Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rejecting Church but not God

A few things have caught my attention recently. Time Magazine reported last week about the rise of the "Nones,"  those who are religious but have no religious affiliation. According the article, these are people who still love God, but are not interested in what organized religion has to offer. They are interested in serving God and even in being part of a community, but not in what has typically been offered in "church." The article's author, Amy Sullivan, writes: 

But the hunger for spiritual connection and community hasn't gone away. A 2009 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life asked respondents whether they believed in God, how often they prayed and whether they were affiliated with a particular religion; it found that "40% of the unaffiliated people were fairly religious," says director Luis Lugo. "Many said they were still hoping to eventually find the right religious home."
And then this week Rachel Held Evan has posted on the idea of leaving and staying in the church. On Tuesday she gave15 Reasons I left the Church and then on Wednesday 15 Reasons I returned to the Church.

What about you? Are you in the church and considering leaving? If so why. And if you did leave the church and returned why? 

4 comments:

  1. Well, I certainly left the independent Evangelical church I once belonged to.. For decades after, I had no religious affiliation, but still had my belief and faith in God. Years later, I stumbled across the United Church of Christ, and I knew I had found my home. Been attending ever since and can't imagine worshiping anywhere else.

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  2. I really believe, for many if not most, this leaving and coming back is a part of our growth path as Christians. One really has to claim one's faith belief for one's very own, not for the nice Sunday school stories we heard as children (but never really understood because Miss Anne always added a moral at the end).

    Wondering how the "jars of clay" imagery might apply here. If the treasure of the church is indeed fragile and imperfect, yet treasure, nonetheless.

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  3. I left church when I came to understand that the kingdom of God supersedes the church. To obey Jesus is important; to become a churchgoer is not.

    I came to this realization as a pastor. It was the process of trying to build a church by looking to the Scriptures that brought me the realization. The Scriptures do not teach us how to build a church, they teach us how to acknowledge and live for Him. Churchgoing just gets in the way of that.

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    1. I am in total agreement with you Mike. I like many thought this was God's way of us meeting with Him? I was waiting for the next revival? Or something like that. Jesus started me on this journey of leaving the church. Breaking free of so many things that church has taught me is still a struggle until today. But His Spirit is teaching in a way that is perfectly suited for me. It is funny in a way that my struggles aren't with "sin" (as I previously understood it) like lying, lust etc...they are things of the heart..Judgmentalism, Piety, Fear..The Eternal is working on my internal. I am more in love with Him and know Him better than I ever have. I think this is going on all over the world.

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