be boss, and women are crap who should be subject to men. I heard the same things from my rapist, and wife beating father. The people are fake nice, only to get you to do what they want you to do. Preachers are extremely misogynistic, on power trips, they were out for something and church people act creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pastor Jeff,
    I am glad to read you here in addition to ACFJ. The word that changes need to happen in the church as well as in the home are so needed. I pray that our children see that change and return to Christ before it is too late.

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  8. I don’t know about young people but I don’t go because women are not respected, I don’t want to hear anti-gay preaching, and I am tired of hearing that being Christian means supporting a particular party.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hannah, hearing from you is important (it’s always important to me personally). But your voice represents many, I’m sure. Regardless if you go to church or not, I sure love you.

    I understand the desire to separate from parents (at least for a time) and I think it’s wise so that your faith and beliefs are your own.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Guest,

    Your story was very painful to read. I can’t imagine living it. I’m so sorry you went through all of that. What you experienced was not Christ’s church, that is for sure.

    I hope you will hang around a bit to see that the Christian men who are regulars here are not misogynistic, but hold women in high esteem. They have taught me a lot because I had once bought into those lies, too.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I’m struggling to help my kids see the true heart of God when their covert/abusive father has been so lionized by oblivious Christians, Christians who view the institution of marriage as more important than the victims of abuse, Chrsitians who won’t call a spade a spade…

    We are thankfully in a church now where, so far, they have supported us. Even as my husband (in the beginning stages of divorce) has tried to undermine my support there. I’m very cautiously hopeful, but I wish I could be assured in trusting God’s people.

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  12. I don’t go because I’m afraid to. When I married my (now) ex 16 years ago, he forbade me to go. He made me give up my friends and also quit my choir that I dearly loved. I had been singing in choirs since the age of 4 up until that time. When I could no longer tolerate his abuse, 2 years ago, I kicked him to the curb. But during that lengthy absence from church, things drastically changed. My denomination was becoming more reformed in their theology and their practices. They stopped caring for people and substituted the Law and discipline/accountability groups/mandatory tithes, etc. Just give me Jesus. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jeff Crippen:
    These issues have been addressed hardcore since 2000 and ongoing what you write about and hearts cry. Worse, for over forty years to no avail asking help for fatherless, widow, orphan, homeless, poor, married families (ask for help to build strong healthy families), alien, stranger, handicapped and single parents and their children. Whole generation, growing up divorce and fatherless and these children saw how their parent (usually abandoned mother, fighting to get child support and ex making life hell in any which possible, could write volumes*) was treated in the church and the NO HELP whatsoever. Not to mention advice given, will find site and refer (telling women that go to the church for help, whether it be financial or abuse, that they must be doing something wrong for husband to be abusing, going to hell if don’t take husband back who was molesting kids, your back slidden for not wanting to stay in alcoholic/abusive marriage, if your husband beats you to death you win either way it’s to/for the glory of God etc., Really, advice given by Calvary Chapel, Assembly (assassins) of God etc pastors.

    Children didn’t see these evil, false, wolves shepherds NOT living Christ. These children also saw these Charleton’s bragging about their size homes (one ex: 32 thousand sq. ft) spending thousands on pets (one ex: $15,000) boasting about owned in regards to vehicles, cars, motorcycles, planes as their hands were dripping with diamond rings, or any type of jewelry, bragging about luncheons, conferences, travel, lavish vacation homes on TBN or from pulpits etc. Or, how these evil preachers give each other expensive cars while ignoring those who ask for help. Worse, while some fell into gross homosexual sin while ignoring those who asked for help (contact Trinity Foundation in Dallas Tx, Pete/Ole regarding Paul Crouch Sr. Homosexual affair(s) or better yet, read Don’t Call Me Brother by Austin Miles (exposing homosexuality sin in upper echelon of AG/AOG movement? Not to mention the ministry wanting young adult male’s to be camera men exposed in book really wanted them for pretty boy parties, to be male toys, it’s so gross).

    Read September 19-20, 2004 L.A. Times article by William Lobdell of six pages of gross misconduct of TBN, what own worth, spending 1/2 million on booze and 1/2 million for a party etc., list believe ownership of 60 homes. Same, for all those used snake oil salesman selling their dead religion, gospel, and their god of money and power while NOT helping people. Why do I know this, asked for help for situations for years, took it nationwide to church/leaders at large BRUTUALLY and HARDCORE, to absolutely no avail. got mocked, ridiculed, every excuse in the book, also evil leadership were cursing me with cancer and praying that I die, want the tape? GRIEVIOUS, gave list of 12-15 people in dire straits that if we did NOT HELP them, they were going to die, gave them small summary of circumstance of each person, these church nations leaders LET THEM ALL DIE. I’m crying, weeping, going to start wailing as I finish this. (False church is a type and paving the way and already is, type of hitlerism). Maybe one day we’ll meet.

    Also, his book, Losing My Religion and article Onward Christian Soldier by Wm Lobdell etc. He asked me why I took so long to come forward, meaning not until 2000. These children saw NO help to lift the burden of poverty or hold family accountable for healthy families (got yelled, screamed at all week but showed up to church with every hair in place). Two major men in Christendom who I thought would help (wrote them letters for over 20 years of circumstances, totally threw me under the bus, one referred me to Welfare for help, other didn’t come through). Will send you over forty page survey that went mailed out. David Wilkerson June 2007 “Troublemakers in the Church”, was nice compliment. 10 Lies the Church Tells Women by J. Lee Grady basis of the book was my former church (look at other titles he wrote). In defense of list mentioned above fatherless, widow etc and those who can’t speak for themselves, those who are in the grave (gave leadership EVERY Bible verse for helping poor etc). Only know of two churches where no pastors/leaders take salary it goes to help the community (not excuse, you don’t go to our church so we can’t help you, or if we help you, we have to help everybody, or you have to be in choir/teaching Sunday school and tithing (meaning we know who gives money); false shepherd would only visit those who in hospital who tithed.

    P.S. Look at B. Hinn’s, Copeland’s, J. Meyer, R. Schuller, Crouches, R. Warren, B. Graham, J. Hayford, what own and worth (personally&under 501c3). Total property (real estate), ranches; everything owned-vehicles and not one helped, gave me hideous excuses while they are in want and need of nothing, so they think. Wouldn’t give you 2cents or plug nickel for any of them. What’s in Catholic Church that got exposed, is in all denominations (meaning tithe money goes to molest, rape, sodomize and murder kids, we are all God’s kid’s no matter what age). What about DVD, Lord, Save Us From Your Followers by Dan Merchant and NOT to mention all the abuse going on in the church and were tithing and attending and not getting Bible and content to have it so? Addressed: what are we bringing the people/youth to in regards to the church, if we were truly helping people maybe we would change our cities for God, majority are dead edifices (walking dead). NOT LIVING LOVE, or exemplifying Jesus Christ. Give Youth a reason to come to the church, no holiness, no righteousness, no repentance, nor prayer except praying on the people, not to mention,no help or discipleship or foundations. Think of Sermon on the Mount & Beatitudes. All been addressed for years. As read, “Heaven is for Real by Burpo”, what you stress in your article is same theme in the book regarding children.
    Asked these leaders by the way to ask how they could help Eminem (Marshall Mathers), B. Warner aka Marilyn Manson, Ben Affleck, Tina Turner, Jagger and the many to apologize and how they could help and live Jesus Christ.

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  14. It is indeed tragic that the younger folks are abandoning the church. It’s also sad to see those major figures and movements that seem to be so attractive to the younger generation (think Driscoll and the faint memory of the “emergent” movement) implode on themselves and do a hundred times as much harm as ever they did any good.
    Jesus founded the church. It’s the only institution He gave us. There is no better plan. But that means, that if the Devil can ruin the church he has effectively destroyed what Jesus left His followers to not only be involved in, but to be. So for that reason I have great hope for the church, because Jesus Himself will see to it that she prevails! But that prevailing will not be without struggle and effort. 1980+ years of church history have shown that. I’m thankful to have grown up in a pastors home, and can say now as a 35 year old man, my Dad doesn’t have a hypocritical or abusive bone in his body. But I sure have run into those who do, and they bring shame on all of us who name the name of Christ.
    Pastor Jeff is right. We have to keep rooting out sin. It’s a difficult, painful process, and it seems to leave

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  15. Oops didn’t finish…

    It seems to leave the “good guys” looking like “bad guys” because the wolves are always dressed like sheep and are so quick to play the “victim” card. But the church is the bride, and she must be pure! Young folks don’t have much time for politicking, hypocrisy, and anything that smells inauthentic. So those who are genuinely in love with Jesus and therefore genuinely in love with His children (see John 13:34-35) will have a desire to see Jesus’ church pure and for the love of His children will purify the church so it is safe for them. Until that happens, I don’t see that much will change. Great thoughts, pastor Jeff!

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  16. Women of all ages are stopping church attendance, latest surveys show. Middle aged and older are dropping out as well. I think there is some overlap in reasons as to why younger people are dropping out with why older people are leaving.

    There are many reasons. One of which there is no real community. As I remarked in an older thread (I’ll try to keep this short), after Mom died, and I went to some local churches and extended family who are Christian (who also attend churches weekly, some are Baptist, some Pentecostal), I was either brushed off, ignored, or my pain was dismissed, and I was shamed for being in pain.

    I was supposed to feel sorry for orphans in India – I was told my pain was nothing compared to theirs, so I should just suck it up and move forward.

    Silly me. I always thought most Christians would try to live out the ‘weep with those who weep’ verse, but it turns out many of the ones I meet only ‘weep for those who are orphans in India’ or other very far out there hard luck cases (e.g., people in homeless shelters).

    When you get vulnerable with other Christians and tell them what your real struggles or pains are, they will judge you, criticize you, shame you, or dismiss what you’re going through (by saying it’s not near as bad as what orphans in India are suffering, so shut up), etc.

    I’ve learned I cannot fully trust most Christians, at least not ones I’m relatively new to, who I may meet a church.

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  17. Someone above said,

    widow, orphan, homeless, poor, married families (ask for help to build strong healthy families), alien, stranger, handicapped and single parents and their children

    Never married and childless adults who are over, say, 35 or 40 years old, are perhaps the most overlooked demographic in most evangelical and other types of churches, it seems to me.

    There are many reasons I’ve dropped out, and don’t know if I shall return, and one of the reasons I am not keen on returning is most church’s utter obsession with marriage and children.

    There is next to no concern -by churches / preachers / Christian lay persons- shown to anyone who is single and childless past 30 years of age.

    I actually do not want to attend a church that embraces homosexual behavior and says it’s not sinful.

    I do feel that churches should be welcoming of homosexual people but should not gloss over homosexuality (the behavior), and say it’s fine and peachy. Nor am I fine with churches that are reluctant to call out heterosexual fornication and adultery, either.

    I don’t want a legalistic church, please don’t misunderstand. However, I am not a supporter, either, of churches who ignore that the Bible does condemn certain behaviors, and preachers who refuse to plainly call out hetero pre marital sex as sin and homosexual sexual activity as sin.

    I’m not into flowery, touchy feely liberal type denominations that water down biblical mortality and compromise out the wazoo, and at that, because they’re afraid of offending someone.

    Most churches today are scared to death to refer to homosexuality at all, let alone call it a sin.

    Look at big names like Joel Osteen – preacher of large mega church in Texas. Nobody can get that guy to pin down anything as sinful (eg, guys who interview him on CNN, etc).

    I don’t hate Osteen or his preaching, but he is very much a spineless jellyfish at calling a spade a spade (a sin a sin) because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or offend anyone.

    I’ve not seen strong condemnation of homosexual behavior the last several years by the majority of evangelicals. Most evangelicals are crumbling on this, so I’m always puzzled by the people who sound as though there is hardline preaching against homosexuality in most churches – I see the total opposite.

    Not only will most preachers not condemn homosexual behavior clearly (or at all, even vaguely) any more, but they won’t preach against hetero sin of the sexual variety, either. Most sermons seem to be about things like, “how to be a better parent in three steps,” or, “how to achieve God’s vision for your life in two weeks,” or “don’t forget to fork over ten percent of your money to preacher man Joe,” etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “Never married and childless adults who are over, say, 35 or 40 years old, are perhaps the most overlooked demographic in most evangelical and other types of churches, it seems to me.”

    Actually we are viewed with utter disgust and disdain and it is made very clear what a complete failure we are as a Christian and has a basic human being. My main reason I never got married is I have been taking care of family members from about 20 until 53 with the death of my mother. I wont tell you what fellow believers said about that. I would have been better if I slept around had a few kids that I never took care of and a few women I abandoned. I never quite developed that aspect of spirituality.

    I just got tired of hating myself so much because I fully understood that God utterly loathes me with divine rage from the foundation of the universe.

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  19. Daisy,
    I have to agree with you and the stand that you would want a church to abide by. Loving the homosexual but not saying their life style is acceptible to God is how it should be taught. We should not be scared to say what we believe even if it means being called homophobics, which is rediculous. I am not afraid of them, but do not agree with their choices. That does not mean that I hate them.

    The church should not compromise on its beliefs. I am also very sorry for how you were treated after your mother passed.

    That is what Pastor Jeff stands for. He is honest and caring, but not backing down on those that abuse in the church. There are other pastors that are speaking up as well. I pray that the Lord will lead you. Jesus instituted the church, a gathering of his people. We are the ones that need to change it to the way it should be. The way God intended.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Brian,
    I find your dedication to your family commendable. I also find that you didn’t sleep around and leave women behind commendable as well. God calls us each to a purpose. Maybe now is when God will send a Godly woman your way who will appreciate those wonderful qualities.

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  21. It drives me crazy to hear pastors say that people don’t attend due to
    • not preaching the Gospel
    • not being demanding enough
    • compromising on social issues.

    What brought my 20-somethings back to church? LOVE.

    The world is pretty cold and selfish. LOVE. brought them back.

    As 1 Cor 13 says, you can have your entire act together, but if there’s no LOVE., it’s not worth anything.

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  22. Anon2,
    Being demanding never brought anyone to Christ. Love is key to that, but compromising values is not healthy either. Social issues are spoken of in the Bible and need to be preached as they are and not what people want to hear. It should be shared lovingly, but so it is understood that God is opposed to certain things and the church won’t accept them either. We need to hear truth, be convicted of sin and repent in order to have a better relationship with God.

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  23. Anonymous2, it strikes me that the Gospel is all about love, at least when properly preached. Obviously I wasn’t where you were, so I can’t critique the presentation, but I do remember times when the “altar call” was all about manipulation and not a true Gospel in churches I’ve attended. I can see your point, and Oy.

    And plus a bazillion to those who point out that all too often, there is not strong community in churches. I’m the type that will…perhaps somewhat contrary to my INTJ nature…go out and forge a conversation with those who are “just there”, but it drives my wife nuts. She’s not unhappy forging a bond, but she gets rightly frustrated when she’s the only one doing it.

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  24. Miss Daisy Flower and Brenda R,

    While I appreciate and respect the viewpoints you have shared, and I don’t mean to sound mean, but you just proved the point I made in my first comment on this post.

    To me, you made it sound like devout, faithful, loving Christians can’t possibly hold any view on homosexuality other than it is sinful if they are really following God. There have been people studying this matter, studying the Bible verses in question, and have found that they aren’t referring to committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.

    Now, you might disagree with them, that’s fine. I would only ask that both sides of the debate show grace to each other, as this really isn’t a salvation issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jeff, Thank you for your insightful article. I do believe many young people who grew up churched, stop attending when the church makes secondary issues (ie, evolution), into primary issues. I would also love to read something about adults who stop attending church. Something has changed in the way we “do church” and it is offensive to many. Lord help us all, your people.

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  26. We’ve had articles here about singles and divorced finding it difficult to attend church. It seems if you don’t fit the mold of a family that appears to be together or are young and married, it can be difficult to feel welcome in church. Older and married with no children can cause issues, too (why aren’t they being fruitful and multiplying).

    College students struggle, too, especially if they are away from home. My who is away at college doesn’t have transportation, so she relies on her friends who do and that means going from church to church.

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  27. Umm… There are other things as well. My husband works 60-80 hours a week with a two hour round-trip commute daily and split days off (always Sundays and a mid-week day). His days off are packed with normal chores that just can’t be accomplished on workdays. Hopefully things will calm down in the future but right now he has to work this hard just to be able to pay bills and rent each month. We literally do not have time for church on Sunday mornings nor the energy. We’ll usually take an hour and go to our favorite mountain meadows for praise and worship. Sometimes the most important thing is just to find the quiet where you can hear God’s voice again.

    At least for my group of friends, very few of us work traditional 9-5 Monday through Friday jobs. We do work shifts and split days off and many couples only have a couple days off together a month. When I visited my hometown a few weeks ago, I had to alert my friends a month in advance so they could all coordinate days off just to get together for one meal. A traditional Sunday morning church service just isn’t feasible for a lot of people.

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  28. Guest: so sorry for your pain, took many true stories like yours public to so-called Christian leadership/media etc. one of my bro’s cronies told me “one girl in our church was banged more than a screen door slams in a whorehouse”.

    Brian: self-preservation no kidding. Brian/MissDaisyFlower, yes, would write in defense of those single/never married with children and yes false church/leadership does NOT care about them and we’re told that “we weren’t whole complete and or acceptable if not married and or Divorced people were second class citizens”. I had a child out of wedlock and had so-called Christians asking me why I wasn’t on the pill, hmmmm. Was so gossiped about and treated like Scarlett letter, not to mention how children were treated. Seeing/hearing single parents/divorcees were so rejected, false churches didn’t want time or money going to help, let alone meet any need emotionally, spiritually, physically but they want your money to keep the dead building going. Know so many true stories.
    Didn’t understand, this was in late eighties, people were telling me they hadn’t been in church for years. One church was raised in, so awful, hideous at gossip that was never addressed, ever. One church was in, over 2,000 in attendance defuncted their single’s group. Had churches was checking out telling me they didn’t want young people (so when the elderly died, they had to close, no young attendees or tithe to keep going). The town was raised in, had a lot of churches for sale on one major blvd. More thoughts later. Herald all this for years. What’s there to miss about the so-called church?

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  29. Here’s another thought. I have a number of friends from an online medical support group dating back to the time I cared for my first husband. One friend who lives in Canada is disabled by the same neurological disease. She and her husband attended a church for years until he also became disabled from another illness and could no longer drive either. They contacted the pastor to see if anyone could give them a ride to Sunday services but did not hear back. Her husband died a couple years later and she asked if the pastor would do the funeral service. He refused on the grounds that they weren’t attending the church any more. I sent her money to pay for a funeral celebrant.

    Another friend is a caregiver. She was a member of her church and played the organ every Sunday for 29 years. At that point her husband became bedridden and she could no longer get him into a wheelchair and bring him to church. She could not afford an aide to stay with him since she was paying for one during the work week because she could not afford to stay home. She explained this to the pastor. No one from that church, including the pastor, ever called her again. It wasn’t that she was disliked but rather that no one thought of her since it had been more than a decade since she could participate in the social life of the people in the church.

    These are not uncommon stories.

    I wonder if young people see others being ‘thrown away’ in their churches once their use value is gone and become cynical.

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  30. That’s definitely another obstacle, Mandy – work schedules. For us it was club volleyball which took us away at least 2 Sundays a month during club season which can last Nov – July. (We don’t live close to large towns, so all of the tournaments required and overnight stay.)

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  31. I think people of all ages leave the contemporary church when the dos and don’ts associated with church membership, commitment to small groups, and a long checklist of so-called spiritual behaviors such as daily devotionals, attendance at various functions and broad-based conformity to dress codes – things the legalists endorse while neglecting the power of genuine relationship with God . So many churches work overtime to attempt to squish our kids into our man-made “Christian” boxes that by the time they leave home, they can hardly wait to leave church, too. The burden of trying to measure up becomes too great, they feel like spiritual failures and give up.

    In our home, our kids see our faith lived out. I allowed my kids to choose whether or not to come to church – to the disdain of many of my believing friends. All of the kids eventually left the churches they had attended because of the never-ending burden of guilt and expectations of conformity placed upon them by pastors and teachers and youth leaders. But through our family example, they found Jesus and their lives have been transformed by His grace and power and the uniquely personal relationships each of them have with Him. We have home church now, and it works.

    I also think that the overly feminine bent in church repels many – our family included. The songs, decor and “air” often bends toward women when we need the strength and leadership of godly men. The emphasis also tends to run too heavy on what WE are doing rather than what GOD is doing. When we see what God is doing, we want to join Him and be part of His undertakings.

    My two cents…

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  32. Well, I’m 31… I can tell you why I left my previous church, and why I’m contemplating leaving my current one.

    When church services become centered around cool new tech toys for the pastor to play with during sermons, I start glancing for the exit.

    When the pastor starts spending more time talking about “growing ____ ____ Church!” than actually teaching from the Scriptures, I start questioning why I’m there.

    When the assumption is that we are all primarily there to produce and care for children, I feel ostracized.

    When I sit in on church board meetings and see the budget running a nearly $70,000 deficit every single year, I have a problem with the stewardship being evidenced by leadership.

    When the pastor makes more money than almost anyone else in the congregation, on top of rent-free housing, paid-for utilities plus cable and phones, health insurance, retirement plan, AND expense reimbursements while my husband and I struggle to pay our bills, I wonder why I’m sending my tithe every month to pay for the pastor’s ESPN package and new truck.

    Slapping a slick PowerPoint presentation in the front of the sanctuary and bringing in a bass player is not going to solve these problems. I like hymns and organs better, anyway.

    Like

  33. Cindy, can you explain further about what is feminine about church? I have read that before and want to understand it better. I can’t think of anything feminine in the churches I have been in except maybe flowers and I am not sure what is feminine about the hymns. Do men think that submitting to God dimimishes them like women submitting to men?

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  34. “Because they are enabling and justifying evil in their midst. They are not effecting justice for the widow and orphan. They are not champions of the oppressed. They walk in sin, then come to church on Sunday with their holy disguise on and no one ever calls them to accounts for it.”

    Oooo! Ouch! As a moderator on the Christian Post am I often “called to task” because I openly admit not going to church. I stopped initially because of health problems, but the church I had been attending for over ten years (and served very much in a variety of ministries) basically dumped me and my husband and kids. They dumped my sister, my parents, and several of our closest friends from the same church. They ignored my kids, even after we had them dedicated in church, and the congregation took a vow to help raise them knowing Christ! And they have one of the most excellent children’s ministries in our area.

    I don’t mean to keep plugging for my blog, but I wrote about why young people are leaving the church about a year ago, in response to all the critical articles and people on the Christian Post: http://llawrenceauthor.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/why-young-people-are-really-leaving-church-part-1-of-2/

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  35. @Marsha:

    I wonder if young people see others being ‘thrown away’ in their churches once their use value is gone and become cynical.

    The phrase is “Outlived their Usefulness”.

    DILBERT: “Why are you throwing last month’s Temps into the dumpster?”
    POINTY-HAIRED BOSS: “They’re too big to flush.”

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  36. @CindyBurrell:

    The emphasis also tends to run too heavy on what WE are doing rather than what GOD is doing. When we see what God is doing, we want to join Him and be part of His undertakings.

    Because young people want to be part of something important. Especially something of Cosmic importance.

    Last century’s Nazis and Communists and this century’s Jihadists get a LOT of recruiting and loyalty mileage out of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Marsha, not all churches are feminine, and it’s probably not the best term for the phenomenon.

    What is really at stake is that a large portion of modern church music is emotionally driven–including a fair number of more modern hymns. In my experience, women tend to put up with that better than do men, who respond initially with silence, and then by showing up as empty chairs. So many describe much evangelical church music as “feminized”, along the lines of the scene from Wayne’s World 2 where Garth is at the Kenny G. concert getting a root canal done.

    Since my wife hates both Kenny G. and much CCM, I’ll go with “emotionally driven.” :^)

    Compounding that is that a lot of churches simply design their ministries around the needs of women, and many men feel that they are uniquely blamed for everything wrong, and there you go. Again, obviously this doesn’t mean that all churches are feminine, but it’s part of why many people feel that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. @WOW:

    Had churches was checking out telling me they didn’t want young people (so when the elderly died, they had to close, no young attendees or tithe to keep going).

    Not just churches, WOW. Happens to a lot of organizations and/or groups. Just from those I’ve been involved with:

    1) SF litfandom (classic written SF) — Many years ago, the local big-name SF club started making it hard for parents with kids to attend their conventions; one was even told when she complained “You should have thought of that before you started breeding!” Well, their conventions got smaller and smaller every year; always with the same old faces getting older and older; and the only get-togethers they had outside of the club was going to funerals. After about a decade of this (with young blood going instead into newer fandoms like Anime & Furry and staying there), enough of the Old Guard died off that they reversed this policy; it remains to be seen if they were too late to stop their death spiral.

    2) Plastic Modeling (IPMS) — Restarting my teenage hobby after a 35-year hiatus, I actually hooked up with clubs. And discovered that though I’m approaching 60, I’m around the average age of my local IPMS chapter. When we have build-and-takes at public events, we DO attract young kids, but there is very little staying power. Part of it is increased busyness (especially Internet time-sinks), emphasis on modeling in Virtual instead of Meatspace — and the hostile-to-new-blood and top-end-perfectionism-or-ridicule you get from rivet counters Counting Coup instead of rivets against newbies. If a noob is outclassed from the start by the Master Modellers in the club (and they have the attitude of cutting down anyone lesser than them — like a noob), why would any young guy who’s interested want to stick around?

    3) Model Railroading (which is out of my price range) — It’s even worse with model rails; on my last attempt to hook up with a club, I found I was the youngest guy in the group. VISIBLY younger. For whatever reason (cash & time outlay to get into it seriously, other distractions), it’s become a hobby of almost entirely well-off retirees. The only young model rails I know I found in a different fandom (Bronydom), and our attempts at sounding out modular clubs with our idea of modules of the railroads in the current My Little Pony world (which would have really brought in the young demographic) fell through because of the hostile reaction.

    In all the above, I observed one thing in common: The Old Guard took itself WAY too seriously. My Way or the Highway seriously. No Room for Whimsy seriously. And in doing so, they scared or drove off the new blood they need for survival over time.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Last time I visited my grandmother, she let me know that the Masons and other fraternal organizations were also dying for about the same reasons HUG mentions; that they are more or less expecting people to show up and “pay their dues.”

    And it’s worth noting that I’ve tried (and failed) at no less than two churches to get older women to pair with younger women to get a nursery going. Not enough younger women to run it alone, and the older women don’t have the energy to do much but cuddle. But if the younger woman does the picking up and the older woman does the bulk of the cuddling “work”, it could work.

    And men can take part, too, but for insurance reasons–most sex abuse charges are against men–you’ve got to have a woman there who is strong enough to pick up a toddler and change her diaper.

    Again, what HUG says is right–as well as what others are saying. If you want your institution to last into the next generation, it sure helps if the next generation is invited and welcome.

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  40. Thanks for replying, BB. Emotionalism IS probably a better explanation than saying a feminine approach. Although go figure, in my old church, it was the men who kept getting after the pastor for his Bible scholar approach to his sermons. They wanted more emotionalism and more altar calls. I never understood why since it was rare to have a service with new people who were not saved. Personally I appreciated the pastor’s desire for sound teaching. It was like having our own NT Wright.

    I am really interested in the topic, so can you explain what you mean by designing the ministry around the needs of women? Again, thinking of churches I have attended, we had vacation Bible school, Sunday school, Bible study groups (organized around studying a book of the Bible), and services on Sunday and Wednesday. For activities, there were the men’s softball team, a Christmas dinner and other dinners, a Sunday School picnic, and occasional things like a Harvest craft sale to raise money or Sunday School class parties at someone’s home or the church, a luncheon after a dedication ceremony, etc. Except for the softball team and the Sunday School class parties, all activities were attended by everyone who wanted to come, married or single and regardless of age. Were the needs of men neglected? What was missing? Or would men prefer their own groups?

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  41. Phoenixtatgirl: Was in a physical rehab learning how to walk again and one of roommates had a visitor that went ballistic when saw book I was reading, “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola (green cover); she said watch real fruit of Christianity when her daughter came out as being LGTB in a huge church in her community her family grew up in. She said it’s divided the entire church; where the rubber meets the road and the so-called fruit of churchianity, love, Christ-likeness instead of guilt, condemnation criticism and tremendous fear, slander, gossip, devouring/backbiting one another that false hirelings/church propagate.

    Brian: If, it was for Leonard Ravenhill’s witten works and his 1-27-91 brutal message I would be going to hell over my former pastor (who consider very evil, legalistic, narcissistic) and later would read Arthur Katz’s written works and understand more. Ravenhill would reiterate that the whole blames lies at the door of the church. He would say “to see a sick church in a dying world”, no kidding. He was calling preacher’s playboy evangelist back in 50’s. Find first editions of Why Revival Tarries and America is Too Young to Die, Sodom Had No Bible etc., even though he is gone home to glory you can see him on sermonindex/fireonthealtar.

    What I learned from these reads also, is that if the Apostolic and Prophetic gifts are not in your church currently active and alive. Run for your life out of that church, Assemblies of God per their home do not believe in that doctrine, one of there own minister’s that called them on it. One movement said they wanted those gifts but they were actually murdering them metaphorically so to speak. Bible is full of those two gift examples, don’t worship gifts. Later.

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  42. Marsha: :^) Not all churches suffer from emotionalism, or what is interpreted as being too feminine. Here are some perceptions I’ve heard, not all of which I agree with, beyond the music issue:

    1. Decor belongs entirely to the women. Hence a lot of pastels, soft lighting, etc. throughout the church.

    2. When preaching is done regarding problems in the family, the man’s contribution is over-emphasized compared to the woman’s contribution. (personally I’m not sure about this one–sometimes the perception is based on who feels their ox being gored, so to speak)

    3. Budget given to womens’ ministries vs. that of men’s, as well as respect. I haven’t seen this one too much.

    4. Pastor doesn’t know what to do with assertive people, especially men, and pushes them away. This can be obvious or subtle, and is a major topic on this board.

    I’m thinking that the biggies here in “feminized” or “emotionally driven” religion are the music and that the pastor doesn’t know how to interact with assertive men. I would guess, for example, that Mark Driscoll systematically drove out the men who were calling him on his behavior–and that he’s far from the only pastor who does this.

    And your example of men calling for more altar calls? I don’t know the whole history, but I wonder if the “NT Wright” you spoke of had a predecessor who drove away a lot of thinking men (and women) with altar calls and the like. I almost wonder if the man who demands more emotional manipulation is in reality the submissive one.

    Example of this principle; Mark Driscoll had a congregation and elder board of men who tolerated his chicanery, but ate up his fairly abusive tactics. Submissive bullies, as it were.

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  43. Marsha,
    Know stories that took public about people needing rides to church for years also. Sorry that was one hireling pastor, isn’t it amazing your acceptable as long as tithing and attending but the minute you need help, forget it. Had a great friend that attended a church for over 30 years and faithful tithed, but when she lost her job, absolutely no help and she was handicapped. Don’t know why she stayed, she watched/lived through 4-5 splits with that church. Asked for rides for single parents with no cars, people in nursing homes to no avail for years. Remember one pastor, famous in Orange County bashing people from the pulpit that he didn’t want old, junkie cars in his parking lot, so I asked him to buy or network these people better cars, raise funds (think he owned expensive BMW Sedan; wonder what he spent on school, building, what owned worth etc)? What about woman who told me she attended and tithed to a church for over 12 years and never had met/talked with any of the church leadership. Last church attended, Pastor/Board were totally accessible, and all their phone numbers were on a sheet for anyone to call, that was a first (been in church for over 50 yrs.).
    How about very famous actor that showed up to a church and conference and because he didn’t have a pastoral approval letter to get in, REALLY! Looked at it as God didn’t want his brains, time and money to be sucked out (type of Jesus is knocking at the door of the church and he can’t get in). So-called church doesn’t believe in abortion but they aborting many-lost, unsaved. Many false churches operate like this, one example of thousands. Youth boys were molested in foursquare church, parents were ran out and no counseling for boys but so long as parents tithing and not questioning they were acceptable and they sent perpetrator to foreign country (a lot of deniminations behave this way, that’s why they should all close their doors).

    BeenThereDoneThat: left really controlling AOG/AG cult. Actually what broke the religious cycle of attending; was caregiving for 9-12 months, and realized there was NOTHING to miss, how sad. Heard some pastor say there was over 6,000 churches in California, no wonder so much perversion. That’s a lot of stupid people, (used to be one of them) to keep these false shepherds in their lifestyle. If, any one church was changing their city for God you would hear about it. I want a bumper sticker that says if you give money to Benny Hinn/TBN you are a brainwashed idiot Christian that cannot, will not and choose not to think for yourself. A lot of ministries have PR groups to clean up bad press. My former evil pastor had pastor become policeman to erase all corruption of the church. What write about went to church leadership for YEARS. Research ministries matters etc.

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  44. We like how our church views/ treats women. (They are in all forms of leadership roles, and treated equally to any man.) That being said, there’s still no “community” feeling. I’m a young mom with 7 kids. We’ve attended for nearly 2 years. For over three months we’ve missed church due to illnesses and surgeries. Not ONCE in the last 14 weeks has anyone from the church called, emailed or asked if we are okay, if we need anything, etc. Hey, I guess as long as our tithe check continues to roll in, there’s no reason to miss us, right?

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  45. One of the things I liked about my old church is that needs were quietly shared. The sister of a man who was hospitalized took my husband aside to tell him. He wasn’t getting visitors and was feeling lonely and my husband went to see him that very day. An older woman’s son had moved away and she needed help because of failing eyesight. This need was shared with several people and they all stepped up. An announcement from the pulpit is good but I was always grateful to be made aware of unmet needs I could help with so I didn’t assume that someone else more close to the person was helping.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Young people stop going to church because its church. There is a reason church is not in the New Testament. There is a reason church does not show up until the 4th century. People have been trying to fix church for 500 years now, how are we doing? Christianity and church are two different things. Christianity was NEVER an institution with an authority structure. Please do not confuse leadership and fellowship with authority and orthodoxy. Please do not confuse individual temples where the Holy Spirit dwells with an institutional temple of refuge from the wrath of God. The church is a separate model of institutional authority with a gospel that serves that authority. ALL spiritual abuse, I repeat, ALL spiritual abuse flows from the presuppositions of the the church’s institutional gospel of perpetual justification.

    Church is the problem with church.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Random (Former) Methodist Reader

    Did God make man for man or woman for woman? Did He make woman for man? If you believe that these verses do not refer to monogomous homosexual relationships, prove it. People can study almost anything and come to the conclusion that they want it to be if they twist hard enough. It is not the tendency towards these thoughts, it is the follow through which is sin. If I find a man attractive and engage in a physical relationship with him outside of marriage, it is sin.

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  48. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He has not changed and neither has what he says is displeasing and sinful in his eyes.

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  49. DETC,
    “Hey, I guess as long as our tithe check continues to roll in, there’s no reason to miss us, right?” EXACTLY, because in their minds that’s what gets you to heaven. So, what more do you expect? You are saved because you are a member there, and if you just visit and haven’t placed yourself “under the authority of a shepherd,” you might make it into heaven but it is iffy. It all boils down to salvation by institution. Calvin and Luther were clear on this, and the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. How can Christianity become an “Evangelical Industry Complex”? How can it become “Big Publishing,” because people will pay BIG bucks for their salvation.

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  50. Brenda R,

    I’m not interested in debating. I’m only pointing out that people can be dedicated Christ followers and see the matter (or any matter) differently. That doesn’t make them any less beloved by God or any less Christian.

    When we start making demands on our fellow believers that we all think exactly alike on a particular issue, interpret Bible verses this exact way, etc., we’ve drifted away from focusing on Jesus, not to mention we start driving people away from church as these people start to get to know people that are gay, for example.

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  51. Paul

    Yes – @ NOVEMBER 7, 2014 @ 2:28 AM – I would just add – Today…
    1 – Today’s – “… church is not in the New Testament.”
    2 – Today – “Christianity and church are two different things.”
    3 – Today’s – “church is a separate model of institutional authority
    with a gospel that serves that authority.
    4 – Today – “…ALL ”spiritual abuse” flows from
    the presuppositions of the the church’s **institutional gospel**…”
    5 – Today – “Church is the problem with church.”

    I would add for that first Church in #5 – It is…
    The 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation,
    That the IRS calls “church.” And I now call – The “church” of man…

    It is the 501 (c) 3, Religious Corporation, run by man, That is The Problem…
    The Problem, and The Challenge, for His Church, His Body…

    Do I pay homage to an IRS Corporation? – the church?
    Or, Am I the Body of Christ? – His Ekklesia? His Church?

    Lots of folks are NOT leaving The Body of Christ where Jesus is their head.
    They are leaving The 501 (c) 3, Religious $ Corporation, church of man…
    In order to find Jesus and BE, one of His Disciples, forsaking all, and…
    Learning directly from Jesus – NO middle man…

    And BE HIS…
    His Church, His Ekklesia, His Called Our Ones, His Servants…
    His Kings and Priests, His sons, His Bride, His Sheep, His Disciples…

    I’m-a-thinkin…
    If WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones…
    Would STOP calling, referring to, an IRS $ Corporation – as The church…
    That would be a good beginning…

    When you believe the lie – you start to die…

    When you live the lie – You die slowly, day by day…

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  52. “Please explain to me how a focus on what Jesus taught and said is a focus away from Jesus?”

    Huh?

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  53. brian

    I can relate when you write @ NOVEMBER 5, 2014 @ 6:05 PM…

    “I can give you two words for why I dont go back to church.”

    “Self preservation.”

    Yup – Questioning, dis-agreeing with, HigherArchy, wanna-be Leadership…
    Will be dangerous to your Spiritual Health. 😦

    Seems Jesus, promoted LowerArchy – NOT HigherArchy. 😉

    Jesus, as man, humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation
    And took on the form of a “Servant.” Phil 2:7-8.

    HigherArchy tells you to be a Berean, read the Bible for yourself…
    And check out what they say…

    When you do – And you dis-agree – It can get ugly pretty fast… 😉

    I have received “The Left Foot of Fellowship” more than once.

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. waitingforthetrumpet2

    I have experienced this fear @ NOVEMBER 5, 2014 @ 6:39 PM…

    “I don’t go because I’m afraid to.”

    I would start to, try to, go to that building, like I was taught, again and again…
    But, my stomach would be in knots and butterflies.
    I could just – NOT do “that” anymore – Go To Church…
    And submit to a Mere Fallible HUMAN – leader – Too much Pain…
    Like Abraham – I went out, left “The Abusive Religious System”
    NOT knowing where I was going…

    Today I can say, after ALL the tears, ALL the darkness…
    Thank You Jesus…

    Leaving “The Abusive Religious System” and Following Jesus is the best… 😉

    And I agree when you say…

    “Just give me Jesus.”

    I would just ADD… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Random,
    What do you mean, “Huh?”? Obviously, there is something beyond an objective conclusion about what Jesus stated about truth called, “focusing on Jesus” that is above the fray of debating about truth. What is that exactly? I’m not sure what is so complicated about my question, but let me state it another way: You and I disagree on truth, and we are above debating it, so then how do we do this thing called ‘focusing on Jesus.”

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  56. “Random,
    What do you mean, “Huh?”? Obviously, there is something beyond an objective conclusion about what Jesus stated about truth called, “focusing on Jesus” that is above the fray of debating about truth. What is that exactly? I’m not sure what is so complicated about my question, but let me state it another way: You and I disagree on truth, and we are above debating it, so then how do we do this thing called ‘focusing on Jesus.” ”

    My prior comment was talking about putting heavier focus on the social issues of the day (such as gay marriage, evolution, marriage roles, etc.) than focusing on what Jesus said and did. That’s where we run into the most problems when these secondary issues, none of which Jesus mentioned, become more important than anything Jesus himself said or did. That’s all I was getting at.

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  57. Hmmm? “Why Don’t Young People go to Church?”

    Looks to me like today’s young people – Who do NOT “Go To Church”
    Are more “Biblical” ™ than those folks who do “Go To Church.” 😉
    ———-

    In the Bible – Did any young people “Go To Church?” Join A Church?
    NOPE…

    Did any of His Disciples “Go To Church?” Join a Chuch? Give money to a Church?
    Teach, “Go To Church?” Teach, Join a Chuch? Teach, Give money to a Church?
    NOPE…

    If, in the Bible, NOT one of His Disciples, did any of these things…
    If, in the Bible, NO young people, NO old people, did any of these things…
    Go To Church? Join a Chuch? Apply for church membership?
    Tithe to a Church? Give silver, gold, or money to a Church?

    Why do you?

    Like

  58. Since I was a teen I have taught vacation Bible school, played in the handbell choir, taught Sunday School, nursery school, done short term missions, taught Bible Studies etc. Was Christ in this? I don’t know! I do know that I experienced God in feeding and spending time with the homeless, walking with a friend through pain, and being a Guardian ad Litem for a 3 year old, and encouraging a friend not to commit adultery. I finally burned out at church, but I love when Christ leads me to someone with a need. Am I wrong? Ann

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  59. “Since I was a teen I have taught vacation Bible school, played in the handbell choir, taught Sunday School, nursery school, done short term missions, taught Bible Studies etc. Was Christ in this? I don’t know! I do know that I experienced God in feeding and spending time with the homeless, walking with a friend through pain, and being a Guardian ad Litem for a 3 year old, and encouraging a friend not to commit adultery. I finally burned out at church, but I love when Christ leads me to someone with a need. Am I wrong? Ann”

    No, you’re not wrong. I’ve felt exactly the same. My wife and I decided it was most important to do things for others than it was to fulfill the desires of a particular church. Although we still attend church, we’re not heavily involved in it.

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  60. “There is a reason church does not show up until the 4th century. People have been trying to fix church for 500 years now, how are we doing? Christianity and church are two different things. Christianity was NEVER an institution with an authority structure.”

    There is one blip on the historical radar that we tend to ignore: Westward expansion. Interesting how we pick up snippets from history on how church functioned during those pioneer days of settling the West. It worked. Most pastors were itinerants or lay people who also worked. The community decided to build a church/school. It was very individualistic while being corporate for worship and good deeds (good deeds are not a sin, folks).

    The informal structure was a necessity. But as we all know, that which starts out informal and/or organic always trends toward institutionalism. It is a big hairy monster we have to fight against continually.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. @Lydia:

    The informal structure was a necessity. But as we all know, that which starts out informal and/or organic always trends toward institutionalism. It is a big hairy monster we have to fight against continually.

    To me, “institutionalism” is a function of size. As “that which starts out informal and/or organic” grows beyond the troop-size limit (where it’s possible for everybody to know everybody else), organization and layers of administration and bureaucracy come into play to cope with the too-big-for-anyone-to-get-a-handle-on size. As time goes on, this becomes more formalized and less organic. Again to compensate for the size, with the danger of slipping from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.

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  62. Church is typically a brainwashing session in the misosophy which says actions don’t matter. Well, if you already agree with that misosophy, then going to church doesn’t matter because its an action or work. If you don’t agree with that misosophy then you don’t want to hear some mystic get up and rant and rave about how great that misosophy is. So people who don’t buy into faith alone ain’t gonna go to church; and people who do buy into it have no reason to go.

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  63. Just for the record, I do go to church now, but I was out for 4 years. And it was precisely because of this misosophy of faith vs works. I was tired of hearing it. Faith is not opposed to obeying the one you claim to have faith in, and if you say that it is opposed, then you don’t really have faith. Thank God not every congregation in my denomination buys into this misosophy. Otherwise, I’d still be gone. Unfortunately for most of you, every congregation in yours probably does.

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  64. Pingback: The word “justification” is a problem | Nerdy stuff from David Brainerd's brain

  65. Is this a thinly veiled reference to Mark Driscoll?

    John Piper on Bullying Preachers (Nov 2014, The Christian Post)

    After having skimmed it over, I no where see Piper advise people under a bully pastor to quit that church.

    The only remedies he offers is that the bully pastor should “be admonished” and “you have to get tough with him.”

    Quote:

    If someone is unsure whether their pastor is exercising leadership or is bullying the congregation, Piper encouraged him or her to “go to the Bible, especially the New Testament, use all of it to form a well-rounded picture of what biblical leadership and biblical shepherding is and then measure your pastor by that.” If need be, Piper encouraged members to approach a pastor with a “pattern of serious shortcomings” and share their concerns. “His reaction to you will tell you a lot.”

    “Or her?” Women are allowed to rebuke and correct a bully male preacher in Piper’s reckoning? Is the author of this page sure about that?

    Someone in the comments on that page wrote,

    Wait, I thought Piper said we were supposed to praise God for cancer abusing people’s bodies. Now we are supposed to speak out against bully preachers abusing them?

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  66. dont eat the crayons said,

    Not ONCE in the last 14 weeks has anyone from the church called, emailed or asked if we are okay, if we need anything, etc. Hey, I guess as long as our tithe check continues to roll in, there’s no reason to miss us, right?

    Yes, a million times this. This is more common than you think.

    After my mother’s passing, and I sought out comfort from other Christians (both extended family, who are regular church goers, and new people at local churches) and I was either rejected, ignored, lectured to, shamed, or criticized in response, I started looking at forums and blogs to receive comfort from those in a similar situation, and I began looking around to see how common this situation is. It turns out it’s fairly common.

    My mom is one of the few Christians I know who actually walked the walk. She would help sick neighbors out – mop their floors for them, do their laundry; she’d take hours long phone calls from hurting friends / family who need a sympathetic ear, she’d give money to cash strapped family/friends, etc.

    So it was a real shock to me to find that 99% of Christians are not like that, like my mother was (she walked the walk and actually got off her rear end to help, she did not just mouth platitudes at hurting people who came to her). I wanted to find out if other Christians had the same experience. And the answer is yes, unfortunately.

    I visited many blogs and forums over a period of a few years and bought and read several books about why people leave church, or why they abandon the Christian faith.

    I started encountering testimony after testimony of Christians – people who have even been gong to the same church for 5, 10, 20 years, some of whom even volunteered for many church groups over the years – who, in their greatest time of need (death in the family, serious sickness, job lay off, whatever), when they went to their church for help (or Christian extended family), for financial and/or emotional help, they were brushed off, shamed, criticized and scolded instead.

    It is sad and disappointing how often that occurs.

    I put a link in here weeks ago about a woman, a professional photographer, who attended Driscoll’s church for many years. She took pro. photos of him and his family one year for Christmas (for their family cards) for free.
    When her dad was sick in the hospital (and he later died), she wrote and/or called Driscoll, asking him to visit her with her dad in person in the hospital, and he sent a friend instead. She felt very hurt by that.

    Few years ago, read a blog by a 40 something woman who volunteered a lot at her church for several years, every week; she taught their youth classes and did other church things. At one point, she had to miss several Sundays in a row, due to illness.

    She said she was saddened and creeped out that though she was gone for several weeks, and her church knew she had no flesh and blood family in her area, and she was a never-married woman (single, lived alone) that not a one of them phoned her to ask if she was okay, not even the church preacher. Nobody sent her a card, stopped by her place to check up on her.

    I read another testimony by a married couple (though this usually happens to adult singles, divorced, or widows) who said they had to stop going to their church of ten years (don’t recall their reason why), and they said nobody at their church noticed they had stopped going. They felt hurt and puzzled by that.

    That is another very common scenario, too… people who have been to a church for years, and if they stop going due to illness, (or what have you), nobody from the church checks in on them, nobody phones them, tracks them down, to see how they are, if they’re even still alive, or if they need anything.

    A woman on another blog who fell on hard financial times said she went to her church to ask for a $20 gift card.

    The church lady she met to get the card made her jump through all manner of hoops to get the card (I’ve read similar stories on other blogs by other Christians who went to their churches for financial help). I was appalled.

    I understand a church not wanting to be taken advantage of (because there are leeches and liars out there), but to make someone beg and grovel and prove themselves for a $20 gift card? Give me a break!
    It has to be difficult (embarrassing, humiliating, etc) to ask for financial help in the first place, but to be “grilled” by the church lady to get a stinking $20 gift card?? That adds insult and humiliation on top of insult and humiliation.

    My impression is that many of today’s denominations and churches are not the caring, supportive, “bearing one another’s burdens” groups that the New Testament says they are supposed to be.

    Like

  67. @ WOW.
    Yep, I saw many similar testimonies in the books and blogs I mentioned above… about people who had attended the same church for years, tithed weekly, but when they later came to that church needing assistance, they were told to Get Lost.

    Also read in one book about folks who leave the faith or stop going to church about a blind guy who desperately wanted to go to church, but he couldn’t drive himself. He called around. One young couple promised to drive him weekly, and they did like two or three times, but one Sunday, they didn’t stop by his home.

    He phoned them. They said they were already in the church parking lot and would not be picking him up. Evidently, they tired of being his chauffeur but didn’t tell him until he called and asked where they were (he was expecting to be picked up as usual).

    To be fair to that particular couple – in a way I think they hosed that guy, and that was wrong, but – I don’t know if it’s fair for a church to make the chauffeur duty fall to the same couple every single week.

    I think churches (if they lack a bus) should have “Couple A” pick up the guy needing a ride the first Sunday of the month, then have “Couple B” pick the dude up Sunday 2, then “Couple C” for Sunday 3, etc, that way no one single family/ person is stuck with driving duty, it is a shared responsibility among several people, rather than just on one person or one couple.

    Read a testimony about two years ago on a blog by one guy who went to a big mega Texas church (Robert Morris’ church, IIRC, as a matter of fact, and that dude rakes in millions, does he not ~ surely he could afford a few hundred dollars for plane tickets?) for several years, faithful tither.

    The guy’s FIL died, he couldn’t afford plane ticket to the Calif. funeral which was a couple weeks away, asked his church to please pay for the plane tickets (five, two for the couple, three for each kid), church said NO.

    He had to keep begging them and hounding them before they finally chipped in something for the tickets. He seemed angry, hurt, or baffled that his church, whom he had financially supported for years, and had even consistently served as a deacon or Sun. sch. teacher, etc, would rebuff him at this one request. I don’t understand it either.

    Have heard same thing about little old ladies who donate money to Binny Hinn and other TV preachers for years. One lady send him a letter saying she needed $800 to pay rent (or repair a washing machine, I forget), and Hinn’s ministry refused her the money.

    She wrote back and said “but if you check your records, you can see I have donated thousands to your ministry over the years” – they still said, no way, Jose, sorry, no 800 dollars for you.

    Like

  68. @ Bike Bubba said,

    3. Budget given to womens’ ministries vs. that of men’s, as well as respect. I haven’t seen this one too much.

    This reminds me. Vast majority of evangelical and Baptist churches don’t spend anything on adult singles.

    Churches prefer to direct all funds to married couples stuff, or to kiddie ministries. In most churches, you are chopped liver if you are over 30 and still not married and have no kids.

    Bike Bubba said,

    Not all churches suffer from emotionalism, or what is interpreted as being too feminine. Here are some perceptions I’ve heard, not all of which I agree with, beyond the music issue:

    1. Decor belongs entirely to the women. Hence a lot of pastels, soft lighting, etc. throughout the church.

    Considering most churches are complementarian, it makes no sense for me how some (I said some, not all) Christian men complain in their books and blogs that churches are “too feminine” in tone or decor. Oh please.

    The men bar women from leadership positions and dictate just about everything that goes on in your church – so if the church is “too feminine” you know whose to blame for that? I’ll tell you who:
    The male hierarchy who bars women from having any decision making abilities, or, in the case of some churches, the men permit women to run the entire church decor situation.

    BTW, a bit of an aside. I have to gripe about that.
    Most men I have encountered over my life do not care about furniture styles, paint or rug colors, and fabrics… yet they gripe when or if women do all the decor and choose the paint colors and chairs.

    How many wives show paint chips to the husband, and all hubby can do is barely glance at the samples and grunt, “I see no difference between off white and egg shell white, leave me alone, I am watching football! You decide! I don’t care!”

    ~ if that is your attitude, don’t then turn around later, after the wife (or whatever woman) makes the choices, and get all huffy, or mock and ridicule the pink curtains and the raspberry color carpet* in church or at home. You had your chance, and you blew it off.

    *(Not all women like those color combos, or overly frilly things, by the way. Some of us are more tasteful and can select tasteful, gender neutral decor/ colors).

    Most churches lately have gone opposite direction, especially after those ludicrous books from the late 1990s about how churches are too womanly.

    After those books were published, churches started to “masculinize” church buildings, so that the men folk would not feel they are attending a girlie sanctuary. They stripped out the mauve fluffy carpet and put in black, grey, or blue carpet and slapped football posters or whatever up on the walls in their place.

    How Men And Women See Color (funny)

    The “Feminization” of the Church, by kr wordgazer

    Regarding your point 4.
    Most men of all stripes, the assertive to the non and all in between, either fear, distrust, or loathe assertive women, or are uncomfortable with them or around them.

    The men who are angered by assertive women try to shut them down, shut them up, and kick them out (this is also true of secular work environments). It’s a double standard – assertive men are taken to be bold, but assertive women get the “b–ch” label.

    But I do agree with you… “Type A” men do not like assertive people of either gender, a Mark Driscoll kind of guy will kick out other Alpha Males, even though, ironically, most of his sermons I’ve read about, he shames Type B males for not being Alpha enough.

    You shame the guy for not being Alpha, but if and when the dude does begin to display Alpha qualities, you kick him out – it’s hypocrisy.

    (I really don’t like the terms “Alpha Males” and “Beta”, as they tend to be used by sexist “men’s rights” and PUA groups, but for lack of better terms, or getting tired of typing out “assertive”…)

    Like

  69. @ Bike Bubba, you said,

    And it’s worth noting that I’ve tried (and failed) at no less than two churches to get older women to pair with younger women to get a nursery going. Not enough younger women to run it alone, and the older women don’t have the energy to do much but cuddle. But if the younger woman does the picking up and the older woman does the bulk of the cuddling “work”, it could work.

    I don’t hate children, but I’ve never cared for them, and I don’t enjoy being around them.

    I’m one woman who tires of church people assuming, every time I walk in to a new church, that I must be divorced with a kid, and/or that I LOVE kids, and I want to spend every waking minute around babies, and I want to volunteer in their nursery.

    Please be aware that some women, even ones over 40, have zippo, nada, no desire to be in or around kids or babies.

    I’m one of them. I am more comfortable around tech stuff, like computers, sound equipment, etc, and organizational stuff. Put me in charge of ordering your paper files around in the office, or put me in charge of the slide show at your church, or the church news letter, don’t insist that merely because I am a woman, I ought to grab a baby and rock it in a rocking chair.

    Don’t pigeon hold people by way of gender roles, it’s one reason of a million why I am reluctant to go to any church anymore, and a lot of other women feel the same way.

    And no, don’t assume that a childfree / childless, never married women necessarily has anymore time to devote to a cause or to church than a married one who has a kid. (When you are single, you have only yourself to rely on, no spouse to help out with errands and repairs.)

    Like

  70. @ Bike Bubba said,

    Compounding that is that a lot of churches simply design their ministries around the needs of women, and many men feel that they are uniquely blamed for everything wrong, and there you go.

    I’d add the word “MARRIED” before women.”

    As in,
    “Compounding that is that a lot of churches simply design their ministries around the needs of married women who have children still living at home

    As a never married (and childless woman), I can testify whole heartedly that most evangelical / Baptist churches most certainly do not design their ministries for single women (or for the divorced, the ones with career who work during the day at an office job, or the widows).

    Almost all church ministries, social events, sermons are for married mothers.

    For instance, when churches do hold “women retreats,” technically, such things may be open for ALL women of ALL life stages, BUT….. it’s almost always on a week day at 11: 00 AM, and they may state on their brochures “child care will be provided!!”.

    The women who are single, childless, who work M-F cannot take time off their job to attend a Tuesday morning women’s class at the local church, and it’s insulting when churches just assume all women are married with a kid at home and do not work for a living.

    I can also tell you that women who are parents who are now in their 40s have begun to notice there is no place in the church for them, for adults with no kids at home: check out Michelle Van Loon’s blog about this (I think she is on Patheos).

    Van Loon has two or three kids, last one just moved out, is in college.

    Van Loon and her spouse started to notice, after their last kid moved out, their church has nothing for them to do any more, there are no ministries or causes for which middle aged, no kids at home people can meaningfully contribute to.

    Everything in churches is about The Nuclear Family, and more specifically, the “Nuclear Family Where The Kids Are Still Living With Mom and Dad.”

    She also said in a blog or two that her church just kind of ignores anyone who is over 35 with no children (or whose kids are in college or adult age)… she saw when a 30 yr old couple came in with a kid, her church just swarmed in warm greeting all over the young couple with a kid, but if you’re 40 and single, or 50 and no kids with you (ie, your kids are grown ups who live in another state), they ignore you. That is very typical.

    Like

  71. Bike Bubba or someone linked to an article about, “Why people are leaving your church” (I haven’t read it yet), but I just wanted to say one common thing I see pop up is when preachers write those types of articles, it seems like 99% of the time, the preacher blames the people who quit church.

    I very rarely see a pastor who really understands and who avoids blaming and shaming the church leavers.

    Most of the preachers, when they write these blog posts about why people leave, instead of being honest and saying, “I have listened to people, and I agree, I need to change this church, I need to work on qualities X and Y,” they instead turn the whole essay around to BLAME the hurt sheep, the quitters.

    They will usually scream and yell that it’s selfish for you to want to have your needs met, to expect to have your needs met, that church is “not about you,” and you should not expect to “be fed” at their church (this is mostly the “seeker friendly” pastors, but the same type of thinking shows up in other types of pastors and denominations).

    The way to get quitters back into your church is to truly listen to their complains and make an honest effort to amend and change, not shame and blame and yell at the quitters even more. But the majority of preacher written pages I come across about “why people leave church” are of the “blame and shame the leavers” variety.

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  72. But I do agree with you… “Type A” men do not like assertive people of either gender, a Mark Driscoll kind of guy will kick out other Alpha Males, even though, ironically, most of his sermons I’ve read about, he shames Type B males for not being Alpha enough.

    You shame the guy for not being Alpha, but if and when the dude does begin to display Alpha qualities, you kick him out – it’s hypocrisy.

    No, it’s Herd Animal behavior. There can be only one Alpha/Herd Bull, and the Herd Bull drives off all potential rivals. (Even his own offspring if they get big and uppity enough, op cit all the “Lost Boys” kicked out of polyg cults at puberty.)

    And “shaming Beta Males for not being Alpha enough” is a good way to flush potential rivals so they can be destroyed. There Can Be Only One.

    Like

  73. Marsha asked,
    “Do men think that submitting to God dimimishes them like women submitting to men?”

    I read a very interesting article or two a few years ago, I can’t remember who wrote it, but it mentioned how some American Christian men may be pushing for a “masculine” Christianity, because by American cultural standards, Christianity is going to look feminine to outsiders.

    It’s going to appear that way to some, because it instructs ALL followers, males and females, to exhibit gentleness, compassion, submissiveness, etc. (as well as courage and toughness, but the “tough” part gets downplayed in American Christianity for both genders, and in particular women), and that doesn’t sit comfortably with certain types of men (like Driscoll, for example).

    Mark Driscoll and his ilk seem to be building a “masculine” version of Christianity on Hollywood movies, on your usually manly-man tough guy movie star action hero (rather than on the Bible, and they say they are sola scriptura? It’s more like they are Sola Hollywood).

    One problem with that, and something I find amusing, is that even in the Action Hero Tough Guy trope, a lot of the movie Action Hero Stars have sweet, gentle, loving sides. Or, there are scenes in the film that show the Tough Guy being very gentle and playful with a little daughter or wife.

    Sometimes, as a matter of fact, the very thing that plunges the male star into role of Action Hero during the course of the movie is that some evil jerk murders his wife and little daughter, transforming him into swashbuckling he-man sort of role.

    But your Mark Driscoll type of preachers seem to filter out all the scenes of the Tough Hero Guy shown playing dollies and Barbies with his little girl, or reading love poetry to the wife while holding hands with her on the beach.

    The hyper, pro-masculine men preachers only focus on the parts of these movies where the Hero Guy karate chops the villain’s face off or blows people up. Why is that? I mean, even some Hollywood films offer a more well rounded depiction of manly man, tough guys than most preachers do these days, and that is very strange.

    Also, why is it that obsession with gender seems to fall mostly with Christian men? Gender stuff would never have been a huge issue for me, except that men repeatedly make it an issue.

    (I did grapple a bit as a teen reading the Bible and seeing questionable passages, like Paul saying women should be quiet in church, or the Old Testament guy who was going to let the town’s perverts rape his virgin daughter, and I thought, “how sexist and terrible, I hope God was not okay with this idea,” but other than that, I didn’t fixate on gender.)

    There are a small number of token women “talking heads” for CBMW and similar gender complementarian groups, that is true, but by and large, it’s appears to me that Christian men are the ones who are weirdly obsessed with how manly God or Jesus were or are, how men should and shouldn’t act, what women should do, and who write about gender topics constantly, like limiting what women may do in church and marriage.

    I never thought much about gender growing up, or did not dwell on it too much, I should say, except when it was tossed directly in my face by other people, like folks telling me I “cannot” or “should not” do “thus and so” because doing “X” is only “for boys, not for girls,” or when preachers would scream from pulpits about “wives should submit” etc.

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  74. (I hope nobody minds several posts in a row by me. I am not trying to “commandeer” the thread or anything like that, but today is one of the first days I’ve had enough time to post stuff to a blog. I’m just in a “talky” mood today, is all. 🙂 )

    HUG said,

    No, it’s Herd Animal behavior. There can be only one Alpha/Herd Bull, and the Herd Bull drives off all potential rivals. (Even his own offspring if they get big and uppity enough, op cit all the “Lost Boys” kicked out of polyg cults at puberty.)

    And “shaming Beta Males for not being Alpha enough” is a good way to flush potential rivals so they can be destroyed. There Can Be Only One.

    I see what you’re saying, but I still find it hypocritical.

    I’ve seen transcript snippets of Driscoll sermons online, and the guy will sit there and say, “you men in this audience have no ‘stones,’ you need to man up.” (And he has handed men in his congregation actual rocks during church services to make this point.)

    But for the guys who do in fact “man up” (which I assume he means, be assertive), who challenge him, he balks and throws a fit.

    I’ve also read he doesn’t like being challenged by women. Women who dared to politely get assertive towards him (as in, “Say Mark, do you think you could consider doing blah blah differently?”) would get their heads verbally ripped off by him.

    Anyway…. seems stupid and unfair to me for a preacher to tell men to be assertive, but when they ARE assertive you scream that they are not being “submissive to your leadership” or are “being divisive” or are being “hard headed and un-cooperative.” Make up your mind.

    But that is Mark Driscoll, wants to have his cake and eat it too (and other preachers like him).

    He (and preachers like him) wants to attract the young men by advertising a testosterone fueled cult where everyone smokes cigars, crushes beer cans in one hand and watches cage fighting, but then turns around and beat those same guys up for displaying the qualities he tells them they need to have to be “real men” in the first place.

    And that Driscoll whined about people supposedly throwing rocks over his high fence of his mansion, or left nails on his drive way?

    I don’t condone harassment, don’t get me wrong, but I find it a little… hypocritical, there again, for a guy who puts up a take charge, manly-man, He-Man persona to cry, whine, and sniffle that people are leaving flaming bags of doggie poo poo on his porch, helicopters are flying over his mansion, etc.

    Like

  75. Marsha said,

    I wonder if young people see others being ‘thrown away’ in their churches once their use value is gone and become cynical.

    Starting around my late 30s, after my mother died, I noticed this first hand, it was done to me and to other people I saw, and I read about it on forums and in books (which I wrote in detail above so I won’t revisit that here), but yes, that happens, it seems to be common, and it’s one reason of many why I’m soured on the Christian faith and going to church.

    Like

  76. WOW said,

    Had churches was checking out telling me they didn’t want young people (so when the elderly died, they had to close, no young attendees or tithe to keep going).

    I’m not disputing what you’re saying is true, but it sure seems to be the opposite of what I’m seeing the last few years.
    I’ve read so many stories, reports, and testimonies on blogs and news articles of preachers who are kicking out anyone over 35 from public church roles, such as singers on stage, and replacing them with 21 year olds, because they want their church to project a hip, cool, young, fashionable vibe.

    You know, just like Jesus Christ did – Jesus only allowed hip, young, cool people to speak for him, to him, and enteract with him / sarcasm

    I read in one article a few months ago, that in private, Mark Driscoll told his church staff he didn’t want one middle aged guy in particular to be the one on stage to lead the church in some new series or whatever they were doing, because the guy was a “fat a–” – Driscoll’s phrase, not mine (the “a–” rhymes with the word “glass,” just drop the “G” and the letter “L”).

    Churches today are all about outward appearances and the superficial, no substance.

    Like

  77. @ Random (Former) Methodist Reader

    You can certainly hold whatever view on homosexuality you wish, but I don’t see the Bible approving of homosexual behavior at all.

    You can be a devout, loving Christian and sincerely believe the Bible is “okay” with homosexuality and be very, very wrong about that.

    No where in my post did I equate homosexuality to a “first tier concern,” but Christians who support homosexuality these days are the ones who have done so, actually, and I tire of being told I’m awful, legalistic, unloving, if I do not agree with or accept homosexual behavior carte blanche.

    I don’t believe the Bible teaches that agreement with homosexuality has anything to do with being saved or not – you’re the one assuming that about my views, or reading that into my comments, when I said no such thing.

    I am tired of churches today pandering to homosexuality, or refusing to address it, and/or the pressure militant homosexuals place on anyone in culture to embrace homosexuality.

    I see harassment and intolerance by most of evangelicalism and some Baptists today against people such as myself who regard homosexual behavior as being a sin, or immoral, or unnatural.

    Most preachers today are highly reluctant to refer to homosexuality as sinful – which it is- and they are also very reluctant to condemn hetero, pre-marital sex as sinful (which it is), or adultery as being sinful (which it is).

    Preachers prefer to give warm and fuzzy self help sermons, so as not to offend anyone, and they end up not helping very many people. This is another reason why I don’t like to attend church.

    You said,

    Now, you might disagree with them, that’s fine. I would only ask that both sides of the debate show grace to each other, as this really isn’t a salvation issue.

    I no where made it into a “salvation” issue, but you have. I am tired of the homosexual lobby and their supporters cramming the subject down people throats, they are the ones who are not showing any grace.

    I don’t really care what people do sexually in the end scheme of things, in a way, but I resent being told I have to agree with what they choose to do sexually, or that the Bible is “fine” with such and such sexual behavior when I can see that it is not.

    Like

  78. @ Bike Bubba said,

    “perhaps somewhat contrary to my INTJ nature…go out and forge a conversation with those who are “just there”, but it drives my wife nuts”

    This comes up every so often. There are a lot of introverts out there, but many churches seems geared towards catering to extroverts.

    I read a blog page a few days ago about churches who want to drop the “meet and greet” portion of sermons because a lot of people feel uncomfortable having to shake hands with people and make small talk at the top of a service.

    Some people who replied to that article says it doesn’t work, anyhow, that meet and greet doesn’t foster community or forge new friendships. People will usually only shake hands during “meet and greet” with people they already know.

    If you are new to a church, nobody really attempts to connect with you. That’s happened to me in churches I’ve been to. Yes, one or two people will shake my hand and say “Hello” but nothing beyond that. Nobody will ask for a phone number to chat and get to know me, or ask me out for a cup of coffee.

    I watched an interview with a “church shopper.” He attends churches and ranks them on different things.

    He says he’s been in churches where nobody says hello to him at all, and during “meet and greets,” he’s had women (in the pew in front of him) totally ignore him, reach past him, to shake the hand of a woman in the pew behind him. That kind of thing can be alienating for visitors, but churches don’t seem to care.

    Like

  79. @ Brenda R NOVEMBER 6, 2014 @ 5:32 AM

    I agreed with the first part of your post. I have tried consistently living out the Christian faith over my life.

    For example, I have tried helping people when and where I could, though I don’t have much money. I’ve been honest, I haven’t ripped people off. I’ve done nice gestures for people, like giving them car rides when their car was broken, I have refrained from sex for this long (as I am single), etc.

    I’ve done as much as what the Bible says we are to do, and to avoid what it says we are to avoid, but then I see churches today, and Christians online, who are refusing to refer to some behaviors as being sin (wrong). They are instead either staying “mum” on some subjects, refusing to call them sin, or actually defending and embracing them.

    Loving people is fine and dandy, but I don’t understand glossing over people’s wrong actions.

    I am having a hard time staying in a faith which purports to care about God and God’s opinion on morality, but then many of these same people who claim to follow that same God are turning around and either totally accepting, excusing, or white-washing, downplaying, or ignoring behavior God says he does not approve of.

    Thank you so much for this part:

    “am also very sorry for how you were treated after your mother passed.”

    I am still dealing with that, even though it’s been a few years. I mean, not just that my mother is passed, but that the Christian people I went to, thinking I could get support from them, scolded me or ignored me, including extended family. My mother would have been terribly angry, hurt, and disappointed by this.

    She’s the one that always put a lot of stock in “family being there for each other,” and it would anger her and upset her how my immediate (as in siblings) and extended family have dropped the ball on helping me. (I was there as a support system for my sister after Mom died, but I got no such treatment from her, it was one-way support.)

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  80. @ brian NOVEMBER 5, 2014 @ 9:03 PM
    Brian, I am in the same position (though my age is different), I’ve never married and never had children, and I know the stigma that many evangelicals and other Christians place on people such as us.

    I think it’s very honorable that you cared for your mother. I also had to care for mine, in the couple of years before she died especially.

    And I know what you mean. Some Christians act like there is more merit in fornication and that it produces a child than someone at my age (over 40) who has remained a virgin.

    Depending on the church, though, I should add. There are some denominations or particular churches who will vilify single mothers, or divorced people.

    But there are many other expressions of the faith which grudgingly accept single mothers, for they at least pro-created, but if you’re an adult, especially a woman who never had sex and hence no children, you are treated like you failed at the One Thing God designed you for.

    Anyway, Brian, I’m sorry you’ve been insulted or marginalized by lots of churches or Christians, and at that, for being a single/ childless guy, I have been there, too, and churches even today have a big blind spot about this issue.

    You’re in good company, though. I wish churches would wake up to this reality and readjust (and not shame adults who are single, and yell at them to marry):
    Unprecedented: Singles outnumber marrieds in U.S. from 2014

    Record Share of Americans Have Never Married also from 2014

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  81. Daisy, We are not to gloss over any sin. I have learned that I can’t get someone to look at their sin as such by beating them over the head with it. Speaking of God’s love first and going deeper into the sin later seems to work much better. I have extended relatives who stand on street corners, yell at people and tell them they are going to hell. I don’t see that ever brought anyone to the truth. Jesus was caring and kind, as I want to be. I, of course, fall short and sometimes my mouth and writing get the best of me.

    Families should lift each other up. It is unfortunate when they don’t. Especially, when one does all the giving and the remainder are the takers. No one’s family is perfect, but you are probably correct. Your mother is probably not happy about your situation. She raised you, I’m sure she raised the others the same way. I have 3 children. I tried to raise them the same, yet they are very different in ways that I wish they were not. Being there for one another–my oldest daughter would be the one lifting up the others. Giving back from the others-not likely. I am still reminding them that we are all we have, but I am afraid it falls on deaf ears.

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  82. Daisy,

    You seem to be attributing arguments and sayings to me that I didn’t actually say, nor do I think you’re a bigot or intolerant or anything else you’ve been called before.

    My only point was that we needed to leave room for people to see things differently.

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through in church; my wife and I have many similar stories, I assure you.

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  83. Happy weekend, everyone. My parents came up for a visit for the last couple of days and I wasn’t able to finish the post I was working on. We’ll be on for SSB Gathering tomorrow and back to usual posting on Monday.

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  84. I hope you enjoyed having your parents with you. I keep offering to fly my mom up from TX, but she says she doesn’t want to come up to the cold MI even in the summer.

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  85. Daisy, I just read Piper on Bullying Pastors. In his explanation a pastor should be rebuked if he pushes his beliefs down the throats of his congregation without explanation. It is then my understanding that quietly, calmly and with explanation it is then quite acceptable for a pastor to show his beliefs down the throats of his congregation even if they do not have any Biblical basis whatsoever.

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  86. Brenda R….Michigan is the most beautiful place on earth in the summer! Get her to watch all the Pure Michigan youtubes 🙂

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  87. Carmen S.
    Mom lived here for in MI for about 15 years. You are right, MI is beautiful in the summer. If it weren’t for the requirement of cold, I even love the long snowy winter.

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  88. I have been patiently reading the comments here as the conversation progresses and truly respect the humanity of each individual. Our life stories are so very different and yet, we are assured that God knows and sees everything.

    To missdaisyflower,
    Thank-you for sharing your compelling life with us, I love your sharing, and may God truly Bless and Comfort you always. I, for one, will never look on the daisies growing in my garden (many of which are volunteers as they seed themselves quite beautifully) the same. While they grow in a dime a dozen, you, my friend, are a true rarity, a picture of beauty amongst the rag weeds.

    The daisies in those country gardens will from now on, remind me of you and your faith in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. I love what you have shared and will choose not to argue, nor condemn you, for I respect your person. And Jesus does as well, so with that, may I share a wonderful truth with you that is held in high esteem? I have this thought that you know this one well…….

    “Now, Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, therefore being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman from Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”

    “Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

    “The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then, do You get that living water?” “Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

    “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. But the water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    “The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have it well said, ‘I have no husband.’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband, in that you spoke truly.”

    “The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

    “Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither worship on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”

    “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (Who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

    Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

    continued

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  89. “And at this point the disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or “Why are You talking with her?”

    “The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.”

    John 4:6-30

    What profound truth spoken here as the Spirit cuts to the heart of man/woman.

    -Did not Jesus speak to a woman?
    -Did not Jesus speak to a woman of ill repute?
    -Did not Jesus speak to a sinner who directly revealed her sin?
    -Did not Jesus still treat her with respect although she was a filthy, disgusting sinner, so in need of “fixing, so to speak?”
    -Did not Jesus ask her for a drink of water from the well, enlisting her help, when He could have miraculously done so Himself?
    -Did Jesus not tell her of His living water that brings true everlasting life to the soul, not the temporal satisfaction to carnal thirst?
    -Did Jesus not speak of worship as commanded by God, our Father, as an act that takes place neither on a mountain or in a city, but as an act in spirit and truth?
    -Did not the even the disciples question in their own lofty minds, Jesus’ decision in “speaking with a woman, a Samaritan woman no less whose worth was probably less than that of dogs.”
    -And did not that woman make her way into the city to witness of this man, this prophet, this Jesus, with whom could be and was her Messiah?

    I am completely broken and undone here, what a witness to the testimony of God’s redeeming grace, through Jesus, the Christ!

    Oh, to even be a petty little creature of the Diptera order of insects, commonly known as a “fly”, clinging to the walls of this well and listening to this exchange take place between a sinner and our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, would have been a worthy honor. Well, we are not flies, thank goodness, so I, another woman at another country well, will gloriously cling to the truth of God’s Holy Word here and magnify His Holy Name above all Names…………

    Praise Jesus and Oh, what a Savior is He for their is power in His Word.

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  90. @BrendaR:

    I just read Piper on Bullying Pastors. In his explanation a pastor should be rebuked if he pushes his beliefs down the throats of his congregation without explanation. It is then my understanding that quietly, calmly and with explanation it is then quite acceptable for a pastor to show his beliefs down the throats of his congregation even if they do not have any Biblical basis whatsoever.

    So long as his Theology is Perfectly-Parsed and his Hands are all a-Flutter.

    And I have seen that “quiet, calm, with explanation” with various intellectual snobs. Add “POLITE(TM)” and you have a Sociopath. And what happens when you disagree in any way with a control-freak Sociopath, no matter how “quiet, calm, and POLITE(TM)” they might be? As Lewis wrote in the preface to Screwtape Letters, “the shell cracks and the scalding lava of their hatred spills out.”

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  91. @Daisy:

    But for the guys who do in fact “man up” (which I assume he means, be assertive), who challenge him, he balks and throws a fit.

    Because when they “man up”, they become a Threat.
    Again, There Can Be Only One.

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  92. There are a small number of token women “talking heads” for CBMW and similar gender complementarian groups, that is true, but by and large, it’s appears to me that Christian men are the ones who are weirdly obsessed with how manly God or Jesus were or are, how men should and shouldn’t act, what women should do, and who write about gender topics constantly, like limiting what women may do in church and marriage.

    They’re trying to employ the political tactic of drawing in different interest groups by pandering to their supposed issues. Since men are supposedly under-represented in the churches, obviously (isn’t it obvious?) the fix must be to rant and rave about how much of a manly man Jesus was. That’ll bring in the men! Of course, it won’t. Why are men avoiding the churches? The reason is a doctrine that the Protestant priesthood can’t abandon without ceasing to be itself: faith alone. When the New Testament was established the warmongering virtue of proving you’re a real man by brutally killing the infidel was replaced with proving you’re a real man with morality and self-control. But the Protestant popes have taken that away: actions don’t matter. So religion has become “women’s business” because women are content to engage in pursuits that offer no reward for achievement (so the theory goes anyway). Men have to be engaged in competition, right? Well, in reality, nobody wants to waste their time on something that offers no rewards for their ACTION, so ultimately both sexes are kicking Calvianity to the curb…but men do so quicker for some reason.

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  93. HUG,
    I really need to read more Lewis. “the shell cracks and the scalding lava of their hatred spills out.” This would describe the ex-husband.

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  94. david, Faith without works is dead, eh? I totally agree but will take it a step further…Faith IS a commitment to “doing” –because you believe.Lots of people believe wrong things which means they do wrong things. Some mega church pastors come to mind.

    The absolute most devastating twisted doctrinal stance that has brought us more despots in Christendom from Calvin on is the idea that ONLY believing the right thing will save us. Jesus’ taught “repent and believe”. Repenting is changing from inside out. Oh, and it seems Jesus thought we were capable of doing so without God forcing us.

    I like how NT Wright puts it: We are most “human” when we are reflecting God back out into the world. We are less human when we aren’t.

    This is the opposite of what most of Protestantism is teaching which means at some point people tend to see the church as redundant. What is the point?

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  95. Lydia, the Greek word pistis has been typically mistranslated “faith”, “belief”. It’s meaning is “faithfulness”.

    Sounds like a “doing” word, doesn’t it?

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  96. Great point, Carmen. Oh what lies we have believed. That Jesus hung on the Cross and Resurrected so we believers would have an excuse to do evil and live lives of deception and lying. So we could say, oh sinners sin. No big deal, they are only “human”. This is the expectation from believers concerning those who even make a living teaching others about Jesus!

    Here is a clue: The same scripture tells us that demons believe Jesus is/was God in the Flesh. Demons “believe” the “right” doctrine. So there has to be more to it, one would think. But the false dichotomy presented in most of Protestantism today is sinless perfection OR continuous sinning against others. I happen to think “sinless perfection” is a deflection. Scripture actually tells us to be perfect like our heavenly Father. As in “be complete, be mature, fully developed.

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  97. MissDaisy, saw a bunch of comments on your part, and I’m going to try to answer here. Your point that many churches don’t have much for singles is absolutely true. I remember visiting a singles class back when I was in college where they all but put sawdust on the floor, it was such a meat market. Ewww…. And I’ve also actually taken part in singles ministry, and now that I think back on it, it is striking that it was almost completely free-lance. My wife and I are still in touch with a lot of the people there, 15 years later.

    And it is also worth noting that even in most patriarchal or complementarian churches, women are in places of authority. It’s called a “director of ministry” rather than “deacon” or “elder”, of course, but it’s there. My favorite church ever–not perfect but my favorite–was one where the deacons each assumed an active role in one or more ministries. Mine were the legal end of things and the nurseries–more complementary than it ought to be in this age of people abusing children, to put it mildly.

    It was noteworthy how this worked out–men who interact from day to day are completely different than those who just go to meetings and make decisions, to put it mildly. In other churches where the deacons mostly go to meetings, there is a lot more “my way or the highway” and authoritarianism–no matter what the church constitution says about things.

    And regarding nurseries; agreed that not everybody is at their most content holding a baby, and others really ought not be near children. I get that–though I derive great pleasure from the company of children myself.

    But that said, there are a lot of other people in churches who more or less figure that their work is done when they get to a certain age, and they oddly don’t seem to figure out that if they don’t make children welcome, that church building is going to be used for a different purpose after they pass on.

    Same basic principle as you enunciate regarding singles. Apart from a lucky few who marry high school sweethearts and live happily ever after, they’re the future families of the church, aren’t they? Well, maybe it’s time to reach out to them too, isn’t it?

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  98. Lydia said: “david, Faith without works is dead, eh? I totally agree but will take it a step further…Faith IS a commitment to “doing” –because you believe.Lots of people believe wrong things which means they do wrong things. Some mega church pastors come to mind.

    The absolute most devastating twisted doctrinal stance that has brought us more despots in Christendom from Calvin on is the idea that ONLY believing the right thing will save us. Jesus’ taught “repent and believe”. Repenting is changing from inside out. Oh, and it seems Jesus thought we were capable of doing so without God forcing us. ”

    It strikes me anew, thinking of works and faith, and faith without works, that unbelievers of my acquaintance do a heck of a lot more good than most of the people at the self-centered church (actually, family-centered, as in the Bayly teaching “God has brought more people to the faith through families than through evangelism) that we left. They may do their works without faith (at least, bible faith), but they put many believers (self included) to shame.

    Regarding the second paragraph quoted above: A corollary to that would be that if you feel smug or superior to people in other churches (or perhaps pity for believers and unbelievers alike who do not have your advantages), you are quite possibly sitting under the wrong teaching, and may even be involved in a cult.

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  99. Missdaisyflower said: “There are a small number of token women “talking heads” for CBMW and similar gender complementarian groups, that is true, but by and large, it’s appears to me that Christian men are the ones who are weirdly obsessed with how manly God or Jesus were or are, how men should and shouldn’t act, what women should do, and who write about gender topics constantly, like limiting what women may do in church and marriage.”

    You know, I am coming more and more to view these women as… the term escapes me, but it’s the animal that is trained to lead the other animals of its kind to the slaughterhouse. It doesn’t get slaughtered, itself, it simply reassures the others by “knowing” the path, and leads them to their doom.

    There were Jews who had this job in the concentration camps in the 1940s, come to think of it.

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  100. @refugee:

    You know, I am coming more and more to view these women as… the term escapes me, but it’s the animal that is trained to lead the other animals of its kind to the slaughterhouse. It doesn’t get slaughtered, itself, it simply reassures the others by “knowing” the path, and leads them to their doom.

    JUDAS GOAT.
    Or BLACK SHEEP, as they had to be visually distinct from those they were leading to slaughter.

    And “a small number of fill-in-the-blank talking heads” was a common shtick of dictatorships of the past century, spinning how “we’re not really like that, look how tolerant we really are.”

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  101. (Black sheep? How interesting! I’d heard of “black sheep” as referred to a troublesome child in a family, but not this usage. Makes sense, though. Wouldn’t want to accidentally slaughter the trained traitor.

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  102. Wonder how many people hated God or gave up on God and went on their journey of self destruction, death (suicide), cursing God (like Job’s wife told him to do), their total wilderness journey. Or, going to hell over their pastor and or church? Heard many a story*.

    Mandy: What if we ALL had a life plan and did our jobs first, work ethic to pay our bills and provide time/money for ourselves/family rather than waking up when in late 30’s/40’s realizing you paid for pastor’s lifestyle and fulfilling his philanthropic dreams, God nor homeless/poor etc., didn’t get any money (felt lived my life through and for someone else). Ann/Marsha: I could have been a Nun for all my time/works in and for the church, as MAD as I am at myself and grieved for ever being raised in the church and feel like it was ALL a waste! GOD DOES NOT WASTE A THING or circumstance.

    A. Amos Love 8:30/8:54/9:46am Post is so true and Paul’s also.

    Brian: “I just got tired of hating myself so much because I fully understand that God loathes me with divine rage from the foundation of the universe”. I felt like God was beating me up with a bat in heaven for years. This is why people are exiting, yoked out with pastor’s evil agenda, getting neglected and ignored. One of the main reasons why started exposing injustices in church, evil hirelings took money and did NOT HEAL up the people. A lot of adults have been exiting, especially when in this recession in losing jobs/houses they found out they tithed for years and when they needed help, they got shamed, ignored, ostracized, run out ABSOLUTELY NO HELP! Charisma had the audacity to publish an article by a every legalistic pastor in Sacramento area that was bashing church exiters. Graham Cooke ” The Life of Joseph” message really helped me understand the why of it all especially the abuse.

    In reading Ann’s/Marsha program schedules of church; had realization that their was dead programs going every night of the week to where didn’t have time for self. I woke up and felt like was kept poor, broke and stupid NO life plan and couldn’t afford life. Not to find out being in a church OVER 25 years and when needing help, rides to church, follow-up after surgery etc you find the pastor(s) just don’t care or have servanthood program in place for such dire needs but you were great as long as you brought in tithe and built their kingdom. I was at a conference 4-16-1998 and the main speaker (JillAustin) was the first woman I’d ever heard of addressing woman in church being abused, wow. Then was in a church where intercession couple stood up and the wife rebuked the entire church of husbands abusing their wives. Many years took abuse stories public, finally the former editor of charisma investigated and starting writing about (TX abuse hotline, #1 caller was pastors wives). Marsha would take your 9:29am lament expose that pastor to Rick Ross Institute, J.Lee Grady, Trinity Foundation in Dallas, TX, Christianity Today, H.B. London Jr@Focus on the Family. *How IHOP Made Me Hate God/Carp the Hell Out of the Diem by Caris Adel was grievous read with my two cents on comments. Robin Mark Revival in Belfast great worship tape to get over church abuse. Tks. To all.

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  103. Dear WOW,

    Wow, Shocked and grieved to tears here over your post. May I lift you up in prayer to the One who loves you the most? Not because of my self righteousness, but because of our LORD’S righteousness made perfect through us. Your words are piercingly true.

    Psalm 4:1-3…..Hear me when I call, O GOD of my righteousness!
    You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
    How long, O you sons of men.
    Will you turn my glory to shame?
    How long will you love worthlessness
    And seek falsehood?
    But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
    The LORD will hear when I call to Him.

    There are times when the persons from the institutional church system, 501c. 3, will not be there for you in times of trials and tribulations for God knows the minds and hearts of every man/woman. Facades may, and often do, fool other people/fools, but God knows the soul of His sheep as well as the soul of every goat. Please be encouraged this day in your strong faith in Jesus Christ, for He calling out a people unto Himself. And often, as in my case, you may find that those souls who do not belong to organized religion, and yet are faithful followers of Jesus and love Him with all their heart, mind and soul, will be the ones to witness and offer assistance to you. After my surgery, it wasn’t the churched that sent cards with Scripture verses, or brought meals over, offered prayers, and visited about what we were learning from God’s Word, or called to inquire how I was feeling/doing…..it was God’s ekklesia, or His called out ones that ministered to my tired, achy being.

    I grew up Lutheran, and in all of my years attending a Lutheran church, I have not heard one intercessory prayer offered up to the Father, on behalf of anyone in those congregations, in the name of Jesus Christ. These religious systems (the ones I attended faithfully as a paying member) NEVER prayed for one another………perhaps when Jesus said “You brood of vipers,” He meant this for all time. So WOW, please know that you are the temple of God, the Holy Spirit and a “living stone” as Jesus calls us. And as the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you, allow Him to lead you as you minister to those of us here as well as those outside of your home. You are a living, breathing church wherever you go and I, for one, am so thankful you are a part of this ministry here. Praise God.

    There are times when we are led to give money to those who are struggling paying bills of any kind rather than giving it to a church who wants to have a fancy new church sign (just an example here.)

    Church signs don’t go to heaven or hell, people do….so why not invest in a soul?

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  104. LydiaOO: TOO FUNNY, “taking your teen to church today, could be a form of bad parenting”, SO TRUE. I’m only read up to Nov. 7th.

    Kelly, 11/6. @ 10:14 so true and so many dead churches like that. So much New Age propaganda and dead rhetoric that comes out of these churches, ALL man made. Like reading psychology section of the newspaper when people were waiting for the Word=Bible. Majority of people DO NOT KNOW WHAT a true church looks like. Elderly Man called my former AOG/Ag cult, “A f_cking Country Club that carries a Bible” and tithe is your membership. Austin Miles would expose in book “Don’t Call Me Brother” I consider them no different from Mormonism (your getting their god, their jesus, their unholy spirit). Plus they find these golden-haired boys to promote and to be the end be all evangelist to suck out your brains, time, money; and to be the next generation of used car salesman selling their dead religion. We don’t think to look at who started these organizations, foundations as well as very unhealed pastor himself, his childhood to become a little dictator/Napoleon complex type. Dick Suthpen “Christian Brainwashing”, an excellent article.

    One of the things that woke me up is the pastor standing up and asking for a million dollars month to keep building going and expenses, for what? Building that stayed empty most of the week and when wanted program to help feed/cloth the poor and showers, we were told they “didn’t want those types of people in the church”, Jesus does.
    Not to mention time he spent BEGGING for money each week, that was a major clue to exit. So much manipulation and control=witchcraft to coerce $ out of the people (as much as have issues with Rick Joyner, he wrote an excellent article “Overcoming Witchcraft”.

    A. Amos Love/PaulsPassingThoughts: can you give some insight to this: I’ve been saying this for Decades, that the church has become a tool in the hand of satan to destroy the family. Come out of a Matriarchal run church that the women goo goo gah gah’d over the pastor and put him on a pedestal and dethroned their husbands off that seat in their heart; what I would call committing spiritual Mast_rbation and Spiritual Adultery being discontent with their lives, home and children*. Living their life through his bragging, charisma, exploits in travel etc. Very sad for husband who was father and provider also; Men many men who told me either themselves or their friends wives would give money to Hinn, Crouches, robbing their families of items to keep Charleton’s in their lavish lifestyle while they worked two jobs. Know married woman, NONE of the plumbing worked in the house, but she was giving all her money to Hinn and invited to his special dinners. Funny thing was, she had extra invites so called major news reporter to come along, I totally wrote up the sham/scam (now I know why Hinn has so much security mafia to throw out/remove reporters). Read John Bloom article on Hinn posted on Trinity Foundation Dallas, Tx or order David Wegner’s DVD when he talks about false prophet (shocking); you ought to see that and Dateline’s expose’s on what own, worth, LAVISH lifestyle. Single parent whose child confronted you can give money to the church but you can’t buy me a coat or backpack for school? Wow. Why are so many women like this in the church abandoning their family and for years? Worse, Jeff Crippen this pastor put men in leadership positions that abuse their wives like Sunday School Teachers etc.; we don’t realize that sin is over and effects everyone. Was at City Faire Day and when people out went to that church as they had booth, general public told me they called it “the church from hell”, main sanctuary looks like hell, black, dark grey, red in color, removed all outside lighting like theater, expect flames to be shooting up from the floor anytime (was caregiving, took client to the church 24 years after leaving). Even the children’s church was in Black. Can you imagine taking your child to a room like something out of the hell scene in “legend”? No thanks.

    DETC/MissDaisyFlower: So, so many people are not finding community; let me reiterate and NO HELP when needed, so definitely exiting. What’s great is you can have your grievance blogged or posted, like in Rick Ross Institute, Trinity Foundation, Dallas, Tx, have Charisma/Christianity Today investigate. You know your in a cult when the pastor tells you who to date and who to marry and telling couples to unengage and marry other people, pretty sick stuff out there. Or, the 17 year old that went down to accept Jesus and they wouldn’t let him because he didn’t have shoes on (barefoot teen). H. A. Lewis talks about how a pastor wouldn’t let him except Jesus in his book “Unholy Anointing” book. Really grievous what’s out there in the guise of church/Christianity/pastor! This Blog is community, yeah!

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  105. I can’t even find a Christian person to go to a Christian concert with me. How is that for community. I have asked everyone I know and barely know. It is discouraging.

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  106. have you been to a church?!!
    young women everywhere.
    young men disdain church, pastors use it as a way to control men into eternal servitude to women ( supposedly under sacrificial love) young women attend to get a husband they can control and pastors ( generally male) get more money and praise and attendance from women cause the pastor always attacks men ( Chandler etc)
    open your eyes, the christian Patriarchy you talk about- and rightly so!! is the minority.
    most churches have a disdain for men or men who think they have a unique role or something different about being male.
    reject men- off to the video games!

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  107. Jonathan Bee,
    I don’t know what churches you are talking about, but I think you have this whole thing upside down.

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  108. All the churches I go to young men outnumber young women by like 3 to 1. But these are not faith alonist woosy pansy Christianity churches. These are churches where obedience is emphasizes and OSAS is seen as Satan worship.

    What women look for in religion is tolerance of promiscuity; what men look for is traditional morality and Law, rules. Yes, men who are evil will accept a religion that teaches faith alone, but they won’t attend church, they’ll only use it as an excuse not to. Men will attend a church that teaches morality, but women are less likely to. So its a trade off. The more emphasis on pansy subjects like grace, forgiveness, love, the less men. The more emphasis on obedience, the less women. You have to find the happy medium.

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  109. Not all women, of course. But the younger ones, absolutely. If a church has any standards on slutty dressing, expect it to have few young women there. If it has any standards on sleeping around, expect it to have basically none.

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  110. “Or, the 17 year old that went down to accept Jesus and they wouldn’t let him because he didn’t have shoes on (barefoot teen).”

    Why do you need a pastor to accept Jesus? I’m sure we’re talking about a Baptist church here so its not like this kid was seeking to be baptized. He was undoubtedly brainwashed against it, and the pastor wouldn’t baptize ANYONE is a million years. So why’d the kid not just say the sinner’s prayer at home and be done with it? Or if he did want to be baptized, why didn’t he have the sense to ask some random person on the street to perform the baptism rather than a antibaptism Baptist pastor?

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  111. If women don’t want churches to uphold promiscuity, then why do they? Why do they teach faith alone and OSAS? Are you telling me those non-attending men want this taught? Well they don’t attend, so why does anyone listen to them? It has to be that those little sluts keeping the church going want this. They go get their abortion pills right after leaving church and then head to the club, right? If not, how could they stomach a religion that teaches faith alone and OSAS, which amounts to “be a slut and you can still be saved!”??? If they weren’t sluts, they’d either beat the pastor for teaching this false doctrine, or vote with their feet by ceasing to attend. (Of course, I’m exaggerating, but its to make a point.) And that point is: STOP SUPPORTING FALSE DOCTRINE BY ATTENDANCE. Any woman attending a Baptist church I will assume is a gigantic whore because she’s sitting there listening to the doctrine of whoredom that makes whore and justifies whores in their whoredom, and justifies man-whore too, and the pastors of those churches we know are man-whores and abusers of women, because they practice what they preach which is faith alone and OSAS, or in other words, immoralism.

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  112. davidbrainerd2,
    Have you been hurt by some one from a Baptist church. I go to what is a Baptist church with the word Baptist taken out mostly because of the bad press around Baptist churches these days and they were independent so what difference does it make. There are lots of young women and young men attending. I can think of at least 3 churches in my area first hand that either have Baptist in their name or not that have both young women and men attending. In the church I attend, we have more women than men going on to the mission field not to whoredom.

    I do believe in Once Saved Always Saved, perhaps the young women you knew were not saved at all. Promiscuity should be dealt with within the church and not turned a blind eye towards, but to the that all Baptist churches are whores is pushing it a bit IMO. Do you not know how powerful the blood that Jesus shed on the cross and his death and resurrection are? If belief in what He accomplished on the cross is strong enough to save me, it is strong enough to keep me that way.

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  113. :awrence, They’re panzy subjects when they’re by themselves and all the emphasis is on them. Certainly they’re not the gospel by themselves. There’s this little thing called repentance that is always preached by the apostles, and no contrary to Baptist heresy it is not “repent of not believing in Jesus and believing in Jesus” but repent of sins. For example, when Peter preached in Acts 2:38 the guys crying out “men and brethren what shall we do” obviously already beleived or they wouldn’t have been asking that with such urgency. So when Peter said “Repent and be baptized” it wasn’t “repent of not believing in Jesus” since they had obviously already done that.

    Brenda, its not that anyone in the Baptist church has hurt me personally, but Baptists have destroyed society. They’re would be no Planned Parenthood molech temple without Baptist OSAS. Nor would there be half the filth that exists now. The Baptist religion is just “say Jesus, then go to the bar get drunk and sleep around.” There’s no gospel to it, because it rejects repentance entirely. A divine whipping boy who took your whooping so that you won’t even have to repent is NOT the gospel. Jesus didn’t die so we can live like the devil and still be saved. Jesus died to wash away our sins, but also to lead us to repentance. He died as Mary was told by the angel “to save his people FROM their sins” not to save them IN their sins. The Baptist cult reverses that completely.

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  114. davidbrainerd2,
    I have NO idea where you met these Baptist’s, but none of what you have said has been my experience at all. OSAS does not mean a free pass to continue in sin. It means freedom from sin and a new path in Christ.

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  115. Brenda, Don’t give me pee in a cup and call it lemonade. Forgiveness of sins is a new path in Christ. OSAS is continue in sin and laugh at a weak pathetic god who can’t touch you anymore no matter what you do. You don’t need OSAS to have a way forward in living the Christian life. Every decent Christian that ever lived believed they could lose their salvation if they persisted in grave sin, as many passages warn you can; only hell-bound sinners diehard for continuing in grave sins believe in OSAS, or the extremely brainwashed who refuse to turn their brains back on, which ultimately just ends up the same when you get right down to it.

    (I’ve actually never used that expression before, but there’s no place more fitting for it than here.)

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  116. david,
    I know Christians that believe they can loose their salvation that have never witnessed to another living soul. I fear God because I love God, not because of what he can do to me. Which he can do anything he wants. If diehard sinners, perish it is because they never accepted Jesus Christ and were never filled with the Holy Spirit. I think your “expression” is vulgar.

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  117. “I know Christians that believe they can loose their salvation that have never witnessed to another living soul.”

    If this is the case it is because without fail all non-Christians and atheists espouse the Baptist position. It does become very annoying that when you try to share your faith with an atheist they begin to argue in favor of faith alone and OSAS. All non-Christians are functionally Baptists. I guess this is why I really can’t stand you Baptists. You’ve spread your false doctrine to the world as a protective blanket to protect them against the gospel lest they believe it and be saved. God will surely reward you according to your works, which are evil.

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  118. Jeff Crippen and Hi Julie Anne: Jeff, can you PLEASE address Pastor’s, Wolves, False Shepherd’s, Hirelings what the Podium/platform/pulpit is to be used for along with the so-called church. Went to a funeral of church left in the late 80’s of one of the most evil, narcissistic pastor’s ever met who forgot God’s Love, Grace, Mercy, Compassion and it was about Gospel message/Bible, Soul’s, Salvation (yes, God is Holy and Just etc when you have an agenda to destroy people who offended you and make EVERYONE pay, SO SAD). He was building his kingdom/dynasty when Board and people wanted him held accountable and boy did it get ugly at the time. 26 years later, the man looked like the walking DEAD, totally spiritually constipated, no life, no joy (hasn’t learned forgiveness he who used to say “he knew the Bible better than anyone else”; but NEVER lived, he also used to say/curse people when exiting with wrong words, like “you will never find another church like this one” etc.

    Funeral is someone’s loved one; he tried to give the Gospel Message (half-hearted attempt and it came over as Guilt, Condemnation, Criticism, so yucky). When it could have been a total “Life Celebration”. Funny thing about it, saw who were the faithful minions worshipped this guy, sad thing is I know a lot of their grown children moved away, don’t have a great relationship with parents and had really no life plan because we had lived our lives/time around church. A root of bitterness springs up and defiles many and for years. Please write an article on that one. Thank You!

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  119. Pingback: The false choice between good and glitz – Thefergusong

  120. Brenda R. I would have gone with you to a concert! Went to a Concert in Michigan to hear Robin Mark “Revival In Belfast, Come Heal Our Land” etc., in Michigan @ Mackinaw Island at Winsome Women Conference=great (approx. 3,000 women and the food=fabulous)! It was either that or Canada (too hard to Travel to Ireland)! Island should be on everybody’s Bucket List, no cars only Horse/Buggy’s and Bikes=wow and interesting History! Learned about Island from Movie: “Somewhere In Time”

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