Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Church Hopping"

I have been thinking about folks who go from one church to another. They commit for a while at one place, but then they are gone. I was wondering if there is anyone who can give me a biblical reason for leaving a church and hopping to another? I don't want some single verse answer, I want to know how anyone can truly and biblically justify leaving a "good" church and going to another one. Why am I wondering? When I was a child I remember my parents taking us from a good church to one that was closer to our house. I can truly say that we did not go to a better church. We left a soul-winning church because my mom couldn't stand an outspoken hypocrite who was very rude to me when I was out on visitation with my Sunday school teacher. I was only eight years old and loved my teacher. She offered to take myself and my friend with her and this other woman to go visiting on a Thursday evening. We were having a very nice time until this other woman decided to light up a cigarette as we were visiting a lady who had been visiting our church. I was shocked to see anyone light up a cigarette, let alone someone that I believed was a good christian and at the house of the lady that we were visiting. I quietly said something to my friend and this hypocrite woman noticed me. She started yelling at me and calling me all sorts of names. I was mortified and couldn't wait to get home. Needless to say, that was the last visit of the night and it was ended by my Sunday school teacher immediately. The teacher dropped off my friend, who only lived half a block from my house. I ran from my friends house and fled to mine. Once I got in the door, I made a bee-line for my bedroom as my mom asked how things went. She found out soon enough, because the Sunday school teacher came over and explained things to my mom. I hid out in my room and cried. There was no way that I wanted to see anyone. However, my mom brought the teacher to my room and she gently apologized. It made no difference. That was the end of that church for our family. From then on we attended not only a new church, but entered a whole new religion. I did not get back into a "good" church until eight years later.
So, why do folks go church "hopping"? I can understand why my parents choose to leave the one church, but I truly cannot understand why they choose to go to a different religion. And even if I could understand, I can't find a good reason from the Bible to leave a "good" church. Can you?

1 comment:

  1. Deep thoughts you've had lately. I know your family and ours have seen a LOT of this over the past 25 years. People come and go, and most people provide the flimsiest of reasons to cover the "real reason" for leaving our church.

    The REAL REASON is SIN or PRIDE, to my best guess. I cannot find a good reason to leave a good church. As a general rule, people cannot face disagreements because of PRIDE, and PRIDE causes so much pain. (And GOD resists pride, so they can't credit Him for their leaving, although they "do" most of the time.)

    I wish people would "hear themselves" when they tell us WHY they left... they sound so EMPTY and SHALLOW and like "LIARS", as if GOD told them to sound so pious. We weep at their ignorance, knowing that only God can reveal this deception to them. In time, some folks will have their eyes opened and return for reconciliation. Others will cling to their self-righteousness and stay away. If they attempted to return, they might find there is a forgiveness waiting... but will they ever check it out?

    Hope you are feeling better this week.