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Help me get motivated to go back to church

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by kingcreole, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Some church folk are judgmental, no question. Some also are hypocrites.

    But the excuse of not going to church because churches are filled with judgmental hypocrites says more about the person making the excuse. Methinks it's more your own guilt talking.
  2. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    King, it's funny to read your post because Mrs. W and I were just having a similar conversation.

    We're Jewish and are realtively non-observant -- only going to Temple on the High Holidays and not doing much other than fasting on Yom Kippur and not eating bread and the like during Passover. With the High Holiday season coming soon, and now that our daughter is old enough to join us (for a few minutes) at services, we started to talk about whether to join a Temple. I am not a religious person and I tend to resent those who are very religious. I think that religion and morality, although certainly not mutually exclusive, are not necessarily linked. I feel a cultural tie to Judiasm, but it's not because of anything that really has to do with the Bible. I like hearing and discussing sermons, but that's just because I'm intellectually curious. But I do feel better when I go to Temple and I like the cultural rituals like attending a Seder. At the same time, do I really get anything by reciting a bunch of prayers in a language that I don't undersand? Am I robbing my daughter of something by not going to services more often or being part of a Jewish community? Do I really need to watch TV on Friday nights or Saturday mornings when it wouldn't be that hard to go to Temple?
  3. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Don't know that I would agree with that at all. I feel no guilt about not going to church. What I feel is societal pressure for not going. You would not believe how many times a person will ask me what church I attend or if I've been saved ... one of the most annoying things to me is to have a person ask me "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"
    What's it to you? Do I go up to people and ask, "Do you honor your mother and your father? Do you covet your neighbor's ass?"

    What I'm saying is there's so much negativity, so much judgement and so much falseness about so many churhces that I simply don't feel comfortable going. I want to feel uplifted and filled with joy and love and the spirit. I don't want to be told I'm a sinner and that if I don't know things this way, this is what's going to happen to me.

    If that's judgemental on my part, though, then so be it. But I feel no shame nor a need to apologize.
  4. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    But you know what? We (as in the collective we of Christianity) have largely earned it.

    We all want to be Simon Peter, drawing swords and lopping off ears when Jesus explicitly said he didn't want that. We want to prove our bona fides to God by being judgemental about who is worthy and who isn't, in direct opposition to the message of the Gospels. In America particularly, we've allowed the faith to be prostituted out to politicians instead of guarding it jealously. A few of us want to soak up the perverse glory that comes from standing on the street corner with a megaphone and cursing sinners or showing up at funerals with giant posters trying to make asses of ourselves. God would rather have us live changed lives that reflect His glory and make others thirst for what we have.

    We have tried to draw people to God using the worst methodology possible. It is a reflection of His goodness and mercy that he doesn't take us out back and smack us silly.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    If it makes you feel better to go, why not go. And you don't have to be "very religious" to go to church (or Temple). And, yes, I think you are robbing your daughter of something by not going to services and being a part of the community.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Hey if you don't want to go to church, fine. Hey, I don't feel comfortable at all in some churches. Other churches take my breath away in how they minister to people you would cross the street to avoid.

    If people feel some longing to go or feel that they are missing something, I think there is a church out there for them.
  7. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Great post...

    And I think so much in life is about making ourselves feel superior to the other guy.

    "At least I go to church every Sunday.
    At least I make more money than he does.
    At least I have chosen a noble profession.
    At least I am not fat.
    At least I am not a sellout like he is.
    At least I have raised my kids properly."

    And so on, and so on....
  8. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Dixie, that is one of the best, most reasoned posts I've read on this topic. Outstanding work.
  9. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    King: to the original question.. I was raised Catholic, stopped going for over 10 years, and that got back when I met and married my wife.

    One way would be to find another Catholic Church is you believe that is the way to go but find the priest uninspiring. That is a problem in a lot of Catholic Churches - you are taught that going to Mass on Sunday is an obligation, blah, blah, blah, and sometimes the result is almost a feeling that the priest doesn't have to give a good sermon. And even if a priest is an uninspiring speaker, a priest can be successful if the various groups have meaning to a Catholic community - what the priest does other than when it's Sunday morning. However, at the Catholic Church across town, there might be a priest who will say something meaningful. One way to judge is to watch the people and see their reaction.

    I know organized, structured religion - and the Catholic Church might be the most structured - turns some people off. However, my feeling is that if the religion is based on what a leader or preacher is, that is too dependent on one person and their intrepretation of the Bible, etc.

    If the Catholic Church isn't for you, find another place where you will be comfortable. I think the idea of having some religious education for your child is a good one - it hopefully will give your child some idea that the meaning of life is greater than having the latest toy or video game.
  10. busdriver

    busdriver Member

    Gold I think you are so right we seem to have lost sight of the original post HELP that is what I read. and yet we have all gone off on religion and each other. But I concur with you Gold I am happy where I am and that is all that matters to me, and the fact that I bring my children to Church and they like to go and ask when are we going back. That for me is enough. and I think that I may be done with this post but not sure yet
  11. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Good response, AA. It's how I often feel.

    And I did not say the only reason I don't go to church is because of the judgemental factor. There are many reasons why I'm not involved in organized religion. The guilt trip/judgement thing is a large part of why I don't like the "fellowship" aspect. And Ace, your line about "methinks..." completely proves my point.

    I don't have anything against people who go to church. To each their own. But don't get on me for not going. Respect my decisions as I respect yours.

    Yes, churches do good things for the community. Never going to deny that. But so does Rotary. And the Girl Scouts. And the public library.

    I admire the ganas it took for our founding fathers (and mothers) to escape the religious oppression they were facing and start a new country under the incredible foresight of the current constitution. Yes, we are promised freedom of religion. It's a great thing.

    However, I point to the fundamentalist Christians (yes, I know they represent the vocal minority and not the majority, but they are the vocal ones), who like to say that we have "freedom of religion, not freedom from religion" and therefore feel its their duty to proselytize to those who are not of a particular religion.

    I actually think this discussion has been very civil. Opposing viewpoints, for sure, but this has been a good thread.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    My point in saying that people who say they don't go to church because church is filled with judgmental hypocrites is that:

    1. It's an easy excuse and someone who says that probably hasn't put much thought into it.
    2. Nothing against you or alley or anyone, but if a person is worried about someone judging them, then they must feel guilty about something.

    Now, if you someone says they stopped going to church because a bunch of snooty backstabbers made fun of their clothes, or the fact that they were living (in sin) with someone or made a mean remark about their kid, I'd say good for you.
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