Before I get concerned emails and comments from the Christans who read my blog, I’d like to say that this is not an announcement that I will be departing from my Christian faith. This post, and perhaps subsequent serials, is simply designed to promote discussion, thinking, and reading about a topic near to my heart. This post deals with one problem; subsequent ones will deal with other problems.
I believe that there are multiple reasons for leaving the Church. Today we’ll focus on one that I have noticed rather evidently in my life. I grew up in a family that was at our place of worship every time the doors opened. Sunday school, Worship, Sunday night service, Wednesday night and any and all things in between. As a teen I went to all of the youth events, attended a Christian camp until I was old enough to work at said camp and then worked there for four summers in college. The summers that I did not work at camp I spent in foreign missions. I don’t say any of this to brag, because I believe that all of those things can be extremely problematic and in fact have been problematic in my adult life. That problem is Obligation.
Part of attending everything available to you is developing the sense that you have to be there. It’s not so much that you think that nothing can go on without you and that everyone will be lost if you are not present. It’s more that you believe that God wants you at events and at church activities and you begin to define your life around church functions. Eventually though, this is not enough. At some point you wake up, realize that you have no relationships to speak of, and instead are simply a good church person. While it is not bad to be a good church person, it is a horrible way to live life. Once you realize this, there are two options: fix the problem by waking up to relationship with Christ and hopefully other people or freak out and leave the Church because you have not found fulfillment in activities and obligation.
I’ve rarely considered really leaving the Church, but the few times I have, one of the reasons has been lack of relationship and a huge sense of obligation. I’m not attempting to solve problems here because I don’t really have a good way to do that. I’m simply posing an issue and hoping to create discussion.