All You Need Is Love – Written by John Lennon
I know this is a sensitive issue for many people because we all have our deep seeded beliefs. But often people leave church, and the leaders aren’t aware of the reasons. I don’t want to convince anyone to change their faith. But, I think there are things that many churches do, not knowing how deeply they hurt people. Maybe this could open some doors (literally) of churches to be more of a comfort to others.
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Below is a list of things that I experienced in a few churches that had a big effect on me and eventually led other people and me to leave church. These are the reasons I finally realized that for my wellness, I had to leave the church. Some of these situations likely have another side to the story, but a person’s perception of their church and what they see, hear, and learn are why they go to church, right?
Good emotional health happens when you know if you’re being manipulated, lied to, or controlled in some way, and you have the self-confidence to move away from whatever it is that threatens your well-being
- I was quoted the exact scripture, in counseling, to help my situation. Other than knowing this scripture, and praying, I had no reasoning or suggestions on WHAT TO DO to help my situation. I’m aware that sometimes there isn’t anything we can do, but I was left feeling like all I needed was God to answer my needs, and then when he didn’t, I was left feeling hopeless and without any knowledge of what to do next. Good therapy doesn’t often happen at church. Managing Stress
- I had to ask permission to leave the church or at least talk to the pastor before I left.
- I witnessed misappropriation of money and things that were gifts to the church by people who financially supported the church for decades. Disrespect was coming from leadership to members who loved and supported the church. (long story)
- People never opened up about their struggles. All I could see were people being dishonest by trying so hard to appear like they had their lives under control, or they were perfect.
- The sermons always were about how I needed to change. I left church exhausted thinking I was never doing enough. What I needed was some positive ideas of what to do with my life.
- I don’t remember acceptance of certain people who lived particular lifestyles. Disregard for scientific studies and substituting faith in its place. Scriptures were picked to shame and eliminate individual lifestyles rather than loving and supporting people who lived a certain way. However, The belief of scientific studies is tolerated if you go to a doctor or hospital.
- Cliques were everywhere. I guess it’s human nature; I don’t know. What happened to the core belief of loving everyone?
- I was taught that some Scripture is disregarded “in these days,” while other scriptures are believed to be for today. I know it’s often explained that we are free from the laws before the time of Christ, but the church still taught you to obey some of those laws anyway.
- Friends who I was close with suddenly stopped associating with me. I had no idea what I did wrong. I began wondering why people didn’t like me until I realized it might not have been all about me. (A simple course on social skills would have helped me. Make Friends, Beat Anxiety and Improve Your Social Skills
- A Pastor expecting my husband to give more of his time helping the church even though my husband could plainly see the pastor’s calendar was almost empty. My husband was already working overtime to support his family.
- Continual sermons on giving more money. It appeared like the people asking for more money were living an easier financial life than the people giving their money to them. This picture didn’t sit right with me. I felt like practical life issues on the right way to handle money was more important. I didn’t know much about things like life insurance, investing money, and frugal living. Logically, couldn’t I help those around me if I wasn’t broke all the time?
- Preaching about Hell. Again, everyone has their beliefs, but being pounded with how I will go to hell if I don’t believe exactly the way they do is not what church is for, in my opinion.
- A pastor never fully paid us the money he owed my husband for building an addition on his home. Again, there are probably two sides, but I couldn’t get over it while listening to him preach every Sunday.
- The love chapter in the bible was disregarded when it meant loving people of different lifestyles. (a bit of bigotry in my opinion)
- I heard someone say that the reason my home burned was that I was living in sin. (Yes, some people are rude, but this was the general belief of many. If bad things happened to you, it was because of something you did.) Yep, I guess you could say these are good reasons to switch churches.
I know, I experienced some “out there” stuff in churches. I know that there are a lot of good things that many churches do and even while no one is perfect they love and accept everyone at their doorstep.
But there are plenty of churches that still believe they have the only way to live under their belt and it’s these that cause me to fear for the division in our country.
I think it would be good for all of us to think about what our world would be like if we could love each other and accept people for where they are at in their life.
I suppose people who have things in common will always stick together, but the duty of love should eliminate, in my opinion, any rantings or public judgments, ridicule, riots, and group hate rallies and counter hate picketing.
We shouldn’t be so concerned about forcing our beliefs on people as we are at coming together and helping people.
Can we let those who disagree make a spectacle of themselves in their marches and move on?
After all, do we have the time to argue back and forth to force our opinions or are we too busy actively living out our beliefs?
Bigotry-Dictionary.com defines bigotry-stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
I hope this post inspires you to take a good look at how you spend your time and the state of your mental health and happiness. Living life with a sense of direction and fulfillment is something I learned to do after some life altering things happened to me. Read more about this.