Seven Common Comments Non-Christians Make about Christians

One of my greatest joys in research is talking to and listening to those who clearly identify themselves as non-Christians. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not celebrating their absence of faith in Christ. My joy comes from listening to those who don’t believe as I do, so that I might be better equipped to witness to them.

Over the past several years, my research teams and I have interviewed thousands of unchurched non-Christians. Among the more interesting insights I gleaned were those where the interviewees shared with me their perspectives of Christians.

In this article, I group the seven most common types of comments in order of frequency. I then follow that representative statement with a direct quote from a non-Christian. Read these comments and see if you learn some of the lessons I learned.

  1. Christians are against more things than they are for. “It just seems to me that Christians are mad at the world and mad at each other. They are so negative that they seem unhappy. I have no desire to be like them and stay upset all the time.”
  2. I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian. “I’m really interested in what they believe and how they carry out their beliefs. I wish I could find a Christian that would be willing to spend some time with me.”
  3. I would like to learn about the Bible from a Christian. “The Bible really fascinates me, but I don’t want to go to a stuffy and legalistic church to learn about it. I would be nice if a Christian invited me to study the Bible in his home or at a place like Starbucks.”
  4. I don’t see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others. “I really can’t tell what a Christian believes because he doesn’t seem much different than other people I know. The only exception would be Mormons. They really seem to take their beliefs seriously.”
  5. I wish I could learn to be a better husband, wife, dad, mom, etc., from a Christian. “My wife is threatening to divorce me, and I think she means it this time. My neighbor is a Christian, and he seems to have it together. I am swallowing my pride and asking him to help me.”
  6. Some Christians try to act like they have no problems. “Harriett works in my department. She is one of those Christians who seem to have a mask on. I would respect her more if she didn’t put on such an act. I know better.”
  7. I wish a Christian would take me to his or her church. “I really would like to visit a church, but I’m not particularly comfortable going by myself. What is weird is that I am 32-years old, and I’ve never had a Christian invite me to church in my entire life.”

Do you see the pattern? Non-Christians want to interact with Christians. They want to see Christians’ actions match their beliefs. They want Christians to be real.

In one study we conducted, we found that only five percent of non-Christians are antagonistic toward Christians. It’s time to stop believing the lies we have been told. Jesus said it clearly: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Luke10:2, HCSB).

Satan is the author of excuses. There is no reason to wait to reach those who don’t know Jesus Christ. We must go now. The harvest is waiting. And the Lord of the harvest has prepared the way.

Pastor to Pastor is the Saturday blog series at Pastors and staff, if we can help in any way, contact Steve Drake, our director of pastoral relations, at [email protected]. We also welcome contacts from laypersons in churches asking questions about pastors, churches, or the pastor search process. 

Posted on September 15, 2012

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • shelby says on

    I know some of the comments on here are very rude to say the least. Just keep in mind, individuals who speak their minds in such harsh, rude ways have hardened hearts. Christians still love you anyway, sister!

    • A True Skeptic says on

      You pray for me, I’ll think for you.

      T’was ever thus. If you want an amusing (to me, anyway) exposition of this topic, read Mark Twain’s “Letters From The Earth”….he makes a great case for how religion is nonsense, christianity in particular.

  • Daniel Malloy says on

    Instead of calling non Christians non Christians, maybe calling them dead people, children of disobedience, children of darkness or other names Scripture uses to call unbeilevers

    If our interaction with the world reflected the absolute horrors that awaits them if they do not repent and be saved maybe then they would get the message.

    If our lives and intereaction with other Christians reflected the glories that are ours now and await us in glory in Christ then maybe they would get the message.

    Paul the Apostle endured inumerable beatings preaching Christ and I dont think thats because he was trying to make friends with the world and the children of the god of this world.

    Is that real enough for you?

    • Blanche Quizno says on

      Very insightful, Daniel Malloy. Why hide your disdain and contempt for the foul heathen unbelievers? Let them know just how much better than them you consider yourself, and how eager you are to see them harmed for not jettisoning all their own beliefs in favor of embracing yours in their entirety.

      Yes, you’re o-so-glorious. A legend in your own mind! Why, it would be difficult to find the words that express just how superlative YOU are – simply for having been born into a culture where Christianity is the dominant religion. Yes, you’re just so very CLEVAR! HOW did you manage it?? Out of all the thousands of different religions in the world and the thousands of different sects of Christianity alone, YOU just happened to manage somehow to choose the very most right one – and without needing to learn a thing about any other! Wow! How great it must be to be YOU!!


      Hate to burst your bubble, but Christianity’s in steep decline. Nobody’s scared by your empty, hate-filled threats. We pity you, in fact, in thrall to such childish nonsense. And “Christ” and “Paul the Apostle” likely never even existed, so expounding on what they maybe did or didn’t do or whatever is nothing more than mental masturbation. Sure, it makes YOU feel good, but to the rest of us, you are appalling. Grow up.

      • Daniel Malloy says on

        Blanche QUizno

        This is a Christian blog and frankly I was talking to Christians, or those who call themselves Christians.
        And just as a shout out to human justice, why should I not hold heathens like you in contempt when it is clear that you hold us childish Christians in contempt. Why I dont hold you in contempt is you are deceived, walking in darkness and ignorant of the truth, as I once was , but thanks be to God I am now redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. The words I spoke are true those who do not believe in Jesus are in darkness and are children of the God of this world, Satan. If I tell you otherwise then I would be a liar.
        Repent while you can and save yourself and maybe others.

      • Blanche Quizno says on

        “why should I not hold heathens like you in contempt when it is clear that you hold us childish Christians in contempt.”

        Because, Danny boy, YOU are the one whose supposed godman, whom you supposedly love more than life itself, left instructions that YOU are to turn the other cheek, love everyone INCLUDING your enemies! YOU are ordered to “be perfect”! It’s not working out for you, just sayin’…

        And the supposed founder of your religion, Paul, has THIS to say: “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.” When are you going to start? You clearly consider yourself superior to everyone else – that sort of overweening pride and arrogance, though typical of Christians, certainly fly in the face of all the supposedly “good” things supposedly “taught” by the supposed “Jesus”.

        So let’s face it – you’re just not doin it rite. And I, a nonChristian, am under no obligation to be a BETTER Christian than you, the Christian. The fact that you seem to feel *I* am the one who needs to set the example simply shows that you’re really just a petulant child at heart. When you get around to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”, maybe you can let us all know. Because it ain’t happenin’…

        “Repent”? Why? So I will have to be around a ponce like YOU for all eternity?? NO THANKS!

      • Blanche Quizno says on

        The days that you could bully people into joining your religion are over, my friend. And the rest of us are very happy that reason is finally winning out over superstition and fear.

      • A True Skeptic says on

        Hmmm, fine, you do that.

        And then, to be consistent, you’ll stop using ANY and ALL advances that were made by non-christians.

        You’ll have a solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short life.

  • Blanche Quizno says on

    “non-believers, for the most part, don’t want to give-up their sins. …their real objection is dealing with their own sins…the real reason is they don’t want to give-up sin.”

    Wow, Superman! What a load of projection! I’ll bet you’ve never *asked* an atheist why s/he is atheist. Perhaps you’ve never even MET one! So it’s the atheists who basically want to sin their asses off (pardon my French)? I think it’s the opposite! How many Christians feel ALL their sins – past/present/FUTURE – are “forgiven” just for thinking *special thoughts*? It’s CHRISTIANS who have the “Get out of hell and into heaven free” card – remember? Historically, THEY have been the ones to sin their asses off! Take a look at Matthew 25:31-46. That’s what Jesus says about getting out of hell/into heaven. Do YOU qualify? Or do you prefer to ignore Jesus and insist on Paul’s “faith not works” theology? Who’s your messiah?

    But perhaps the REAL reason to reject Christianity – and it’s a valid one – is that human sacrifice is primitive and barbaric. That letting someone else take the fall for you is despicable and dishonorable. That it’s unethical to even *make* “Get out of hell free” cards! According to Christianity, God wants to reward the butt-kissers. Jesus “did not come to bring peace, but a sword” and intended to destroy families (Matthew 10:34-37). The Bible is all about slavery (especially the Christian scriptures) and doesn’t even include any acknowledgment of basic human rights. There’s nothing in the Bible that wasn’t already known to its authors – a REAL god could have “inspired” them to write things that more advanced people would recognize. Notice that “God” never inspired anyone to write “And thou shalt boil thy drinking water for the comfort of thy stummick.” We had to figure out the causes of disease all by ourselves – and we did. The Bible is full of primitive ideas – there’s no place for democracy or Enlightenment there. There’s a reason that the Christian scriptures praise ignorance and foolishness and condemn wisdom and knowledge, but it’s not respect-worthy.

    Hint: “Supernatural” means “It does not exist.” Virgin births are stupid. Only begotten Son of God is just more monarchy – “We’ve got a new prince who is destined to rule everyone just because he’s got the right pedigree!” Sorry, SO over royals!

    You also wrote: “Even a lot of Christians make-up who God is, instead of reading and following the Bible.” Have you sold all your belongings and given the proceeds directly to the poor, as Jesus instructed in Luke 18:22-25, Matthew 6:19, Luke 12:33, and Luke 14:33? Do you pray strictly in private, at home, as Jesus instructed in Matthew 6:6? You have already demonstrated that you reject Jesus’s injunction against judging others *ahem* – Matthew 7:1-5. So do you REALLY think YOU are in any position to be instructing others on what THEY are doing wrong??? Thou hypocrite!

    And Charlie Marsh? You nailed it. The theory of evolution explains how everything came to be – no gods required. THAT’s why so many Christians are so hostile toward the theory of evolution and the biological sciences – though most of them still seek out modern medicine when they become ill *wink*

    You said that “if even ONE word of the Bible is incorrect, that proves it’s not inspired by God and you should just discard it etc.” Want one thing that proves the Bible wrong? How about John 14:12-14? Where Jesus says that, once he’s gone, his followers will be able to do MORE “miracles” than HE did? There are many old tales of Catholic saints from hundreds of years ago routinely raising the dead, though this “gift of the Holy Spirit” was abruptly withdrawn once we developed medical technology and recording devices. Raised anyone from the dead, Charlie Marsh? And Jesus goes on – same passage – to say that “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Why doesn’t prayer work? Go ahead – pray to find a diamond the size of a refrigerator in your backyard! Ask God to make you a grilled cheese sandwich! Jesus said “ANYTHING”! Christians know that prayers aren’t typically answered, so they add all sorts of qualifiers – your faith wasn’t strong enough, you didn’t pray right, you didn’t believe hard enough, God knew it wouldn’t have been good for you, it wasn’t in God’s plan, etc. etc. – but Jesus didn’t. He said, “PRAY AND YOU WILL HAVE IT!” Moved any mountains lately, Charlie Marsh? Maybe you are just woefully lacking in faith. See Matthew 7:7-11, Matthew 18:19-20, Matthew 21:21-22, Mark 11:22-25, Luke 17:6, John 15:16, John 16:23-24, and John 15:7. That last one says “ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Why doesn’t this work? Why can Christians only pray for the most simple and pedestrian of prayers if they’re going to hope for the prayer to be answered? Something that other people are routinely accomplishing on their own, no gods required? Why can’t Christians ask for the moon? Jesus said he’d give it to them! Ever hear of “Ask and ye shall receive”? It’s in Matthew 7:7-11 and John 16:23-24. It’s a promise from Jesus. Broken. No, not broken – just plain false. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus supposedly says, “All authority/power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” If so, then why can’t he make good on his promises??

    If the Bible provides a means of testing whether it’s true or not – and the prayer guarantees above are exactly that – then anyone can test it. If prayers aren’t answered, these promises attributed to Jesus are false – and they obviously are. Anyone can prove it – it’s the easiest thing in the world! THAT’s why a lot of us aren’t Christians, you see. We tested it for ourselves and found it lacking. So why waste our time?

    Christians say that the Isaiah 9:6 passage about “Prince of Peace” is a “prophecy” about their jesus, but their jesus clarifies: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) He then goes on to explain how he wants to tear families apart and make people hate each other. THAT’s the prophecy that has come true. Did you never notice THAT contradiction, Charlie Marsh?

    Most Christians are sensible enough to go to the doctor when they are sick or injured, but James 5:14-15 says pour oil on the patient and pray. THAT’ll cure it! Guess what? It doesn’t! The (fortunately) few Christians who rely on prayer and oiling for healing often see their children die. Have you not seen the news stories? BTW, Charlie Marsh, the idea that microscopic beasties cause illness is technically the “Germ Theory of Infection.” Why so mad about the theory of evolution and not the germ theory of infection or the theory of gravitation, pray tell? It’s because you realize the theory of evolution invalidates great swaths of the Bible, that’s why. Notice that Genesis 1 and 2 contain TWO SEPARATE and DIFFERENT creation stories. The order of creation is different! Perhaps you aren’t aware that the germ theory of infection invalidates all the Bible’s “illness is caused by sin” nonsense. During the plagues of the Black Death in medieval times and cholera in the 1800s-1900s, the Christian clergy recommended fasting, prayer, and public humiliation. It didn’t work! Because illness is *NOT* caused by sin – it’s typically caused by microscopic pathogens! And it’s not cured by prayer or righteousness – it’s cured by modern medicine! There – I gave you more than one error. Are you going to discard that primitive, outdated mess and join the modern world now? Or are you going to decide that Christians must ALSO reject the germ theory of infection now that you realize it exists?

    • Christopher Williams says on

      I’m with you 100% Blanch Quizno

      Here’s the million dollar question.

      If miracles are true, and cancer, etc are either always or sometimes cured by a “god” [Let’s say the Abrahamic god.]

      Why does god not heal amputees? Not one case.

      I think that settles that case that god doesn’t exist or doesn’t care.

  • I don’t know who you been talking to…most likely the elderly. But, these young non-believers today just want to mock Christians or use projection defensive mechanisms to create a rift, because non-believers, for the most part, don’t want to give-up their sins. Even a lot of Christians make-up who God is, instead of reading and following the Bible. Atheists mock Christians for their beliefs, for example, “believing in fairy tales”, but their real objection is dealing with their own sins. The creation debate is just their red-herring to deny the Lord…the real reason is they don’t want to give-up sin.

    • Volly man says on

      The reasons I’m an Atheist are many:
      1. There are over 2800 known deities in human history. Why is yours real and the other one’s false?
      2. Most religions follow the same set of rules. In a nutshell: worship this “god” or bad things happen to you. DO not question the god no matter what it has done or said. Be obedient, be a sheep. I have a mind. Why is it a crime to use it in a manner that discredits the deity?
      3. Every religion you look are is flawed. Christians for example – their god is documented to have murdered babies. Don’t believe me, read the story of Moses and the 10 plagues. What was the 10th plague again? Death to the first born. That included babies. All because a man said no to their god. Really? You want me to condone and worship a god that is shown in that holy book to do this? That is not happening. Besides, that god doesn’t exist anyway.
      3. I love the comment “we don’t wish to give up our sins” – Have you noticed every statement the theist makes when making an argument is the Atheist really believes but is mad at or does not wish to do something that would “bring them back in the fold”. Let me make this perfectly clear: Your god does not exist. Deep down I know this to be true. I’m not confused, uneducated, or misled by wrong information. I’m not just saying this.
      Is this not clear enough for you?

      • Blanche Quizno says on

        “Death to the first born. That included babies. All because a man said no to their god. Really? ”

        Volly man, you left out the best part! Pharaoh wanted to let the Israelites go, but God wouldn’t let him! God supposedly “hardened his heart” – would not ALLOW Pharaoh to let God’s chosen people go – because God wanted to do some more killing first! Quite the sadistic yutz.

        Exodus 7:3-4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
        “I love the comment “we don’t wish to give up our sins” – Have you noticed every statement the theist makes when making an argument is the Atheist really believes but is mad at or does not wish to do something that would “bring them back in the fold”. ”

        I often ask Christians why they are all right with eating ham and bacon and pork chops etc., when the Jewish scriptures state *quite* clearly that this is forbidden, it’s a terrible sin, and it’s an abomination. None has deigned to answer the question to this point, and I’ve asked it a half-dozen times. The obvious answer is that Christians don’t care about Judaism because they’re not Jews. But Christians expect the rest of us to take THEIR religion o-so-seriously, even though it’s not OUR religion! Christians don’t give a crap about what’s a sin in Hinduism or Buddhism, but they seek to judge everyone else by their own belief system. It’s just stupid. Nary a trace of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” to be seen. Christians don’t actually care much for what their jesus supposedly taught; so long as he/it died and thereby gave them a “get outta hell free” card and a free trip to heaven. Aside from that, they don’t really bother much about Jesus, who taught to never pray in public, never be judgmental, not to save up money or other forms of wealth, and to sell all one’s possessions and give it to the poor. Without worrying about what the poor might do with it, as if it remains the Christian’s possession even after he has gone through the motions of giving it away. Or the Christian simply will keep it for himself, since he KNOWS he’ll take such better care of that precious, precious money than that useless homeless bum.

      • Daniel Malloy says on

        I challenge you to ask the Lord of Glory, God Almighty to reveal Himself to you anyway you want. Show me your love, show me your vengence, just show me you exist, but of course when He does you must serve Him and apologize to every Christian you know. Your going to say, I am not goiong to pray to a God I know doesnt exist. I say my God does exist He is so awesome that he can do anything He wants even answer the prayer of one who does not believe He exists. Let me know when He responds, with an apology

      • Blanche Quizno says on




    • Bam! You hit the nail on the head!

  • If you want to learn about the bible.. Asking a Christian is the last thing you want to do. Countless study after study have shown that the majority of Christians have very little knowledge of their own “sacred” texts.

    If you want to learn about the bible.. Ask an atheist.

  • If your observations were correct then you should see Christianity growing in numbers. However the opposite is true.

  • Charlie Marsh says on

    Evolution “The Big Lie” has been shoved down our throats and into our ears and eyes probably from the time we were told there was a Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. A majority of Christians, it is safe to say, believe in evolution in one form or another. As you are aware, this takes millions of years to occur. Therefore, God did not create everything in six days, we were not formed in God’s image, death has always existed and Adam and Eve are fictional characters. So much of our Christian Bible can be discarded if evolution were true and if even one Word of our Bible were incorrect, then it is truly not God inspired and you should just discard it all, quit going to church and live like the atheists. We have no hope if we Evangelize Evolution.

    • Blanche Quizno says on

      Charlie Marsh, the theory of evolution is small potatoes compared with the germ theory of infection. Yes, the idea that microscopic beasties cause much illness and epidemic is JUST a theory, exactly as the theory of evolution is JUST a theory. But the Bible isn’t aware of either! Where the theory of evolution interferes with that childish creation bit, the germ theory of infection strips God of his power, his vengeance, and his wrath! No more do we see God smiting those who annoy him with leprosy – we now realize that leprosy is caused by a bacterium, not punishment for “sin”, AND it can be treated with antibiotics! Up until the cholera epidemics of the 1800s (and even into the 1900s), Christian clergy across denominations shared a consensus: Cholera was God’s punishment for “sin” and could only be remedied by “prayer, fasting” and occasionally “humiliation” tacked on. National Days of Prayer were petitioned for in Britain and the US equally. And all this praying and fasting and humiliation did exactly *NOTHING* to affect the epidemics. However, people investigating the outbreaks without any regard for the churches’ do-nothing-and-pretend-you’re-helping approach discovered the bacterium AND its mode of transmission (sewage-tainted water) – though not necessarily in that order. Now, we think of cholera as a disease of disaster areas where the water and sewage infrastructure has broken down, or a blight in regions that still don’t have proper water treatment. All because of PEOPLE, no thanks to any religion, Christianity or otherwise. All those references in the Bible about plagues being God’s punishment – we now can see those accounts as the ignorant and wrong-headed assumptions of primitive simpletons who simply didn’t understand biology. We can have a good laugh at James 5:14-16 where it says that prayers and pouring oil on sick people fixes ’em right up, when we’re not condemning those Christians who watch their children die of easily treatable ailments while their parents stand idly by, believing that “thinking special thoughts” is the sum total of their responsibility for their children’s welfare. Why, I’ll bet YOU go to the doctor or the hospital when YOU are sick instead of going to your church for advice from your clergyperson on how to remedy the “sin” in your life! Yes, the germ theory is far more deadly to the Bible’s “sin” scenario than the theory of evolution! I can only surmise that the reason Christians don’t complain about the germ theory of infection is because they know it’s right because it works and they don’t want to be stuck being sick and in pain and no choice beyond thinking special thoughts and hoping for a miracle…

  • Giselle Delgado says on

    I have no words to describe how wonderful has been this blog to me!!I thank God that you took the survey and shared it with us.God has really given me a message through it!!

    • Blanche Quizno says on

      “God has really given me a message through it!!”

      Well, gosh – aren’t you SPECIAL?? What are the odds, that the creator and administrator of all reality would take the time to send you little personal messages despite its busy schedule running everything?? WOW – you must be just super-duper SPECIAL!!

      Christian-speak like this really makes non-Christians do a major eye-roll, often behind the fatuous and self-important Christian’s back (out of consideration – we don’t like being rude even when it’s so richly deserved) – just make sure you trot out “God has given me a message” and “I do/don’t feel called to do that” and “The Holy Spirit moved me to (fill in the blank)” and “Jesus touched my heart” and any number of other meaningless, self-glorifying ploppy piles of meaningless blahblah that are so popular among the faithful. That’s certainly the best way to show what a gooooooood Christian you are! Gosh, even God can’t overlook YOU!!

  • I try to spread the word and ask people to,come. One couple did for a while but then stopped. He wanted to preach and she decided she couldn’t and would not explain. Another elderly lately wanted my company and friendship but told me not to talk to her about religion so trying to set the example I persisted in friendship and only a couple of times did she ask me questions.. another raised Catholic divorced herself from the church because I believe prayers were not answered but late in life started up again with the cCaolic church. She would tell me she knows it all and did not want to hear anything from me about church. Growing up I read a lot, choosing my own books and was invited by an older teenager to come with her when about 14 years old and I went, Lutheran, and was baptized and married in that church and stopped altogether until retired and found the Church of Christ at end of my road, nearby. Sorted attending, was asked if I wanted to,study and did and was baptized by immersion into Christ’s body and continued to study from then on. my daughter had suggested the Church of Christ and I was home at last. Studied what the Bible said not what people think it says. Have to be careful about interpreters giving what they believe instead of what the Bible says!

  • I think the deity exists, I just have no interest in worshiping it or proselytizing about it–just a conclusion based on thought. In fact my personal beliefs openly discourage the practices encouraged in this article. My kind doesn’t fancy the attempts at ramming square pegs into round holes and finds that any concept of organization causes a corruption of the core concept of it just existing–there are no holy books, no expectations of an afterlife. no miracles. no meddling bearded man in the sky(anthropomorphism), no souls, no currying its favor through actions or prayers, we are a random irrelevant occurrence within it’s creation. I am not looking to be saved, to be invited, to be converted or any other things someone hopes of me, I am also quite disinterested in the idea of steering people away from other beliefs simply because they will usually attempt syncretism dragging baggage with them if they are not completely convinced(again ramming square pegs into round holes). I don’t hate the deity nor do I love it I am merely content to view it’s creation and not to have expectations of it. I am of an old subset of Atheism which both were labeled under at one point as well as default Agnosticism that has thought to have long become extinct overtaken by anti theists on one side which now dominate the term alone based on the conclusion of a deity not existing and pushed Agnostics into their own category as well. The three though are similar in rationale if not the one conclusion made by the individuals, I am an Atheist, more specifically a Deist I conclude through reason there is no more than one deity and it doesn’t serve me nor do I serve it. Theists tailor make their own(one or more)to serve them, to justify their actions, justify their existence, make deals with it to suit them, assume it is on their side, assign it qualities to make it just like them, and only complicate irrelevant human matters.

  • I would really like to know how this study was conducted and how results of it were tallied. Even as a Christian, I have the attitude of “Dear God please save me from your followers”.

  • Tom Mahon says on

    I’ve often found that arguments against Christianity are built on misinterpretations or misconceptions or by focusing on details and theories that are not central to Christian theology.

    My struggle is not one of logically concluding that Christianity is false but of having a huge gap between my theology and my personal experience.
    # I believe that God loves me, but I don’t experience God’s love and I don’t feel accepted in church.
    # I struggle with significant grief but the pastors I have spoken with have no answers and little sympathy.
    # I try to pray, but it’s as meaningful as screaming at the ceiling.

    I was taught that ‘success’ was not the measure of ministry. I served a church faithfully giving my heart and strength in pastoral care; AND I buried the last member of that church. At that point my denomination had not further use for me. Rather than caring for me in my grief they dropped me from the roll of ministry and did not ask me to serve in another setting. I was an outcast when I needed them most. (It’s a good thing I have a job.)

    At this point is my life I find I still believe, I just don’t know what to do about it. When I try attending church it just brings up feelings that I can’t resolve. I get irritated by small things, like music that is too loud and preaching that is petty and shallow. I have questions, but not the ones with easy answers. I don’t fit the clichés and find no comfort in doing the same thing over and over again . . . hoping for a better result. I want to be loved and accepted but I find the person I am is not wanted in the church.

    I do not have a lack of faith, and my life is not mired in sin; I just don’t experience meaningful connection with God or the Church. I’m lonely and tired of trying to find love from Christians, though I still think I am one. I haven’t walked away from God, but I sure feel like I’m overwhelmed in my pain, sorrow, and grief.

    • Blanche Quizno says on

      Hi, Tom. I realize I’m probably not the kind of person you want to connect with, as I don’t believe in any gods or miracles or supernatural stuff, but I’ve felt lonely and isolated, myself. I have found that the most painful loneliness comes from being in relationships which are supposed to provide you with love and support but instead provide criticism and even contempt. It was simply not good for my psyche to be hanging around with people I didn’t really like, who didn’t really like me. In a faith-based group that I was in, when I expressed to a person in leadership that I wasn’t getting any of my needs met through the group (which was something I expected, as I was investing time and effort there), I was accused of being selfish. I ended up walking away and deciding to spend time doing what I wanted, with whoever I wanted to do it with (if anyone). It is valuable to be able to meet your own needs, to comfort and challenge yourself. I believe that the church is not what Jesus had in mind – look at the beginning of Matthew 6, for example. Pray in private, alone. Not with others. Perhaps there’s a still, small voice; perhaps it’s silent. Think about what you like to do, and try to do more of that. Learn how to be happy by yourself. You’ll find friends, but not on anyone’s schedule. It will happen in the fullness of time. If the church won’t accept you as you are when you are being honest, then the church is the problem. Thank you for your kind attentiveness to your church members. I can tell you were devoted to them. The sincere and compassionate people who match you may well not be found in any church, where churchgoers typically expect to be served rather than to serve. Author Jeffrey Hadden found that church members were “essentially consumers rather than producers of the church’s love and concern for the world, and the large majority deeply resent clergymen’s efforts to remake the church.” So it’s not you, in other words. It’s them. But there is a new movement afoot, one that’s more concerned with helping others than being praised for just being there. It’s always sad when you leave something comfortable and familiar behind, but there comes a time when we need to move on. Just be patient and be kind with yourself. Learn how to love and appreciate yourself, explore those interests you might not have had time for before. I’m writing a book, and thoroughly enjoying the process, for example. I have a few very nice friends, and it’s cool. I spend a lot of time alone, and I have found that I like that. I do wish you all the best. You’re good people.

      • Thom Rainer says on

        Blanche –

        You are welcome here. Yes, our beliefs are different, but I can tell you that I’m no better than anyone else. To use my own religious language, I am a sinner saved by grace.

        Thanks for being a part of this blog community.

      • Blanche Quizno says on

        My message wasn’t to you, Thom. It was a reply to Tom Mahon’s post and specifically to him about his situation. Sorry for the confusion.

      • Thom Rainer says on