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Thread: going to church

  1. #1
    the truth is.... stella's Avatar
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    going to church

    hey all,
    I know that in the bible it's written that we should go to mass & do some group praying but ( & am not proud to say it) i haven't been to any church in the last 2 years of my life, not because i have problems with God but rather with the people who speak in his name those who preach about jesus being poor and have millions in their bank accounts & those who do it as if they have to repeating the same words.......
    am not saying that all of them are like that....
    so i guess my question would be is it ok not to go to church for this reason?
    and i said maybe oneday...

  2. #2
    A Guy
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    Hypocrisy in the church occurs constantly. We cannot allow ourselves to be turned off by this. Remember that people are flawed, in the church or out of it, and that no one but Christ Himself can claim to represent the entire Church. You also don't literally HAVE to go to church, but it is recommended. Maybe you should try finding a different church if you are so disappointed with the one(s) you have been to.
    Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.--Romans 1:7

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  3. #3
    Live Simply kitten's Avatar
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    i stopped going to church many years ago because i couldn't reconcile myself to the hypocrisy, either. then i saw a sign outside of a church that said something like "you don't go to church to find god, you go to church to share god". i took that to mean go to church, and take away from it that which benefits you spiritually. getting caught up in others "stuff" isn't what we are all there for.

    i have also found that at times, i have felt closer to god when we are talking one on one than i have when i am in a group, in church.
    We have enough youth. How about a fountain of knowledge?

  4. #4
    Cur etiam hic es? Redzeppelin's Avatar
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    All churches are flawed because they have an inherent flaw built into them: they're made up of human beings. A casual reading of the NT reveals many times where Paul, or Peter, or James, or John dealt with problems within the church in terms of members who were sinning, divisive and out-of-alignment with God's purposes; nonetheless, each validated the value of the "body" of Christ and advocated the necessity of belonging to that body. Part of the reason church attendance is good is that it allows one to contribute to a larger group of believers: we don't go to church to "get fed" - we go to "feed" others. If we're going to dismiss the validity of an institution because it contains "bad apples," well which institution survives that kind of standard?

    If you are a Christian, then then wouldn't it make sense to consider that Satan's greatest desire would be to destroy the church from the inside out? The NT never said that churches would not suffer the same problems with internal sin that we face on an individual level.
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

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    veni vidi vixi Bakiryu's Avatar
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    I've never been to church and i do not intend to go. I know god is with me and all around me and i do not need to go inside a place that claims to be GOD'S HOME. EVERYWHERE I GO GOD IS WITH ME.
    Shall these bones live?

  6. #6
    Cur etiam hic es? Redzeppelin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakiryu View Post
    I've never been to church and i do not intend to go. I know god is with me and all around me and i do not need to go inside a place that claims to be GOD'S HOME. EVERYWHERE I GO GOD IS WITH ME.
    That is true; but the God you claim to believe in also made it clear in the NT that participation in the body of Christ is one of the ways you demonstrate your love of God because the body of Christ exists to minister to others. Since Christianity is very much about serving others, neglecting church membership cuts one off from at least one important avenue of service.
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    Jai Keshava NikolaiI's Avatar
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    No, I think it's okay not to go to church. Bakiryu put it well, and the world can teach a lot. In fact, you could live on the street under a bridge as a disciple of Jesus, or Zen; there have been such people.

    In my experience, churches have been full of good people, as well as, actually I sort of think everyone is good; but at my church I have more than one healthy, spiritually rewarding relationship, and actually it is a small enough church so that I have spent a lot of one on one time with the pastor.

  8. #8
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Hypocrisy is not in church and priests, it's in people who visit church and pretend to be good Christians.
    You can't live under the bridge as a disciple; in that way you are creating your own religion which in similar to Christianity but it's not and you're clearly acting against 3rd commandment.
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
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  9. #9
    Registered User Aiculík's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stella View Post
    hey all,
    I know that in the bible it's written that we should go to mass & do some group praying but ( & am not proud to say it) i haven't been to any church in the last 2 years of my life, not because i have problems with God but rather with the people who speak in his name those who preach about jesus being poor and have millions in their bank accounts & those who do it as if they have to repeating the same words.......
    am not saying that all of them are like that....
    so i guess my question would be is it ok not to go to church for this reason?
    I'm not sure - are you saying that you're not going to the church because you think that other people there are not good Christians, that they are just hypocrites?

    In C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, the devil, Screwtape, says this about going to church (bold is mine):

    Quote Originally Posted by Screwtape
    I have been writing hitherto on the assumption that the people in the next pew afford no rational ground for disappointment. Of course if they do—if the patient knows that the woman with the absurd hat is a fanatical bridge-player or the man with squeaky boots a miser and an extortioner—then your task is so much the easier. All you then have to do is to keep out of his mind the question “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?” You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human mind. It is, Wormwood, it is! Handle him properly and it simply won’t come into his head.

  10. #10
    the truth is.... stella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    All churches are flawed because they have an inherent flaw built into them: they're made up of human beings. A casual reading of the NT reveals many times where Paul, or Peter, or James, or John dealt with problems within the church in terms of members who were sinning, divisive and out-of-alignment with God's purposes; nonetheless, each validated the value of the "body" of Christ and advocated the necessity of belonging to that body. Part of the reason church attendance is good is that it allows one to contribute to a larger group of believers: we don't go to church to "get fed" - we go to "feed" others. If we're going to dismiss the validity of an institution because it contains "bad apples," well which institution survives that kind of standard?

    If you are a Christian, then then wouldn't it make sense to consider that Satan's greatest desire would be to destroy the church from the inside out? The NT never said that churches would not suffer the same problems with internal sin that we face on an individual level.
    i do believe in every word you are saying but my decision not to go to church anymore came after realizing that i do more sins inthere than out..
    i cant go to pray & then feel bad about myself when i get back thats what happened the last few times i went.it's a horrible feeling.
    i'm not expecting them to be perfect i just feel that they should try...

    Quote Originally Posted by bazarov View Post
    Hypocrisy is not in church and priests, it's in people who visit church and pretend to be good Christians.
    You can't live under the bridge as a disciple; in that way you are creating your own religion which in similar to Christianity but it's not and you're clearly acting against 3rd commandment.

    i agree on the people matter but they dont bother me as much.
    i am acting against 3rd commandment i know that and that is what has been bothering me for so long
    and i said maybe oneday...

  11. #11
    Novella MaryLupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stella View Post
    i cant go to pray & then feel bad about myself when i get back thats what happened the last few times i went.it's a horrible feeling.
    i'm not expecting them to be perfect i just feel that they should try...
    I never go to church. The only reasons I have been in a church are for its architecture or to play (or listen to) a concert, but one analogy that comes to mind is a doctor's office. I expect a certain amount of professionalism to go along with the claim of knowledge (in this case medical, in your case spiritual). I don't expect any doctor (or nurse or medtech or office staff) to whom I pay a visit to be perfect but I do expect them to keep their hands out of the toilet before they hand me something or give me an exam. If they can't do that then I suspect that their claim to professionalism is bogus. I rather think it is fair to expect the same of those claiming religious professionalism.
    I've always found it rather exciting to remember that there is a difference between what we experience and what we think it means.


  12. #12
    Woman from Maine sciencefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stella View Post
    hey all,
    I know that in the bible it's written that we should go to mass & do some group praying but ( & am not proud to say it) i haven't been to any church in the last 2 years of my life, not because i have problems with God but rather with the people who speak in his name those who preach about jesus being poor and have millions in their bank accounts & those who do it as if they have to repeating the same words.......
    am not saying that all of them are like that....
    so i guess my question would be is it ok not to go to church for this reason?
    I know how you feel.
    I used to not go to church because of the hypocrites, too.
    I think it's important to know why you're going to church.
    I go to church because I want a relationship with God, and with God's people.
    I go to church because I learn how to live a life that is pleasing to God.
    There are hypocrites in every church, but there are godly people, too.

    I hope you will find a church where you feel comfortable to grow in the Lord.

  13. #13
    Cur etiam hic es? Redzeppelin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stella View Post
    i do believe in every word you are saying but my decision not to go to church anymore came after realizing that i do more sins inthere than out..
    i cant go to pray & then feel bad about myself when i get back thats what happened the last few times i went.it's a horrible feeling.
    i'm not expecting them to be perfect i just feel that they should try...
    The guilt you feel is not from God - the Holy Spirit gives us conviction as to things we ought to change in our lives, but condemnation does not come from God. Christ paid the full debt for all your sins - past, present and future - at Calvary. Read Romans - Paul clearly tells us that we are called to life, not condemnation. Christ's atoning sacrifice means that God looks upon each of us as justified - our "debt" to God for our sins have been paid. The guilt you feel is unbiblical and an attempt by the Devil to drive you away from the body of Christ. We cannot be "perfect" and much of the New Testament tells us that "trying" to "be perfect" is futile. Our only hope is that we surrender our wills to God and allow Him to change us from the inside. Even Paul struggled with sin - the man who is highly esteemed as one of the greatest saints of Christianity admitted such. We should desire perfection, but not expect it our of ourselves or anybody else.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaryLupin View Post
    I never go to church. The only reasons I have been in a church are for its architecture or to play (or listen to) a concert, but one analogy that comes to mind is a doctor's office. I expect a certain amount of professionalism to go along with the claim of knowledge (in this case medical, in your case spiritual). I don't expect any doctor (or nurse or medtech or office staff) to whom I pay a visit to be perfect but I do expect them to keep their hands out of the toilet before they hand me something or give me an exam. If they can't do that then I suspect that their claim to professionalism is bogus. I rather think it is fair to expect the same of those claiming religious professionalism.
    Only true if one equates spirituality with hygiene practices; the two are not equal. Religious people can be very "professional," but spirituality has nothing to do with "professionalism." The difference between the two you have compared it this:

    The medical professional - unless seriously irresponsible, dysfunctional or antisocial - would not engage in "toilet dipping" before dealing with you because (if s/he has been properly socialized and trained) he would understand intellectually that this behavior is at cross-purposes with his/her job. Most human beings who are normal and healthy would not feel compelled to do something as unhealthy and irresponsible.

    However, all human beings are inherently sinful by nature - and there is no amount of "saintliness" that guarantees sin-free behavior. "Toilet dipping" physicians is an aberration and ought to be censured; but sinful human beings are the norm; this does not excuse wrong behavior - it simply means that one should be less surprised and outraged by it. And, once again, it seems like we are focusing on the negative - plenty of churches are full of good people who are serving God faithfully; if you wish to find curses instead of blessings, well - they're out there and in all places we go - not just church.

    Being a church member does not imply that "I'm a good, sin-free person." In fact, Christ himself said "It is not the healty person but the sick who is in need to treatment." I see churches as like hospitals in that they are full of broken people who desire to be restored - not full of "perfect" people who are "better" than everybody else.
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

  14. #14
    Registered User Orionsbelt's Avatar
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    Going to church, communion, dancing the dervish, walking the maze, sewing the corn, drinking wine,..... are rites and hence symbols. As symbols they point you to a discussion with what is transcendent ... those things that you reach without words. In much the same way a stone can be used in zen. The question is do the symbols, the rite, the pointers take you to a place where you connect with those things which are beyond words. What wind will carry you across the river, through the divide, to the place? If the symbols that you use do not do this for you, then you should not use these things for spiritual reasons. They are not serving you. There are however other reasons to participate in a rite.... social etc.
    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. - Mark Twain

  15. #15
    Not politically correct Pendragon's Avatar
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    When I got sick. and the diganosis came back as bi-polar, churches I had attened for years, preached for for years, even one I helped found either threw me out or made me feel so uncomfortable that I had to leave. A minister cannot get away from his gift of preaching, so I began having service in my home. That was about 9 years or so ago. I've seen it packed, and I've been down to 1. My own children, two do not come to church anymore. They can make up their own minds, I force no one. I would still go and preach where I could find a church that would let me. But I have no quarells with anyone, I don't think that is the path God wants.

    I agree, they waste so much money and time, but the lost are forgotten. The missionary goes without, and the people he or she goes to go without. And they seem content with the ones in church, and pay little attention to young people as if they will become saved through osmosis, or something. Nobody goes for the one lost lamb. If you do, they call you crazy.

    God bless

    Pen

    Some of us laugh
    Some of us cry
    Some of us smoke
    Some of us lie
    But it's all just the way
    that we cope with our lives...

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