• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

why more and more Americans are leaving the church

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by christine40, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

    +5,210
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    More Americans than ever are leaving the Catholic Church after the sex abuse scandal. Here's why.

    from article:

    'For Maureen Roden, the pull of tradition wasn’t enough.
    Roden, who lives just outside of Washington, D.C., grew up in “your typical Irish Catholic family.” She and her four siblings were raised in the church, attending Mass regularly. When she married – her Protestant husband converted to Catholicism – and started having children, she decided they’d be baptized Catholic, too.
    Years later, on the morning of Jan. 6, 2002, her two girls were dressed in their Sunday best and eating breakfast when Roden saw The Boston Globe’s story. Appalled, she told her husband they wouldn’t go to Mass that day. She hasn’t been back since.'

    “This was my moral authority, this is who I went to for moral direction,” said Roden, now 53. “I felt so angry and so betrayed. Not only that there were pedophiles in the church, but that they knew about it and covered it up.
    “I could not bring my children to that church and say, ‘These are your leaders.’ I couldn’t put my money in the collection basket. I felt spiritually abandoned.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

    762
    +306
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    I left the church because I wanted to find the truth....best decision I ever made.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  3. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

    +3,040
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    US-Republican
    I left the RCC long before the sex scandals broke into public awareness, but I do empathize with what the author wrote. When as a young Christian my first church collapsed, not due to sex scandal but spiritual abuse, I felt the same way the author describes.

    edit: sp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  4. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

    +8,929
    United States
    Lutheran
    Legal Union (Other)
    US-Democrat
    My aunt and uncle aren't as involved in the Catholic Church as they once were but it's not like they have become Protestant. They simply aren't as involved.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  5. James Murphy

    James Murphy New Convert To Lutheranism

    405
    +245
    United States
    Lutheran
    Married
    My conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism was theologically motivated rather than a reaction to the scandals.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  6. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

    +8,929
    United States
    Lutheran
    Legal Union (Other)
    US-Democrat
    The Church was never meant to be a moral authority in that way in the first place, when it sets itself up in that manner, that is akin to idolatry and people will pay the consequences.

    I used to be Orthodox. Getting away from that type of religion has been the best thing possible in my life. "The Father knows best" thing is wrong. It's my understanding that is even worse in Catholicism.

    Catholics need deeper reforms that merely doubling down on sexual sins. They need actual structures for accountability and participation by laity at all levels of Church governance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  7. tz620q

    tz620q Regular Member Supporter

    +538
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    Here's the thing, these people aren't just leaving the church. They are leaving Christianity as well. The woman above tried to find another church and just stopped going after a number of churches did not feel right to her.

    This article is from USA Today, which sent out 13 reporters to Catholic churches for Easter Sunday mass to do interviews. They then stretched these interviews over a framework of sexual abuse and cover up to paint the picture of a church in decline. If they were truly unbiased they would have mentioned the 37,000 people who had been baptized the night before and joined Catholicism. If they really wanted to know about Catholicism, they would have attended that vigil mass. That is where you will find the people who make up the bedrock of the Catholic Church, not on Easter morning, when more than half the people there will be Chreasters who only go to mass on Christmas and Easter.

    As a final thought, if these reporters were only basing this story on interviews with Catholics at Easter Mass, how did they find Roden and why did they devote so much of the article to her story. I just get upset with an article that starts with an agenda and wraps it in a pretty sentiment like going to church for Easter. If I had been one of the Catholics interviewed for the article and then saw the final product, I would be very angry that they turned my church attendance into somehow supporting a morally corrupt church.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  8. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

    +8,929
    United States
    Lutheran
    Legal Union (Other)
    US-Democrat
    It was hard for me as well, when I left the Orthodox church for a while I simply identified as ex-Orthodox, a cultural Christian of sorts, sort of like the position Anne Rice has taken. Most Protestant churches had zero interest for me because the religion I came from was so totalizing, I couldn't take religion seriously at all anymore.

    I was fortunate to find a Lutheran church eventually that could accomodate where I came from spiritually and a pastor that appreciated some of the same things in the Christian tradition. Most ex-Catholics probably can't make that transition and there really aren't alot of alternatives for them. So they simply drop out of living an active Christian life.
     
  9. tz620q

    tz620q Regular Member Supporter

    +538
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    Thank you, FireDragon for your story. I think you are right. I am actually happy to hear about people that didn't turn their back on Christ because of an issue with their church. We see people trying to do sheep stealing with Catholics all the time and they don't even seem to realize that about 30% of the people they convince to leave the Catholic Church become unchurched, not dedicated members of what ever church is doing the sheep stealing. So instead of evangelizing for Christ, they are actually driving people away from Christ.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  10. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

    +8,929
    United States
    Lutheran
    Legal Union (Other)
    US-Democrat
    Alot of those sheep stealers don't really care about the pastoral implications of their actions, in my experience.

    Evangelicalism's dark secret is that it's basically a revolving door of people that drift in and out. The Southern Baptist's retention rate of youth is actually worse than our own church, and that's pretty bad. At least people in our church continue to identify as Lutheran even if they no longer attend church. With groups like Baptists, belonging isn't all that important because it's all about your personal, subjective relationship with Jesus.
     
  11. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,843
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    A while ago, I realized I no longer could tell God that the Eucharist is the body of Jesus. And I would say that is the main thing. Then I trusted Jesus to save me and take care of me for all eternity. But I was criticizing everyone, then. And I was my main problem. So, I needed major correction and change, myself. Then I offered myself to Jesus, like how the thief of the cross gave himself to Christ, and I understood Jesus knew what to do with me, and I prayed and kept trusting Him to do whatsoever He pleased with me, each moment.

    So, my main concern was if the Roman Catholic Church is correct or not, about her main claims.

    By the time the predator problem became so publicly reported, already I was going by my experience of Jesus and the Bible; so I already did not have much difficulty moving on from my version of Roman Catholicism or what others were claiming is the right version.

    There have been plenty of claims I have been told. But Jesus doing what He has done can speak for Himself. What I did as a Catholic and what claims I have been getting have not been good like I have discovered with God and His word.

    When we got the public effort to expose the predator problem, at first I fell the way I would say many did > in a way actually welcoming such news as my excuse to look down on the Catholic Church. I was welcoming an opportunity to excuse myself to be unforgiving and to not have hope for the evil people involved in that . . . even though Jesus suffered and died like He did with hope for any evil person.

    But I was quickly corrected to pray and have hope for any and all people involved in that scandal thing > predators, cover-up people, victims, and members who fooled themselves into believing those horrible men were pastors ministering Jesus Christ's own love.

    If people could not tell the difference, leaving the church does not solve their problem that they can not tell the difference between a person of genuine love, versus the acting of a predator psychopath. So, even if they leave, they still have their own selves as their real problem, I consider, if they can trust such evil people and not know the difference. Jesus makes His sheep able to hear His voice; it was not His voice having people believe those men and cover-uppers were people to trust.

    And I, of course, am not perfect; so surely I need much deep correction so I really am going with the voice of Jesus, myself; so I do not need to be looking down on anyone else. But I still can be stupid with Satan, enough to still look down on others, instead of having hope for any and all people like Jesus on the cross had hope for all of us >

    "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Ephesians 5:2)

    So, of course, this is where our attention needs to be :) Love "hopes all things" (in 1 Corinthians 13:7).
     
  12. tz620q

    tz620q Regular Member Supporter

    +538
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    To me the true mark of someone who has left for the right reason is if they can continue to live in peace and show love for those they left. That shows that they are following Christ and not acting on emotion. The flip side are those who cling to their anger. To me that has to be detrimental to their walk with God.

    God bless you today and always,
    Byron
     
Loading...