Did something ruin religion for you or a loved one? You’re not alone. Numerous people in an online forum came together to discuss their reasons. Here are some of their unfortunate tales.
1. Going to a Megachurch
Going to a megachurch caused one user to give up on religion. He explains that they received over a million dollars in donations every Sunday. However, they did not use the money to do charitable work in the community. Instead, they spent it on making videos and elaborate props.
2. Starbucks Kiosks at Church
“There’s a megachurch outside of Tampa with a flipping Starbucks inside!” This user notes they were dumbfounded, and several others in the thread agree. One suggests, “It’s what baby Jesus would have wanted, “before the forum turned quickly to quoting the scene Will Ferrell says grace in Talladega Nights. A quick Google search reveals many megachurches in the south with Starbucks. I had no idea, but the church I used to attend had an espresso stand.
3. Inappropriate Letter
A man said when he was six years old, the pastor gave a letter to his aunt to give to his mother, stating that their family was not donating enough money to the church. The man further clarifies that they stopped attending and that he’s never been to church since.
A second person volunteers that their friend’s grandmother shared a similar experience. Her church wrote a letter stating they knew her income and that she was donating enough. Essentially her response was, “screw you. I’m moving to Mexico.” Finally, a third says the pastor was fortunate that she didn’t “go full Martin Luther” by nailing the letter to the church door.”
4. Religious People
Only God has the right to judge people. However, one suggests that religious people are the most judgemental people you will ever meet, anybody with a different view of them. I can’t help but think of Piper Laurie as Margaret White in Carrie when I hear the phrase “religious people.” I love many people who attend church, but I’ve made some zealots uncomfortable to be around.
5. Sidewalk Recruiters
A New Yorker confesses the number of times street preachers and religious recruiters approach her is insane. She specifically calls out the Jehovah’s Witnesses, noting they will engage in a regular conversation at Starbucks for an hour. However, afterward, anytime you revisit the coffee shop, you’re met with the real reason they wanted to converse with you.
“They harass you for years after telling you the truth of why they began speaking to you the next time they see you.” Furthermore, she says Scientologists are the worst at approaching you on sidewalks, in restaurants, at the library, anywhere, “you name it.”
6. The Non-Answers
“You just have to have faith” was the biggest non-answer to all one man’s questions as a kid. He called this response a foolish way to dismiss a curious mind.
A second commenter admits he asked his grandmother where God came from, and she smacked him across his face stating, “We don’t ask questions like that.” He explains he was genuinely curious and attempting to understand. Still, her reaction shocked him and was the beginning of being turned away.
7. Serving the Church Crowd
Have you heard about the non-tipping church crowd who loves to leave Jesus pamphlets instead? As a result, they turn many people away from the church, and ironically they are left to attempt to invite them to the flock.
One server shares an even crueler Sunday misfortune. Church people leave fake money hanging out of the tip book, exciting the server. It’s usually $20, but I’ve seen a $100. Nonetheless, it’s a Jesus track, not real money, and one of the quickest ways to turn people away from the church. I’ve seen it. Fortunately, I mostly had a good church crowd in my serving days, but I had many unfortunate experiences too.
8. Religious Leaders
“Jesus did not like religious leaders either, so we have that in common.” This user notes that the Bible discusses religious leaders being the issue, and here we are again. Another asks why there isn’t a religious leader who tells everyone they can have a direct relationship with God.
Before one explains, it would cut out the middleman. Embracing prayer and talking to God directly is the best spiritual thing you can do for yourself. Also, are we throwing televangelists in here, too? Because, yeah, Kenneth Copeland is full-on terrifying. His eyes are very telling when he’s angry.
9. The Mistreatment of Women
A woman states that she turned away from religion after her pastor ranted about the evils of women, saying that “Satan walks among us in the body of every female and men must take measures against them.” Others agree that women are less than in most churches and all religions.
Another woman shares, “I wanted to be a pastor. I wanted to be just like my great-grandfather. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the “best” I could do was be a pastor’s wife. Simply because I am a woman.” Just want to throw out there that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has women and LGBTQIA+ pastors.
10. “Sir, You Need To Leave.”
A former churchgoer admits his final straw was his church asking a homeless man to leave and not come back. He sat and listened to the sermons without bothering anyone and always sat in the back. This commenter says they confronted the youth group leader, and she defended the preacher.
11. Childhood Sexual Abuse
A Northern Irelander confesses religion was ruined for them when they discovered clergy on both sides were “diddling kids, including selling access to them to wealthy pedos.” Additionally, she learned the Catholic Church ran women’s homes “where they kidnapped babies, sold the ones that didn’t die, and used their mothers as forced labor.”
Childhood sexual abuse dominated the thread as the reason that ruined religion. Unfortunately, it’s an all too familiar story that predators end up in positions of power too often.
12. Only One Is Correct
There are multiple religions, but being taught that only ONE is correct made this user turn away. Numerous others stood by this reasoning, stating there are thousands of religions before one said, “I’m a Hindu, and within Hinduism, we have 330 million Gods here to choose from.”
13. Breaking the Bad News About Santa
A mother told one man that Santa wasn’t real by asking, “Do you REALLY believe that there is a magic man that files to all the houses worldwide in one night on a sleigh?” He admits he was always skeptical anyways. However, that solidified it, causing him to wonder at what age she would tell him that God isn’t real.
14. Moral Superiority
Have you met religious people who act morally superior? For example, someone says they believe holy people tell you they are religious to “feel morally superior to others around them as a means of attempting to control everything they can.” I’ve definitely met a few people like this. But I’ve been blessed in meeting many sincere and loving religious people too.
15. There’s No Doggy Heaven
Finally, as a kid, this user confesses to someone explaining that his dog that had just died wouldn’t be in heaven and he’d never see him again. Do you want to know why? “Because dogs can’t accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior -Pretty much done with it after that.”
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This article was published and syndicated by Sober Healing.
Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.