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