Christians don’t know what to do with those who leave the church.
I’ve seen a few typical responses. These are either reactions to or explanations for people leaving. These responses indicate something about the foundation and dynamics operating in the Christian Church.
These will be in no particular order.
- Indignant. Some are incredibly angry that a person would not agree and align with their idea of the importance of church or traditional Christian ideals.
This indicates there is a foundation of control upon which Christianity is built or the conduit through which it is practiced.
- Control. Some are frustrated that this person is no longer able to be controlled.
This points to how powerless people in religion feel and their need to cover or compensate for this powerlessness. This is evidenced in various doctrines and traditions.
- Fear. Some are afraid that you’ll be lost or “the devil’s going to get you.”
This shows how many have been shamed and scared into life with YAH.
- That’s none of my business. Some don’t feel they are mature enough to relate and converse with someone who may be grappling with their faith and religion. So, they avoid it altogether.
This points to the social system embedded in the Christian church and how people see their roles therein.
- Longing. In a phrase, “I wish I could do that. I wish I was strong enough to do that.”
This points to the exhaustion of people in religion. Many are tired as they run on the hamster wheel of religion, but it keeps you codependent upon its system. So, you can’t really leave (you can, but you feel like you can’t).
- Devalue. This is the belief that you are of no value or importance if you are not a part of this belief system anymore.
This points to the incomplete system of validation the Church has set up. People look to pastors, church community, no other Christians to validate themselves. Anyone who does not adhere to this value system immediately and innately loses their value.
Your response to this shouldn’t be to cover up or justify how you or your church normally responds. My encouragement to you if you’ve read this through, is ask. Figure out why people are leaving the Church and Christianity as a whole. Don’t make assumptions.
I left because I started to ask, “why do we do what we do?” “What does Scripture say?” Finding the answer to those questions is what led me here.
People are leaving a system they once felt so strongly about. I felt I had to defend this faith. I felt a responsibility and a weight that many feel today.
I’ve been hesitant at times to share more about my beliefs before I left because people use that to explain away why I left. They’ll say, “You just weren’t doing it right. You just weren’t serious. I’ve always been certain about _. I’ve always known that! You were just at the wrong church. Not all churches are the same.”
I’ve reached a place now where I’m okay with the conclusions people will draw. I think one of two could happen if people started being curious when people leave.
One. They will start to look at what the Church has been doing for so long and make radical changes.
Two. Others will start to leave — much like an exodus.
This is what I think some pastors or Christians are fearful of. They’re afraid to look within. They’re afraid to question and challenge. What if I find out something I don’t like? What if everything I’ve built my doctrine on falls apart? Where would I go? What would I do?
It’s okay to not have the answers to those questions. So, if you do find yourself in that place, feel free to reach out to me!
He is good.
Everything will be okay!