Why I Stopped Going to Church

faith

I hate going to church. I’m not saying this as someone who went for a couple of weeks and then decided to stop going. I’m saying this as someone who has been attending church for pretty much all my life, every Sunday — for more than 20 years.

What I am about to say may not jive with the Bible, but it is honestly what I feel and have experienced.

Why Go to Church?

Going to church is a waste of time.

What happens in church? You go in a large room full of people. They are usually standing and singing some songs. Near the end of worship, people pass around the offering plate. After an hour of singing (and possibly dancing), the pastor prays. Then every sits down and listen to the pastor speak for another hour or so. After the message, some people leave. Some people linger and chill with their friends. And sometimes, there would be food. Then repeat in a week.

Is that what church is supposed to be? Singing songs and listening to some guy drone on for an hour? Would God be pleased with rituals and routine? What if I spend my time a bit more productively and helped out poor people instead?

I understand the Bible’s reason for going to church. I am there to encourage others to grow in Christ. Other can encourage me to become more mature in my faith. And since all Christians make up the body of Christ, we are supposed to be together and be there for each other.

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:14-27

Theory and Reality Are Totally Different

It sounds good and all … in theory. But in practice, it is not true. I’ve been to many, many churches and have even committed to a few of them for quite some years. Besides my bond to a few close bros, ones that I have grown up with since childhood, I have never felt like part of a “body.” The majority of my relationships were superficial. I felt like I was in a social group — a Christian social group. We eat out, go over some dude’s place, watch TV, play games, and do what normal people do when they get together.

But I never felt like church was my second home. It was a nice hangout place, but after more than 20 years of it, I grow tired of it.

One of my closest friends is a non-Christian. Her dad goes to church, and has been going for awhile. Her grandpa went to church for ages. A year ago, her grandpa died. You would expect that a bunch of people would come over and pay their respect during his funeral, especially if they were all part of one body. You can guess what happened … Hardly anyone showed to give their condolences, save for one old lady bringing flowers. This is the church.

Four or five years ago, I befriended a Taiwanese couple: a doctor and his wife. This doctor has a Taiwanese medical license and wanted to get an American medical license. They joined one of the churches I have been attending at the time. They fit right in and made lots of friends. But the doctor’s plan did not work out and had to move back to Taiwan. Before they left, I got to meet with them one last time. The wife told me how she had so many “friends” in church. But when she needed help moving, all her “friends” scattered. This is the church.

My personal experience mirrors their first two stories. As you already know, I’ve been going to church for a looooooooong time. I’ve even helped out as much as I can, because I though it would please God. Even with my faithful attendance and even with my selfless services, the church was only an “acquaintance.” When I show up, we could have some lighthearted fun. If I do not show up, if I’m going through some difficulties, it will not be there for me. This is the church.

The Church Is No Better Than the World

I’m still a Christian. I know I’m a sinner. I believe in Jesus as my savior, who died on the cross for me. (Later on, I’ll reveal why faith is important if you have power.)

But based on my experience, I do not believe those in church are my homies. That’s fine. But don’t expect me to waste my precious time for strangers and casual acquaintances. Been there, done that.

My beef is when people throw cherry-picked Bible verses at my face and say that if I am a Christian, then I must go. But I say, “No!” Those who has no loyalty to me will not have access to my time nor my money.

Actions speak louder than words. And through the church’s actions, I’ve realized that it is no different than the rest of the world.

I’m checking out. Peace.

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Comments

  1. Alex! Fantastic Post!
    I agree with this post 100% percent! Being a Catholic since childhood i was made to go to church every Sunday went through all of the rituals that we were supposed to do so that we could bring honor to God. Unfortunately just like you i began to notice many unusual things here and there. So if you do not mind I’m going to write about my experiences with the Catholic church.

    Now do not get me wrong i do believe in God whole heartedly! I talk to him/her every night and thank him for watching over me, my family and everyone else i know in my life. I believe you do not have to go to church every Sunday to be good with God. Church is not the only way to give praise! Doing good in your life and helping others are other ways of praising God

    Keep Rising Brother!

  2. I can relate to most of what you wrote. I stopped going to church because churches are corrupted by feminism, emasculation, etc.

    In contrast with going to a church building or a typical house church I entertain the idea that some day I might have some kind of hang out, Sunday lunch, shooting range, whatever, with a few red pill Christians nearby or something like that.

    • Hey Humphrey,

      Lots of guys feel exactly the same way as us.

      Shooting range sounds cool. I know that in the church I grew up in, lots of the guys would play sports afterwards.

  3. Anyways, going to chruch is great “tradition” for keeping families together and its good for raising a kid.
    But I am saying this in a “Catholic” point of view.
    Now whether you are a Christian or a jew or a Muslim- you are indeed supposed to be listening to “Noah’s God”.
    Now the Noahide God’s purpose was to actually be “scientific” and get people away from idolatrous “STAR-PRAISING”.
    This is why Abraham got banished because he did not believed in baloney that his people believed in.
    That is why most of the “Statues” in the bible sem to make no sense like not harvesting on a certain time.- becasue back then people believed that one must harvest so and so at a certain time or else the stars will get angry and not bless the land – the statues are just wasy to disprove those.
    The only reason why God has maintained an element of Ascetic praising into the Noahide practice is because the people’s hearts are so used to this that it is imposible to tell them
    “ascetic rituals don’t make sense”

  4. Count Spankula says:

    I never would have imagined that I could want to write this self-revealing exposé on just how the course of events of my life has led to my finalising my departure from the establishment of organised Christianity better known as ‘going to church on Sunday.’ I no longer believe or hold dear the myriad of what I now deem as empty promises which further the belief system in people’s lives only to serve and feed their disappointments when it is realised that God never made those promises that are spewed out of the pulpit. Those of us who can remember just how gullible we were as we sat is awesome wonder of our new found faith in God and how we were told that ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life’ as if this were some sort of mantra to get us through the next series of trials as we held tight for dear life to some type of rollercoaster life gone out of control since we pledged our former control of our own lives now to God to control at His leisure. Since our lives are now to be considered not our own and any murmuring or complaining as to how unsatisfied we are is considered high spiritual treason God simply won’t have this in His army of rank and file foot soldiering Christians. Since I do have eyes that can see the mortal movements of those around me it has become quite apparent to me that there are real injustices straddled upon the backs of those who ‘play by the rules’ whilst many of those who do not seem to ever bare life’s despairing weight I cannot help to think and feel this to be unjust. They are the ‘Teflon’ children whereby nothing seems to stick on them it just rolls right off of their lives. Many professing Christians who appear to be devout when they are in their late thirties and forties now with a wife, children, and a mortgage lived much of their youth in lascivious and debaucherous lifestyles. They neither were chaste or temperate and after having sowed all their wild oats they realised they are not happy and then they have a ‘Jesus moment’. A spiritual moment of clarity and God then saves them gives them a testimony, a book deal, and a segment on the PTL club with their very own special music and studio lighting. I, on the other hand, was both chaste and temperate and God has failed to serve me a slice of the ‘pie in the sky’ as he has to these lesser than deserving ones so I say. The basic Christian message states the all have sinned and come short of the glory of God as written in Romans 3:23. I get this; however, to say all sin in the same fashion doesn’t seem proper to equate an actual murder to a hateful heart or an actual adultery with internal lust. A hateful heart doesn’t necessarily facilitate an actual murder or a lusting eye to a sordid loved affair.
    The story of the prodigal son whereby the wayward son wants his inheritance ‘now’ not withstanding that his father should be required to be dead first is yet alive when his demands are made. The older son remains for all general purposes faithful in staying at home and labouring for his father whilst the younger is out in foolish living. The general consensus of Christians as is the propaganda coming from the pulpit is that this story is an illustration of how forgiving God is. The problem with this is that the God idea here again overlooks the faithful works of the righteous and offers His bosom to continue the breast feeding of those who should be drinking out of a glass by now. When was the last time you heard a sermon on the virtues of the elder son, nay you will only hear about how self-righteous and uncaring he is towards his younger brother. Whose fault is it in this story if it isn’t the Father? Why? Because he fails to be impartial towards the elder son. The father simply ignores his son’s faithfulness and attends to his other son’s lack thereof. Jesus himself stated if the Pharisees would not believe his words simply credited him with the good works he did. That’s fair.
    There is another story in the Bible that offends me in how it is often presented in our churches and that is the story of David and Bathsheba. Supposedly David was a man after God’s own heart.
    It is for these four reasons David is considered a man after God’s own heart.
    • David is said to have had absolute faith in God.
    • David is said to have absolutely loved God’s law.
    • David is said to have been truly thankful.
    • David is said to have been truly repentant.
    It is God in the narrative that makes this declaration about David, which to me is hardly pragmatic and accurate when one examines the evidence of what crimes David committed. It is no wonder to me that David first lusted upon another man’s wife and then took another man’s wife for David already had six wives. Bathsheba makes seven.
    They are:
    •Ahinoam of Jezreel,
    •Abigail of Carmel,
    •Maachah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur,
    •Haggith,
    •Abital,
    •Eglah, and lastly
    •Bath-shua (Bathsheba) the daughter of Ammiel.
    If David had absolute faith in God how then was he able to commit so many open adulteries without repercussions and having God doing nothing about it. Faith without the proper works to support such a faith if it be real is dead so it is written in James 2:14-26. It was God who had Samuel tell Saul that the kingdom would be torn away from him and the throne be given to another alleged more deserving and better suited to be king. I cannot help but think if I were living at the time of David and being a regular Jewish man of no special reputation would God have spared me the rocks set up to stone an adulterer and not to mention a murderer.
    In reality, David had broken all of the Ten Commandments when he sinned with Bathsheba. How had he broken them all? In two ways; first by his actions he broke them all. And secondly, by God’s standards he broke them all.
    1: ‘No other gods…’—David allowed his lust to be the god to which he bowed in obedience.
    2: ‘Not take the Name…’—David took the Holy Name of God in vain as he said he was God’s man and lived like the devil.
    3: ‘Not make a graven image…’—David engraved the image of naked Bathsheba as she bathed so deeply on his lustful soul, that he forgot even the God he loved for that moment of sin.
    4: ‘Remember the Sabbath…’—David didn’t keep the Sabbath or any other day holy for God once he allowed lust to rule.
    5: ‘Honour thy father and mother…’—David dishonoured them and all his family as he sank into such wicked and premeditated sin.
    6: ‘Not kill…’—David sent the murder request to Joab, so it was not his sword but the arrows of others that David used–but it was his desire that Uriah be killed.
    7: ‘Not commit adultery…’—that was the clearest of all David’s law breaking.
    8: ‘Not steal…’—David stole the wife of his neighbour and trusted friend Uriah as Nathan clearly pointed out in the story of the lamb.
    9: ‘Not lie…’—David’s false response was a lie when the messenger came with the ghastly news of Uriah’s death; and even more, every day David lived in sin was a lie that he deceptively covered.
    10: ‘Not covet…’—David broke this law as he so coveted his neighbours wife that he would steal her and kill her husband to lie in sexual sin with her.
    My point isn’t to vilify a man through the historical record of his life; however, I am pointing out one of my reasons for not returning to an organised church environment because of the constant mishandling of the bible and the missed meanings of a user friendly text if it were simply presented with its original intentions. As I have aforementioned that I get the ‘All have sinned’ speech, but my contention is when I ask for real pragmatic reasons as to why I have yet to experience the abundant life as it does indeed sound like it is to be a positive experience hasn’t happened and forty years of my life has already passed since becoming a Christian I become somewhat disappointed. I didn’t expect to discover what Jesus really meant by the abundant life is that it is abundantly full of sorrows. This is God’s bait and switch tactic at its best so it would seem especially as the back-drop to all the scenery on the stage of this life.

  5. This is the same way I think about church.

    Is good to know that someone gets it, and I’m not alone in this. But where I come from church people are very proud, rude and VERY selfish.

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