I Hate Church

Lies in the Church by Angela J. Kaufman

I hate church.

If you’re going to be a Christian, a big If, you’re going to get into trouble for it.  You can no more avoid it than water can avoid being wet.” John M. Miller, The Contentious Community

If you’re an idealist like me, you long for the church to live to its full potential in the sense that it understands community and wants to serve that community.   You’ve probably been disappointed in its failings to do so. And you most likely have personal wounds from trying to reconcile the two.
Here is what Richard A. Kauffman said to some friends who were disillusioned about church. “I gave up my faith in the church a long time ago, even though I still believe in it’ means that my faith isn’t ultimately in the church…That is misplaced faith. My faith is in God, the only worthy object of faith.  But I still believe in the church because it is central to what God is doing in the world – drawing together a people reconciled to himself and to each other – a light to the nations.”  

So, what can we do about this dilemma? 

Because each of us is a unique creation of God, we can bring to this table our individual ideas.  That’s what community is all about.  If we bring what we have to others, that begins a community.  According to Gallup and Lindsay, they speak of the “need for spiritual moorings; a need for deeper, more meaningful relationships with other people; and a need to reach out to hurting people on the margins of society.  The churches of America are wonderfully positioned to respond to these three deep needs as we move through the 21st century.”

We hate being burned by lies and so we say,
“Fool me once
Shame on you
Fool me twice
Shame on me.” --Chinese Proverb

Here are untruths that pervade our community, our church, our society. They are from the book Unshared Love by Bob Mumford. It is a list of seven giants as he calls them.
1.  We need to maintain our image – look good.  Keep up our appearances, wear the masks.
2.  We need to feel good.
3.  We are right.
4.  We must keep control.
5.  This will be advantageous to me/us.
6.  I’m not sharing my personal agenda.
7.  I do not want to be disturbed or made to change.  I want to keep my comfort zone and status quo.

   Here are five reasons people have stopped attending your church (Especially Millennials).

1.The church is irrelevant, the leaders are hypocritical, and leaders have experienced too much moral failure 2. God is missing in the church, 3. Legitimate doubt is prohibited, 4. They’re not learning about God, 5. They’re not finding community

But alas, lest we get too depressed, let’s consider the following. “In a world where lives are leading to outcomes of despair and hopelessness, we have the privilege of catching their interest and arousing their curiosity.  When they inquire how it is that our lives are different, we will have the privilege of telling them of Christ and welcoming them to glorify God with us.”

I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel challenged to live my life in such a way people take a second look and ask why I am the way I am.  May the God of love and truth be seen in all of his children!

I wish you hope and healing on your journey with God. 


John M. Miller, The Contentious Community, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1978, p. 32.

Richard A. Kauffman, “Who needs church?” Our Faith, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Harrisonburg, VA, Mennonite Digest, Inc., Summer 2001), p. 6.

George H. Gallup Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay, The Gallup Guide:  Reality
check for 21st Century Churches (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2002), 12.  

Bob Mumford, Unshared Love, (Raleigh, NC: Life Changers, 1997), 49.


Ibid., p. 29.

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Copyright 2018: Angela J. Kaufman, Sioux Falls, SD 57106

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