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  1. #1
    Jay Guest

    Default What causes people to dislike religion?

    I am firm a believer in the fact that everyone has a spiritual following of some kind. I think many people have bad experiences with religion. Most of here in the United States were raised with Christian beliefs and a faith in God through Jesus Christ.



    Yet only a small percentage of the population attends services on weekly basis. Less than half of that percentage is likely to apply the lessons their taught in church.



    My questions are as follows:



    Why do you think people are apprehensive when it comes to religion?



    Why do people avoid going to church?

    (a) Some pastors fail to make every parishioner feel welcome.

    (b) Some parishioners make other parishioners feel un-welcome

    (c) The church needs provide

    (d) Some churches operate like an exclusive country club and only certain people are welcome.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Many people are apprehensive of religion because they perceive (rightly so in many cases) religious people as being judgemental, intolerant and intellectually dishonest.

    I don't think religion is about how fun you think the service is, or whether or not you like the pastor. That's immaterial. The man talking on the altar is just another human being who has hopefully really done his homework when it comes to relgion, ethics, etc. If he thinks himself to be more than that, he has delusions of grandeur.

    This board is an interesting place, and really does a good job showing some of those negative aspects with folks. I for one am sometimes just as guilty as some others.. What I think religion boils down to is an argument of faith. No matter what, with religion, there is always something that is just simply because it is. Like when a kid asks you why something is, and the only answer you can come up with is...

    "Just because".

    That's religion.

    When people can't see that about their own religion (I certainly recognize that about mine), then I think they are missing the big picture, and are making religion into something more than it is.

    "Just because" is always the starting point.

  3. #3
    nurfe75 Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Self-righteous, un-Christian, hateful "fundamentalists" choose to create a hierarchy of sins in which their own are of course the least important. Many of them are so afraid of having their sensibilities questioned that--when presented with a new concept--they will simply reject it out of hand or resort to personal attack. They preach "love the sinner, hate the sin" but never practice it, and almost never fully realize they are just as sinful as anyone else. They wear WWJD bracelets but then make fun of the fat girl or guy with bad acne at their school. They form self-important cliques of superiority. They claim perfect knowledge of their inerrant holy books, but when faced with very obvious inconsistencies in those books they simply get red-faced and put their hands over their ears and pretend to not hear you.

    If religious people would spend more time worrying about their own relationship with their God and living a good life, and less time poking their noses in other people's lives and being as judgmental as they possibly can, then more people would feel drawn to organized religion.
    Last edited by Patrick; 02-15-2005 at 12:33 AM. Reason: Removal of personal attacks

  4. #4
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by oklacity75
    I am firm a believer in the fact that everyone has a spiritual following of some kind. I think many people have bad experiences with religion. Most of here in the United States were raised with Christian beliefs and a faith in God through Jesus Christ.

    Why do people avoid going to church?

    (a) Some pastors fail to make every parishioner feel welcome.

    (b) Some parishioners make other parishioners feel un-welcome

    (c) The church needs provide

    (d) Some churches operate like an exclusive country club and only certain people are welcome.

    I agree with you, oklacity75, that everyone has a spiritual following of some kind. Being in church all 43 years of my life, and now being at the same church for 24 years, I have seen people come and go. Here is MY OPINION.....

    A) I know at our church, our pastor makes sure that he welcomes the visitors personally, and of course, he also greets as many of the mebers as he can, however, there are some dry churches out there whose pastors don't practice that. Even at churches I have visited while out of town, I have always been greeted by the pastor and felt welcome.

    B) I believe this is one of the biggest problems in churches today. If a visitor comes in and takes a seat in the pew, what if he takes the seat of a member that always sits there? Some church members are so into routine, that they don't make others feel welcome. Then there are the members that get ticked off at another member, and instead of confronting the problem and solving it like the Bible says to do, they get mad and leave the church.

    C) Not clear on this one.

    D) This is one of my biggest pet peaves. Some don't attend church because they say they have nothing to wear. There are some churches that expect you to dress up all the time. While I believe that we should dress our best when we go to God's house to worship, not every man owns a suit, nor does every lady own a dress. In my church, we are very casual. We don't have a lot of rich or high society people that attend. As a matter of fact, we are located in a very poor, gang ridden neighborhood. Sunday morning, many men wear nice jeans, nice shirt, and nice shoes. A few may wear a tie, but it is very unusual. The ladies wear dresses or even pants. Some of the poorer members wear only jeans and t-shirts to church, but we NEVER turn them down, because that is the nicest aparrel(sp?) that they have. All the ministers wear suits on Sunday mornings, mainly because it is appropriate for their position.

    Sunday nights, the ministers do not wear suits. They come casual, with sport shirts and nice pants. Many of the members, including myself, will wear jeans, tennis shoes, and t-shirts. Many of us, on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights will wear nice long shorts to the services during the summertime. Nobody looks down on anybody because of what they wear.

    I know there are some churches out there that would not welcome me because of what I wear, which is unfortunate, and disturbing. It is not up to us, as humans, to pick and choose who should attend our church. God says we should welcome all people, no matter what they look like. Everyone should be welcome to attend church as long as they are dressed appropriately. What is not appropriate? Short shorts, tank tops, mini skirts, halter tops, blouses that show lots of cleavage.

    Many people leave the church because the pastor has preached a sermon that really stepped on their toes. Maybe there is a sin in their life that has brought them down, and the pastor is preaching against that sin. If the member of the congregation is offended by what the pastor preaches out of the Bible, then they are most likely to leave and quit going at all. That's when the devil really starts to work on them.

    Many people don't attend church because they feel the church is full of hypocrites....and they are right. The church is full of them, and they always will be. One thing I dislike, is for someone to call themselves a Christian on Sunday, and they act just the opposite the rest of the week. If they are going to do that, I really wish they wouldn't carry the title of "Christian." Why let a hypocrite make your decisions for you. The hypocrite has to answer to God, and so do you. When God asks you why you never went to church, and your answer was that there were too many hypocrites in the church, your reasoning will not be good enough.

    Many people don't attend church because they don't believe, or Sunday is their only day to sleep in. I could go on and on, because the list is endless. No matter what, there will always be an excuse for not attending church.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and get on with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." -- Brennan Manning

    I know I shouldn't post this not having read any replies. But after reading the topic heading, I just had to put that quote.

  6. #6
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    I'll address (d)

    Unfortunately, a lot of churches have "man-made" rules in effect. For example, the Catholic Church requires confirmation to join. The Baptist Church requires Baptism. Other churches require a various list of requirements. So, oklacity75, I see where you're coming from in that observation.

    I actually like the way my parents' church (Crossings Community Church) accepts new members.....just attend there consistently for 6 months, and you become a participating member. Of course, they suggest you take the Pastor's Class to learn about the church, but it isn't really necessary for church membership.

    I've known several people leave our church (a Baptist Church) simply because they didn't want to get baptized. I'm not so sure if I agree that baptism is required for church membership. I do think it should be strongly encouraged, however.

  7. #7
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    I'll also address (a).

    Unfortunately, churches are starting to become a lot like everything else. Larger churches are taking over, while smaller churches are going under. People flock to churches that offer lots of programs and have lots of people. Problem is, when you have 5,000 folks in your church, it's hard for the pastor to meet and speak to everyone. Sure, in most larger churches there's typically a crew of several pastors, but there's still not usually enough to go completely around. Society as a whole has just gotten more impersonal, and church has followed that trend as well.

  8. #8
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Acts like this can turn people off from religion as well. Tihs kind of goes along with Luke's post:


    "Pastor accused of lewd acts with minors


    By Doug Warner
    NEWS 9


    We're following some disturbing allegations out of Edmond tonight. A pastor accused of lewd acts with minors and child abuse. Only on NEWS 9 tonight, one of his reported victims and police talk with our Doug Warner about the claims.

    Edmond Police have completed their initial investigation and handed their findings over to the DA's office.
    The pastor accused leads a congregation in Oklahoma City. The alleged victims? A family member and a child in his own neighborhood.

    She's a 13-year old friend of the family we'll call Megan. Megan says Pastor Leroy Sommers, while inside his Brookhaven Drive home last September, started touching her inappropriately.

    And, according to police records, Sommers allegedly "put his hands underneath her shirt and tried to unbutton her bra" and " ... underneath her bra ... and inside her pants."

    Megan wasn't the only one to come forward. A member of Sommers' own family claims Sommers had "hit her repeatedly with a closed fist to her face and arms." She also reports last month Sommers allegedly touched her privates while "watching a preaching channel."

    Sommers is the pastor at the Cowboy Church inside Remington Park and is now accused of three counts of child abuse and two counts of lewd acts with minors.

    Edmond police say Sommers' wife Marla, a DHS caseworker herself, knew about the incidents but did nothing to stop it.

    Since the investigation began, the pastor and his wife have moved out of their home and put it up for sale. The flyer in the box calls it the 'perfect family home.'

    But, at the same time, Megan's mother fears the pastor may be attempting to run from justice by moving.

    I briefly talked with Pastor Sommers today by phone. He refused comment as did the Cowboy Church.

    Now we also contacted DHS since one of their employees allegedly knew of the lewd acts and abuse but didn't call police. DHS says they'll reserve comment until the DA officially files the charges."

  9. #9
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Hmmmm...strange, there were two of these stories in The Oklahoman, in one day

    "Ex-minister sentenced in sex case


    By Ron Jackson
    The Oklahoman

    HEALDTON - A church congregation and a town are trying to reclaim a normal existence only days after a former local minister pleaded guilty to committing lewd acts with a child.
    Christopher Allen Ragle, 35, reached a plea agreement Friday with the Carter County district attorney's office.

    Ragle pleaded guilty to the charge, which involved a neighbor's 4-year-old girl, in exchange for a 20-year sentence. He will serve the first 12 years in prison with eight years suspended, court officials confirmed Monday.

    In a court affidavit, Ragle admitted to Church of Christ elders that he outlined a girl's naked body on paper in his church office and photographed the child -- one he claims he had seen naked "100 times."

    Kenneth Eck, a church member who writes a local newspaper column, said the situation has been difficult.

    "It really seems like a tragedy," Eck said. "But the church has held up well.

    "Different people in the church are doing the preaching, and we've already interviewed one minister. I really regret this because we really did like him (Ragle)."

    Court records show the victim's mother told investigators she was approached by Ragle and his wife, Shanna, who asked if her daughter could go to their house to play with their 3-year-old son. The mother agreed.

    The next day, the girl told her parents Ragle undressed her, outlined her body on a paper with a marker, and then used a paper towel to wipe the markings from her body, the mother said.

    The mother stated further that her husband confronted Ragle and church elders, and Ragle admitted undressing the child in his office.

    Carter County sheriff's deputies arrested Ragle in November after church officials reported the sexual misconduct. Investigators later confiscated Ragle's computer.

    "He (Ragle) had some digital pictures on there of the girl that were fairly damning," said Charles Milor, Ragle's attorney. "After that, I knew we had to cut a deal. It was a harsh sentence, but that's what we agreed to. The alternatives were not good."

    "He (Ragle) taught adult Bible studies on Sundays and Wednesdays," Eck said. "But at no time did he have access to the children in the church."

  10. #10
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke
    "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and get on with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." -- Brennan Manning
    I totally agree with you, Luke

  11. #11
    Jay Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    It's sad to see that we live in a world to where many kids can't trust adults. I can remeber a time when a child could fully trust a teacher, coach, clergymen, doctor or neighbor.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by oklacity75
    It's sad to see that we live in a world to where many kids can't trust adults. I can remeber a time when a child could fully trust a teacher, coach, clergymen, doctor or neighbor.
    Actually, these things did go on a long time ago. Back then, the difference was that they weren't reported in the media. Classic case of agenda setting really. There is not a whole lot different in the world today, just the way it's perceived.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Your right Midtowner, in the past such things would be gossiped about extensively but never be in the paper.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    I think people just dont want someone elses beliefs crammed down their throats, I believe in GOD, but dont know if there really is a hell, if GOD is a loving GOD, he would not send anyone to such a place, that is how I believe. I dont think you have to go to church to get to heaven, as long as you believe. Going to church and titheing to me is kinda like buying your way into heaven.

  15. #15
    flyingcowz Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    My families bad experience was with a baptist church (wont say where) and they basically said that a woman wasn't able to raise a family and provide for them without a man in the house...which really offended my mother who was raising me and my brother at that time..by herself

    -Paul

  16. #16
    1adam12 Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingcowz
    My families bad experience was with a baptist church (wont say where) and they basically said that a woman wasn't able to raise a family and provide for them without a man in the house...which really offended my mother who was raising me and my brother at that time..by herself

    -Paul
    You were at the wrong church, then. I have been a Baptist all of my life, and I have never heard of that one. Another reason people dislike religion, is that when they hear a sermon that condemns a sinful life, and they know that they are living in sin, it makes them mad. Well, all I can say is, maybe you should repent of your sinful life, whether it be drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, or adultry, to name a few.

    Sure, there are churches that are bad, however, many excuses people use for not attending church are cop outs.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    And sometimes, when they hear that sermon about a sinful life, a sinner ten times as bad is doing the preaching -- e.g. Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, etc.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingcowz
    My families bad experience was with a baptist church (wont say where) and they basically said that a woman wasn't able to raise a family and provide for them without a man in the house...which really offended my mother who was raising me and my brother at that time..by herself

    -Paul

    I'll backup 1-Adam 12, you were at the wrong church. I was also raised S. Baptist and my congregation would have respected you for raising your children in church and rendered aid if necessary.

    A church is a family and family members should help one another.

  19. #19
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner
    And sometimes, when they hear that sermon about a sinful life, a sinner ten times as bad is doing the preaching -- e.g. Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, etc.
    Judging again, I see . Well, at least they are forgiven and they don't stop going to church and preaching the Word of God. Jimmy Swaggart and Oral Roberts are human, aren't they? I thought so.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Judging again, I see . Well, at least they are forgiven and they don't stop going to church and preaching the Word of God. Jimmy Swaggart and Oral Roberts are human, aren't they? I thought so.
    "Give me one million dollars, or God is going to take me home"

    -- Oral Roberts

    ""If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell"

    "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm going to be blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died."

    -- Jimmy Swaggart

    If someone is intelligent, someone will not believe a liar. If someone is intelligent, they will realize that these men have used others to prosper without doing what Jesus would have intended. What would Jesus have felt about people becoming rich off of his word? Do you really want to defend these two? I can bring out so many more deceitful acts...

    These Jesus Pimps have no place in the ministry.

  21. #21
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: What causes people to dislike religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner
    "Give me one million dollars, or God is going to take me home"

    -- Oral Roberts

    ""If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell"

    "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm going to be blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died."

    -- Jimmy Swaggart

    If someone is intelligent, someone will not believe a liar. If someone is intelligent, they will realize that these men have used others to prosper without doing what Jesus would have intended. What would Jesus have felt about people becoming rich off of his word? Do you really want to defend these two? I can bring out so many more deceitful acts...

    These Jesus Pimps have no place in the ministry.
    No, they don't belong in the ministry, however, we all make mistakes, don't we? He who is without sin cast the first stone.

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