If you disagree with your church, why are you in it?

A survey from the Public Religion Research Institute was just released indicating that many Americans are willing to ignore what their church leaders preach against homosexuality and abortion.

The report focused on the views of millennials (people ages 18-29) and found that they are more supportive than their parents of gay marriage. Their views on abortion closely mirror their parents, however, with six in 10 saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Also, most millennials — 68 percent — think at least some health care professionals in their community should provide legal abortions.

Some of the difference comes down to how people interpret the bible. around 60% of those who claim it’s direct from God still think abortion is sinful and deserves to be illegal and around 80% of those who believe men alone are responsible for the books support the opposite. The article doesn’t note how many of the 3000 surveyed were in either camp, sadly.

I’m curious about that 80% and why they’d be comfortable staying with a church and a religion that preaches the opposite of what they believe is morally and ethically sound. Would anyone sit in a church and let their minister drone on about following biblical teachings that approve of slavery? Does the desire for camaraderie and charity work eclipse whatever junk might come out of the mouth of the guy up front? If they don’t take those sermons to heart, are they making any effort to loudly defend the opposite position in some way? Or do they just sit in church every week filing their nails and perusing the hymnals while everyone else in the room nods in agreement?

Maybe change would happen faster if more people stood up together to demand it. Why not oust the throwbacks and dark age dreamers? Failing that, why not just leave and take the money that would have gone to the church and donate to Planned Parenthood or a gay rights group? Why not put the money to better use and help fund a group you do agree with? Why give any support to an organization that runs contrary to current secular notions about human rights?

I doubt these people stay in church because the potlucks and flea markets are just too much fun to abandon, so what’s the real draw? Do they think they have a better understanding of Christ’s “true” intent for humanity? Is that what gives them the “power” to disregard what their old-fashioned leaders might say about these issues? It might not matter what they think if they never bother to speak up against what’s probably the majority in their congregation. So I ask again, why bother staying?

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One Response to If you disagree with your church, why are you in it?

  1. Interesting post, it’s something I’ve thought about recently.

    I work with a guy who is an ultra religious God warrior (at least, makes out to be…) who’s mentioned to me a couple of times that he doesn’t agree with everything in his church or the way ‘the church’ handles things.

    Which does beg the question, why is he still IN it? Why DO they bother staying?

    I can’t imagine myself ever supporting an organisation that supports things I do not approve of.

    Christian logic fail.

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