Why people don't like church

There are lots of people who I have run into that can give a myriad of reasons for not going to church. Many site "bad experiences" and when pressed they admit that their bad experiences weren't with God but with those who claimed to be God's people. In fact, I will venture to say that most people who have a problem with church probably don't have problems with God. Rather, their problem is with people. As I've thought a little bit about this phenomenon I've come up with several reason why people don't like church. For now, I'll list just two.

First, there is the herd mentality. This describes the movement of Christians once they are gathered together. They lose their individual identity and morph into one giant blob of religiosity. It's hard to penetrate into this herd because they are so tightly knit and it can be difficult if not downright uncomfortable on a Sunday morning to get more than a moo out of them. A transformation takes place when the herd gathers, the most obvious of which is the sacrifice of one's individual personality in favor of a mindset that is a little more acceptable with religious dogma. Those who are outsiders will quickly find themselves frustrated and alienated from the herd and will not feel welcome in their presence.

Second, there is the heard mentality. While this may sound like the first group, it is actually a completely different animal altogether (pardon the pun). This phenomenon is characterized by contrasting what one hears being said by the group and comparing that to what is actually done by the group. Many outside the church actually have a pretty good grasp on many things that the Bible teaches and they can usually spot someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus yet doesn't follow through on His teachings. This second group of church-goers is adept at putting on the right clothes and the right demeanor on Sunday mornings, complete with all the "God bless you, brother!" and "Praise the Lord!" sound bytes that you could hope for. They will amen the Word when it is preached and are quick to tell you what their pastor said, yet oddly enough they seem to be immune from the application of those teachings once Sunday is over. Sadly, many outside the church just can't quite get around this hypocrisy.

There are many reasons that people have turned their back on God and His church. It pains me to know that I and others like me are a big part of the reason why that has happened. I want so badly for people to get past their preconceptions so that they can check out Jesus and see who He really is. In order for that to happen God's people are going to have to repent and turn from these harmful mentalities so that we aren't the ones who are keeping others from coming to Christ.

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