Are we surprised when people leave the church?
"Alarming Rate" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
When people say that they are alarmed by people leaving the church, one has to conclude they're out of touch with reality. It's really not that alarming. It's not that complicated. It actually makes perfect sense.
To scold people who leave the church by saying that they just should go to church or that they are lost without it or that they've made a mistake and that it's their fault for leaving... it betrays a lack of self-reflection.
People are leaving the church for all kinds of reasons. They are...
- ... bored.
- ... fed up with¬†being manipulated, coerced, and controlled.
- ... experiencing abuse and have had enough.
- ... not being challenged intellectually.
- ... being asked to believe unbelievable things against their consciences.
- ... looking for true community and are disappointed.
- ... desiring a freedom the church does not allow.
- ... giving up on the church's broken promise to make the world a better place.
- ... tired of being constantly violated spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, financially, etc.
- ... rejected, shunned, shamed, kicked out.
I'm sure there are lots more reasons. Why did you leave? Or why are you thinking of leaving?
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