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Christogram limestoneThe Lighthearted Calvinist recently featured a post entitled, ‘The dangers of disobeying Hebrews 10:24-25‘, which is about what happens when you stop going to church.

Jeff Peterson, The Lighthearted Calvinist, is a Baptist layman who lives in Michigan, a once-tranquil state which has undergone a transformation for the worse in the last couple of years.  The state is in debt and the unemployment rate is high.  Yes, there are still some areas which are pretty and peaceful, the way they were 30-40 years ago, but an increasing number of towns and cities have been blighted both by a rejection of traditional values and expecting too much government care.  My message to Michiganders: stop voting Democrat in every election.

Anyway, Jeff has some great posts, which is why he is on the Churchmouse Campanologist blogroll.  He also has resurrected the late, great word ‘swell’, as in ‘Gee, that’s swell!’ 

But onto his post.  He knows of a couple who have stopped going to church and have become insular and fearful as a result.  Maybe they should go to Jeff’s church — he seems happy in himself and the Lord.  Seems like a simple enough solution.

Here are four main reasons why I believe people fall away from church.  Maybe Jeff’s friends feel the same way:

The clergy are too left-wing in their thinking.  I went to a pseudo-Reformed (United Reformed Church) service last Sunday and, whilst it offered sound Biblical teaching, the prayers for the faithful at the end were so Marxist that they rather detracted from the beauty of what went before.  This is a universal issue among most clergy.  It’s a bit like listening to MSM (mainstream media) anywhere in the Western world — it’s all left-of-centre.  Where’s the opposing point of view?  Where’s the objectivity?  There are loads of problems to be solved in our own countries but, yet, so often the clergy lead us in prayer exclusively for things we cannot solve in places far, far away.  Charity begins at home, friends.  Let’s pray for everyone, including the people in our own cities and countries.  We, too, need divine and practical help. 

There is a sense of bullying to accept a theologically-flawed postmodern programme.  If you’re a traditionalist, you’re derided.  ‘Ugh!  That liturgy is so outdated!’ ‘Get with it — you’re too young to be so far behind the times!’  Sorry, there are many people who refuse to become a Stepford congregant or parishoner, blindly following some misguided pastor or vicar, who only cares about packing ’em in on Sundays.  Sermons offer little urging or inspiration to get off one’s bum and be a better person.  It’s all feel-good hokum.  The message to those opposing spiritual fuzziness seems to be: ‘If you don’t like it, worship somewhere else’.

Churchgoers seem to follow the clergy and fall into groupthink. If you’re conservative, church is no place for you.  You have to be on-board for every programme out there.  Not all of these are good, in many people’s opinion.  Alpha — the Anglican Bible study course — has a spooky cult-like undercurrent about it with its mandatory ‘group weekend together’, even though millions have taken it and supposedly loved it.  Pastors strongly hint that voting for left-of-centre politicians is the Christian thing to do.  This is the prevailing norm in the UK.  If you love Jesus, you’ll stop using plastic bags and start using eco-friendly lightbulbs.  Christians in my area proudly carry their unsanitary hemp or cotton bags to the shops.  They boast about their new lightbulbs.  All this is a plain distortion of the Gospel, yet it comes from the pulpit and the big-wheel leaders in the congregation.

Many Westerners, Catholics included, go from church to church throughout the year in search of  traditional liturgy and Bible-based sermons. If churches were really that great, people wouldn’t need to go shopping for one every weekend.  Readers of this blog will be nodding their heads in agreement. If every church were doing what it should, this relatively recent phenomenon would disappear.  

So, Jeff, I hope you’ll respond and let me know if your friends have mentioned these reasons to you.  I’d love to get a discussion going here, so please feel free to drop by.

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