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Old 07-11-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
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Default What's Wrong With Churches?

Over the years on 3FC I have heard many reasons why some of us don't go to church.

As most of you know...I do...and love my church....

I read an article tonight in our local paper about a church that I have gone to for Christmas and Easter presentations ...a very large one...over 10,000 members. Anyway, for those of you that know of Crystal Cathedral, know that they had had some "issues" recently.

I believe that most churches do have "issues" from time to time...no matter the size or religion....

I could tell you several of things right with my church....

But what I want to know is what do you think is "wrong" with churches?

And even better..."why" don't you go?

or "why" you do go....
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:16 AM   #2
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I am so sorry to hear that the Crystal Cathedral is going down a rough road. I am one that does not go to church. I have been judged because I don't. I get up and listen to church on TV, love Joel Olsten preaching, because most the time he gives me a message I need to hear.
One reason I want my husband to go with me if I ever find one, suppose to go to a Cowboy church the end of this month at the rodeo grounds in Marble falls with a friend of mine. Listen to them on tv and my husband listens to that church too. They say in plain words that a simple person like me can understand and take to heart. You have been blessed to find a church you love Gary I have not yet. But I have been baptized in the eyes of our Lord in the Church Of Christ. That does not mean I am a Church Of Christ though, it means I love Jesus and I wanted to be baptized with in his faith in his eyes and that he knows I love and believe in him. Jesus is the only reason I was baptized not to belong to a church.

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Old 07-11-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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I go to St. Xavier's Sunday mornings, it's lovely, and peaceful, and the services make me feel more connected to my community, the homilies are often thoughtful, funny, pertinent.

it also let's me reconnect to my spiritual feelings, that the week's craziness can pull me away from.

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Old 07-11-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Well Gary, since you asked...

I grew up in a small town here in GA, raised Southern Baptist with a Primitive Baptist preacher for a grandfather. I have never been comfortable with churches. Too many people, not enough true practice of faith. I admit to being an atheist, but I have nothing but respect for people who truly believe for their own valid reasons and live that faith. You can't live that faith when you are more worried about what kind of shoes another person has on than the sermon. You can't live that faith when you throw out a member who brings his foster child, a 6 year old African American child who had been in foster care for three years before this white family took him in, and remind said member 'our church bylaws (from 1845) say none of those black people can come in the doors'. You can't live that faith when you vote out every preacher who tells you that coming to church on Sundays doesn't make up for the terrible things you do during the week. You can't live that faith when you brainwash small children to a belief system before they are old enough to understand and make their own valid choices of their faith.

There is no room for politics in a church, in my opinion. Churches that preach politics aren't churches and should lose the tax exempt protections that they have.

Churches shouldn't exist just to further a person's place in society. I remember watching people at the big First Baptist Church in my hometown spend years trying to work their way up from the back pews to the front, because the front pews were the doctors and the lawyers and the city councilmen.

Churches shouldn't be about hatred or racism or bigotry or discrimination.

Churches should be about learning about your chosen faith. Asking questions should be encouraged, not criticized. That is an opportunity to share your message, take it.

I don't go now because I don't believe. When I was younger and still questioning I stopped going as soon as I was old enough to get a part time job and work on Sunday. I hated the hypocrisy and the judging and the ugliness hidden behind a pretty shine. And I went to several different churches of different denominations, so I didn't just get a bad one. My parents are still having troubles at their church to this day, they aren't going to church right now either. Which I actually find sad, because they do believe and find comfort in church and the same drama has caused them to stop something that they enjoy.

Okay, end rant.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #5
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Well, right now, we mostly go to my husband's Catholic Church (he goes more than me for health reason's), even though I am Protestant in my beliefs, but we try to focus on what we have in common rather than dispute what we don't agree on. Some of DH's friend try to debate me about their doctrines, but I won't go there becuz I think that is futile.

I am a thinker and a true believer, in that I read the bible myself, and I study Christian literature regularly; and I have even studied other religions to understand their beliefs as well. On occasion, DH & I will go to a Protestant church of my choosing just for something different esp for me, which is only fair, I think.

I have had many good experiences but also some notsogood ones, like others have stated already; and there were some periods in my life where I didn't go to church for awhile, becuz I couldn't find one where I felt accepted and comfortable.

Most of all, I try not let my belief in GOD & JESUS be affected by the faults of church members or leaders who are flawed human beings, but I do know what others mean when they say that they have witnessed or experienced things that really turned them off; I think many of us have sometime in our lives ...

I can understand why SHANNON feels the way she does about the things she saw or heard in the churches she went to; but I think it's a shame to see someone lose their faith for those kinds of reasons, becuz in a sense they are cheated of the benefits of Faith becuz of someone else's misguided ideas and behavior.

BOOTSIE ~ some may not like that I say this, but I don't think we should go to a church if we don't feel good about it. I have been to churches where our family was berated by a minister (when we were children), so we left and didn't go to church for years. Thankfully, most of us still believe, or have returned to our beliefs.

I have even been berated in 2 churches about my weight -- I walked out the door and didn't go back. If they care, then they should pray for me, not criticize me in public -- that is cruel discrimination, which is not GODLY or Christian. So I go home and pray for those ministers that GOD will open their hearts and eyes to GOD's Love.

Today, I am looking for a church that exemplifies GOD's Word and HIS Love by their words and examples. I know that no-one is perfect, and so we pick based on what we feel is best for us. Right now, that is my DH's church; and I watch THE HOUR OF POWER (Crystal Cathedral) for myself which I can do at home even when I don't feel well enuff to go out. They also send their positive and uplifting sermons and devotionals to my email so I can catch up when I want to.

As a matter of fact, I watch and read as many ministers as I can find; and I do 2 or 3 devotionals each day, and sometimes more. I try to spend at least an hour a day in prayer and praise for others, as well as reading the the bible each day. I am the type that needs to be challenged in my thoughts and spirit, as well as finding peace and serenity and belonging -- that is the kind of church I would like to go to ...

Sorry, if I went on too long ...
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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We attend a United Methodist Church (I grew up UCC and DH grew up Baptist). We LOVE our church family.

Why do we attend?

Faith is meant to be lived out in community. While I certainly am able to be a Christian without attending church, being part of a church family is important. We do truly love each other and surround each other with prayers and support.

We have a wonderful church family. Each and every one of us has our issues. Not one of us is perfect. I struggle with folk that say they don't attend because they don't like how Christians behave. Being a Christian doesn't make us magically perfect. We still struggle with temptations and behave in ways that are not always Christ-like. We are all GROWING in our faith, and it is a journey - much like our weight loss journey is.

Our congregation is a very AWESOME group of folk. We have so many members that have come to us after trying out other churches. They felt like outsiders because they were "different" than the majority of the members.

We have people from all walks of life, all age groups, all income levels, etc. We are a diverse group, but together, we can do so much more than we can separately!

Like being at 3FC is a blessing because traveling this weight loss journey alone would be much more difficult, being a part of my church family gives me support and love and an opportunity to grow and share with others.

Our church vison statement pretty much sums it up, "Growing In God’s Grace, Sharing Christ’s Love - Together."
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Mediocrity and conformity, mostly. Church was mostly pulling me down instead of pushing me up.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your responses

It isn't a secret around here that I really love my church. Each week, as we finish the closing hymn, I take a few seconds to look up at the crucifix we have (a beautiful sculpture made by former San Diego Charger, Ed White) and the stained glass windows....I thank God for the opportunity to come worship Him here and ask that He bring me back the following week.

I know that not everyone desires the same thing.

What bothers me sometimes though is things that people say that simply are not true.

My cousin, who just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary a few days ago (yours truly me was his ring bearer 50 years ago! at the age of 5) has some interesting views on church., and he has passed these down to his children...who are in their 40's and not little kids.

Anyway, one thing he says is ...."All churches want is your money"....no matter how many times I tell him that my church has NEVER asked me for money...ever. I will admit we have one stewardship service each year explaining God's Word on tithing...10% in the Old Testament...from your Heart in the New Testament. We also ask for "anonymous" pledges from time to time so we can budget. He also feels Pastors should work for free...yet he feels he should be paid for his work...go figure

Now, I have been around long enough to know that $$$ is an issue at many churches.

One of his sons claims to be a Catholic, went to a Catholic church with his ex-wife for about a year.....over 10 years ago.....never been back....yet he claims to be a Catholic and his dad says things like...."well it's because he is a Catholic"....huh?...As far as I can remember....and I changed his diapers!...he has never mentioned church around me.

The other son said this to me a few years ago the day after Christmas..."I wonder how many atheists celebrated yesterday"....huh?....This man....as far as I know...and he is my cousin...has never sat foot in a church or opened the Bible...yet it is fine for him to celebrate Christmas and not an atheist?...huh...

I will be back to chat....another day
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:07 PM   #9
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Julie, that quite possibly is the best reason I've heard yet to quit attending church/es. I couldn't agree with you more.

For what it's worth the Bible does state that where "two or more" are gathered in His name, there is a church.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thighs Be Gone View Post

For what it's worth the Bible does state that where "two or more" are gathered in His name, there is a church.
"For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them." Matthew 18:20

Isn't that wonderful! No matter how big a church or small...no matter in a building or home, a fox hole, a barrack, hospital, nursing home... on a street corner...He is with us...always...if we are in His Word!

Awesome stuff...awesome
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:02 AM   #11
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Gary yes I have heard views that way too. I don't have anyone ,it is only me but I have always been a loner unless you count my animals beside me,praising Jesus and talking to him. The place I feel the closest to him is under the great stars our Father created. I just feel sometimes I could reach up and touch him.
He is so awesome!
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:33 PM   #12
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BOOTSIE ~ I have heard about those COWBOY Churches...sounds like a great idea to me! I have been blessed to have my church....that is why I try to encourage others to find one they feel at home in. My Pastor has never said anything from the pulpit that I did not understand...and as you said "we" are simple people....although I may not understand preaching at the Cowboy Church...with that Texas twang and all When we baptise folks at our church they are baptised in the name of Christ...not our religion...we belong to Him...not our church or religion

DRAGONWOMAN ~ What a beautiful place to worship! How close is it to Wagner University?...do you know?

SHANNON ~ How horrible! I remember when I first started going to my church, about 27 years ago...I was about 28 so fairly young. I was at a social event for our church, our Pastor (still the same one today) came by my table to sit for a bit with my ex-wife and I....while we were chatting an older women...I'll say around 60 or so came up to introduce herself...very nice. As the conversation went on she made mention of the "shoes" the boys were wearing when they did their acolyte duties....evidently some where wearing tennis shoes Now my Pastor calmed her down and explained to her in his awesome way..."it isn't about the shoes" .

I will tell you our religion, by tradition is "white" I will also tell you that my congregation has all races and colors as far as I can tell...many a mixed race too...Thank-You God!

I can tell you that my church, as far as I can tell from talking "politics" around coffee in the patio area, is Republican. I can also swear that I have never ever heard anything political coming from our pulpit. We always pray for our leaders, as Christ instructed us to. I will admit that our Pastor is not afraid to tell a joke about a red or blue politician either...or the San Diego Chargers/Padres....and of course being a Minnesota Vikings fan he is always ragging on the Packers!...and the Vikings

I cracked up at the "seating"...we traditionally sit at the back I sit far left, 8th row back from the front...5 rows behind me...always have. We are near the cry room...in case someone needs to run out with a crying baby (now this does not mean that we don't have commotion going on with the little kids either) I enjoy the kids...I hand out baseball cards to them and they love it! I sat there when mine were babies and grew to adults...I am not leaving my pew!...my pew!!...all mine...

If you have any questions I would NOT criticize you for asking...I promise!

ROSEBUD ~ I find it apalling that you have been criticed for your weight at church...or anywhere! We go way back so I know where you are I love what you say about not letting your love for Christ be broken by flawed human beings!

SCOOTER ~ Ditto your post!

JULIE ~ I am sorry your church experience was pulling you down...it shouldn't be that way. That is not God's way.

Thigs Be Gone ~ Thank you for the reminder that church can be anywhere that God and the Word is present.

Thanks for your input ~ Gary
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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I watched Hour of Power for many years and was a big fan. I did get much encouragement and blessings from it ........but I noticed as years passed a lack of humility and found the emphasis had changed as to where the real power is.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:58 PM   #14
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Bargoo you are so right!
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:38 PM   #15
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BARGOO & BOOSTIE ~ yes, I agree with both of you about the CC Ministries, as I started to notice some odd things a few years ago myself (a blip here and there); and from what I have read, the board noticed it too and asked the founding minister to come back out of retirement for the next two years to work along with a mix of guest pastors and teachers to restore and improve that ministry during these hard times. I am enjoying the sermons and devotionals much more these days too.

No matter what church or Christian ministry you are, we always have to be very diligent that we do not stray from our original mission -- and that is to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Father GOD in heaven, who loves and cares about us all.

GARY ~ thanks for your kind supporting words. You are indeed blessed to have found such a wonderful place of worship. Part of our problem is that we live in a small town in an isolated area; if we lived further south, we would have many more churches to choose from. Christians who read the bible know that ministers are supposed to be paid for this work, although some Amish pastors do hold down jobs and share preaching and teaching with a large group of volunteers (as many as 12 in some churches) and they hold services in different homes (we attended one when we were kids a few times). I am hearing of small groups that are now meeting in homes, and some churches are even renting space to these groups on Saturdays and off times too, and that works out well for all involved.
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