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Why Do People Leave Church

What are reasons that people leave Church?

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 ---Chyna on 7/26/06
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Pastor Jim, are you recommending we stay AWAY from church?
How do you interpret this?

1Cr 12:13-15 and 18-20 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
And if they were all one member, where were the body?
But now are they many members, yet but one body

Should we go it alone... or meet with others and not call it "church"?
---Donna66 on 11/22/09

Of course, Jim. All except for *yours* that is. Surely yours wouldnt hold tradition over scripture.

I think EVERY denomination has a little false doctrine.
---JackB on 11/22/09

Not keeping one's word, not letting members share the live word with the body, quenching the Spirit, false doctrines and blasphemies like: "God loves the world", "All are sinners", "No one is perfect", "Titheing is God's Law", "Seed-sowing is paying me your money", "Jesus is not God", women in the pulpit, worldliness, apostacy, and such like sinuous things.
---Eloy on 11/22/09

Because churches preach their traditions over scripture.

Every single church from Lutherans to the latest Rock & Roll fad. ALL teach their traditions above the word of God-KNOWINGLY! Soy you get nothing but hypocritical heretics (i.e. Infant Baptism/Pre Trib rapture). Churches are nothing more than Country Clubs. God doesn't matter!
Now I will hear "NOT MY CHURCH" we only teach scripture only!!! Its those other guys that are wrong, not our club!!! Its the same old song. Empty bible studies and long lines of Gluttons for the Potluck fatted OX. If you don't go to the Potlucks you're a heretic, if you don't go to the Lords Supper nobody cares. Now you know why people dont go to church.
---PASTOR_JIM on 11/21/09

Because Christians dont love anymore.

They are quick to accept Gods mercy and grace on their behalf, but they dont want to extend it to others. They teach strict adherance to Gods laws and good works which leave lost men in the same curse they are currently under. (Gal 3:10) Life with Jesus is no different to them so why even believe.

These vipers are too busy being judgemental in an attempt escape their own guilty conscience just as the Pharisees of Jesus' day did.

I know one thing that I hardly ever see in church... a man that is humble enough to confess his sins to his brothers and sisters in Christ so they know that Christians can indeed and do sin quite often.

It has been and always will be Gods grace
---JackB on 11/21/09

WE are living in the Last Days or in tribulation period. So we must leave church because satan Seated in the Temple. It so danger to worship, God commands every believer to come out from it. 2 Thes 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

REv.18:4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Note: Babylon is Churches everywhere in the world.
---sally on 11/21/09

At the root of the question, problem and answer is Satan who first attacks relationships, between Eve and her maker, between husband and wife, parents and children, and sadly between believers.

Schizmata is sometimes over the use of church money and other times over doctrine or pastoral sin, but at its root it is the enemy and our desire to fulfill are own evil hearts.

Is there anything really new since Cain and Abel?
Less than a dozen people on the whole planet and we had our first murder, we truly are rediculous?
Can't everybody just get along?
---larry on 9/25/09

for lots of reasons...good and bad
i know a church whose membership has not gone beyond 80 for the past 20 years

The worship is good....word is good
but the leaders are mostly introverts and sinners uncomfortable coming back especially because they are usually not confronted and restored... making some feel ostracized ....we must go looking for lost sheep not just expecting them to return on their own.

some are uncomfortable to return because leaders are cold towards them when meet them at other social functions

some have left because they felt they were still regarded as children because of one or two issues...preferring to be where their childhood was unknown

some leave for larger groups for dating purposes
---patie3447 on 9/25/09

One reason people leave Church is because THE CALVINISTS are coming in and telling people they are blind, stupid, not saved, don't have eyes to see and on and on.

You may think I'm kidding...but I'm not. Many Pastors have complained that this intrusion is causing divisions, discord, contentions etc, because it is the Calvinists who come in and try to FORCE themselves and their beliefs on everyone, not the other way around.

Even the SBC's are SPLIT because of this issue, not to be confused with the Liberals. Calvinists would never argue with LIBERALISM in the church, because Calvinists are God's elect regardless of lifestyle..sin. etc. They actually agree with liberalism when they excuse their own sin.
---kathr4453 on 9/24/09

I think these are mostly reasonable reasons that people leave church. I suppose I left because I had been in church all my life and didn't understand that 'discipline' is an action of developing a relationship with a living God and not a euphamism for 'punishment'. I now like to talk to God like I like to talk to my girlfriend. I love to read the Bible as much as I like to read my email. I write my thoughts down everyday so I can keep a record of things that happen - both good and bad and about things I learn from the Bible - or how I preceive what I read. Sometimes I like to get away all by myself and do zero. Sometimes He actually meets me there! It's way cool now. Now He's REAL.
---Doug on 8/14/09

Some leave because the way is too hard. Some leave because the leaders are hypocrites. Some leave because the preaching and programs too often have less to do with Christ and more to do with money, or power and gaining followers. Some leave because they honestly have differences on doctrinal matters. We make a big mistake when we think everyone leaves for the same reason. Likewise, there are many reasons (both good and bad) that people go to church.
---jackie on 1/15/08

Many leave church because, the church today in US is becoming more secular and political.

As you see now, presidential candidates went to church to talk about politic not god. And preachers will influence their followers to choose their favourite candidate.
---Sheila on 1/15/08

Noah, your question is interesting. I would hope that the people around me would say yes to the question. My wife tells me that I have done that too much. I do know this, IF you accept the fact that Jesus is the truth and truth matters, that Satan may come down on you like a ton of bricks. I can tell you that this has already happened---big time!
---Dr._Rich on 1/9/08

to Dr. Rich - since christ commanded us to 'deny self, carry cross', do you obey & follow that verse in the bible?
---noah on 1/8/08

to Dr. Rich - one of christ's teaching is 'deny yourself'. so do you follow that commandment or are you just good in academics which is like experts in the law but unable to practice in reality.
---noah on 1/8/08

Emcee, saying, you were licking your chops, only means you are hungry to use what is in front of you. And you do every time you have a chance, but many times you just don't think first what response you are going to get. You love to hear others speak about their denominations, it gives you a reason to bring how great your church is and how bad the others are for breaking away from yours. No other Catholic makes those remarks but you. I do mind when my flesh responses, but not when its spoken in truth.
---Mark_V. on 1/8/08

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To answer Emcee's question, Jesus prayed for unity (John 17). He also warned (Mat.24) the 12 of people like Paul who has caused so much confusion that truth is now hard to find. I am now finding that following the teaching of Jesus and Him only, given to us by His eyewitnesses (John 14:26) will bring truth seekers back to unity. It may be the hard thing to do, but probably the right thing.
---Dr._Rich on 1/8/08

MarkV::Do you think that your reply is as Hurtful to God,"Lickimg of Chops & salavating" is not exactly a christian way of bringing Home a point, matter of fact it exposes your heart.
---Emcee on 1/8/08

MarkV::Do you think that your reply is as Hurtful to God,"Lickimg of Chops & salavating" is not exactly a christian way of bringing Home a point, matter of fact it exposes your heart.
---Emcee on 1/8/08

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, (for he is faithful that promised,) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
How is it not sin?
---johns on 1/7/08

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It isn't a sin to leave a church. It's how you leave it that's the sinful part. Unfortunately, it's usually anger and disagreements that lead to it and the offended person is not willing to follow the simple instructions in Matt 18:15-18 to deal with it. The end result is separation and division which is the exact thing that Jesus tried to deal with in this Scripture.
---john on 1/7/08

It isn't a sin to leave a church. It's how you leave it that's the sinful part. Unfortunately, it's usually anger and disagreements that lead to it and the offended person is not willing to follow the simple instructions in Matt 18:15-18 to deal with it. The end result is separation and division which is the exact thing that Jesus tried to deal with in this Scripture.
---john on 1/7/08

Jim::I like your remark,Let me add to it, in your age worn cliche:A rolling stone gathers no Moss"
MarkV::Your kindness far exceeds mine except I do not embillish the truth.Matt16:17-19 is God speaking Not Emcee
---Emcee on 1/7/08

Jim::I like your remark,Let me add to it, in your age worn cliche:A rolling stone gathers no Moss"
MarkV::Your kindness far exceeds mine except I do not embillish the truth.Matt16:17-19 is God speaking Not Emcee
---Emcee on 1/7/08

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I left the church bec. it destroyed my life, I lost opportunities bec. of preoccupation with 'to do' list, a pastor told me that self is a sin, (yet he does not deny himself bec. he is rich - hypocrite), it put me in bondage, weight on my shoulder & the 'good news' that they preach is always pt to sin & obey to works. then they blame me for their stupid, immature, & childish teachings.
---mike on 1/7/08

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord
We shouldn't blame others when its just ourself.
---john on 1/7/08

I loved church. And God took me out. I faught with Him over this for three years. I am still not 100% sure why He took me out. One reason would be, because of false preachers. They were so believable. I set out there noding my head agreeing with everything they said. Come to find out later through the Person of the Holy Spirit that these preachers were not even saved.
---catherine on 1/7/08

Mima "I left one church after discovering that the pastor owned the land and building himself"
What on earth is wrong with that?
You are yourself wealthy and use that wealth for your ministry.
Why should the pastor not use what he owns for the purpose of the churches ministry.
I have spare space in my large house ... I use that to house a trainee youth worker ... would you condemn that? ... That pastor was giving even more to the church.
---alan_of_UK on 1/6/08

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Its no wonder that they leave.A lot of
people seek a different lifestyle when they go to church.But all they see is more talk and less-walk.ALL SHOW.....and NO-GO.
So how can one be convenced of another side
other than what they live in.When the side they want to change to is just as corrupt as they are.The blind cannot lead the blind
as it is written,or they both will fall into the ditch.
---Jack_8773 on 1/6/08

SIN........simple answer.....if you trace it back it will always lead to sin. People this day and time have no respect for the ministry or any leadership role. If there is a lack of love in your church, step up to the plate and lead by example.
---Marc on 1/6/08

People leave churches because the churches have nothing to offer. Churches have lost their way. Over 98% of all moneys that come into churches or used by churches, to pay salaries, build parking lots, and everybody's favorites, build a new building or an addition to the old one. What ever happened to the great commission? $500 million is spent on conferences about evangelism. But only a total of 500 million is spent on the evangelism.
---Mima on 1/6/08

Emcee say's this is the most sincere and inlightening blog, Why? Because "Emcee, is the only Catholic who lick's his chops when he see's other denominations talking about changing to other churches." Gives him a chance to speak why his church does not have that problem. What he doesn't mention is the fact that "more people have left the Catholic church then any other denomination in history." He feels sorry for the people who have been deluded. What a show of kindness.
---Mark_V. on 1/6/08

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they are unlearned and not interested..they have not known how to seek God for guidance, or they do know but defiant in their own ways, or they are too scared to face their own problem whatever that maybe that caused them to leave.
---jana on 1/6/08

I like this quote for those who have left a church. It is what I live by:

"All that wander, are not lost".
---Jim on 1/5/08

I left a Church(Bornagainism) at age 16.

1. I asked questions in a doctrine class(showing signs of thought) that was unacceptable, so I was asked to leave tha class.

2.In church school, when in a musium with fossils, the teachers tried to herd the kids away from viewing the fossils, then I knew they had no real faith.

3.Switching book covers of books they said were bad, I 'tested the spirits.'
---MikeM on 1/5/08

I believe the reason is that the Pastors put themselves before are Lord and Savior it becomes how important the Pastor is when you do not have a God fearing Bible teaching Pastor then the Church is empty of the Holy Sprit and therefore all is lost
---lawre3763 on 1/5/08

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The Bible mentions ONE churchMat16:17-19.Who then, created a myriad of what we call Churches,which are really denominations.In olden days you either belonged to God or you didn't.People hop from denomination to denomination due to dissatisfaction or change.But forget Gods Church as aforementioned.If the rule is too strict then you want out, a form of REBELLION.The common opinion is it's not possible to be perfect as we are sinners.So church Hopping is the norm as is apostacism.God wants us on His terms.
---Emcee on 1/5/08

Personally, I would leave a church if the pastor, woman or man, took credit for a healing. When humanity takes credit for what belongs to the Holy Spirit, that's where you will find false teaching, false prophecy and witchcraft.
---Mike on 1/5/08

People leave because of theivery and lying.
Two attributes of Judas. He is the ultimate example of "another spirit".
It matters not what your level of intelligence, if you have the Holy Spirit, you can detect lies. Even small children and animals are good lie detectors. That's God's grace and love that tells them to run from someone that can do them harm.
---Mike on 1/5/08

People leave because as we are told to pray for leaders in our churches, God will reveal through the Holy Spirit - who is of God and who is not.
With God's amazing love for His children, you'll be able to spot someone who is as crooked as a dog's leg, trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
They may deserve an academy award for their acting ability, but the real reward is for those who can run the race without being knocked out by the deceiver.
---Mike on 1/5/08

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The main reason people leave a church is because of false teaching and/or a false prophet, and blatant sin in the pulpit.
---Mike on 1/5/08

I left a church some years ago because a problem that I had was not handled scripturally by the leaders of the church. When I tried to sort it without their help (because they would give none) I was accused of being in the wrong for dealing with it myself. I no longer had any faith in, or respect for, the pastor, elders and deacons who could have done things correctly (biblically).
---RitaH on 1/5/08

1) Why would you leave a church after being credited with a healing?
3+4) Did you discuss your issues with the pastors before leaving?
4) What is wrong with a pastor owning the land and building?
It would be OK if he owned real estate and rented it out to a third party,
and it would be OK for the church to rent the building. Why is both being the same a problem?
---StrongAxe on 1/5/08

I see most people are like me here that they left because of cold memebers of church and of unbiblical teachings. And most of these churches are mainline stream. And they say if you dont go to their "untruthful teachings" and go to one with more biblical teachings, then you are attending a cult. How well satan is fooling these people.
---cindy on 1/5/08

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People leave churches that have never known the word of God nor have they applied the word of God to their lives to where there is growth and this is due to no disciplship.
---Mary on 1/5/08

I left the church I was in not because there was anything wrong with it. A few months after I got born again I went to this church where I strongly felt the Lord say 'welcome home'. Because of disobedience I went to the second church,but things went wrong in my spiritual life that it was months when the Lord reminded me of His Word. Now I am growing where the Lord placed me!
---Chara on 1/5/08

The church in a whole should teach in reaching out as our Lord did. How, just as he did, making your body as a living sacrifice, (just by beeing available).It is unfortunite that the teaching of today doesn't teach about Christ living his life in and through you as his body. With no relationship. I have never heard a sequal on the book of Hebrews ever in what Jesus did finality to edify the body.
---MIke on 1/4/08

If you finished 8th grade and went to 9th grade but was only taught 8th grade stuff again, you would leave too! People are getting hungry for real food (truth). Pastors are afraid to tell the truth for fear of losing their job. They try to keep them 'happy' by saying things like all you need is love, faith and grace. This is NOT what Jesus taught!
---Dr._Rich on 1/4/08

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People leave churches for many good and bad reasons. Most people feel disconnected and unloved in the church, are often overlooked, but yet expected to fork over a weeks pay, to support the pastor and leaders in the church. Sometimes people want certain positions in the church,they disagree with the pastor and his sermons,want to have their own way.Feel wounded and overlooked.Too many to list here.
---Robyn on 1/4/08

to vinny - 1 how can you mature when the 'good news' always point to sin.
2. how can you resolve difference when the bible is shoved down your throat
3 when you are hurting or having personal issues - you are accused of not having faith & they slap you with religion.
4 to solve personal issues you have to work this endless to do list
---noah on 1/4/08

Very simply people leave because of themselves, was my case. The church didn't agree with me, they must be wrong. They didn't do anything, and my father was the pastor. A few years later I figured it out. I was the problem, church not doing, go and do. Church wrong, find the right. God commanded each of us to go and. . .
---dan on 1/4/08

What! so many people church-hopping!
---Sheila on 1/4/08

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Something to think about - almost every person posted here left many churches-nowhere in scripture is leaving churches mentioned-so either the Lord does not care OR He expects us to be mature and work out our differences in the local assembly to which He CALLED us!
---vinny on 12/28/07

I have left four churches.
I have been asked to leave two of the four churches I left.
One because I was credited with a healing.
One because my wife asked the pastor's wife how the money was divided.
I left one church because the pastor, with an open Bible in front of him, misquoted it.
I left one church after discovering that the pastor owned the land and building himself.
---Mima on 5/17/07

I love this question for some reason. I have left several churches before. Mainly: Did not like the way the church was run. Mentioned it to pastor and he became offensive. Was not being fed properly, hurt feelings, pastor listening to others in the church without handling things on his own. No Outreach programs (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and so on). No real fellowship among members, not enough prayer. Pastor could not preach or teach.
---Robyn on 5/16/07

This is the most sincere & enlightening blog.Postings here are from people with heartfelt emotions.I applaude each of you,But also feel sorry to think you have all been deluded. What is most strange is the absence of ex Catholics who are so vocieferous on the playing Field.It has changed my perception .May God enlighten you, as you continue your walk,in quest of His Kingdom.
---Emcee on 5/16/07

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I didnt give money....was told I was getting the Gosple on the cheap.
---calhoon on 5/16/07

Feelings have been hurt for whatever reasons, Word of God is not being taught, no outreach and inreach, for that matter. Too many financial burdens on members,not serving in the church in some way,ignored by pastor/wife/church leaders until they want something from you.Unloving/uncaring members in the church. No prayer. Too much entertaining. No souls are being won for Christ. Pastor is unavailable. No power or spirit in the church. Service is dry and dead. The list goes on and on.
---Robyn on 5/15/07

More reasons: Pastor cheating with the ladies in the church, vice versa for the pastor's wife, no one knows where the money goes and what for, false teaching and doctrines, members have just gotten too old and worn out to serve anymore, building is too old and has fallen into disrepair, staff members are fighting between themselves,no programs for singles, no kids programs.
---Robyn on 5/15/07

More reasons: other people feel the spirit and they don't, so they become offensive and leave, people sing too loud, same old dead songs, same old dead sermons, old hard benches/seats, no social time with other members, no A/C, spouse does not attend same church, does not offer Communion regularly enough. Church is too small, too many responsibilities, on the faithful few. Some backslide, die off or just become to old to attend anymore. I love that question.Peace
---Robyn on 5/15/07

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I left a number of churches for many reasons, but let me give you the top ones:
#1)False teachings(jw congregation & mega churches wanting to bring in "social entertainment"instead of sticking with Sound Doctrine)
#2)Didn't grow with the word of GOd there
I am now at my church home & actually happier then I thought, because I am serving God., at a church of christ.
---Candice on 5/15/07

I have left churches for a variety of reasons.
1) I have environmental illness and the church buildings and people wearing scented products make me very ill - big problem.
2) Church leaders preaching/doing unbiblical things.
3) The church has no outreach. They just preach, support a building, or devise new programs.
4) Monies are used to support a building, not used for outreach.
5) No small groups - attending church becomes no more than a glorified club.
---Judy on 5/11/07

I left my first church Presbytarian becos I found it boring and I didnt understand its second church Assemblies of God only wanted me baptised to increase number..after that, I was on my own with no bible studies, 3rd church SDA I am home..the only church who truly cared about people...the only church who nurtured me well and taught me everything from the bible and the only one obedient to the 10 commandments of God..praise God for leading me to His marvelous light ...
---jana on 8/29/06

I have left a couple of churches because, as a single adult new-comer, I was welcomed perfunctorily and ignored from then on. I could not "break in" to the closed social groups there.

I left another, after attending a year, because their doctrines became progressively harder for me to accept. The church leaders were judgemental people and I didn't feel strong enough to discuss my questions with them.
---Donna2277 on 7/28/06

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I left the church I was a member in because the preacher was saying he would do things and never did,lied to members say he'd visit when ill and didn't. I ask one of the deacons"what will God hold us accountable for by sitting under the ministry of a man we know lies?",he answered he didn't know. I felt I couldn't stay when God hated a lying tongue and I know he does. The deacon and I both left, along with nearly the whole congrgation that was there when that Pastor took the church.
---Darlene_1 on 7/27/06

the word is getting too close to home, stepping on their toes and they don't like it. So they leave and say it is to hard to serve God. they lost their desire to go, find fault in the church and always critizing everyone. Or maybe they are not being fed there and need to go somewhere else, to where they can. There are many reasons why one leaves church.
---Rebecca_D on 7/27/06

We left because of open heresy. Teacher taught un-Scriptural,and non-denominational things. After a lengthy time of dealing with it with leaders, we openly confronted it in adult class.

Leadership said I had "personality issues"; I told them I had truth issues, and that they refused to address them.

They countered with my "failing to keep the unity" in the church because I dared to expose the heresy.

Recently I heard some are extatically barking like dogs, now.
---John_T on 7/27/06

Most often people leave churches over personal differences with other members of the congregation - hurt feelings or anger over things being done someone else's way. The devil clearly wins when people give in to personal pride this way! Also, people sometimes leave churches because their spiritual needs are not being met there - nothing available for their children for example.
---melissa on 7/27/06

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Chyna, I've left churches because I wanted the meat of the word, not milk, and not watered down word. When a Pastor tells stories all the time and doesn't really teach scripture, that frustrated me, although I stayed 5 years, I couldn't just be a pew warmer. Each time I left both churches, the Lord led me to another one and I never missed a Sunday of church.
---Donna9759 on 7/27/06

most because they are not living a spirit filled life , walking in love with fellow christians. they leave for fleshly reasons.there is no perfect church ,cause there are no perfect people, everyone screws up deal with it as jesus taught and move on, not necassarily out as most people do today.
---tom2 on 7/27/06

People leave churches for various reasons. As Alan says it could be because of impossible rules laid upon them OR personality clashes, power struggles, the rules of the church being changes and the church moving away from what scripture teaches. Sometimes it can take some time being in a church to realise that what is being taught is not 100% accurate and so people look for another. We should enjoy church so moving on is not always wrong but it is sad when some leave and don't go to another one either.
---M.P. on 7/27/06

I have left a church before because the moral actions of the pastor/wife,deacons, & congregation were not Christ-like at all. Church was more of a business than a place of worship.
---Cana on 7/27/06

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I left the last church I attended because the Elders were not doing their job in confronting my husband when he left me. They just let him attend church after he left, and acted as if nothing was wrong.

We left the previous church because we were burned out from serving in too many ministries.
---Madison1101 on 7/26/06

Many leave because the Gospel is not taught and they get fed up and disillusioned by churchianity and religion.

Following Jesus Christ is not religion.
---Charles on 7/26/06

As a Christian you never leave the church because it is a spiritual body.
---Ryan on 7/26/06

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