Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 246: Happy at Church?

Have you ever talked to a Catholic that decided to leave the church for a different denomination? Doesn’t it always seem that they are cut-off or ex-communicated? I know I have been in church circles both in the Assemblies of God (whom I am affiliated with) and other ones where people cannot believe how rude Catholics are when one decides to leave. This got me thinking a little bit.

Usually when a Catholic leaves the church it is not an overnight decision because of the ramifications. They could be cut-off from friends, family, etc. There are major consequences with a decision like that. Because of the potential consequences they almost become a slave to the church at that point because it is what they were brought up in and just cannot leave. They would rather stay in something and be miserable than leave and experience a fresh and vibrant church experience. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Guess what? We have to stop picking on the Catholics because this happens in ALL denominations even non-denominations.

I have come across many people who are locked into a church but really are quite miserable. They are either wanting to leave but just cannot come to grips with making the change or they would be lost without the drama. So we come down on Catholics but I have met many others from all denominations that if they were raised in it, then for them to leave will cause relatives, family, etc. to be upset with them and not have a relationship with them like they used to have. It boggles my mind how many people stay in a setting that they are clearly not happy with. I have always been the type that if I don’t like something…I just won’t do it or be a part of it anymore. There was a time when I was in my early 20’s that I did not enjoy the way my church was going so I left. I came back but only for a bit before I took my first youth pastorate. Even with my “radical” messages and approaches to ministry I find old friends cutting me off and relatives sending me mail that is less than flattering. It bothers me deeply that my best friend from my teen years has blocked me all together on Facebook. I have to say though that I have to do what I feel the Lord leading me to do. If I don’t I will be miserable. There are too many Christians out there living out the words in, Steve Taylor’s song “I Want to be a Clone.”

I truly believe our church experience should be a great one. Granted we will never find that “PERFECT” church. Stick around in any one church long enough and you are bound to find something you don’t like. However, the good should FAR outweigh the bad. It isn’t always the easy choice but once you do make a choice and settle in…you will have never thought church could be so great!

5 comments:

  1. Funny you posted this! It wasn't very long ago that I posted a note on facebook (because I don't have a blog) that asked the question of "Where should I attend church?" It wasn't quite written in this vein, but instead more about finding the right "fit" for you and your family. We are actually splitting our time between 2 churches.... one so my husband can involved in the ministry of his choosing, and the other because the programs available for our children.

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  2. Great minds think alike. I appreciate your comments.

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  3. Interesting. It is quite difficult making a break with a church... I've done it a few times now. The thing that hurts is that former friends just cut you out of their lives the moment you stop going to "their" church. It leaves me wondering if there was any genuine friendship there at all?

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  4. Yes, many other churches seem to have this same problem. Honestly, Bob... in 2 years there hasn't been a fellowship we have really felt drawn to until we found Radiant's group at That's Not My God. Now I find myself almost in tears listening to the podcasts, wishing we could be there.

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  5. I have been hurt by the Assemblies of God...so i avoid them now. I am now an "out-of-churcher"...

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