I’ve run into a lot of atheists in this last few months. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with them, and they have told me some of their experiences with church. Once they explained, I understood what prompted them to make the choice that they made. Religious people are very much responsible for discouraging people about God. This idea that you do everything for a prize or you do everything so you don’t go to hell makes God have this genie like persona. It’s not a barter and trade system. If people have been taught that the result of them doing right is being “blessed” or getting good things. They wouldn’t understand why bad things happen to good people. God isn’t a genie. When you teach people that God is a genie, and they don’t get their three wishes, you are hurting their ability to want to comprehend God.
This made me realize that there are so many things about church that people don’t know. If people knew the bad parts about church and religion up front, maybe they would stay in the church longer. Maybe they would understand how to cope with church problems. I have left churches in the past, but it was never because of another member. I have heard many people say that they have left church because of the people. People aren’t perfect anywhere. It is easy to criticize the person who is trying to do what they think is right. Trying takes bravery.
I have been to many different types of churches. I grew up Pentecostal, my grandmother was catholic (and I had to go), I have been to nondenominational churches, and I converted to Adventism. I know a lil bit about quite a few churches. There are some thing that I have noticed in all of them.
This is in no way a diss to churches. I love the idea of people seeking The Most High and answers. I respect various parts of my upbringing and what I have learned. I respect God. This isn’t about faith, this is about the social circle that is the church.
Devotion To Tradition
Sometimes people are more committed to their religion than to having faith itself. When I say this I mean that if these people found out that their religion was incorrect, they wouldn’t leave. It is indeed hard to realize that what you have been told is a lie, but when you realize it you have to go. You have to seek God more than you seek a social circle. It’s hard to tell loved ones that you have different beliefs.
I have heard people tell me well I know such and such is inaccurate, but it doesn’t matter. It absolutely matters. Let your devotion be to God first. In ALL THY WAYS acknowledge The Most High and Truth.
There are some things that are tradition that are not Biblical. It’s just true. It’s OK to have traditions, but it’s not OK to blindly follow anything. It’s not OK to do something simply because it’s all you know. Do you know the spiritual significance of the rituals and holidays you hold so dear?
Religion Causes Peer Pressure Too
Generally in church people will tell you not to be worldly and to avoid peer pressure. The problem is that church also provides a level of peer pressure both positive and negative. The pressure is different, but still pressure. If you are doing something out of the fear of not fitting in with those around you that’s peer pressure.
I went to a church once where eating unhealthy was the norm. People would be pressured after service to stay and eat in order to raise money for the church. I always thought to myself…doesn’t God care about the body too? If we are supposed to use our faith to better ourselves, how is this helping. Social activities almost always incorporated unhealthy food. It wasn’t just now and again, but every week.
I went to another church where women were frowned upon for not being married. If you had a church friend, you can believe that when you get together the conversation of getting married will come up. There were times when it was welcome, but I realized that the social pressure that the church had put on reproduction was making some young women feel like failures.
The first motivation should be to please God. When you start doing (or not doing) something and your first thought is what will the congregation think you are not being genuine.
Jealous Of Perceived Freedom
Once upon a time I went to a church and this girl (don’t ask who because I’m not telling) was trying to explain to me why she felt I shouldn’t wear jewelry. I told her I respectfully disagree with her views. She wanted to have a Bible study about it and I declined.
Fast forward about a week later and I went to another friend’s house who was not from my church. She told me that this insta model who was known for showing her figure and her ASSets had taken out her ribs to look thinner. My friend instructed me to go to the models page to see. I looked at a pic and guess who was in the comments…that’s right…lil miss don’t wear earrings. Why was it ok for you to celebrate this woman who doesn’t fit the narrative of the image you are trying to portray, but I can’t wear earrings. To this day she may wonder why I don’t speak to her. I feel that the woman was ok being herself and so was I. I felt she should judge herself. How dare you mention me and some jewelry. I wish her all the best, but that friendship ended.
Some people will judge you for things that they wish they could do. Now you may be thinking… well what’s stopping them? Their fear of what people will think, their spouse, the idea of losing family and friends, the idea of being judged, being an outsider etc. I’m sure that she wanted to wear jewelry. This is why she was angry that I wore mine so unapologetically.
Everyone Is 100% Sure They Are Right
Some things are like spiritual facts. Some things you will know and feel in your spirit. Other things you can’t be sure of. A human brain is not that large, and we only use a percentage of that. Don’t let your ego tell you that you know it all.
How do you really know that the next person is wrong in their beliefs. I hate to hear religious people say the have “the truth.” The truth is that The Most High can not be calculated and figured out.
Faith is not about trying to figure out where when and how. Faith is the Divine connection and peace that surpasses all understanding that you will only get from a supernatural connection. You could be right in your spiritual knowledge, but don’t condemn others. Don’t allow your ego to make you think your faith is without flaws.
The moral of the story is that loving and respecting The Most High is first. You don’t know everything, and you won’t know everything. Your pastor doesn’t either. Don’t be so self righteous and off putting to people who don’t necessarily believe like you. There is a difference in protecting yourself from evil, and being used for evil.
I love theology of many different kinds. I love to learn. There are some teachings that do not resonate with me, but I calmly explain my views when asked. People think that religious conversation causes conflict, but I don’t think that is where the conflict arises. The conflict comes from not listening, not wanting to be wrong, and listening to be reactive and prove a point.