There are many advantages to being a part of a group of people who seek to encourage one another about God. Many of us had to leave the building but we haven’t left God. I will cite a well-researched book that interviews “dones” (Church Refugees by Packard and Hope). I will ask you at the end what your experience has been.
Why I left the church building
I will be brief. I was being taught beliefs about God that didn’t make moral sense of a loving God. They still don’t four decades later. My journey led me to question if Hell is real, if God only lets Christians into heaven, if God determines spiritual roles based on gender than gifts, and if God condemns gays. There are sixteen main misbeliefs about God I write about mostly. See here. Eventually my journey led to starting and naming my blog What God May Really Be Like
I eventually stop going to the building because I couldn’t stop believing what I was learning. Whatever the leaders of the church teach is want most of the members believe. There was rarely open dialogue or in my opinion intellectual honesty, so I left. I have no desire to be divisive or undermine people’s faith.
Church Refugees seems to suggest the following reasons people left the church building:
- Lack of real community. Leaders were quick to judge rather than listen and then listen some more. It is important to earn the relational right to judge.
- Lack of responsible stewardship. 60% of the budget went toward the 90-minute show without serving better those outside the building. The lights have to stay on but isn’t there better uses of the money?
- Lack of meaningful dialogue. Being preached at doesn’t allow open discussions. Being so damn certain all the time is hardly relational, especially when even scholars disagree what the Bible says about issues impacting the lives of so many people.
- Lack of grace. People weren’t looking to excuse their moral failures, but why can’t we focus less on sexual behaviors and more on the poor, homeless, etc. Who is perfect!
I am sure there are many, many reasons people leave the church. Abuse by leadership is real and why many may not only leave the church but God as well. I left because there were no outlets to talk about beliefs claimed about God that I was concerned was leading others away from God.
Why do you think others left or why did you leave the building?
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