How I Discovered That Attending Church Wasn’t Healthy For Me
I have written about religion before and it really comes down to it being a matter of opinion.
Ever since I was a kid, I always loved looking at the Gothic architecture of a cathedral. Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame may have played a small part in that. Cathedrals have always had this allure to them, the edge, the sense of wonder, and I simply loved it.
If I was ever given the opportunity to attend church inside a cathedral, I would go there in a heartbeat. The echoing voices of the choir would create this haunting sound throughout the service and somehow that would speak levels of the Lord speaking to me….
However, despite how I feel about nostalgia and the allure of a Gothic cathedral…modern churches are too modern that the magic of the atmosphere completely fades away…
Modern churches are exactly that…too modern.
As it was mentioned in the previous paragraph, modern churches lose that sense of wonder and appreciation for classic churches. Granted, I realize I’m probably upsetting a lot of people by implying that I go to church simply for the history and atmosphere, for some people…this is the spirituality we need in order to feel God’s presence.
When you walk into a modern church, the first thing I think about is going to Catholic school. The walls are either bare white with motivational spiritual posters with Jesus or the walls are a mild slate gray with crosses or crucifixes to constantly remind us that Jesus died for our sins.
First of all, I’m not exactly enthusiastic to go to church when the first thing I’m greeted with, is school posters like I’m just a first grader attending school. (Now I do want to say, I do understand that most modern churches are purposefully structured that way because a lot of them are schools and churches.
But even then, I have attended churches before that were not technically schools…and yet still have this interior design of a school setting or in some cases…funeral parlors.)
I know I’m looking into that aspect a little too deep, but I did want to mention it because it was very noticeable to me.
Modern churches often have staff members or churchgoers act friendly…too friendly.
There was one afternoon that my family decided to try going to different churches. One church we attended had the pastor standing just outside the building near the doors where he greeted people as they walked in to attend mass. Originally, it seems like a good idea because the church is showing appreciation to all attendees who come to church.
However, when it was my turn to walk through the doorway, the pastor gave me the biggest smile and a firm handshake that somehow left a different impression on me. The handshake was so firm that it made me wonder if he wanted to break my hand. The smile alone was so overdone that I was questioning if he was an actor and was making a bigger expression just so the crowd sitting in the back row could see it. Regardless, I was just taken aback over the presentation and performance.
Once we got inside, a lot of people greeted us with smiles the mimicked the pastor at the front door. The service started which followed a basic format of reading through some Bible passages, and then the last hour and a half were dedicated to being a concert.
No joke, I was taken aback by the idea that modern churches are starting to push concerts as a means of exposing the Biblical messages…and, to be honest, the music wasn’t that good. The lyrics alone were forced and in terms of sentences, it did not make any sense at all. Which was saying a lot because, at that point, I felt like the Bible did a better job conveying its messages than the song lyrics these people attempted to sing/play.
In the front two rows, there were so many young and older women who were on their knees waving their hands in the air, their mouths open (attempting to sing the lyrics to the songs they don’t know), and swayed…like the music was sinking into their souls.
Now I’m not one to judge someone’s spirituality or faith, but those particular patrons seemed to really enjoy hyping up this facade that the concert was the main reason why they attended that particular church.
By the time we had left, even members of my own family picked up on the vibes that everyone within that church was playing up for a show. It was a decent size church with an impressive audience attendance so we wondered why they played up a performance so that new members would stick around. Needless to say, we decided not to attend that church anymore.
No one seems to understand the Bible…
Growing up in a Catholic church, I can say for a fact that a lot of the Bible is deliberately skipped for reasons that I can only guess at this point. There have been times where I attended either the Catholic church services or other churches, and often messages are twisted or stifled in some way.
There was one service that was dedicated to talking about marriage, highlighting why it’s wrong to be gay and that all women HAVE TO submit to their husbands because it pleases God.
My mind would stutter trying to understand those words…wondering why would I submit myself to a man? What happened to marriage with an equal partner? Teamwork? Why was the pastor hammering in that gay marriage is wrong??? Just why??? Love is love. Isn’t God supposed to be a God of love, a father figure?
Like most people, I am inclined to believe that people will only read what they want to see in the Bible. Often times, never really reading the Bible but only parts of it that enforces their particular beliefs.
I have met so many people who identify as atheist and somehow they know a lot more about the Bible than the people who are religious and who have supposedly read the Bible every day. It’s easier for an outsider to understand the material because they actually did READ the material.
Now, personally, I am not an atheist. I believe in God. However, I feel more comfortable being around atheists because they are very well educated people and they don’t deliberately shove religion down my throat like other religious people tend to do around me. This is just my experience, I’m sure others have experienced things differently. This is just my opinion…
Regardless of what you believe or what you experienced, I can say that it isn’t healthy for me to attend church.
Like most people, I feel more connected with God through nature rather than forcing myself to go to church where I’m instantly uncomfortable with the things I see or the atmosphere.
If there are people out there who love going to church and feels more connected with God that way, feel free to do the things you enjoy, I will not judge you.
But for me, going to church makes me feel so disconnected from God.
So if anyone out there is worried about my soul, don’t worry. Nature is my church. Worshiping God in my own comfort zone is my business.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this particular topic? Did I miss anything? What experience would you like to share in regards to religion and going to church? Feel free to keep the conversation going by posting your responses below! Thank you for reading!