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  1. #1
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    Default Now Boarding on Platform 5.342 ...

    ... and I hope this doesn't turn into a train wreck.

    That said ...

    Anyone here who has quit going to church/never started going for reasons such as hypocrisy, total lack of concern with the welfare of neighbors, etc.?

    I have had the scariest year in my life so far (also the most faith-building), and I have watched church people spend hundreds of dollars to fly halfway around the world to build churches/schools/houses instead of helping at-home neighbors pay rent/utility bills/buy groceries.

    I have heard sermons on faith-with-charity/good works/sharing, and not seen any evidence of sharing on a local basis. It seems that people find it less scary to send money/bottled water/diapers to strangers far away, than to people they actually see every day.

    Now it is stewardship/pledge-drive season and the churches are wanting money. But what do they do with it? They are cutting back on assistance programs.

    I used to think that if/when I got through this I would have a testimony worthy of a tent revival.

    Now I'm no longer sure I would give it even if asked. Who would care?

    And all these runs and walks to raise money. Walk to prevent suicide. Why not just pay your neighbor's heat bill one month, or buy them a bag of groceries?

    I have seen firsthand how God provides, and how human beings don't.

    All aboard!?
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


    9 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
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    Sep. 5, 1999
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    Default

    Amen!



  3. #3
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    Default Wading in carefully here...

    First of all, I want you to know that I was raised by pagans, so I came to Christ on my own.
    I could say the same things you are saying about 'religious' people, about people who rescue dogs, cats or horses. There are PEOPLE who need saving, and having their light bill paid. Why rescue a dog? Now that statement, here, is surely flameworthy. I think a lot of the fund raisers are marketing ploys. I do believe in keeping charity local, but I will say that today, when I discovered SK's thread about the oldies, I was at church, playing secretary, filling and sealing my two shoeboxes for the Franklin Graham children's Christmas ministry, I think it is Operation Christmas Child. I live in a really low income neighborhood. My church, and the Catholic Church up the street, and I think a Methodist church provide all the labor, and we are the only food pantry in the entire city with a volunteer staff. We also provide most of the food.
    They are very careful about who can receive it. And no you do not have to attend church, but they keep records so they don't go to all the different pantries. There is plenty to see and do that is good in a church, but if you look for the bad, you will always find it.
    Another killer of threads


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Oct. 9, 2000
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    California
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    Default

    Six weeks ago my oldest friend and her daughter were killed by a drunk driver (boating accident). Her husband was driving and was critically injured but he will recover. Their church community (of which I am not a member), as well as the community-at-large (Boy Scouts, AFB where he works, kids' schools) have come together to support the family in a variety of ways. They've come by to do some brick work on a walkway, do yard cleanup, get them a freezer, cook food, donate money to a general fund, take care of the animals, drive him around town as needed, etc. I've been very impressed with the way the community has supported this family.

    Perhaps it is because we live in a small, semi-rural area that this kind of support is openly offered and available. In any event, I've been very impressed.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    I think you can have a wonderful community without the church but the church can be a wonderful community. It's not for ME, but I think it has benefits.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    May. 10, 2009
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    NC piedmont
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    Six weeks ago my oldest friend and her daughter were killed by a drunk driver (boating accident). Her husband was driving and was critically injured but he will recover. Their church community (of which I am not a member), as well as the community-at-large (Boy Scouts, AFB where he works, kids' schools) have come together to support the family in a variety of ways. They've come by to do some brick work on a walkway, do yard cleanup, get them a freezer, cook food, donate money to a general fund, take care of the animals, drive him around town as needed, etc. I've been very impressed with the way the community has supported this family.

    Perhaps it is because we live in a small, semi-rural area that this kind of support is openly offered and available. In any event, I've been very impressed.
    I've always been impressed by acts of kindness such as this one, too.

    BUT

    At the same time, where is the outpouring of support, food, yard work etc. for the families in the same area who are quietly struggling to put food on the table or keep their homes but haven't suffered a major tragedy? Who steps up to pay the electric bill when their lights are cut off? Who leaves a bag of groceries on their porch when they don't know where the next meal is coming from.

    I know a lot of people who call themselves Christians, go to church every Sunday like clockwork, and yet, the rest of the week, treat others in a manner that is anything but the way they would wish to be treated. They might assuage their conscience by donating clothes to Goodwill once in a while, dropping a 20 in the Salvation Army bucket, or donating to a mission in Africa.

    I know others who don't go to church regularly and yet who take the time to to small things, like rescuing the kitten who was dumped on the roadside, regularly donating part of their own meager paycheck to help a local food bank, and then give their time to hand out meals to the needy. They turn out when an elderly neighbor needs the leaves raked or helping to put up the new playground equipment at the school.

    I look at both of those and I'm pretty sure I can identify the REAL Christian.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Default

    That is a lot of what I was thinking when I started this thread. I didn't like to mention the response to "natural" disasters, because of sensitivities with the hurricane now, but I have seen the same sort of thing. Full turnout in times of catastrophe, total disregard for people struggling with day-to-day survival and the discouragement it brings.

    I have had a major catastrophe this year, losing my home, not to flood or storm or fire, but to a family member.

    A coworker of two of my friends died recently, suddenly, of a heart attack. His family's friends and acquaintances showed up with money, etc.

    Pocket Pony, I am very, very sorry to learn of your friend's death.

    I know I am no one else's responsibility; no one has "taken me to raise" as one old expression puts it. I am an adult, therefore I am responsible for myself and can support myself.

    Not.

    Larksmom, I know I mustn't ask what city you live in, or which churches, but I wish I could join that community you write about. I also believe that similar communities probably exist in other places. I know of one man who preaches, and practices, moving to low-income neighborhoods to help build them up from the inside. His is an urban ministry, but I know rural ones exisit too. I do believe that the Lord is calling me to life that might appear to some (including me!) to be about having less, but I know that it would actually be about having more, indeed about having everything, for He is everything (at least I believe that and I try to have faith ).
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 1999
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    flyover country
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    Default I am going to veer off slightly with a bit of a rant.

    Well spotted, I just tried to pm you, but was blocked by an ad. It will NOT go away. I also seem to not be able to report this to mods.
    Rant over. I am in Independence Mo, non denominational church. We have been hit by copper thieves twice last year. It made the news last night,as the thieves have become extremely bold. We had to put our heating/cooling on the roof. Cost was $5,000. We don't have money like that. Today when I was there, a woman rang the door bell, as sadly, we have to leave the door locked. She lives across the street, and came in and handed me $51 for the church. I thanked her, and put it in an envelope, and put it thru the slot in finances. She probably saw the news story. The upshot, and I didn't see it, but our insurance was cancelled. Our pastor, is so young, I think I have blouses older than he is, but he is committed. We try to reach people, but as far a paying bills, we have to be careful that people are doing right with what they have. Are they smokers? no money for gas company but money for cigs? Sorry, no can do. We are told to be good stewards of our money. But i am not looking for medals. I could do a lot better than I do. I could live a more spartan life, and I should, but being off work for so long, I have really come to depend on computer and tv as my sad life.
    Don't look at what churches are doing wrong, unless you have no faults. There are plenty of things wrong in all of them, mine included. But we are forgiven.
    Another killer of threads


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2009
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    95

    Default

    A sweet old lady and good friend of the family once told me "bloom where you are planted". Although great to go on a mission trip, there is so much need at home, where we have been planted.

    1 Timothy 5:8
    But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    As Christians, we are brothers and sisters in Christ so I think this verse applies to the church family as well. Jesus also gave to those in need, and we are supposed to as well.

    I don't provide a fraction of the church and community support I should, but I have taken small steps recently, and this post has inspired me to push on further!

    I think we are all bogged down with our own problems, however small they may be compared to those of others. We forget so quickly how bad times can be when we are in a time of prosperity.

    You will both be in my prayers tonight!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    10,382

    Default

    I suppose people don't KNOW their neighbor has their power cut off or needs to buy groceries as they're not going begging in the street or advertising in the paper "Hey, I'm broke!" Most churches I know are fine with having food banks, funds for parishoners in trouble, and that kind of thing, and people in need go there-it's not like it's a secret they exist in most places. But they can't exactly go around banging on doors and asking "Hey, are you poor?" (I mean, that's rather dehumanizing, for one thing. I HATED people asking about it when I was on unemployment and loathed people feeling sorry for me. I didn't want outreach and sympathy, I wanted a job with a paycheck. So I kept my mouth shut.)

    Organized missions overseas are easier in a lot of ways, too--it IS true that what constitutes "poor" in the US is positive luxury compared to what is poor in, say, the slums of Rio. The suffering is a lot more acute than in most places here. And 'familiarity breeds contempt' doesn't just apply to family members. You don't see people overseas at all, or not long enough to see all the ways they're NOT just sweet wonderful angels it feels good to help.

    Personally I don't got to Mass because, honestly, I'm lazy. But I'm Catholic and actually being in communion requires more than just turning up on Sunday (I'm carrying around a few things that the general indulgences during Mass just aren't going to cover, for a start...) I do miss being a musician for Masses, though.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 9, 2000
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    California
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    Default

    Well, I think, to be fair, most people don't know if their neighbor needs groceries or needs their electric bill to be paid. I think many people are proud and don't ask for help. It isn't usually printed in the paper that "Jane and John Smith can't pay their water bill this month" - the families that get attention are those in acute crisis of major life events (death or serious illness/injury being what comes to mind).
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Sep. 11, 2008
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    Snohomish, WA
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    Default

    This in a nutshell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    Well, I think, to be fair, most people don't know if their neighbor needs groceries or needs their electric bill to be paid. I think many people are proud and don't ask for help. It isn't usually printed in the paper that "Jane and John Smith can't pay their water bill this month" - the families that get attention are those in acute crisis of major life events (death or serious illness/injury being what comes to mind).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Sep. 11, 2008
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    Default

    This as well. Most people have SOME pride and may need help but not know where to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    I suppose people don't KNOW their neighbor has their power cut off or needs to buy groceries as they're not going begging in the street or advertising in the paper "Hey, I'm broke!" Most churches I know are fine with having food banks, funds for parishoners in trouble, and that kind of thing, and people in need go there-it's not like it's a secret they exist in most places. But they can't exactly go around banging on doors and asking "Hey, are you poor?" (I mean, that's rather dehumanizing, for one thing. I HATED people asking about it when I was on unemployment and loathed people feeling sorry for me. I didn't want outreach and sympathy, I wanted a job with a paycheck. So I kept my mouth shut.)

    Organized missions overseas are easier in a lot of ways, too--it IS true that what constitutes "poor" in the US is positive luxury compared to what is poor in, say, the slums of Rio. The suffering is a lot more acute than in most places here. And 'familiarity breeds contempt' doesn't just apply to family members. You don't see people overseas at all, or not long enough to see all the ways they're NOT just sweet wonderful angels it feels good to help.

    Personally I don't got to Mass because, honestly, I'm lazy. But I'm Catholic and actually being in communion requires more than just turning up on Sunday (I'm carrying around a few things that the general indulgences during Mass just aren't going to cover, for a start...) I do miss being a musician for Masses, though.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Sep. 23, 2009
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    573

    Default

    I was raised christian, but have changed faiths as I've gotten older. I saw too much hyprocrisy and narrow mindedness in the christian church, and went looking for a better way. I found it in Buddhism. Every buddhist I know is compassionate, kind, and will help with anything if you need it.

    That being said, I think a lot of local people who could use help with the electric bill or groceries don't say anything. I wish they would. About six years ago, my husband and I got woken up at two am by my immediate neighbors banging on our bedroom window. The family that lived behind me had their power turned off and were lighting with candles. One got left burning when they went to bed, and it set their house on fire. Two adults and four children under the age of 10 were killed that night. I would have gladly paid their electric bill had I known they needed help. I had spoken to them that day, we were discussing fixing the fence between our properties. My immediate neighbors and my family stood and watched it happen, nothing we could do but pray it didn't spread to anyone elses house.

    So to answer your original question, yes i have been driven away from the christian church. As a Buddhist, I am required to act with compassion in all things, and try to use that to help me with tough decisions. I like that....



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tartan View Post
    A sweet old lady and good friend of the family once told me "bloom where you are planted". Although great to go on a mission trip, there is so much need at home, where we have been planted.

    1 Timothy 5:8
    But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    As Christians, we are brothers and sisters in Christ so I think this verse applies to the church family as well. Jesus also gave to those in need, and we are supposed to as well.

    I don't provide a fraction of the church and community support I should, but I have taken small steps recently, and this post has inspired me to push on further!

    I think we are all bogged down with our own problems, however small they may be compared to those of others. We forget so quickly how bad times can be when we are in a time of prosperity.

    You will both be in my prayers tonight!
    Thank you very much--both for saying the post has inspired you and for the prayers.
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Default

    A priest at one church I went to told me that when church members lose their jobs/homes/etc., they are too ashamed to tell their fellow church members. Of all places, church should be a place where you can tell things like this.
    Some churches are such communities that the pastor will take up a collection in the service for a certain member for help with bills, etc. May or may not name the person, depending on the community feeling.
    If a church is just another country club, which I think some are, then I can understand people being ashamed to ask for help, there is no shame in it but I can understand feeling it.
    But when you call a church and ask if they have any assistance programs, and mention your own need for funds, and they don't pass it on to the congregation to see if they will help, that sucks. If you are active in a church and the pastor knows you need help and does not offer it, to me that is just wrong.
    I know that I am being judgemental here. I also know that if I were a pastor I would urge my congregation to help . . . and they would probably fire me for preaching a gospel they didn't like!
    But this attitude of church people makes me not want to be active in their community, to have fellowship with them, because I feel that I am totally without worth to them, that they would not care if I spent the night in the street (well, they would care if I tried to come to church with the effects of having slept in the street).
    I matter about as much to them as a feral cat, and that is not the way the Church is supposed to be.
    But if I leave, I lose any community I might have with other Christians. And I don't know how to wake them up.
    And I was very interested in Arrows Endure's post.
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique



  17. #17
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    Sep. 24, 2003
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    Default

    If you judge Christ by the actions of some Christians, you'll be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Today--Wednesday--is the day I volunteer at Faith in Action, a social justice organization in my small town. We offer help to anyone from our area, in the form of assistance with rent and utilities, food, prescriptions, diapers and toilet paper (not covered by food stamps), and anything else we have to give. We were started by 6 local churches, all different denominations, who decided that they could better serve the needy if they pooled their resources. We are now supported by 65 local individual churches. We're soon moving to a new facility where we'll be able to hire a social worker to help some clients find more long-term solutions to their problems. (Though, in our area, the biggest problem is that we've lost over 1200 manufacturing jobs in the past two years. People are desperate for work.)

    Again, don't judge Christ by people who repel you. Look harder. Ask better questions. Good luck!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    Default

    Some churches do wonderful things for their members, and others in the community. Some are also a hangout for the country club, and snob set. I think if you want to belong to a country club church, then you will and be happy there. If that's not the kind of place you want to go, then look around and find a congregation that is a community of kind souls. You don't have to stay at a place that doesn't agree with you, and that is the wonder of not having a state religion. And if you do good works and don't go to church, then you are just a charitable as anyone else. You have to look at your own heart and conscience and live in a way that makes you complete, and fulfills you.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


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  19. #19
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    Sep. 20, 2009
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    Default

    I don't think it is quite fair to say someone is a hypocrite bc they are giving money to other people than you. They may not know you are in need. Or they may choose to help those who are in more extreme poverty first. And I don't think it is always fair to blame the church when members dot share about problems. Some people just don't like to share.

    Christians are allowed to spend and give how they see fit. And if it is just twenty a year... That could be what they can afford. I think it is unfair to say that people who are trying to do some good are hypocritical bc they aren't doing that good te exact way you want them to.

    There are hypocritical Christians, and churches that do not care. But to say a church doesn't care while they build schools? Come on.



  20. #20
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    Jan. 25, 2011
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    Default

    Honestly? I have lost all my interest in going to church, as well as faith in general.
    Maybe it was being abused for years by missionaries, maybe it's because I think many christians are utter hypocrites, maybe it's because I'm unenlightened and going to hell. I've given up caring, and I've given up religion. I'm not an atheist, just a disinterested, burned out agnostic who wishes we could all just love each other and help others and forget about listening to a man talk about another man inside four walls.
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



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