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Friday, July 25, 2008

I haven't gone to church in 6 years



Aside from the occasional wedding and funeral and christening, of course. If you know me or if you've read this blog for a while, you'd know I have this huge faith in God. I'm a Born-Again Christian, grew up in a Baptist church, and I completely believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior and that my life is meaningless without Him.

So why did I stop attending church? Oh, there are tons of reasons. Here's a good list I found from The Accidental Missionary:
10. I was only going to church to please others.
9 I want to spend more time with my friends.
8. I disagreed with the church’s stance on political or social issues.
7. I didn’t feel connected with the people in my church.
6. I became too busy.
5. I moved too far away.
4. My work responsibilities prevented me from attending.
3. I started college and stopped church.
2. Church members seemed too judgmental or hypocritical.
1. I simply wanted a break from church.


And then the blog's author surmises, "Why do they want a break? I think maybe #2 causes #1."

And that's why I ultimately left. Left the family I loved, the friends I grew up with, the church that formed my beliefs and my morals. Well, I didn't become un-Christian, mind you, I just left the church physically because it just got too confusing for me. It's like what Gandhi supposedly said, "I would become a Christian if it were not for Christians." I felt back then that I was surrounded by judgmental hypocrites and I wanted to scream my head off because I was so lost in a place where I should feel found.

So I wandered off. Shopped around for different churches and checked out a few "life-changing" seminars. Studied a bit of Buddhism and even found that very attractive. Except that I just couldn't shake off my one true love: Jesus Christ. I fell in love with Christ before and I asked Him into my heart and there is no way I'm asking Him to ever leave. Never!

Anyway, now that I've had time away and apart to live how I want, explore the world I was protected from, meet many kinds of people I never would've known had I stayed in my cloistered existence... well, I can't say I regret these past 6 years. Nope, not at all. I loved every minute of it! I've had tons of fun. I've grown a deeper understanding of myself, my fellow men, and of God.

And I guess I understand now that what I thought was judgmental and hypocritical behavior before was perhaps also growing pains, the same thing I had to go through. I guess if there's anything I love about getting older, it's getting more compassionate and understanding. Wisdom only comes with age. So yes, I will welcome the years.

Ah, but it's been 6 years, my friends. And I'm starving.

*song is I'm Going Home by Chris Daughtry; video features clips from Spirit, created by horselover1166

5 comments:

  1. Cool. How'd you end up reading Pastor Steve's (The Accidental Missionary) blog?

    Anyway, have you gone back to church?

    You are absolutely right. We all are works in progress. Gosh, I cringe every time I remember how horrid I was to you before, because I couldn't control my stupid moods and because I always thought that whatever I was thinking/feeling/doing at that time was right, which meant I believed everyone else's ways were wrong. Kahit ngayon naman, I still see a little of that in myself. Then I catch it and I get really scared. Because it IS compeletely true that apart from His grace, we would just go back to our rotten ways.

    Hay, kanina lang, I caught myself talking about something I shouldn't have been talking about. Gaah! Remorse agad after! Gaah talaga! Haha.. Work in progress, work in progress.

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  2. Ako naman, I love church. I do get offended sometimes by some people. (in fact, I got offended just last Wednesday!) There are some people who majorly get on my nerves. But at the end of the day, these people are my family. And just like any other family, there are people that are easy to love, there are people that are not so easy to love. I know there are times when I, myself, am not easy to love.

    I blogged a little about that here: http://romanalo.multiply.com/journal/item/58/Weekend_Download

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  3. Oh, Ro, don't worry about it. I wasn't exactly the most wonderful person in the world (still ain't!) so it's easy to understand why you or anyone would be so annoyed with me. Anyway, I'm choosing between GCF and CCF. Then there's VCF right next door...

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  4. hi there, just got to read this entry today and i can relate to it, it is almost also 7 years since i stopped going to church... i feel so guilty about it but i cant seem to choose which church to go now. i cant seem to fit into my childhood church because everybody is different already... all my friends have their own family and own kids na and i can really feel so 'out of place' when i am with them. i know that going to church is for worshiping God and praying and singing songs to our Lord and many more but i just cant help it that the members are still a big part of my sense of belonging there... have you started going to gcf, ccf or victory already?

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  5. Going to church is actually for fellowship. Remember that God is everywhere and you can pray to Him and worship Him anywhere at all. But church is for fellowship--you're with people who can help you in your spiritual growth because the righteous path is never easy.

    As for me... no, I haven't gone. I mean, I've tried (VCF and CCF) but I dunno... =(

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