Why are all the good people leaving the churches?

I’ve attended a lot of churches in my 15 year Christian career.  I’ve noticed that there seems to be a Multi-level marketing mindset permeating most, if not all, of them.  What I mean is that most people there seem to be more interested in the business of Christianity and church rather than the product–the true heart of it.  I feel like I’m skeptical of most who attend.  They really don’t seem all that genuine or sincere to me.  I judge them about why they’re there.  Is it because they grew up there?  Is it because they are trying to cover their guilt and shame by being religious?  Is it because they get power from it?  What is it exactly that brings them?  And why don’t I find many good people there?  Now, I know that nobody is actually “good”.  Jesus even said so.  But, what I mean by “good” is sincere, genuine, at least trying.  I’m always left wondering where the “Early Church” mentality has gone–the one I read about in the book of Acts where they all had everything in common and they fellowshipped together regularly and they had a strong sense of mission and purpose.  In short, they were sold on the product.  Where is that?  Are the people around me truly satisfied with what they experience on a weekly basis?  We come into some cold, boring building with weird windows and seating.  Fake people who aren’t very good at hiding it get up on the stage and pretend to be happy and to have it all together.  We sing a bunch of really lame songs together not even really thinking about the words.  We hear a sermon–sometimes it’s interesting, but most of the time not.  And, even when it is, we go home and forget it.  We might have a few superficial conversations if we’re lucky, but for the most part, it doesn’t feel to me that anyone actually cares about me when I’m there.  I could disappear and nobody would really be all that concerned.  I actually tried it for two months and nobody had much concern except that a few people expressed concern that it’s a bad idea to stop attending church.  Were they really concerned for what was going on inside me or were they more concerned that I was missing church?  Because it’s our church attendance that saves us right?

Sometimes I blame the condition of the church for my porn problem.  I wonder if I had had the support and fellowship I longed for, would I ever have allowed porn to overcome me?  As it stands nobody talks to me about my inner trials and feelings.  Nobody really goes any deeper than the weather, work, and all the same old stuff we all talk about in the real world.  So shallow.  So superficial.  I had hoped church would be a place to get beyond all of that and get into some of the things that really matter.  Oh, but we’re brothers and sisters in Christ!  Are we?  I actually KNOW my real sister.  I don’t truly know anyone at church even though we’re around each other all the time.  Whose fault is this?  Mine? Everyone else’s?  The Pastor’s?  God’s?  Obama’s?

Complaining aside, I would really rather find a solution than sit around thinking about the problem.  But, I don’t have a solution.  I don’t know how to create the kind of authenticity I’m seeking.  I don’t have the energy or the strength or the know-how.  So, until then I guess I just go and keep on faking it with everyone else!  And then I can continue to find relationships in the virtual world of porn.  Nope, the girls in those pictures aren’t fake at all!  Nope, 100% genuine and authentic.  Sick, isn’t it?!  And a bad joke at that!

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2 Responses to Why are all the good people leaving the churches?

  1. Sydney says:

    I love this post and I totally resonate with your frustrations regarding the Church. I think we get caught up in the idea that God expects perfection from us and so we put up this front that we are perfect and everything’s fine. Christianity becomes all about tradition and routine. I think the Church should be a place of honesty and authenticity. We know (perhaps more than anyone) that we’re broken and sinful. If we weren’t, why the heck did Jesus even need to come? Why do we even believe what we believe if we think we’re fine on our own?

    God made us for community. We thrive when we are in intimate relationship with other people. We, the people of the Church, more often than not fail at pursuing and encouraging these kinds of relationships. They’re messy, they’re hard, and they can be uncomfortable, but we won’t make it without them.

  2. torik89 says:

    God’s grace has given me a church where the community is such that I can’t avoid having conversations like that. There are still people within the church who seclude themselves and walk in and walk out, but the moment you pursue relationship it is there.

    Perhaps it is time to start asking God for that kind of community. It does exist.

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