Saturday, September 3, 2016

Why People Are Leaving Church

I may still go to some bible studies, my food co-op, community dinners/soup kitchen or events at local churches to meet other Christians, but I am not participating in a church or going to services anymore. Smakintosh is right about how the pastors defend the status quo, enable the abusers and prop up the system. Yesterday I was out shopping with my husband, I live in a small enough area where we constantly run into old church members from the church [an IFB] I attended for about a year.

They always come up to me with this odd gleeful glazed look in their eyes, saying things like "We missed you!". I actually have had more conversations with them being OUT of the church then in it, so that should tell you something. Well all our attention was to be given to one guy, and this church didn't even believe in giving you a cup of coffee and only had dinners when various members of a giant Duggar like family got married.

I didn't even remember the name of the woman who approached me yesterday but I remember her son had an accident since she mentioned it at a prayer service and she worked as a nurse or something like that. This has happened four times. Since going no contact, I've gotten mouthier, I thought, "Well I am going to tell this one why I left!" Maybe we will be left alone while shopping finally!

I told her.

"I am done with church for now"

"I walked out hearing Middle Eastern wars praised, I couldn't believe the pastor didn't get the memo that Bush's wars bankrupted America instead of cheering for more. I felt like the god of war: Mars was being worshipped more then God of the Bible, and hearing some guy gleefully discuss killing people for the globalists made me want to puke.

"I'm tired of brain dead Republicanism and Fox news brainwashing and no this doesn't mean I love the left either. I wish one of these pastors weren't such horrible conformists all with the same message. Putting down poor people and defending the evils of this system is not of God!"

My husband joined me, as she was telling me, she didn't remember the pro-war speech from the pulpit and backed me up saying, "I heard it for myself too!"

My husband said he was tired of poor people being put down, and I backed him up on that too. I talked to her about how the pastor loved the verse about "Those who don't work, don't eat". I'm paraphrasing here, and it was not fun for someone who was disabled sitting there listening to that bankers inspired claptrap.  Yes that verse is in the bible but then they ignore all the ones that talk about the oppression of the poor.  I said to her, "My husband used to be an assistant news paper editor, we worked hard, me before I was disabled, do you think I want to listen to that trash?"

Here's an actual post from the pastor and his wife's Facebook page....I didn't befriend them but it's public:

In their secure upper middle class world propped up by 10 percent church tithes, by the way I never could afford to tithe and didn't giving smaller amounts to the church, Ronald Reagan is saint. Actually Reagan took us to some of the dastardly places we are today.

I also told her while I still have contact with one nice lady in the church, the place was impersonal and all revolved around ONE GUY, and they didn't even have any opportunities to talk about anything with one another. She admitted that was a problem, and there was no dinners, bible studies or events. I've seen churches die over far less. I would predict this church will die when the pastor does. He is over 70 and at least a fourth of the church are people who are related to him.

This lady was nice but I could tell even last year, I was too much for her. I was sick with blood sugars out of control and asked the church for prayers and told them I felt sad. I got lectures on God "being in control" and how I needed to improve my trust in the Lord.

She was clutching her pearls metaphorically ready to gasp and in shock. I don't feel like walking on eggshells for people anymore. When they approach me, as they barely talked to me when I attended the church, I know what's it about, getting a "high" from talking to the church absent "sinner" so they can feel smug. I doubt one will approach me again.

Smakintosh is right these churches have been hijacked as has every other institution. I live in a richer area here but there are enough people to have seen their careers imploded and their fortunes lowered around here, to know something is wrong with the pastors always praising "the system" without fail. The churches have lost their salt. Why go to church with a bunch of people whose whole attitude is "I got mine jack, and you poor people are ruining the country?" Smakintosh is right about no one feeling secure. I sure don't feel that way.  I am seriously concerned about "Staying Alive" and I am not talking about just crap my own body could do to me but political and other forces.

 Going to church with people who basically support politicians throwing someone like me in the gutter is not going to happen. There was no mutual support between members, no closeness. I was asked to bring wedding or shower presents to the only dinners held which I could not afford.

During the course of the conversation with this woman, I said to her, "A lot of poor people don't go to church anymore, they can't afford it, they are tired of the pressures for money".  She seemed outraged by that, thinking they were wicked people. My husband backed me up saying, "That sentiment is not coming out of a vacuum. By the way if I saw the pastor himself, I would tell him why I left. He was the type of personality to smile at you and ignore what you said, which got on my nerves.  These Republican bots supported the destruction of the working class in America, the unions, and more. I suppose anyone struggling in that church just left, because I never met such an out of touch man in my life.

Smakintosh is correct that these churches and false pastors support our oppression. I could not sit in a pew listening to people who praised wars I see as destroying this nation economically and that killed millions of innocent people and made the world a more dangerous place. They support the system that basically destroyed my husband's hope of a good paying job, and shoved us down into destitution. They praise money-grubbing wicked politicians every chance they get. Yes there was the sermon too about how we are suppose to "forgive" and never even mention of what happens when you are dealing with the truly wicked who never repent? They preach bowing before the powerful and Dominionist theology that rewards the evil power-mongers in society. 

Why would I go to some church where I hear a man in a pulpit support my oppressors. I felt judged too for being estranged from my family and I told them nothing except that I had religious differences with my family and didn't give details. Telling them I was estranged was too much information. Now I let new people believe I have no family or they are all deceased. People are leaving the churches. There's a reason for it. Even when I go to bible studies, I don't want them pastor-led. I just want to meet other Christians. I've kind of had it with the pastors.

ACONS and Church: "Don't Protect the Guilty"

The Poor and Disabled in the Churches


  1. Standing ovation, Peep. Bravissima!
    Whatever happened to The Golden Rule,"Thou shalt not kill" and "Blessed are the peacemakers"?
    That's all bad for business! You sure told 'em,and church lady will certainly report to one and all this scandalous encounter with reason and independant thought! :)

    1. Thank you anon, I appreciate it. No golden rule there that's for sure. I hope she does go and report and talks to the pastor too. Go ahead! LOL during the conversation I said "How come none of these pastors think independently we just get one Republican Dominionist bot after another!"

  2. Many churches adopted Republican ideals today. Your last pastor and the lady you talked to yesterday are obviously Republicans. They reacted to you the same way the rich men did when Jesus advised him to give up all of his wealth and follow him. Your last pastor was an abusive pastor that my local friends and I talked about lately.

    Last week, an abusive pastor, the ones who rejected my friend request in Facebook, had a friend who made a post in Facebook claiming that his mother is going to heaven. His mother was actually an unbeliever who raised that abusive pastor in a non-Christian home and who did not teach him how to treat others the ways in Christ-like ways. Based on the ways this pastor treated me, I was upset. I also noticed that the pastor and his friends are ministering to middle class and wealthy people since they are giving financial support, and ignore poor people. They claim that they are ministering to poor people who live in urban cities. However, they might be ministering to narcs in poor neighborhoods or those they could use as their pet projects, some "smiling," "thankful," "happy poor people" who do not need marriage, family, or things to be happy. Real poor people usually do not feel that way. They also use some "thankful" "poor people" who live with their relatives, but these "poor people" are actually from lower-middle-class or working-lass families who do no have narcs in their families or do not have narc parents. Some have narcs who are "succeeding in life" because they found favors from their like-minded narc bosses and coworkers.

    Because I was upset with the ways the abusive pastor treated me and the appalling apparent classism in Intervarsity Christian Fellowships (IVCF), I sent a PM to several old friends I knew from IVCF. In a PM, I said,
    "Hi XXXX<
    This is XXXX again. Sorry to bother you again. I have a question and hope you will not get offended. I want to apologize in advance if I offend you.

    I want to know if you and your friends are ministering to socio-economically disadvantaged people and those who are losing faith because they dealt with religious abuse. I have been talking to economically disadvantaged Christians who told me they left the church because of Calvinistic, anti-poor people messages, and that pastors did not care about them.
    I am attending several good churches in my area. Unfortunately, my friends live out-of-state and some live in a small town where there are fewer resources and choices. I understand you are ministering to college students, so you did not have exposure to socio-economically disadvantaged Christians.

    Hope you had a great year so far.

    The next day, I added this message to one person:
    “I hope I am not offending you. My friends and I have been talking about false Christians, churches, and Christian groups who hurt us. Have you dealt with disadvantaged people who talked about these issues with you?”
    They never responded. How could they be Christians if they treat poor people like that?

    1. Yes many churches have gone Republican. right left both don't do it for me. I'll have my head handed to me for questioning Burning Man by the liberal crowd and the rightist crowd hates me for not worshipping at the altar of Ronald Reagan. All Reagan did was ensure my youthful poverty.

      Many of these wealthy pastors and congregations look down on the poor, they are brainwashed by David Ramsey and his ilk to believe the poor have "sinned" and did not live proper lives. My family told us both we were "lazy", I guess they weren't there when my husband was going to work from noon to 4 am nor would they ever believe us.

      I am glad you got away from that abusive pastor. Sounds like they were seeking narc supply off the woman's death. I am creeped out by narcs who do not mourn or cry over death but do glad hander statements like 'she is in heaven", they are so brainwashed, they do cult talk where one is always smiling and focusing on the positive even though in this case a mother they were close to died.

      This tells me he doesn't even have normal emotions. I consider writing this old pastor,
      "I left your church because of the brain dead Republicanism and looking down on the poor"
      Most pastors will give attentions to the people who will give money. I noticed even with this last pastor he had his "favorites" including the very wealthy Duggar like family which probably was giving a lot of financial support to the church. Sure some of them minister to pet projects but then ignore or ostracize poor people in their own buildings. There is government money to be had for some federal programs to "help the poor" in some churches. I am not so naive to know how this works, I have used some soup kitchens and more, so I won't complain but I know how that system works.

      Many churches only the middle class and above is welcome. The "poor people" who are acceptable are people who are taken care of by middle class families, such as an elderly auntie or a disabled woman cared for by her family or people supported by non-narc working class or middle class families. Ie: a Poor previously middle class widow with an employed middle class son and grandchildren who help her would be acceptable. I agree with you they want "thankful" "positive" poor people who are supportive of the system. They do not want people who are truly in the lower classes. After all they have less money to put in the pot. They may talk about less then "genteel" topics or question the status quo that has left them homeless, unable to pay their bills or jobless. The churches now being props for the corrupt political system do not want any boat rockers or complainers. They don't want anyone "standing out".

      I am glad you sent that PM but it is quite revelatory to me that NONE RESPONDED.
      Many are the types in comfortable lives to avoid any topic that makes them "uncomfortable"

  3. These people are not nice people. I remember that they had to send letters asking people for monthly support checks for their ministry. In 1994, they needed $2,000 per month to live on in order to do their ministry. They were asking somebody to support them with monthly support checks of $20 to $500 per month per months so they could live in $2,000 per month. I was with two ladies who had a hard time raising funds they needed.

    One lady applied for a full-time position with IVCF. I learned from her that it was not an easy job to get. She had to go through some brutal training with a leader. I remember she had to absorb religious narcissism, not to get upset with platitudes people said, and that she can't argue with too many people who work for IVCF. I read somewhere that she had to "accept God's wills for her life" and that she "could not get upset" when bad things happened to her in her life. She finally got her position and was happy. She told me that the hiring process was not quick and she did not want to work for worldly bosses. She was describing narc bosses before we knew the terms.

    A year later, bad things happened to me and they left me on the cold. They were trying to push me back to my adopted narc mother. I refused. The leaders told one lady who was helping me to tell me that I was on my own, and the group would no longer help me. They did not tell me that they excommunicate me.

    The churches are heading into wrong directions because they are get moneys from narcs and evil people who have it to pay tithes. They are tailoring messages to accommodate those who could pay for their services. Pastors today are here for money. They are not here for our souls.

    However, there are good pastors who are aware of what is going on, so they are refraining from getting in the business of serving evil people and ministering to real Christians. Two churches I am attending give out foods and minister to people of all social classes and races. One big church gives food every Sunday after church. There is also a table where we could pick up free breads and bags of free foods. Sometimes, they give out free bibles and Christian books.

    These churches are not perfect since sometime pastors gives messages that are not applicable for ACONs and victims of abuses. On the other hand, when I told pastors I could not come back to abusers. He told me I don't have to go back to abusers. His message of the day applies to people who have a real, loving family and non-narc parents. He knows that God does not want us to submit to abuses and go back to our abusers. In one sermon, he mentioned that some people depend on their abusers for money like some people depend on government. He is not talking about very sick people who could not work or those who are physically unable to fulfill certain job duties such as phone duties or standing for 8 hours. These good pastors are rare. I was able to find them because I live in a liberal city where there are multiple colleges and universities, and where there are multiple divinity schools.

    1. Wow 2,000 a month in the 1990s, sounds like they wanted a middle class lifestyle even back then. It's interesting to me how these religious institutions are run like corporations [same job processes etc, weeding out, hoop jumping] except with the extra burden of fund raising. There's people now who live on less then 2,000 a month.

      It sounds like she drank the "be positive or else Kool-Aid. It sounds exhausting what they put her through. I don't think all religious institutions will protect one from narc bosses especially now.

      It's terrible they told you to reconcile with your abusive mother. Well as smakintosh warns us, the religiosos are big into the false forgiveness and telling the abused to reconcile or "forgive" non-repentant and narc/sociopathic abusers. I was lectured by one ex-narc friend that I was unforgiving to have nothing to do with my family. I told her they threw me away first and would not visit, and closed me out of their lives well before I walked away.

      One thing in many of these churches, it's show off land, and if you have problems you have to keep them to yourself. I made the mistake of asking for prayer once when my diabetes was out of control and was given lectures on accepting God's will and trusting in God's plan for my life. [false theologies about positive outcomes on earth] A lot of my disabilities are visible and some are invisible, but I shudder to think of the medical stuff I did hide, not discussing leg infections and other problems at the time. It was like Mrs. Curses advice, that if I was "good" enough, God would bless me and I would be healed and I must be doing something wrong for my life to be so "troubled" [I didn't share a lot of troubles with these people but just showing up with my visible disabilities and class markers for being poor was enough]

      The churches are definitely headed into the wrong direction. They are bending towards the wealthier narcs and wicked people who have money. Not everyone who is well-off is wicked, but definitely in the church system many wolves in sheep's clothing are taking advantage.
      I agree the pastors are in it for the money. They want their middle class and upper middle class lifestyles maintained.

      I am glad you have found a good church with some decent pastors who help the church and who you can share honest conversations with these issues about. Your religious options are far greater then what is here.

      I agree even a well meaning pastor may give a sermon that is not applicable to an ACON.
      I am glad you found out that is okay with not going back to abusers and fleeing wicked people as the bible tells us.

  4. I laughed right when he said "forgive the oppressors". I believe its true, we are held accountable for forgiving and the oppressors just keep doing what they are doing. So what kind of love is that, just let them keep doing it. I wonder what it is like to be someone who doesn't understand the difference of your regular sinner and souless psycho's. Of course they know. They are just afraid for their own selves and don't care about anyone. I'm surprised that when you talked to this lady that she didn't just look the other way. I've seen them do that. They can't face what they really do know. I'm sure they know it. I'd like to believe that that they don't know, but I know they know. God help anyone who does this, who continues to love the narcs. I've recently been told in my blog to look the other way. That is what they are doing, all the while, they know. God help them.

    Just yesterday, an elder approached me in church, just to talk. It looks like he feels sorry for me. I kept wondering what he wanted to talk about. There is nothing to say to me. The man in in his eighties, and I'm sure he thinks I'm crazy. I look and I'm sure I'm different. If I told them I was an engulfed daughter, they will be running. That is if he knew what that meant. I've got nothing to say to these people either. They all live in a bubble of "love".

    1. Yes they all tell us that "forgive the oppressors". Most of the churches anymore are enablers of the evil. Bow before the bankers. Let the bosses abuse you into destitution well you get the idea. I wonder what it is like to be one of those people. This lady did listen I'll give her that instead of walking away, a lot of them would do that. Maybe she even knows and suspects the church is dead, but feels her options are limited. I believe the narc lovers know and they also know who they have thrown under the bus and how. My family knows they ditched me to the curb, and made me nothing and did not care. They got their bennies and that's all that matters.

      Yes the elder probably was told to talk to you. There probably was discussion behind the scenes about the "troubled sister". I know one price of speaking out is they will tell each other I am crazy. Easier to do that then to question anything. I never told this church about being abused, they would have had my head, you're right about them all living in a "bubble of love", the lives with endless family and material comfort are ones I never could relate to ever. I left knowing I had nothing to talk about with these people too.