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Former Christians Explain What Made Them Leave The Church
Why do people leave the Church?
So many reasons.
It's an important question the Church should look into further.
Attendance has been steadily declining for decades.
Society has evolved on so many issues and behaviors that the Church just seems to stay stagnant.
People aren't going to stay where they don't feel welcome.
Redditor UK_Jay wanted to hear from everybody who left the church in the rearview, so they asked:
"Ex-Christians, what made you leave church?"
I don't mind the Church, but once I was done with Catholic school, it was see ya. Bye.
Truthtruth preach GIFGiphy
"The fact that everyone wants to be a disciple of Jesus but don't do what Jesus told his disciple to do."
"Luke 6:46 'Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?'"
"My high school religion teacher encouraged us to question our own faith. He told us that it was okay if we wound up walking away from our faith. But if we continued to believe despite his class, our faith would be that much stronger."
"One of the questions was, 'Do you believe because you actually believe, or is it because you were told to by your parents?' I finally decided that I was only Christian because of what my mom told me growing up."
"I wish every single Christian could have that religion teacher for a semester. That single semester was pivotal in my spiritual development."
"Had many friends and acquaintances that worked for the church and quit. Found out their reasons for quitting. The higher up staff did and forced my friends to do a bunch of corrupt crap. And if they didn’t, they 'Weren’t committed to the church enough, didn’t love God enough, weren’t willing to make sacrifices, will never make it in ministry.'"
"It broke my heart. I thought this was a place of love, and people who preached love. Haven’t trusted religion since. This church is a mega church in my area and keeps popping up more locations all over town. Makes me sick to my stomach every time I drive by."
Out of Focus
"The total hypocrisy of those I grew up around. Claim to be about love, spend most of their time hating people not like them. Claim to be about evangelism, literally only hang out with and talk to each other."
"Claim to be about giving, spend all of their energy focused on making more money for themselves."
"Not to mention they have conditioned themselves to avoid critical thinking at all costs. Must accept blind 'truths' at face value, OR ELSE."
For my sister...Phaedra Parks Bye Felicia GIFGiphy
"When my younger sister with Down’s syndrome was told she wasn’t eligible for communion despite taking all of the classes because she 'didn’t understand.'"
Family first. Help someone understand.
Damageheavy metal 90s GIFGiphy
"They damaged my mind. I always thought I would go to hell for things I like such as horror films, heavy metal and tabletop RPGs."
"the Lord spoke to me"
"Lack of answers, judgement, and hypocrisy mostly. I also read the Bible over and over and I just wasn't getting what other people were apparently getting out of it. Also everytime I prayed, nothing happened. Every now and then someone would be like 'the Lord spoke to me.' I always waited for something like that. It just never did."
"That lack of answers thing really bugged me the most though. I really wanted what I read in the Bible to be true but I just couldn't find anything to support most of it's claims. I was really sad for awhile. And scared that the devil tricked me. After awhile tho, I didn't believe in him either."
"They left me. My first partner and I grew up in the church together. We were seen as the golden couple in our youth group. Good, proper Christian couple. Said our prayers, worked with the less fortunate, youth work, worship, I even led sermons. Eventually we moved away to start a new life together. We then broke up. I then find that I'm being kicked out of groups on WhatsApp and Facebook, people are unfriending me on social media, all from the church."
"I found out she'd gone home first and started talking to people. I don't know what she told them, but none of the people I saw as my second family, this fellowship I'd felt so welcome in even came to me to talk. I was left alone. I reached out to multiple people to say I needed prayer because I was struggling. I got nothing. I felt abandoned by God and abandoned by his people. So I walked away from that life."
"I was a preteen locking myself in a dark closet because that's where I felt the closest to God - in the darkness. Like he was something that couldn't be seen - only felt. And I looked up into the nothingness of my closet ceiling after the millionth episode of physical and emotional abuse from my dad."
"I asked him to save me. God, not my dad. I was crying, screaming. Please. Please save me. I was just a kid. Surely I didn't deserve this. No one answered. And it occurred to me that anyone who could stop this and wouldn't, couldn't exist. So I stopped believing."
ThievesExplaining Season 3 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Preachers having massive homes while the people that go to the church struggle. It’s hypocrisy from the top down."
"I gave it up for Lent and never went back."
"I did the same thing with New Year's resolutions. As far as I know, I'm the only one who has ever kept a New Year's resolution."
These certainly were some interesting stories where people encountered a crisis of faith.
Do you have any similar stories? Let us know in the comments below.