how the church can feel like a trap

"Church Trap" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Church Trap” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

This isn’t everyone’s experience. It hasn’t always been mine. But when it has been, it certainly has been.

I know some people who love their religious community and feel liberated in it.

I know others who struggle within their religious community and feel trapped by it.

A friend forwarded me this ridiculous article called 6 Wrong Ways to Leave a Church. The author assumes you have no rights over your own life. Even if you leave a church that’s abused you, you still have to follow its rules and regulations on how to move on. Crazy!

There are many ways to feel trapped. Like once you commit at all you have to sign over your whole life and all your free time. Sometimes your money. Like when you can no longer think for yourself and have to swallow the ideology of that community hook, line, and sinker. Like when you don’t feel you have the green light to investigate other options. Like when you feel you can no longer have a private life outside of the community’s schedule and expectations. Like making you feel like your every move is being observed, criticized, and judged. Etcetera.

I left the church. Many times. You can read my story in more living detail in my latest book.

You’re free. Be a slave to no one. Ever.


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5 Responses

  1. Bernardo says:

    Then there is the issue of churches, temples and synagogues being money traps.

  2. Adam Julians says:

    Interesting with the use of the word “wrong” giving a negative slant to leaving. The rhetoric suggests an assumption of control over someone who has left even though they have no authority to give direction. Also it paints leaving negatively.

    I wonder if that’s how Jesus was treated when they tried to throw him off a cliff after speaking at the synagogue in Nazareth.

  3. Bernardo says:

    “how Jesus was treated when they tried to throw him off a cliff after speaking at the synagogue in Nazareth.” (Luke 4:29)

    Hmm, might want to subject said passage to rigorous historic testing i.e. it fails as it is a single attestation found no where else in the scriptures. For added details see Professor Gerd Ludemann’s review and conclusions in his book Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 283-285.

  4. Jewlz Leaves says:

    I’ve just gone back to work as a priest after the death of my husband (also a priest) 4 1/2 months ago. Trapped isn’t quite the word for me but it’s hard to feel “at home” at the moment, though I must say that my ‘elders’ have been incredibly supportive. Sadly, I know this isn’t the case for many. Very glad to be an Anglican.

  5. Glad you feel support Jewlz.