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  1. #1
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    Default Have You Ever Given Up on Organized Religion?

    Do you still believe in God, but not in the Church, or whatever organization tries to organize your religion?

    Ever been so disappointed or let down by your local church, temple, house of worship -- the people that run it -- that you've just wanted to run out screaming and never go back?

    Do you keep the faith, by yourself, and manage just fine without a corporate body of worshiping believers?

    If so, how do you do it?

    Not trying to be nosy, just wondering what other people do who have lost their faith in their local body of worshipers but still have faith in God ...

    I'm not trying to conduct a survey, just looking for tips on how to get along ...
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  2. #2
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    Yep. I do my own thing. As far as I am concerned, religion was created by people and as such, is fallible. I feel that if a person chooses to hold discourse with their deity, they do not need someone to do their speaking for them or intercede on their behalf.

    Hard to tell you what to do as advice, as I have not felt the need to rely on being with a body of people for worship purposes.


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  3. #3
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    Me too. I cannot support the hate organized religion permits and often encourages. My values are now frowned upon by many, you know that silly taking care of less fortunate nonsense.....


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  4. #4
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    I think religion is great, but not necessarily organized religion.

    I don't really have any specific beliefs, I'm not religious, I don't believe in God. My parents and sister are religious, however.

    What I like most about this is that I am a good person because I want to be, pure and simple. I don't feel like I need to be, I just am. I enjoy making other people happy, I like giving to others as much as I can, and I feel pretty good about myself.

    It is never a bad thing to find your own way, so long as it's beneficial to you and not harming others. The same goes for religion. I don't care what people practice so long as it's not hurting anyone.

    If you're unhappy about where you're at in your beliefs, then change them. Life is too short to stick to something you don't like or can't believe in.
    You're trying to do something normal people wouldn't do because they're terrified they might fail. -Boyd Martin


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  5. #5
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    Yep, long ago. Organized religions are manmade and therefore inherently flawed. *My* god gave me a brain and a heart and a moral compass, and that is all I need.

    I don't have any advice, as I really don't feel the need to "worship" with others--for me, appreciating nature, animals, natural beauty, etc. is a form of worship. I have my own connection w/god & don't need others to validate that. I know that, for some people, organized religion fills some kind of a void for them--maybe it's moral guidance, or a sense of community or family. And that's great for them and I'm happy that organized religion is there for them. I don't need that--I was very lucky to have a great family, get my sense of community elsewhere, and feel strong enough with my own beliefs that I just don't need a church.

    I've always felt that my connection w/a higher power is very personal. I don't need other people to act as go-between b/w god & me (was raised Roman Catholic, where you have to go to the priest for confession--no thanks!).

    Plus, there is no organized religion that I believe in absolutely 100%. And to me, it's such a huge/important thing that I could never pick/choose which things I agree with and which I don't.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for your replies.

    I was hoping to find some sort of church community near where I live, where I could meet some nice people and make some friends. My experience with the churches in this area has left me not wanting to worship with their members, let alone time to make friends with any of them.

    I just realized I started this thread early this afternoon. Some hours later, I was using this same computer here in the computer room where I live, and a bunch of kids came in. They were here to help present the service held in our chapel (one is held weekly). I was obviously at work on a computer, and listening to music on it; they came in talking loudly, laughing together; when I turned around and gave them THE LOOK, they didn't seem to notice; I didn't have the nerve to ask them to hold it down. Then 3 of their adult leaders came in to lead them in prayer before the service; they gave thanks for being able to be here doing the service -- still no consideration shown for someone who lives here and was obviously working on a computer and trying to listen to music.

    I just sat here shaking my head at their rudeness and at their total focus on themselves.

    Last edited by Wellspotted; Oct. 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM.
    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


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  7. #7
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    I used to belong to a church that became more of a cult than anything. When a gay couple was thrown out, I quit. Now, I catch Joel Olsteen on Sunday mornings. He is so upbeat and regards himself with a sense of humor, thus human and fallible. We all have faults and he is quick to point out his own before pointing at others.
    "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" Julian Lennon


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  8. #8
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    So, do you live @ the church?
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  9. #9
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    No, in an apartment building that has a chapel as well as a computer room.
    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


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Oh, ok. I thought it was odd that you were considering giving up organized religion if you lived @ the church (and thought only nuns, etc. did that anyways).
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wellspotted View Post
    Thanks for your replies.

    I was hoping to find some sort of church community near where I live, where I could meet some nice people and make some friends. My experience with the churches in this area has left me not wanting to worship with their members, let alone time to make friends with any of them.

    I just realized I started this thread early this afternoon. Some hours later, I was using this same computer here in the computer room where I live, and a bunch of kids came in. They were here to help present the service held in our chapel (one is held weekly). I was obviously at work on a computer, and listening to music on it; they came in talking loudly, laughing together; when I turned around and gave them THE LOOK, they didn't seem to notice; I didn't have the nerve to ask them to hold it down. Then 3 of their adult leaders came in to lead them in prayer before the service; they gave thanks for being able to be here doing the service -- still no consideration shown for someone who lives here and was obviously working on a computer and trying to listen to music.

    I just sat here shaking my head at their rudeness and at their total focus on themselves.

    If you can, try to find a non-denominational church. Even if you don't like it, you're likely to find people who have similar beliefs to you.

    I consider myself more spiritual than religious. I see "god" far more in nature than I do within 4 walls and a book. I try to find the good in people and find the good in the everyday. You don't have to be religious to be a good person. In my opinion, religions were founded as a form of social control; a way to scare people into behaving the way you want.
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  12. #12
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    I've not really ever been part of organized religion; I am Jewish but not observant and don't belong to a temple.

    People I know who have "given up on" organized religion and retained their faith have tended to be those ill-served by organized religion, e.g. I do know a few Catholics who were abused by priests or had it happen to family members, who will never again set foot in a Catholic church but still consider themselves Catholic. Ditto a former boyfriend's parents, who got no understanding at all from the church after having 3 kids in 4 years and asking for permission to use contraception when dad lost his job and times were very tough.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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  13. #13
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    Default

    It seems as though you have quite a bit of company, Wellspotted. There seems to be a trend of people leaving churches because of their divisive preaching and trying to find spiritual communities that focus on love, tolerance and charitable works. Dare I say that even the Pope may be leading the RCC in that direction?

    Take a look at the following link for some more information about like minded people who are non-theists.

    http://www.onbeing.org/program/alain...-atheists/4821
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dani0303 View Post
    If you can, try to find a non-denominational church. Even if you don't like it, you're likely to find people who have similar beliefs to you.

    I consider myself more spiritual than religious. I see "god" far more in nature than I do within 4 walls and a book. I try to find the good in people and find the good in the everyday. You don't have to be religious to be a good person. In my opinion, religions were founded as a form of social control; a way to scare people into behaving the way you want.
    The way many overtly religious people behave seems to be in direct contrast with the teachings of their religion. 'Heal the sick, care for the poor, have compassion' does not seem to be anywhere on their 'to do' list.

    I started my long walk away from organized religion as a little girl. I went to a Baptist Church and had to meet with the minister before getting baptised.
    He talked about being saved and all that, and I asked him 'what about all those other people, all those other religions?' His response? They are damned.
    I remember thinking that can't be right.
    I kept looking for a religion for many years and know that I am an unbeliever.
    Our next door neighbours are fundamentalist Christians, and in my opinon, they are anything but 'Christian' by my interpretation.
    We also wanted that sense of community that a church might be able to offer.
    Where we have found it is through volunteering, feeding people in need.

    One of the groups was started by a Catholic nun, a retired school principal and the meals take place in inner city churches. We probably don't share many of our views with her, or with many of the other volunteers, but we ALL see the value of giving back to our community, of helping others. We all respect and admire one another.
    The other group also takes place in a church, and the 'church people' take part as well. We serve breakfast to people who need it, hand out warm dry clothes etc..
    In the kitchen the conversation is lively - travel, books, movies.... and we actually have fun.

    So maybe, OP, that sense of community that you are seeking is out there, just not quite in the same way that you might have thought.
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  15. #15
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    OP, you might really like the Unitarian church. They accommodate all beliefs and non belief. A good friend of mine is currently at UU seminary and really has her head screwed on right. If you have one near you, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  16. #16
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    I believe in Jesus and God, but don't go to church for many years now. My mother dragged us to her church, it was snooty Methodist, and people who did the actual work were treated like servants. The church and membership were hypocritical snobs, and there wasn't a black person in that church until years after I left-I guess they finally found someone with enough money to fit in.

    I didn't like the political views, and actions of the church hierarchy, and the people who belonged turned my stomach. I quit going when I was about 15 or so, and have only gone to weddings, funerals, or a couple of Christmas services since. I understand that the Methodist church has changed with great social service programs, but I still haven't found a reason to start going to any denomination except for the social aspect.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
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    Jesus had his disciples set aside the first day of the week to commune with him. (Communion service) He also said "Where two or three meet together I will be there." You don't need a church building or a large congregation but you do need other believers in your life to meet together with the Lord. There are many people who have gone to 'small group' worship/communion/bible lessons. Find or invite people to make your own small group.



  18. #18
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    I believe in God but have not attending a church in about 10 years. I feel no need to go back anytime soon, either.

    I have religious friends that are participants in their respective religion's places of worship (for some reason the friends I get along with best are the religious ones - go figure) and we often talk religion but they aren't fanatics. They offer their views on religious subjects and we often debate them in a friendly manner. I change my mind on some things and keep to my beliefs on others and no one tries to convert - we just discuss why we believe what we do.


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  19. #19
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    I think one of the most challenging things about giving up attending regular services is that often miss out on the community it brings. Having a community of believers is so important for helping you through down times where you feel distant from God, keeping you accountable, and celebrating victories. The bible is very clear that we need to live in community. If community takes a different form for you than a church then I don't think there is inherently anything wrong with that as long as you still have a community of believers. Perhaps an online community or local bible study can provide the community that you seek in an environment that feels more welcoming.



  20. #20
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    Maybe the question that needs to be asked is "why the need for a God?"

    I find religion offensive -- community is 'important,' but almost always community tips into a tyranny of the mob. And this action is expressly addressed in this country's founding documents.

    I see again and again that if someone is 'searching for God,' he/she is really, in all honesty, searching for a relationship with him/herself. And that is what I think this 'god' crutch is about. Show me religion and I'll show you a troubled person who has probably suffered abuse. It takes great courage to face down the fear and panic of an abused psyche, and pitstopping at Religion is alluring and relieves that individual of responsibility. Just at the time when responsibility toward oneself is most needed.

    If you recognize your value, you will then recognize the value of any other thing and creature on this planet and outside of it as well. Using a "God" as your reason for your actions; your reason for being; your explanation for this and that automatically devalues you. And, therefore, others.

    Clearly, we as a species are highly deficient in this, given the destructiveness toward the environment and Nature that so many of us wield at the drop of a hat. We do it because there are no immediate repercussions ... and then there are huge upticks in disease, superstorm Sandy, relentless storms in the Midwest...


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