Tag Archives: personal responsibility

Why I’m Not Leaving The Church

I read a few posts recently on various blogs from people who were fed up with the organized Church. Overwhelmed, frustrated, and appearing somewhat jaded, they listed their grievances as reasons they were leaving The Church.

They weren’t necessarily giving up their beliefs, and they made no mention of “losing religion”, but instead stated the reasons why they could no longer participate as members of organized Christianity.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those posts. I’ve been thinking about how sad they made me, and how those who are leaving The Church, and the reasons for which they are leaving, only exacerbate the issues that exist within organized Christianity today. So I decided to explore a few of the reasons why I’m staying.

Their reason for leaving: The Church isn’t open to people of all backgrounds and lifestyles.

My reason for staying: It’s true that there are many organized churches under many denominations who don’t welcome people of all races, backgrounds, lifestyles and socioeconomic histories. But I do. I believe the lost are the lost, no matter where you come from. I believe that all people of all skin colors, nationalities, religions, creeds, and backgrounds are welcome at the foot of the cross. I believe our churches need to open their doors to everyone, no matter what. I believe I attend a church that does. So I’m staying. I’m staying so that I can invite people to worship with me. I’m staying so that I can be a part of welcoming them into the body of Christ. I’m staying because if I leave, who, WHO will be the one to let these people know that they are welcome? Who will be the one to smile, shake a hand, encourage, support and minister to someone, anyone, who needs to know Jesus Christ? I’m staying so that I can be one of those who is open-minded about who worships next to me. I’m staying so that I can be a true witness of Christ’s love–the love that is open to all, no matter what. If I don’t, who will?

Their reason for leaving: I don’t like being judged.

My reason for staying: God’s word is true, it’s powerful, and yes, sometimes it steps on our toes. We need God because we aren’t perfect. If we could tweak His word to say whatever we wanted, letting us off the hook for our sins, there would be no need for a perfect, sinless Savior. There’s a real lack of personal responsibility in our society which lends to the belief that we can justify sin by ignoring that it’s sin altogether. But sin is sin, whether we pretend it is or not. The Church isn’t judging when preachers are preaching from the truth of the Word. Instead we are being herded back into the fold, following the Great Shepherd who already paid for our sins with the spotless blood of the Lamb. Leaving The Church to create your own church based on your own interpretation of the Bible might suit temporarily to ease your conscience, but understand that in the end, the truth cannot be ignored. So I’m staying because I’m not perfect and I need a perfect Savior. I’m staying because I know that from time to time, I need to be reminded of my human nature to sin, and I need to be reminded that my sin has been paid for by the One who died for me.

Their reason for leaving: All the people are hypocrites.

My reason for staying: A church is a family. Like our blood families, sometimes we don’t always get along. Sometimes there are those who seem to ruin it for everyone. And sometimes there are those who lie, cheat, steal, etc. But we’re family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, and while we can’t control what someone else says or does, we can combat their negative image of the Church with our own positivity. We can be the beacon–we are the city on the hill. I’m staying because I want to be the positive light. I’m staying because I want those who believe all Church members are hypocrites to look at me and say, “No, not all.”

Their reason for leaving: I’m not being “fed.”

My reason for staying: I’m doing the feeding. Christ commanded us to go and make disciples of all. That commandment implies action. It implies commitment. It implies work. Nowhere does it imply that we are off the hook for doing the leg-work of discipleship. Nowhere does it imply that we are to relax and wait for someone else to “feed” us spiritually. There’s an attitude of service among Christian’s today, but it’s the wrong attitude. We’re waiting to be served instead of realizing that it’s we who should be doing the serving. I know people who have left The Church because there aren’t enough services for them and their families. I know people who church-hop, joining one church and then another because they can’t find a place where they feel like The Church is doing enough for them. That’s such a backward thought process. We’ll never be truly One as a Church unless we are serving, following Christ’s commandment to make disciples. To piggy-back off a president from awhile back, “ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church.” So I’m staying because I am able to serve, and spiritual nourishment comes through that attitude of working to make disciples of every believer, including myself. I’m staying because through service, I am being served in the body of Christ.

In an effort to keep this from being the longest post ever, I’ll end there for now. 🙂

Share with me: What are your reasons for staying? What are your reasons for leaving?


Filed under The Christian Walk

Personal Responsibilty– Can Someone Please Invent a Pill For That?

Blessed readers: you’re going to have to allow me a soapbox moment. I’m up here, I have an opinion, and this is my blog, so I’ll write it if I want to. (Yes, you can hum “It’s My Party” if you’d like.)

A while back my sweet writer-friend Jill Kemerer posted about TV shows that you just can’t look away from. Hey, Jill, I found mine! The other night I happened to be flipping through channels, unable to sleep, and my eyes locked onto Hoarders: Buried Alive.

If you’ve seen one second of this show, you know that every episode is pretty much the same. I’ve seen bits of the show once or twice before, but the other night, I simply could not look away.

The episode focused on a woman from N.C. who had two teenaged children. And her house looked like a tornado had blown through a dump and dropped it on top of all of them.

Trash. Everywhere. Bugs. Infested. Unlivable. Unsanitary. Disgusting.

Imagine the filthiest house you’ve ever seen then multiply it by one million and it still won’t be as gross as this house was.

On other episodes of this show the people who hoard have a problem with stuff. Stuff. Yeah, their places might be dirty, but mostly it’s a clutter and organization problem.

But this house was cluttered not with stuff, but with trash. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. They called her a trash hoarder.

Are you kidding me?

It begs the question, when does hoarding become an excuse for laziness?

I got furious. Her house was nasty because she and her two grown children were too lazy to clean it up.

I’m not saying that hoarding doesn’t exist. Maybe it does. I can imagine some people have a very difficult time throwing out things because they attach memories and emotions to them. I can understand that every time I clean out my closet.

But I guarantee you, that was not this woman’s problem. Their stuff was fine. It was the trash, the bugs, and the filth that were the problem.

Her laziness was a reflection of something we’ve lost in our present society–the ability to accept personal responsibility for our actions, words, and thoughts.

Take a second to imagine what the world would be like if we’d all take a hard look in the mirror and say, “Yep, I messed up. It’s no one’s fault but my own.” And after that, imagine if we went out and tried to make our mistakes right! Gasp!

But we don’t do that. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we don’t have to accept responsibility for anything. Remember the famous court case of the lady who spilled hot coffee in her own lap while driving but she sued McDonald’s for selling her the hot coffee?

We blame our parents, our upbringing, “the man”, disease, the government, God, our teachers, our friends, lack of money, people who have more than we do, and anything and everything that might give us any reason NOT to look in the mirror and realize that we have no one else to blame.

Now, I’m not saying that there are never times when extenuating circumstances are a factor in what happens with us and to us. But seriously, people, are we really going to believe that not cleaning your house out of sheer laziness is a disease?

Why not take a look in the Good Book for what it says about personal responsibility? Believe it or not, it says a lot.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinth 5:10

That’s just one of the many, many verses where God reminds us of the right way to live because we are in Christ. This includes taking care of ourselves and the ones that we love. Here are a ton more verses.

If we were willing to accept personal responsibility, we could change the world. Really.

We want it life to be easy. We expect it to be. But that’s a lie straight from the pits of hell. There’s no pill for personal responsibility. It’s hard sometimes. And it’s often ugly.

And in the case that you are reading this thinking, “Man, she sounds seriously judgmental,” that’s not my intent at all. In no way am I judging anyone’s heart or their relationship with and to the God of the Universe. I’m not perfect. I find myself looking for excuses for my own screw ups, too. Yet most of the time, there’s no one to blame but me. And I’m not afraid to call myself out on my own mistakes. If I’m going to gripe about a lack of personal responsibility, I sure better make sure I’m trying my best to have some.

As my grandmother used to say, “We can’t judge, but we can certainly inspect the fruit.”

Share with me: What issues get you fired up and on your soap box?


Filed under Just For Fun, Parenting