Why Are Some Christians Leaving The Church?

02/16/2015

I keep coming across Christians who have ditched their faith, in part or in some cases altogether. While I’m sure that it’s natural for people to occasionally switch faiths or to become non-believers (e.g. become agnostics or atheists), this phenomena appears to be something different. It seems to be especially prevalent with respect to Christian Fundamentalism. So let’s try and break it down:

 

The origins of religion

Man has always had a psychological need to believe in a higher power. For example, the concept of a higher power provides people with some meaning to their existence and a rough explanation of the world they live in.   Religion, then, must give its members a reason to have faith (in its religious doctrine). In order for that to happen, those members must first believe – believe that their religion, above all others, is privy to the Word of God and believe that their holy book is the one and only authentic book of God. I’m talking about the one and only.

Now, belief is a funny thing. For example, to have even a shred of legitimacy, religion must have some kind of moral authority. Is it any wonder then that religions generally have started with a vision of God, or perhaps angels? After all, absolute moral authority can really only come from, what the Bible calls, a Most High God (see Luke 8:28). Aside: The inference, by the way, is that there are gods who are below the Most High God (for example, Yahweh/Jehovah).

In ancient times, man worshipped the sun because it was the obvious source of life.  The concept of sun worship is even in the Bible, where in Psalm 84:11 it says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield.” The pagan belief was that the sun died on the winter solstice (December 22nd) because on that day the sun reached its lowest point in the heavens. The sun was then considered to be “dead and buried” for three days because it stayed at this lowest point on the horizon during that time. When the sun once again made its way higher in the heavens on December 25th, it was said to have been born again (resurrected). Accordingly, December 25th was eventually celebrated as Sol Invictus Day, the day honoring the sun God. Most religions are basically a corruption of astral theology and the worship of the sun. Long before there was Christianity, the Egyptians worshipped Ra, the sun god. One of the sons of Ra was the god Osiris who mythologically was considered to be a dying and rising savior god (i.e. he was resurrected from the dead). The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, circa 1400 BC, was credited with being the first to propose a monotheistic concept. Moses, an Egyptian himself regardless of his genetic heritage, took that monotheistic concept with him when he left Egypt and later it would surface as part of Judaism’s belief system. Eventually, a small monastic order of Jews would help the monotheistic concept morph into what is now Christianity.

 

Christianity and its ever-changing Word of God

The Christian belief system has gone through many transformations over time. First, the world had Pauline Christianity. Then thanks to the Roman Emperor Constantine, we got Roman Catholicism. Later the Eastern Orthodox Church would split from Rome. Note: Today the Eastern Orthodox Church is the 3rd largest denomination in Christianity. After the Reformation, Protestantism in its many flavors/denominations would also break away from the Roman Catholic Church. However, it has only been in the last 100 years or so that Fundamentalism has tried to redefine Christianity.

The changing face of Christian beliefs belie whether or not there is such a thing as a true Word of God. For example, if one were to believe as the fundamentalists do, then what does one make of the first 1,500 years of Christianity? The only conclusion that one could come to is that Christians did not understand the Word of God for the first 1,500 years of Christianity! This implies that, during that same period, Christians were hardly better than non-believers. Would they even have been saved?

 

The great mystery surrounding the Word of God

The Bible, itself, merely adds to the confusion. For example, which Bible of the many different editions is the one and only Word of God? There are generally different Bibles for different branches of Christianity. The original Bible was the Catholic Bible which has 17 more books than most Protestant Bibles. So, for the first 1,000 years, or so, of Christianity, the Catholic Bible was the only Word of God. But for most Christians today, the Catholic Bible is not considered to be the Word of God.

Then there is the little problem of bible content, specifically the so-called mysteries of the Kingdom of God (the esoteric wisdom of the ages). It was none other than church father Clement of Alexandria who admitted that Christianity withheld this esoteric wisdom from the masses (the most that the masses ever got was a Bible). As he said, it was only taught to the very few – “to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries.” Aside: The great mysteries, of course, was a secret society which was made available only to certain “highly enlightened” individuals.

The Bible, itself, also says that this wisdom about the Kingdom of God was withheld from the masses. A couple of examples of this are as follows:

  • “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew….” – Corinthians 2:6-8

Aside: So here Paul says that he does not speak about the wisdom of the ages even to the mature, and that this wisdom when it is spoken (in private) is done so only in a mystery, meaning that it is heavily disguised in symbolism and allegory.

  • “To you, the disciples, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, the masses, it has not been given.” – Matthew 13:11

Aside: So Jesus told the disciples, and only the disciples, about the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Of course, it’s clearly understood from the Bible that the disciples did not understand the teachings of Jesus which were in the form of parables.

An example of the biblical stories which were disguised with symbolism and allegory is the resurrection of Jesus. It was early Christian theologian Origen of Alexandria (in On First Principles) who said that the resurrection related to the spirit, not the mortal body. He considered the concept of a resurrection to be for those that did not have “eyes to see and ears to hear”. The “eyes to see and ears to hear”, of course, was a reference to one of Jesus’ well-known parables.

Accordingly, the Bible has many surface stories which were quite often based on mythology. It’s no wonder then that in Judaism they believe that the Old Testament needs to be reinterpreted. That’s why the rabbis of ancient times authored the Talmud – to explain what the Old Testament meant. I’m not necessarily endorsing the Talmud, but rather pointing out that Jewish holy men felt compelled to tell people that the Old Testament was not the whole story. Beneath the symbolism and mythology, there was another message which was hidden from the unenlightened. I guess they should know, since Jewish holy men wrote the Old Testament (i.e. the Jewish Bible).

 

Leaving Christianity

So, then, why are some people leaving Christianity? To begin with, young people are far more enlightened than their parents or their grandparents were. They recognize that there are inconsistencies in the Bible. They therefore find it hard, if not impossible, to accept that the Bible is the unerring Word of God. They also ask tough questions.  They want, and need, an explanation for all the evil and hardship in the world. For example, many of them would like to know why a baby has to suffer and die a horrible death – because of Original Sin? Then, there’s the age-old question of whether God is the source of evil.

Christianity has been unable to satisfy many of their parishioners on these important questions. People are tired of the worn-out euphemisms that are trotted out each Sunday in church. They long for a more satisfactory answer to the questions about creation and the meaning of life. It’s no longer sufficient just to say that God works in mysterious ways. People are searching for the truth and, perhaps on some intuitive level, many of them realize that there is a problem with the church’s message. For sure, they know that they have been unable to find God. So many of them have left the church and now label themselves as agnostic or atheist.

The lack of a charismatic leader has hampered the church in consolidating its faith under one umbrella. Certainly, the Pope would like to be that person but the Catholic Church has little standing in much of the Christian world. However, unlike the Protestant churches, the Vatican is taking a leading role in trying to reshape Christianity given the new realities of the world that we live in. They have made a startling public statement that Christians will have to reevaluate their faith and come to a new understanding of the Bible. That statement was made in an interview entitled “The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother.” I’ll let you connect the dots.

Such a statement strongly suggests that the Vatican knows a lot more than what they are telling the masses. Perhaps one day they will even tell us who the “gods” are who are not the Most High God (see above). Perhaps they will tell us that those “gods’ are our brothers, genetically speaking. They could even point to the Bible that we should have known as much all along (see the Genesis 6:2-4 reference to the bene ha’elohim). One thing is for certain, though. If their statement that Christians will have to reevaluate their faith is true, there will certainly be a flood of worshipers exiting Christianity.

 

“Men fight about religion on earth; in heaven they shall find out that there is only one true religion – the worship of God’s Spirit.” 

   – Max Muller

Advertisements

14 Responses to “Why Are Some Christians Leaving The Church?”

  1. arm5 said

    A lot of them leave because they see that a lot of Christians are not true to how they life. Some of them also don’t have true conversions or they grow up in a church that really is to conservative and that makes them leave.

  2. justagrumpyoldman said

    “… They long for a more satisfactory answer to the questions about creation and the meaning of life.”…

    This sentence of yours is quite prolific and so close to the truth behind the reason for everything that exists. Your subconscious must have been working overtime for this one.

    An old philosophical (if not occult) saying is that the answer is almost always in the question. In fact, if one searches your sentence and thinks carefully, they will see the answer to the meaning of life right there.

    [The Church has portrayed their `Jesus’ as the meaning of life and the Creation as a one-off event. So misleading and no wonder people are walking away from what was really only the greatest marketing machine/wealth generator this world has ever seen.]

    I hope someone reading this post will suddenly have the light bulb turn on for them and finally have their mind at peace. It did for me…

    Good post Warrior

    • chicagoja said

      Hi Grumps. Always a pleasure to have you visit. Your comments are extremely insightful. You missed your calling; you should have been a prophet. The answer to the question is that the entire universe is contained in a grain of sand. Now, what is the question?

      • justagrumpyoldman said

        Unfortunately the laws of psychophysics does not allow for reverse engineering. We are not built that way. If the answer is in the question, we must have the question first. The quest(ion) triggers the need for the answer, with no quest there is no need for an answer; otherwise the answer reverts back to being just information

      • chicagoja said

        The answer, of course, is in the question. Therefore, if you know the answer you should be able to extrapolate back to the question. At least you might be able to. I certainly wouldn’t expect that the average person would be able to do it.

  3. Nan said

    Interesting that you brought up the “mystery religions.” In my book, I show how these beliefs strongly influenced Paul as he developed his theology about Jesus.

    Great post, as usual. 😉

    • chicagoja said

      You’re right as usual Nan. There are so many questions concerning Paul. For example, how could Paul formulate any theology concerning a man he had never met and would presumably never know?…or…Why would Paul get involved in religion at all? He wasn’t exactly a holy man, now was he… or… Why did Paul’s theology run counter to the message of the Jerusalem Church who were the followers of Jesus after the cruxifiction? Instead of answers, all we have is church dogma… and the truth is simply a matter of heresy.

  4. branchl77 said

    I have given up on the culture of Christianity. I am more committed at 55 yrs old, to being a Disciple of Jesus. Not Moses or Paul but Jesus. I still believe the records of their lives are inspirational and true. However I need to follow one voice. It is time for me to go deeper and experience greater unity with my Father in heaven. I am not sure if that is the direction of Christianity. Lk 6:40

  5. Marianne said

    the main problem with “Churches” is that the leaders do not know the word of god, and so they cannot explain it to others. ignorance breeds more ignorance.

    it was never meant to be this way. the church has failed to teach and uphold the faith. the blind are leading the blind. the bible is not inconsistent…

    .I can explain and answer any question you ask…this is because I have spent 40 years studying it on a daily basis…and I can connect the dots for those who do not understand….

    every believer should be able to do this..but instead, churches keep people ignorant, and dependent on the pastor, who is nothing but a hireling, and makes a profit off the ignorance he promotes on a weekly basis

    • chicagoja said

      I agree with you that the Church has failed to understand the Word of God. I’m sure that you have an answer for any question but as for the Truth, that’s an elusive concept that even most holy men did not comprehend (for example, the disciples who could not understand the parables of Jesus). I challenge you to read some of my older posts to see what I mean.

  6. Love the post! I was actually a christian but after reading the Willie Lynch letter How to make a slave. For me everything I had been told had been a life. So i started my journey for the truth. Even when i read the bible now it don’t mean what people said it meant. I remember take some add some… Everything has some truth

    • chicagoja said

      The Bible, and the god of the Old Testament, condoned slavery (e,g. see the 10th Commandment).

      • Oh, I know, That’s why if it is not out of love i don’t condone it. I might not agree with everything in the bible but when you are giving something, you don’t completely take away the old. the people would flee you have to baby feed them with their own food. I think it is a great place for people who is already there to take a more in-depth look at it and look out side too. Like i said take some add some its truth in everything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: