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Help me get motivated to go back to church

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

  1. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Nobody here is disrespecting your decision not to go.

    In fairness, this thread was supposed to be about motivating a guy who said he might have an interest in going again.

    What he got was a lot of, "Don't feel bad if you never go again - church sucks for reasons X, Y, and Z."
  2. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

    I think, far too often, the majority of good, well-intentioned church goers get lumped into the same "thrusting your religion on me" group with the insincere, only-in-it-for-themselves people. And that's not fair.

    The large majority of Christians are happy. And like most happy, friendly people, they want to share that happiness. They're not looking to shame anyone. They're not looking to make you feel like an ass. They just genuinely believe in God, which has allowed them find some happiness, and they would like to pass that along.

    Yes, there are people out there who wish to belittle you or make you feel guilty. And there are those who are so convinced that their way is right and every other way is wrong that they've aligned themselves with political groups in an effort to force not only their religion but their morals on everyone else. They're the ones giving all the rest of us a bad name. Lumping us in with those people is the same as boom lumping all Muslims together and calling them terrorists.

    As for going to church, I understand the issues raised. I've struggled with them myself, and I still don't go on a regular basis. My thing with church is I don't want to be preached to for 30 or 45 minutes. I can take a little, but what I really want is someone to teach me. Finding that is increasingly difficult. I can only recommend one thing, other than simply trying out several churches: There was a NYT story linked on here a few weeks back about a preacher in Minnesota ticking off a lot of his members by refusing to support political causes. I took a look at the guy because I liked that. Started listening to a few of his sermons and I liked those. I've been listening ever since. Very smart guy. If you're interested, here's the link: http://www.whchurch.org/content/page_26.htm
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Completely disagree with Point No. 2. Why do you say that?

    (Completely disagree with Point No. 1, for that matter. You're making sweeping generalizations about people whose personal experiences you can't know.)

    But let's stick with Point No. 2. Why "must they feel guilty about something" if they don't like being judged by someone else? Expand on this, please.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    People saying they don't go to church because it's filled with judgmental hypocrites is like saying they don't like soccer because they never score. It's a cliche. My point is someone saying that is probably doing it out of a lack of experience, not a wealth of exoerience.

    Point 2, Why would I worry about someone judging me unless I feel like I fall short in some respect? What power could they possibly wield?

    So I think that lots of people stay away because they think that there are all these horribly judgmental people who secretly know the newcomers haven't been to church in a decade and are waiting to catch them reaching for the Bible instead of the hymnal and laughing at them or something.

    Maybe it's just me and I tend to care less than most what people may think.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Cliches only become cliches because they're filled with a grain of truth. And in truth, there are plenty of judgmental hypocrites in all areas of society -- but especially in religion.

    Any time someone deigns to have some type of moral superiority over another person because of *what they believe* -- and that's an issue in many organized religions, in practice if not in theory -- they can't help but be a hypocrite at some point.

    I don't think religion is meant to be morally superior -- that's not its purpose; and it often does play a wonderful role in a community -- but if you get a bunch of like-minded people who believe that their way is a better/the best/the right way to live (and if you don't think that's what most organized religions preach, in practice if not in theory, then you haven't experienced enough different religions), there is always going to be a hint of moral superiority and judgmentalness. That's just human nature. It's not a bad thing; it's just the way we are. It's something we have to be careful about, because if it grows too much, too fast ... well, watch out.

    But nobody's way is the best, nobody's path is the truest, because everybody is different. And what works for you likely doesn't work for me. And what works for me likely doesn't work for Alley. And what works for him likely doesn't work for Lugnuts. And what works for her likely doesn't work for Cadet. And so on ...

    So I don't take it personally if you say that anyone who doesn't go to church because of the judgmental hypocrisy is doing it out of lack of experience. I'm sure some people don't put much thought into it.

    But I'm also sure that some people don't put much thought into why they *are* going to church, either.

    In fact, I'm sure just as many people don't much put thought into that, and also don't put much thought into what church they go to, or even what religion they believe in. Maybe *that* is a cliche, too.

    But it also contains a kernel of truth. Just like most cliches.

    Maybe it's just me, and I tend to not want people judging me. Who gave anyone else the authority to judge me? Some religious leader -- another human being, mind you -- doesn't have that authority, that's for damn sure.

    I've got nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean I want another human being judging me for what I have or haven't done. Cast the first stone if you have done no wrong, but there's not a one of us -- not a fucking one -- who can honestly cast that stone. We're all human here.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    I'm not trying to jump on anyone here and wasn't intending to point fingers just give a perspective.

    I am not casting aspersions at anyone for not going to church -- just questioning the reasons.

    Hey, I encouraged Webster to go back to Temple.

    Whatever works for you.

    Sure there are a lot of judgmental folks in church but Christians should strive to be more like the person that they base their religion on. Peaceful, accepting, non-judgmental.
  7. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Excellent post.

    And this, I think, brings us back to the original post. King, I'm glad your thinking about it and not just showing up on Sundays out of obligation. You, and your daughter, will be better off knowing the why and not just the how.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Then it would be fair if you also questioned the reasons why anyone *does* go to church. Because I think people's reasons for not going get questioned a helluva lot more than people's reasons for going, especially by people who do go. At least in my experience.

    I think Cadet hit the nail on the head in the previous post: A lot of people show up on Sundays out of obligation, instead of truly putting some Independent Thought into *why* they would or should go.

    And therein lies the problem. The message has been distorted for so long, and so far from its origin, that few people understand (or care about) the reasons behind the message. They focus on the teachings, on the words, and get the whole message wrong.

    Jesus was a hippie. Jesus was a liberal (true meaning of the word, not the politicized meaning.) Jesus was a feminist. Jesus was a pacifist. Jesus was a criminal.

    Christianity looks down on all of those things. In its current all-encompassing form (yes, there are hundreds of different sects, and you can't generalize on these things very accurately) ... but if I were to speak generally, Christianity looks down on all of those things. As do many of its current leaders. Whether you agree with those leaders or not, they are the leaders of Christianity as an organized religion, in its current form.

    I find that to be hypocritical, and getting far away from Jesus's true message, which was one of understanding and *real* inclusion.

    Not jumping on you, either, Ace. Just relaying my perspective.

    I have no problem with the message. I have a problem with its application. I have no problem with the theory. I have a problem with the practice.

    Again, that's just me. And within my own experiences.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I did give some of my reasons in my first post. I probably wouldn't be going to church right now if I didn't have kids. My kids love doing things with the youth group.

    I complteley agree that many Christians are way off track of the message in their own Bible. But there are lots of different churches. Some are even liberal.
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