1. Religion & Spirituality

Readers Respond: Why Don't You Go to Church?

Responses: 427

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I receive frequent emails and comments from Christians who have given up on the idea of church attendance. Some blame bad experiences that have left a bitter taste in their mouths, causing them to become disenchanted with the practice of going to church. Others say that conventional church activities are missing the biblical mark. If you are a follower of Christ, and you've quit attending church, we'd like to know why.

(To express positive support in favor of going to church, click here.)

Set Free

For 35 years I have struggled to go to church. I am not a singer, I am a bit of an introvert and every week I force myself to mix and be part of several church groups. It finally dawned on me that God was not asking this sacrifice of me and I have stopped going. For the first time in years I am actively enjoying being a follower of Jesus and have tremendous peace, joy and happiness. It is as though I have been set free to live my life and I no longer feel depressed. I feel that I am serving God properly at long last by being a peaceful, loving, kind presence in the world rather than a depressed, harassed bundle of nerves. I have learned a lot from the Church, but in the end, for my sanity I had to leave.
—Guest Susan

Ex Pew Sitter

I don't go to church, because those people think they're better than me. They manipulate the masses for money. They look down their nose at me. I hate them! When I attend, I start feeling hate, frustration, anger, and have to run out. I can't stand church. I went for 7 years. Back in the 1980s but the church split and were fighting (bunch of phonies). I would like to find God. Hopefully He is not like the "Church." O God, O God, where are You?
—Guest Where's God??

Not Perfect

I have many bad experiences with churches, but God has shown me I'm no better than any other hypocrite. I feel for everyone on here because I know what it feels like to be burned by cliques and Christians that act like unbelievers. I pray for all of you. Just keep on worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ and ask him his will. In his love, Vicki A.
—Guest vicki a.

Not All Churches Are Bad

I admit I have been a victim of church abuse. Thank God for Jesus leading me to leave a church where man's works were seen as holy! The pastor taught that if you don't go to church then you don't know God. Where is that found in the Bible? I thank God for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Too much flesh in the pulpit. I now attend a wonderful church where the pastor is not greedy, fleshy nor flashy. He teaches the gospel of Jesus Christ. Grace and mercy instead of condemnation. I understand deeply how all of you feel.
—Guest faithful1

I Am the Church

I don't go to church because I am the church. I used to go. I used to be on the worship team. I was "spiritual". But after all said and done.... It was all a lie. Yeah I had issues then and still do and I'm growing and learning. But one thing is for sure... Jesus died so we can be free. Freedom from a man's religion, freedom from lies, freedom to who God created us to be. The bible says to have fellowship... I do. I have tons of friends who are believers and worship God. I learn from a lot of the older Christian men at work. The bible says that undefiled religion is to father the fatherless, take care of the widows, feed the poor. Jesus also said there will be those who say "Lord we have done this and that in your name". He replies away from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you. Scary huh.... I have relised that we are the temple of God. Jesus died so we don't have to go behind the veil in order to see God. He is already in us. Pharisees still exist. Peace
—Guest I am the church

Update

I have found a church we can all attend. Times Square Church (Non-Denominational) online. TSCNYC.org. Just click the live button. It starts at 9:00 a.m. ET. 1 hour of praise and then an hour of sermon. You will be blessed. I also am attending brick and mortar churches from time-to-time. But, I am really getting fed by the online church, daily prayer and bible study. Plus sites like this to let me know there is a literal army of us out there who for whatever reason the Lord has us doing this for a season. For me personally, He has been changing me--making me stop grumbling complaining (even if I am right) and filling me with His love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. If you tune in to the link I gave you, you will thank Jesus for the being in the middle of the trial you're in.
—Guest Melinda

I Don't Go Because ...

As a single gay man I find that churches are not very welcoming to me.
—Guest Templarman

Why I Don't Go to Church

I was in the grocery store one day and a lady and her husband just got out of church. She was standing in line with a long fur coat with a hat to match...the husband who was the Pastor had a fine suite on with matching shoes, sucking on a toothpick. It was time for them to pay for their groceries, and she pulls out a food stamp card...Really? Really? People like myself and my neighbors are struggling to make ends meet, we don't know where our next paycheck is going to come from. I followed them to the car asking questions like what church they go to and yada yada yada, that's when I found out he was a pastor. Okay so if your a pastor, your wife is dressed to the hilt, how on God's green earth did she get a food stamp card? Pulled away in a Caddy. It's the pastors and the government I have issues with not God, I love God, he is my rock and my hiding place, he is my go to when life gets hard, too bad we can't trust anyone, mainly a building...God bless you all.
—Guest anomous

I Have Tried Many Times

I used to go to church, but I was cut down, persecuted, brought into a mess that was against me and my husband, but it wasn't true. I was told I was an unfit mother, I was standing at the alter praying and worshiping, and someone walked up to me and told me I was going to go to hell if I didn't wake up and smell the coffee...One church asked me not to come back if I couldn't wear a dress. With research of my own and comparing to the Bible, no we are not being taught the right way, things are missing, pieces of the puzzle are missing. I have been a Christian all my life before I was born actually, God had it planned, seems like the government has a plan as well. I would like to find a place that isn't ruled by the government that will let the one true God lead it and let him take over. It's not here yet, but when he does come and brings his teachings its going to be awesome...
—Guest laura

Don't Know What To Do

I have been involved in church for the last 23 years. I left my last church because they changed their ministry approach of anything goes and church growth became more important than preaching and teaching. Pastors have moved away from being true Shepherds to putting teaching off onto life groups and we are now to be self feeders. What happened to the gift of teaching and preaching? Churches are very busy trying to keep the well employed happy so they will support them which causes them to be cliquey.They are more worried about protecting the business than reaching the lost and bearing one another's burdens. They will spend thousands of dollars going overseas to minister when they refuse to see the need of those near their doorstep. People are hurting and in need of a true biblical church. I sure hope God intervenes and straightens some of this out. I will probably not return to a church building anytime soon.
—Guest Louise

Don't Allow Women Preachers

False preachers, they say women can preach but never ever allow this, and I have a lot the Lord wants me to say. I would appreciate it more if they would simply say we do not recognize women preachers here, and then I would not be so upset with them as lairs. What is the difference?
—Guest Tina

Hebrews Misquoted

The passage in Hebrews about gathering together is addressed to the JEWS who were in danger of going back to the camp of law and earthly Jerusalem. By meeting together they would be encouraged to stay in their VERY new faith. However, enthusiastic "church attendance" types ever use this verse as a club to mash anyone who does not submit to their earthly man-built church systems. Which is why genuine born again believers don't attend man made 'churches' - instead, they worship in spirit and in truth, which is what the Father is seeking.
—Guest richard s

Leading More to Church than Christ

The pastors elevate those that sing the best, have best/longest attendance, and gives the most. This is misleading. None of these things encourage a closer relationship with Christ nor was exhibited in the Bible stories. When Christ appears, I don't want to be found guilty by association. As we grow in Christ, we should exhibit a change in our life style. Church members have expressed seeing the same false teachings that is misleading members, but find scriptures to validate why they should remain. This is how the devil has been able to successfully corrupt the church. Last, they tell me that the Bible says that we should fellowship, but they leave off 'with those of common faith'. If you ask many Christians what God said is the first and second greatest commandments, they don't know because that part of the old service (The decalogue) has been removed. The church takes the tithes and use for ministries and the pastors' use, and the pennies/missionary offering is used to help the needy.
—Guest Cynthia

Church is Evil

I gave up on going to church, due to the evil influences encountered there - politics, cliques, ostracizing, misuse of money, and so on. I'll keep my faith out of an organized church from now on. Pure evil is at work in a lot of churches today.
—Guest Louie

Wrong Church?

I just can't explain it ... am I going to the wrong church? I love to attend the Bible studies, but not the Sunday services! I wonder why.
—Guest Sathyaraj

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