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I love Jesus, but hate going to church!

(41 Posts)
TeaForever Sun 19-Mar-17 16:31:13

Just wondered if there are any other Christians who feel this way? I honestly do adore God. I'm sometimes giddy with it - all He's doing for me - healing me, forgiving me, helping me to forgive others, returning the years 'the locusts have eaten away' etc. The peace of knowing Jesus is incomparable.
I sometimes have days on end of just bathing in God's love & grace. Then I go to church, and feel depressed for the rest of the day! And need to watch secular films & eat treats to take my mind off it! I just don't 'fit' with contemporary ecclesiastical culture.
I feel far closer to God when I'm alone with Him, than when I'm with other Christians. I'm a natural introvert, so I guess it's natural in a way. But the thing is that I feel closer to God almost anywhere other than church?! What's wrong with me???!!!

sonlypuppyfat Sun 19-Mar-17 16:38:58

I know exactly what you mean my church is full of cliquey arse lickers who don't abide by any christian teaching at all

TeaForever Sun 19-Mar-17 16:43:48

Thanks sonlypuppyfat it's good to know I'm not alone. When I read the bible it seems Jesus attracted highly eccentric non-conformists (like me!) but modern-day churches seem often to be bastions of convention, and totally off-putting to the mavericks among us. Sigh!

ILoveDolly Sun 19-Mar-17 16:52:12

I am signed up to help at church because I feel its important in our small community that everyone helps out. But I don't go when I'm not needed. I understand what you mean by saying you feel closer to Him when you are alone with Him but I think its clear that relationship with God and with the Church are two separate things anyway.
Some people seem to have a relationship with the Church without apparently having reflected on what Jesus's message to us was, at all.

NannyR Sun 19-Mar-17 16:57:33

It might be that you just haven't found a church that is a good fit for you yet. It took me over a year when I moved into a new area to find a church that I felt happy in and that I actively look forward to going to rather than thinking it as a duty.

For me personally, a big part of being a Christian is having fellowship with other Christians - both in weekly services and mid week house group/bible study. I enjoy worshipping as part of a community and listening to sermons etc on Sundays but the house group (which is a group of five women who meet every week) is where I feel like I grow more as a Christian, we study the bible and have discussions and prayer in a much more intimate space. We have a woman who comes to our group who doesn't regularly attend church, maybe something like that might work for you rather than traditional church.
It sounds like you have a huge love for Christ and how wonderful would it be if you felt able to share that with other Christians who may be struggling a bit.

TeaForever Sun 19-Mar-17 17:16:12

Yes, maybe I should try a variety of different churches. Though I have tried a fair few. I just feel like I don't fit in for some reason.

I know other people who say they feel fellowship with other believers is essential to them, and that's when they feel nearest to God & Heaven, whereas I'm the total opposite. I feel so filled with joy when I'm alone with God - especially first thing in the morning when I'm praying. I feel stressed as soon as I'm in a large group. I am an off-the-chart introvert, so I do wonder if it's an introvert/extrovert thing?

In my last church I was on the tea rota, so that forced me to be involved. I've just moved to a different part of the country, and so not plugged in anywhere at the moment. I actually would be fine to never go to church again! But I read about the amazing closeness of the early church in the book of Acts, and it seemed nobody was a solitary Christian all the time. I wish I could get to the root of why I struggle so much with it. I'll keep praying, and keep trying. If it's God's will for me to find the right church, then I have faith that it'll happen. Maybe I need to search for some other misfits to worship with?!

TeaForever Sun 19-Mar-17 17:31:56

Something just occurred to me! Maybe church isn't a time for me personally to receive? Maybe I receive alone with God, but should go to church as a time to give? Not expect to get anything out of it, then I won't be disappointed.

NannyR thank you. Yes I do love Jesus so so much. I actually think He's much more wonderful than I thought for years before. Recently He's shown me so much of His amazing healing love. It'd be selfish of me to keep that love all to myself. I don't know what the giving back should look like, but I know I have to give back.

Thank you too ILoveDolly you're right, they are different things. Maybe I've simply been expecting too much from church?

Anyway, thanks all. I've felt low since I tried another church this morning. Just expressing my thoughts, and being listened to has cheered me somewhat smile

BroomstickOfLove Sun 19-Mar-17 18:48:38

Evensong in a cathedral might be good.

skerrywind Sun 19-Mar-17 19:26:56

Really don't want to derail- but how can you love a mythical creature?

And according to the bible god is jealous genocidal maniac.
I wouldn't want to be in the same room as such a person - and yet you "love" him?

I don't get this.

Emphasise Sun 19-Mar-17 19:39:10

I believe and generally live a moral life in line with Christian "rules" but I really struggle with the teaching in some churches. I.e. I couldnt ever condem someone for loving someone of the same sex and I respect everyone's right to their own beliefs, I wouldn't dream of trying to convert anyone.

So my fellowship/worship is through spending time in nature and trying to do good things. I've found far too many churchgoers think that alone makes them good and/or better than others.

annandale Sun 19-Mar-17 19:45:57

I think you are going along productive lines thinking about a house group or about church as a time to give.

Three things occur to me - solitary mystic, Quaker meeting or ordination...

LorLorr2 Sun 19-Mar-17 19:48:52

Show your appreciation however feels right to you. Prayers in nature, acts of service to others etc.

Millybingbong Sun 19-Mar-17 19:50:09

I think you haven't found the right church. We've just spent the day in fellowship and I feel so uplifted by it and it will push me through the week.

What sort of churches have you tried and do you want to say where you are? Mine iso lovely you can try it out if you are in the Midlands!

hmmmum Sun 19-Mar-17 19:51:45

"Introverts in the church" by Adam mchugh is really good- you might find it helpful

littlejeopardy Sun 19-Mar-17 19:55:38

I know a few people who struggle with this and I think you are spot on with how you are thinking about giving and receiving.

A teaching that really helped me was called Your Vision is in Your Complaint. It is the idea that the things that bother you the most are the things you've been destined to fix. Maybe God is sending you to make church a place where introverts can flourish in their own way?

Maybe your the answer someone is praying for?

Loving church is hard people are messy and contradictory but Jesus loves the church, he died for them and he is coming back for them. To follow him is to love the church and the world the way he does.

EddSimcox Sun 19-Mar-17 19:57:38

A much smaller group definitely sounds like a good idea. As does thinking of it as a time to give back. But honestly, you don't need to do 'church' in any traditional sense if you hate it. I know several Christians like you. Personally I love church, but each to their own, definitely. Actually I also love silent and empty churches - for me the best of both worlds. Perhaps you might find a contemplative or silent service to go to now and again - it's like church but without the people!

GoldenWondering Sun 19-Mar-17 20:03:06

I hate my church, but one thing I have noticed in replies I have had on here is that people have very high expectations of their churches. If you have a problem you are advised to speak to someone at church, but there is no way in a million years I would every confide in any of them. There is a default assumption that churches are packed with lovely kind supportive people and that has never been my experience. Indeed, a church is the last place I would expect to find these people.

TeaForever Sun 19-Mar-17 20:32:49

Ooh hmmmum the book you suggest sounds perfect. I'll definitely try to find a copy, thank you for that.

Thanks everyone for your responses.

skerrywind thank you for your question. I'm very respectful of people who have a different world view from mine, so I don't want to put you off by coming across in the wrong way. But honestly God isn't a mythical being. He's real & so utterly wonderful. All love. He loves you, and everyone. My testimony is a long one, so probably now isn't the time or place, but I can say that the peace & joy of resting in Christ's presence is so incredible, it's impossible to describe in words. The Bible describes it as the peace that passes all understanding. Anyway, sorry, I've gone off on one! I just couldn't ignore your message. Take care x

TeaForever Sun 19-Mar-17 20:39:03

Millybingbong your church sounds ideal for you. Alas I'm not in the midlands. I'm on the south coast. But thank you. It's very kind of you to invite me. If ever I'm passing through... x

LunaLambBhuna Sun 19-Mar-17 22:04:59

Hi Tea.
It's taken me years to find somewhere that's a good fit. A couple of years ago I started working in a Catholic school. One day, I went to mass to see how it was different from a Protestant service. Before I started my new job, it wouldn't have ever occurred to me to do that.
I love it. I keep myself to myself and am happier with a more traditional approach. I didn't like some of the happy clappy type churches with many 'fake' Christians.
Anyway, I hope you find what you're looking for. You sound so wonderfully happy. I'd love to hear why! Xx

skerrywind Mon 20-Mar-17 06:27:12

OP He's real & so utterly wonderful. All love. He loves you, and everyone.

Well not real- no evidence to suggest that.

Not sure he loves everyone either- according to the bible he has killed millions of people, including babies, he didn't seem to love them much.

Nakedavenger74 Mon 20-Mar-17 06:41:16

Skerrywind he's busy helping people score goals and get better jobs and pass exams while also judging all of humanity on their sexual activity and keeping lists of those who don't worship him so he can banish them to the flames of hell for all eternity in an act of spite.

He's far too busy for starving children and the like. He's all love though ...

skerrywind Mon 20-Mar-17 06:43:28

Ok. I was being harsh then.

Heathen4Hire Mon 20-Mar-17 06:56:09

For OP, have you tried the Quakers? They meditate a lot in prayer, they pray in groups in silence, and yes, speaking as a heathen, I find them to be a genuine, friendly bunch. Have you also looked at other denominations like the Moravian or Baptist church? The C of E is getting more and more out of touch with modern life. I hope you find your fit.

TeaForever Mon 20-Mar-17 07:07:44

That's so interesting LunaLambBuna. It's great you've found your spiritual home. Different styles of worship do indeed suit different personality types. I've always been attracted to the early Celtic Christians. They believed in simple living and respect for all living things (they were environmentalists before their time!) with God at the centre of all. They were also committed pacifists (as am I) and felt strongly that Christ's message was one of non-violence and that His message of devotion to the poor & oppressed was/is central.
I'm an unusual Christian in many ways, as I'd describe myself as an evangelical in the sense that I totally believe in the Bible as the word of God, and believe in God's grace for the forgiveness of sins etc. But also a progressive liberal in terms of my politics, and my belief that Christ's love is so inclusive. I really do struggle with the homophobia and attitudes to women and so on in some evangelical churches. I'm also a pacifist, and environmentalist (it's God's world, and not ours to destroy I believe) and a vegetarian & animal lover. I went to one church once where I was told I was in the wrong to be a vegetarian as a Christian confused which is odd considering the apostle Paul clearly states we have freedom to choose what we eat. Also the biblical diet before the flood was plant-based. Interestingly, John Wesley (methodist founder) was a vegan. St Francis of Assisi is one of my historical heroes.

It's so kind of you to say I come across as happy. The more I get to know the character of Christ, the more full of peace & joy I am. Though funnily enough, I'd say that to me it's a kind of joy that is different from happiness in the worldly sense. I can sometimes feel incredibly sad in the worldly way, but joyous at the same time! I think for me one of the amazing things about God is that He turns everything on its head - the world loves the 'successful' people - the high achievers, the rich, the famous, the clever, the beautiful. God loves everyone of course; but He especially seems to make a beeline for the brokenhearted. In Psalm 34 it says that 'the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit' how wonderful! His heart is with the poor & the downtrodden.
I'm not a successful person at all in the worldly sense. A few things went very badly wrong in childhood which threw me off course. I used to feel I had to impress people, and would tell lies to make myself seem higher achieving, even since being a Christian. But recently God has taught me I shouldn't fear other people's opinions of me. In God's eyes success is something very different. Love & kindness mean infinitely more to God than any worldly success. To me that's a wondrous thing indeed!
Also, I've suffered anxiety a great deal in life (still do) but have found an inexplicable peace when I trust in Jesus. It's such a beautiful mystery... Well, sorry, that was a bit of a long reply! Feel free to message me if you'd like to chat more. Lots of love xx

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